7 easy ways to get more visitors to your retail website #retail #job #sites

#retail website


7 easy ways to get more visitors to your retail website

Any retail consultant knows that more traffic to your brick and mortar retail store means more sales.

But when people ask me as a retail expert how they can attract more customers, they often forget about their website. And that is a big miss.

This simple fact has left a lot of smaller boutique retailers left in the dark when they should be thinking about how to attract more eyeballs to their websites. And by the way, I’m not talking an online store, I’m talking your website – your digital calling card.

If you don’t have a website by now, what on earth are you waiting for? I doubt this Internet thing is going away.

The most effective strategies to attract new customers to your site revolve around boosting your website’s placement in search engine rankings. This has been known as search engine optimization (SEO) and it’s a concept that causes many indie retailers to just throw up their hands in despair. Don’t.

What makes many of these tips easy is that they are just time to create the content, not expensive one-time-only marketing materials.

While it may be fun to play on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, that won’t help you attract new customers to your store in that moment they are looking for products you carry or services they are searching for on their phone, laptop or computer.

Being found on the ‘net is the realm of SEO professionals use complex analytics to exploit the methods used by search engines to rank results. While best practices are in a near-constant state of flux, here are seven simple ways you can get started on improving your website traffic volume without being an SEO expert.

Make sure the words you choose to put on your pages, your content, offers valuable information to visitors in search of the answer. Instead of just stating the simple facts about your business, you’re family run, blah, blah, blah or using discounts to try to sell your products, position your business as the solution to a problem the consumer is having. Describe your services in a way that answers their questions to position yourself as the expert. Use lots of “you” and little “we.” This is a very easy adjustment to make on your site, and it only requires that you remain conscious of your approach.

2. Update your website regularly

Just like customers search your retail store for what’s new, the search engines favor websites that have fresh, recently added content. The key here is to choose a web hosting service or site platform that allows you to update your site easily and often. The Retail Doctor is all built on WordPress and easy to maintain without being nickel and dimed by developers or the straight-jacketing by the free platforms.

3. Maintain a blog on your website

OK this isn’t the incredibly easy part but you should be the expert in your field. Just put your thoughts concisely in an article on timely topics that will attract new customers and keep your one-time visitors coming back. For example, if you run a retail clothing business, an article like “5 Must-Have Fashion Trends for Fall” is a good option.

You can run similar features seasonally, and if you provide your reader with value, he or she will keep coming back. Yes you can use Blogger and other sites but you want the blog to live on your site. That would mean you want to use WordPress.org which is self-hosted versus WordPress.com which hosts the blog.

Here’s the difference, self-hosted blogs get all the credit for hits directly for your website while the other gives the credit for all your hits to them. With self-hosted blogs you make your rankings go up, in the other you make their rankings go up. Make sense?

Oh yes, that also means adding fresh content at least once or twice per week.

4. Don’t always be selling

I know, from the guy who makes a significant part of his living doing retail sales training, I’m the last guy you’d think would say that. Here’s what I mean.

So many retailers sites scream price and product that nothing stands out. In the attempt to “sell” something to us you lose our interest because you are shouting either: a) We’re desperate and need the sale or b)We’re only interested in what you can do for us right now. The trick is coming up with content, features, articles and the rest that make your site, and by extension your brick and mortar store indispensable. Once you have that trust and interest, by all means, sell them.

You can use your blog to link to your website, but you should also include links in email newsletters to subscribers and on your social media feeds. Your goal is to build traffic to your website so you show up higher in results. This link building is very easy – all you have to do is add links to content across all the digital platforms you use. You can also comment on local news sites with a link to content on your site. This drives people ultimately to your retail store.

Submit your blog articles and website content to authoritative third-party sources of related information. Local news websites, industry-related blogs, consumer forums and online communities are all great places to re-post your blog articles and build links to your website. It replaces trying to send out a press release about an event – again your goal is to be the authority on home improvement if you are a hardware store or the expert on dog grooming, cooking or para-sailing. Your blog articles, if crafted to show that expertise in bite-sized posts becomes shareable.

