Cabin Street Saves Hours of Inventory Management with Woo

Cabin Street is a niche apparel company that caters to Canada’s Manitoban cabin culture and outdoor lifestyles. Cabin Street’s omnichannel strategy includes a website and several market event pop-ups each year. The Cabin Street team would spend a minimum of ten hours reconciling inventory after each event, while halting their online sales channel during this process. Without an integrated payments system, inventory tracking was frustrating and difficult. To solve this problem, Cabin Street switched to WooPayments for both their website and in-person point of sale. 

Previous payments platform: Square

Industry: Fashion and apparel

Use case: In-person payments, omnichannel commerce

Product: WooPayments, Woo In-Person Payments (powered by WooPayments)

Other products used: Apple Pay, Google Pay, HubSpot integration, Mailchimp, Meta, Google Analytics and tracking, coupons, Google Listings & Ads

Key results:

  • WooPayments provided a cost neutral change that saves Cabin Street hours of manual inventory management and reconciliation after each in-person event.
  • With automated inventory management, Cabin Street no longer needed to turn off their online sales channel while reconciling inventory after each in-person event.
  • With integrated reporting, all transactions now flow through Cabin Street’s Woo store admin dashboard.
  • Cabin Street’s founders have increased confidence in their business growth with better options for scaling their business across both online and in-person channels.
  • Cabin Street is now able to manage inventory, refunds, and their store all from the Woo Mobile App.
Cabin Street homepage with collections in a grid

Cabin Street: Lifestyle apparel for outdoor enthusiasts

Founded by two friends in 2018, Cabin Street is a boutique clothing company that celebrates the outdoor lifestyles of vacationers in Manitoba, Canada. Co-founders Eric Senecal and Morgan Mackenzie wanted to create a business that connected with their local audience.

“Manitoba is very spread out and we have lots of lakes — over 10,000 of them. Everyone you know loves time at the lakes or outdoors and will go spend the weekend at their family cabin. So we decided to create apparel and goods that connect with this cabin culture that’s special to Manitoba.”

Eric Senecal, Cabin Street

With a background in marketing and graphic design, Eric is a frequent WordPress user, so it was natural that he would use WooCommerce for Cabin Street. He was working with a hosting provider that he liked and wanted the flexibility that WordPress and WooCommerce provide. Cabin Street also wanted to avoid the high monthly fees of other platforms that would prevent them from scaling a small business.

Eric knew what he was looking for from the beginning: “I have a lot of experience building websites. I’m constantly working on our site and need that flexibility, which speaks to why I chose WordPress for this business. WordPress allows us to customize and create what we need as we scale and grow, without getting stuck in super high monthly fees. And that allows us to keep our costs low and invest those savings back into our business.”

Now, Cabin Street conducts its business in an even split between pop-up events and online sales, with some additional revenue from third-party retailers and wholesalers.

The Challenge

Cabin Street needed better integration and inventory management

A lack of integration between their payments platform and inventory management was costing Cabin Street time, energy, and revenue. They were using Square to process in-person payments. While the platform and reader was reliable, it required Eric and the team to spend a minimum of ten hours after each event manually reconciling inventory. During this time, customers could not place online orders. 

Cabin Street needed a better in-person payments system to unify their inventory management during pop-up events. Cabin Street serves a hyper-local, very niche market, so it was important they transitioned to an integrated in-person payments system that provided a smooth experience for their local clientele. Their typical customer is in the middle-aged and older demographic, where their first interaction with the brand might not be the Cabin Street website. 

two hats sitting on top of one another in the grass

A first-class customer experience for in-person shopping was a requirement, as was the ability to manage inventory and integrate payments across all channels.  

“We had become frustrated with the disconnect between Square and our website. We needed an integrated option, and there was a point where we even considered Shopify, but the setup and monthly costs were prohibitive and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same level of customization. When we heard about [Woo] In-Person Payments, we were excited.”

Eric Senecal, Cabin Street

Scalability was also a concern for Eric — he knew that their current payments and inventory management wouldn’t hold up if they expanded their business to do more pop-ups or open a retail location. For event staffing, the complexity of the separate payments platform between Square and WooCommerce was daunting and left an uncomfortable amount of room for error.

