Vender of the Week: TheSuperCool

Six years ago, husband and wife David “Noonie” Nunez and Kate Vandermeer founded TheSuperCool: a mobile emporium they drove around Australia, using social media to alert their fans to their whereabouts. They stocked the mobile giftwares store with curated objects from around the world, focusing on “supporting small business makers that offer organic, fairtrade, and handmade products.”

Since then, TheSuperCool has hosted 30 pop-ups with their mobile emporium, opened a brick and mortar location in the South Melbourne Market’s SO:ME Space, and expanded their brand with TheSuperCool Kid. They’ve also grown their mailing list by 750% in three years — and they used Vend to help them do it.

Read our interview with Noonie to learn more about TheSuperCool and to discover why the giftwares retailer chose Vend as their POS.

Tell us a little about yourself, your business, and your local community. What’s your mission statement? Why are you passionate about what you do? What’s TheSuperCool all about?

We’re an emporium of everyday objects carefully curated from around the globe. We’re passionate about supporting small business makers that offer organic, fairtrade, and handmade products and helping their small family businesses grow. We love giving great gifts that are thoughtful and unique, and we gift wrap them in our custom-made wrapping paper created by local designers.

We’ve been in business for nearly six years, and we began as a mobile emporium that went to the people. We had no fixed address and would use social media to keep our fans on their toes with our next location. We’ve been fortunate to be recognized locally and internationally with awards for innovative retailing and visual merchandising.

Fast forward to now, and we’ve had 30-odd pop-ups in various locations, from two-day events to 12 months! We now have a huge emporium within the design space (SO:ME Space) of the iconic South Melbourne Market — and in the last two years, we’ve expanded into TheSuperCool Kid (offering all those SuperCool families a place to shop for their kids!).

What systems and/or technology were you using before you switched to Vend?

Fortunately we switched to Vend before we had a period of growth. Prior to using Vend, we started out manually recording transactions and then switched to a license-based desktop POS — which, while an improvement, was limiting in that multiple registers meant additional licensees. The POS also didn’t have the tools for functionality across multiple stores, and it didn’t enable stock integration with our online store.

What specific pain points or issues brought you to Vend (i.e. inventory management, business growth potential), and why did you choose us over similar options?

As TheSuperCool was growing, we found it difficult to manage many elements of a changing business — stock management, customer loyalty, gift cards, and how to integrate these different areas across multiple locations — and to keep them all consistent with TheSuperCool brand.

We found that moving to Vend helped us tackle most of these areas straightaway and gave us more transparency over our business.

How did Vend solve those issues for you?

Vend gave us access to the remote tools needed to manage our business during a period of growth. It enabled us to integrate suitable plugins where required, such as Collect Rewards (customer loyalty) and Xero (accounting).

What have been your biggest wins with Vend? How have we helped you succeed?

Trusting Vend with the transactional side of the business has meant we’ve been able to focus on other areas — from artist collaborations and soon-to-launch international shipping to really targeting our SuperCool Amigos customer loyalty program.

How have you found using a cloud-based POS system? How has the cloud enabled you to better run your business?

Cloud-based POS is amazing: a game changer for small to medium businesses!

It’s enabled us to easily manage stock and process transactions (for our brick and mortar store, pop-ups, and online), and it’s given us the flexibility to tailor our customer loyalty program so we can reward our loyal Amigos! Such a setup also enables remote access, which means we can receive stock, create products, and check business analytics from anywhere — especially handy while trying to raise a three-year-old.

How do you use Vend in your business? What’s the setup like in your store(s)? Are you using iPads, PCs, or other devices?

In-store, we run Vend on iPad. We like the sleek aesthetic they provide, as well as the fact that they take up minimal space on our counters.

Do you use Vend with any other software, such as Xero or Shopify? If yes, how have you found the overall experience? How has it helped or changed your business?

We integrate our Vend registers with the following:

(a) Xero for accounting reconciliation purposes
(b) Shopify for our online store
(c) Collect Rewards to manage our customer loyalty program

The experience with all these elements has been very beneficial to our business, because they’re seamless integrations which don’t require much maintenance after the initial setup. This has saved us time and also enhanced our offerings to our customers.

How does your business run now as opposed to before you switched to Vend?

Vend is a tool that allows you to run your business like the majors do, but at a fraction of the cost. Prior to Vend, we were dedicating a lot of additional time and effort to the administration side of the business, but now we can access data and look at micro and macro elements of our business with the click of a button.

This has proven helpful with all areas of TheSuperCool — from looking at our sales history to assess our strengths and weaknesses with our stock ordering, to understanding sell-through of categories, to scheduling staff according to rostering requirements, etc.   

Do you recommend Vend? What do you say to other retailers about Vend?

We definitely recommend Vend. It’s the key tool you need to manage all elements of your business including sales and customer data — and you can access it remotely at any time.

Follow TheSuperCool on Facebook and Instagram, and visit their SO:ME Space location if you’re in the area!

About Nikki Michaels

Nikki is Vend's content and copy wizard. American-born and Auckland-based, she's into reading (a lot), writing (obviously), and travelling (always).