7. Invest in professional writing and web design

This will improve the quality and relevance of your site content and make your website more appealing to visitors, both of which can help you generate higher traffic volumes without lifting a finger. Again, free is nice but if you want to attract more traffic to your brick and mortar store, you have to attract more traffic to your website.

These are by no means all the ways to attract customers to your website and then to your brick and mortar retail store but it sure beats sitting around wondering what you can do to attract customers.

Bob Phibbs / Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, is a popular motivational speaker and small business Consultant who has transformed thousands of businesses throughout the world with his straightforward, proven advice. His success at making over businesses has been featured on PBS Life Times, in the Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur magazine, and the New York Times.

Retail Distribution Review Definition from Financial Times Lexicon #retail #magazines

#retail distribution


Definition of retail distribution review

The retail distribution review, or RDR, is the name that has been given to a new set of rules that will be enforced in the UK from the beginning of 2013. The rules are aimed at introducing more transparency and fairness in the investment industry. The most significant change is that financial advisers are no longer be permitted to earn commissions from fund companies in return for selling or recommending their investment products. Instead, investors now have to agree fees with the adviser upfront. In addition, financial advisers now have to offer either “independent” or “restricted” advice and explain the difference between the two – essentially making clear whether their recommendations are limited to certain products or product providers.

retail distribution review (RDR) effects

Online investment sellers are expected to be the short-term winners as clients are expected to balk at paying overt fees and turn instead to online platforms that sell investments without advice. In addition, the ETF industry is expecting a windfall because the changes will bring the rest of the industry in line with common practice in the ETF industry – one of the reasons ETF providers have been able to keep costs low is by not paying commissions to advisers.

Retail-distribution by Frank Rosenthal – Prolonger la r – flexion de mes 6 livres –

#retail distribution


Retail-distribution by Frank Rosenthal

Prolonger la r flexion de mes 6 livres Value for money ; Image-Prix Mode d’emploi , Mieux piloter sa relation-client , Le Retail aux Etats-Unis , Les incontournables du commerce de demain et Booster le commerce .Prendre du recul et s’interroger sur l’actualit de la distribution, du commerce et de la consommation.Parmi les 2375 articles de ce blog, des benchmarks internationaux, plus de 85 villes, plus de 20 pays, plus de 2000 visites magasins r elles

Articles récents

Frank Rosenthal 24 Octobre 2016 #Retail Playlist

Amazon Books est la première librairie d’Amazon ouverte en entrée du centre commercial University Village, un des centres commerciaux les plus huppés de Seattle et le seul à ciel ouvert. Cette première vraie implantation d’Amazon Books dans le commerce.

Frank Rosenthal 21 Octobre 2016 #Retail Playlist

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Frank Rosenthal 20 Octobre 2016 #Retail Playlist

Depuis 1901, Nordstrom a son magasin historique et son siège à Seattle. Découverte ici du magnifique magasin de Pike Street. L’immeuble blanc de Nordstrom Le rez-de-chaussée consacré à la beauté Le magnifique Nordstrom Café situé au 3ème étage Si le.

Frank Rosenthal 19 Octobre 2016 #Retail Playlist

Starbucks Reserve and Rostery situé en plein centre-ville est un lieu étonnant. C’est d’abord un flagship avec café Starbucks et restaurants, vente de tous les produits dérivés, mais c’est surtout une usine où on assiste à la transformation du café en.

Frank Rosenthal 18 Octobre 2016 #Retail Playlist

University Village est le centre commercial le plus huppé de Seattle. C’est aussi le seul à ciel ouvert. Il abrite toutes les enseignes phares de la distribution américaine et de très beaux magasins comme le QFC en alimentaire du Groupe Kroger. Situé.