Eric had initially reached out to the Woo Support team for help. When Eric and team learned about Woo In-Person Payments, they were excited to finally have a solution that would allow them the flexibility and integration that their business needed to scale. 

“I reached out to your support team about payment integration, and they helped us set up In-Person Payments.”

Eric Senecal, Cabin Street

The solution

Adopting WooPayments for online and in-person purchases

After reaching out to the Woo Support Team, Eric decided to try WooPayments. Built in partnership with Stripe and fully integrated with Woo, the new payments system solved Cabin Street’s inventory management challenges and provided a reliable experience for their customers. 

Their initial goal was to streamline and unify their payments systems, but they ended up gaining much more than that. They now can see returning customers from online and offline purchases and can easily run reports at the end of the year. They also saw a huge return on time saved after in-person events. 

“Before having our inventory automatically synced, we would essentially need to recount all of our items and upload the stock numbers to the website,” said Eric. “Alternatively, we would rely on our Square reports and manually cross-reference both accounts. All our methods would take some effort and creative thinking.”

Eric was pleased with the results: “WooPayments is fully integrated with Woo and my website, which solved so many pain points for me. Now we can do all of our refunds in our Woo dashboard, and all of our fulfillment is centralized. We also have a better connection with the Woo app and can do more store management there, which is great.”

The switch also provided a better online experience for their customers: “Before, we would sometimes shut down the website for a day [after an event] just to reconcile our inventory. WooPayments has eliminated that.”

With their unified payments, Cabin Street realized that their in-person events were drawing online purchases as well. “We realized that we were receiving a lot of online orders during these in-person events,” Eric noted. “Having the combined payment options for in-person and online sales going at the same time has allowed us to pull off stock when online orders came in so that we could keep track of inventory and make sure no order was missed.”

Cabin Street also offers buy online and in-person pickup through their local retail partners, and recently added local in-city delivery as part of their omnichannel strategy, options that help them save on expensive Canadian shipping.

Implementation and results

Cabin Street onboarded WooPayments in the fall of 2022, as part of the launch of Woo In-Person Payments in Canada. 

They did their first pop-up event with the solution in November. While there were a few learning curves with the new platform, the transition was smooth and WooPayments proved reliable. While they used Square for in-person payments, Cabin Street was using Stripe for their online sales. 

They were able to implement WooPayments without a noticeable change to their checkout process, which is what they wanted for their customer experience. “I don’t see much difference in our checkout process [between then and now]. And as a customer, I don’t think they see anything different — no one would have noticed there was a change, which is what we wanted. We really wanted this to be purely behind the scenes.

For Eric, maintaining a smooth and consistent checkout process was a priority during the implementation: “I was familiar with Stripe and we never had any issues with them, so to move over to WooPayments and have everything stay consistent was quite awesome.”

Looking ahead

Planning for growth and building loyal customer relationships

The next steps for Cabin Street include integrating custom orders with their Woo store and building their wholesale relationships. 

As they grow, they plan to work with local businesses to create apparel for them as well. Eric noted Woo’s flexibility as a boon to this next phase: “The ability to fully integrate our business using Woo is something that’s going to be really important as we grow this way.”

page from the Cabin Street site

In a seasonal market, they go through periods of intense activity and then quiet times. Cabin Street uses the seasonality to build more passive sources of growth, like wholesale through local retailers to balance the cyclical nature of their business. They’re also working on building out their brand strategy to nurture a loyal customer base.

Cabin Street is also focusing on maintaining their brand, increasing repeat purchases, and building customer loyalty. Within their niche market, they’re building their local presence and continuing to serve their fellow Manitobans. 

Their current strategy includes building organic reach and increasing customers’ lifetime value. As Cabin Street focuses on local growth, they’re also minimizing their costs so that they can invest in scaling their business.

Eric does much of the customization and design on their website and often works with local companies on third-party distribution, but is building a strategy to ease their workload while they’re growing. 

Hopefully this growth will bring a few more hands to help, and a few more weekends at the cabin.

Streamline your inventory management like Cabin Street: add WooPayments to your store today.

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