Frank Rosenthal 17 Octobre 2016 #Retail Playlist

Reprise des Retail Playlist mensuelles pour cette saison 2016-2017, toujours en partenariat avec LSA pour vous présenter 5 magasins incontournables qui font le commerce d’une ville à l’étranger. Pour cette première de la saison, nous partons à Seattle.

Le géant américain poursuit son offensive avec Amazon Prime Now défini comme “ce dont vous avez besoin, quand vous en avez besoin” et en valorisant la promesse “Vos envies du quotidien” symbolisée par les produits alimentaires et grande conso, la gratuité.

Frank Rosenthal 13 Octobre 2016 #Analyse

Ce mois-ci Linéaires fête ses 30 ans. Souhaitons au magazine de la distribution alimentaire un excellent anniversaire. Pour fêter ses 30 ans, Linéaires a eu la bonne idée de mettre à contribution patrons du commerce, experts, analystes et consultants.

Frank Rosenthal 12 Octobre 2016 #Autopromo

Le 8 novembre 2016 j’aurai le plaisir d’intervenir dans le cadre du Club Distribution que je co-préside pour une conférence autour du thème de la créativité commerciale et illustrée par des cas américains tirés de mon dernier livre. Booster le commerce.

Frank Rosenthal 11 Octobre 2016 #Autopromo

A l’occasion de Conext à Lille demain vous pourrez me retrouver pour une séance de signatures de mon dernier livre “Booster le commerce” aux Editions Kawa et pour deux conférences. L’une consacrée aux magasins New-yorkais, la deuxième à l’innovation dans.

Frank Rosenthal 10 Octobre 2016 #Concepts magasins

Reprise ici de l’article de BFM de Fréderic Bianchi avec mon interview sur le Carrefour de Villiers en Bière avec tout le retravail du concept hypermarché.

Frank Rosenthal 7 Octobre 2016 #Il fallait y penser

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Frank Rosenthal 5 Octobre 2016 #Concepts magasins

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Frank Rosenthal 3 Octobre 2016 #Autopromo

Une nouvelle version plus complète du site Frank Rosenthal Conseils concernant mon activité de conseil est disponible. Vous y trouverez toutes mes références, mes prestations de conseils, les activités retail trips et conférences pour lesquels vous pouvez.

9 Must-Attend Retail Trade Shows for 2015 #shoes #retail

#retail trade shows


9 Must-Attend Retail Trade Shows for 2015

Whether you re a one man-or-woman run business just starting out, or a 20-year-old company of 50+ employees, one should never underestimate the power of attending a trade show. In a recent article on Forbes. Georganne Bender, a retail speaker, consultant and recognized industry expert, and her partner Rich Kizer both stressed the importance and value that businesses of all sizes gain from attending trade shows .

Over the years we have spoken to retailers who have avoided trade shows for a variety of reasons, but one reason that is fairly common is due to the expense of travel to attend. What they don t realize, however, is that it actually costs them more by not attending. Missing out on your industry s trade shows can impact your business success in a variety of ways, including the missed opportunities of finding new vendors, staying competitive to your competition, and not expanding your store s inventory based on market trends and proven data, says Bender and Kizer.

With that, we ve compiled this list of nine must-attend retail trade shows in 2015 Feel free to add and share your favorites!

Why they say to attend: International CES is the world s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Held in Las Vegas every year, it has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

Why they say to attend: Today, retail s big show is NRF s flagship industry event held annually in New York City. The four day event offers unparalleled education, collegial networking, and an enormous EXPO Hall full of technologies and solutions. NRF also has many other events including dinners and webinars.

Why they say to attend: With 85 years of experience and attendance from over 120 countries, we move fashion forward globally. From the fabric to the finished product, the hottest brands to the top designers, and the tastemakers to the power buyers, if it s fashion, you ll find it at MAGIC.

Why they say to attend: ASD Las Vegas (h eld twice annually) brings the world s widest variety of merchandise together in one efficient consumer-goods trade show that s as easy to shop as it is to love. Loaded with quality choices at every price point, this well-established trade event continues to grow, attracting tens of thousands of loyal attendees from every retail and distribution channel who come here to discover new suppliers, new product categories and new ways to profit.

Why they say to attend: Knowledge, networking, relationship building and for some several games of golf. The (2014) conference delivered all that and more!

Why they say to attend: If you re in the retail industry, then you need to be attending SPREE, the world s largest event for the cart, kiosk and temporary retail industry.

Why they say to attend: Internet Retailer Conference Exhibition is the flagship event of the e-commerce industry. A gathering of retail trailblazers across every industry segment, IRCE is the event to network with and learn from industry leaders of all sizes. Total attendance at IRCE 2015 in Chicago is projected reach nearly 10,000 .

Why they say to attend: It s the must-attend event of the year for smart pet retailers who want their businesses to succeed! Everything to expand your customer base, increase your sales and improve your profits is waiting for you right here.

Why they say to attend: ABC Kids Expo is your opportunity to meet face-to-face with domestic and international buyers, media and fellow manufacturers at the premier juvenile products show in the world! Don t miss out on your chance to take home orders and get leads that will help sustain your business for months and years to come!

Strengthening and building relationships with peers, vendors, potential or current customers in person, as well as keeping up with industry trends and competition is reason enough to jump on the trade show bandwagon. As a retailer, which trade shows do you attend, or why do you find trade shows valuable? Share with us in the comments.

Interested in food and beverage Conferences? Check out these 10 must-attend events.

Get small business and digital marketing tips, advice, and how-tos in your inbox once a week with the VR Buzz newsletter .

2014, Jenny Klimisch. All rights reserved.

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What is a Retail Consultant? (with pictures) – mobile wiseGEEK #retail #industry #analysis

#retail consultant


wiseGEEK: What is a Retail Consultant?

A retail consultant is an individual or agency that helps determine a retail strategy for stores or other types of retail businesses. Usually, the goal is to increase sales by driving more people to the store and attracting them to products once there. Someone in this position may deal with promotions, merchandising, store design, location and even some personnel decisions.

Being a retail consultant may seem like a very focused task, but in reality it is not. Marketing and promotions are much different than human resources or store design. Merchandising is also a specialized area. Therefore, many may believe the best strategy is not to hire one consultant, but rather several consultants that may have specific areas of specialization. Many consulting agencies may offer this as an option.

For those who are opening a new retail business, hiring a retail consultant will require some additional expense. However, the rewards may justify the expense. Setting up a retail business correctly the first time could be the difference between success and failure. Further, it is cheaper to set up stores correctly the first time, rather than having to remodel or significantly change things later on.

A retail consultant can also help with the geographical location of the store, as well as product placement inside the store. He or she is well versed in product placement and consumer behaviors that many may not be. For example, grocery stores often find it better to place milk in the back corner of the store, knowing it is a product nearly everyone will need. Therefore, making customers walk past other merchandise on the way there may encourage more sales.

Further, a retail consultant can help with staffing issues as well. Consultants understand how and when the busy times will be and know how to staff appropriately during those times. They also better understand what skills are necessary among the staff to be a success. For example, the skills required for a hunting store may be different than those that are required for a women’s clothing store. Of course, some of those skill sets will also be the same.

When choosing to hire a retail consultant, there are a number of important things to keep in mind. First, asking for what results have been achieved by a particular consultant is warranted. Second, choosing a consultant with a great deal of retail experience is important. While it may or may not be necessary to have a degree, an applicant should have plenty of knowledge and quantifiable results to back up their desire to work for you.

Article Discussion

6) When I first started in retail, I had no experience in terms of fashion. All I knew was I had the drive to succeed well from years of networking (networking is synonymous with any business, and having excellent people skills) and being extremely organized. After four months of complete focus on wanting to know how to do my best, I was promoted to become a manager. Confidence is everything and thinking outside the box and not getting involved with gossip or wanting to befriend anyone to support you is the best advice. A driven and friendly enough personality helps in any career. Learning the best social skills, like reading pertinent books like Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People helps immensely. Doing the homework, so to speak, will help anyone excel and they do not teach you this in any school.

5) The reason why most retail stores have years of aged inventory is because of the strategy of positioning clearance in the back of the store. Stores need to display value where the customer traffic is most fluent; keep in mind not many customers put clearance on their shopping list so display plus value pricing equals incremental sales.

Lastly, stores literally make careers out of discontinued (clearance product) and than wonder why their metrics are failing.

4) If I owned a franchise and were looking to expand, then I would definitely use retail consulting services. If I were to rely on my own intuition, I might be responsible for the failure of the new stores, because I know very little about what these people have studied and worked with for years.

I know that it might seem like common sense, but sometimes, people put restaurants in areas that have high traffic, but they fail anyway. Maybe they placed them too close to other restaurants offering the same sort of food, or maybe they put them in a neighborhood where people have different tastes.

A retail consultant would do plenty of research into things like this. They would consider all aspects, from projected customer base to the history of restaurants in that area. They would make sure that the restaurant had plenty of potential to succeed before telling me to pour my resources into the location.

After spending five years at that job, she decided to apply for a retail consultant position she had seen advertised in the newspaper. Her previous experience is what caught the eye of the employer, and he hired her during the first interview.

No one with actual retail consultant experience had applied for the job, and my sister was the candidate with the most sales experience. So, working your way up the ladder is usually the way to go when you are fresh out of college.

2) Finding a retail consultant job seems like it might be hard for new graduates. This is the type of career where proof of results and experience are necessary qualifications for finding work, and how are you going to get that without first landing a job in the field?

Hopefully, some colleges help find jobs for their soon-to-be graduates. Without some sort of internship or job placement program, I don’t see how a prospective retail consultant could ever get his foot in the door.

Is anyone here a retail consultant? How did you get started in your field?

1) I have often noticed that in clothing stores, the clearance items are usually placed all the way in the back. Now I know that the retail consultant was responsible for this.

The most trendy and most expensive dresses and other garments line the windows and racks near the front of the store, so that is the first thing customers are drawn to when they approach the store. Many stores keep some lights on inside at night, and customers can peer through the windows to see these clothes. I think it is the hope of the retail consultant that this will make them come back when the store is open and buy the items.

It’s a subtle but effective method. Many people probably never even think about this strategic placement of items, even though they are affected by it.

Related wiseGEEK articles

Top Global Retail Franchises 2016-2009 #retail #careers

#retail franchises


Top Global Retail Franchises 2016-2009: The Best Franchise Chains

Little Caesars
2016 – 31

2015 – 67

Long John Silver s – US
2016 – 100

2015 – 57
2013 – 68
2012 – 61
2011 – 46
2010 – 29
2009 – 23

Merle Norman Cosmetics – US
2013 – 88
2012 – 79
2011 – 64
2010 – 74
2009 – 40

Moe s Southwest Grill – US
2013 – 85
2012 – 85
2011 – 68
2010 – 61
2009 – 89

Nathan s Famous – US
2013 – N/A
2012 – 94
2011 – 99
2010 – 94

Naturhouse – Spain
2016 – 47

2015 – 72
2014 – 41
2013 – 91
2012 – 62
2010 – 77
2009 – 10

Panera Bread Bakery – Cafe
2016 – 64

Papa Johns – US
2016 – 21

2015 – 24
2014 – 31
2013 – 24
2012 – 24
2011 – 23
2010 – 42
2009 – 71

– US
2013 – 98
2012 – 71
2011 – 72
2010 – 88
2009 – 92

Pita Pit – Canada
2016 – 70

2015 – 81
2013 – 87
2012 – 80
2011 – 51
2010 – 43
2009 – 49

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
2016 – 68

2015 – 43

Smoothie King – US
2016 – 72

2015 – 69
2014 – 50
2013 – 65
2012 – N/A
2011 – 81
2010 – 76
2009 – 99

Snap-On Tools – US
2016 – 27

2015 – 25
2013 – 20
2012 – 11
2010 – 8
2009 – 29

Taco Bell – US
2016 – 15

2015 – 19
2014 – 21
2013 – 17
2012 – 21
2011 – 20
2010 – 9
2009 – 18

TeaGschwendner Germany – US
2011 – 92
2010 – 75

Tim Hortons – Canada
2016 – 42

2015 – 22
2014 – 32
2013 – 18
2012 – 20
2011 – 22
2010 – 25
2009 – 12

Yogen Fruz – Canada
2016 – 77

2015 – 53
2014 – 33
2013 – 32
2012 – 38
2011 – 44
2010 – 15

Creating a New Retail Website #retail #products

#retail website


Creating a New Retail Website

Today most retail businesses have a website for their company. If you own a retail company and want to expand your marketing strategies to include a retail website, then you need to learn how to properly create one. This process will include finding the right website development software, signing up for a domain name and hosting service and designing the look of your online store.

Things You’ll Need

Website Design Software

Hosting Service Subscription

Merchant Credit Card Account

Create a New Retail Website

Buy your domain name and sign up for a hosting service. This is the first step of developing any type of commercial website. Usually the companies that offer domain registration will also offer hosting services. GoDaddy and Yahoo! both offer domain name registration and hosting services for retail businesses. When you select your domain name make sure it is as simple as possible and that it works for your retail business. For example, if your company name is “Bears and Dolls” then you will first want to see if www.bearsandolls.com is available. Other domain names that would work include www.bears-and-dolls.com and www.bears-and-dolls.net.

Select website design software for your retail website. Start with a basic website designing program like FrontPage. However, you can also utilize e-commerce templates. Template Monster offers a great selection of e-commerce templates that you can use when creating a new retail website. Finally, you will want to buy a shopping cart program. Volusion and 3D Cart offer some of the most respected shopping cart programs on the market.

Pull together a price list and a product description list that include all the items you plan on carrying on your retail website. You will be using both of these lists when setting up your retail website. For each item you want to host on your retail website you will need a clear color digital image. For more advanced websites you will want to include multiple photographs of each item, with special shots taken of important product details.

Use your website design software to create the basic layout of your new retail website. You will need to use the import image option to upload your product graphics to your website. Then use the text editing tools to name your products, assign them a product number and to enter a product description. Also make sure you assign each product a price.

Upload your shopping cart program to your hosting service. You will most likely need to set up a database of item numbers, prices and inventory. At this point you will also want to link your shopping cart program to your current merchant credit card account or to your Paypal account. This way, your customers will be able to make purchases online and the payments will be processed using these accounts.

Manage your retail website. To keep your retail website functional you will need to monitor orders, keep the inventory data up-to-date and you will need to add and modify text, graphics and supplemental information posted on your website periodically.


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  • Premium Retail Services Review – Merchandising Service in Chesterfield, MO – BBB Business Review –

    #premium retail services


    BBB Accreditation

    This business is not BBB accredited.

    Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

    To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

    Reason for Rating

    What is a BBB Business Review?

    We offer free reviews on businesses that include background, licensing, consumer experience and other information such as governmental actions that is known to BBB. These reviews are provided for businesses that are BBB accredited and also for businesses that are not BBB accredited.

    About BBB Business Review Content & Services:

    Some Better Business Bureaus offer additional content & services in BBB Business Reviews.
    The additional content & services are typically regional in nature or, in some cases, a new product or service that is being tested prior to a more general release.
    Not all enhanced content & services are available at all Better Business Bureaus.

    Professional Affiliations X

    Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

    BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

    • Advertising or Sales
    • Billing or Collection
    • Problems with Products or Services
    • Delivery
    • Guarantee or Warranty

    We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

    BBB Complaint Process

    Your complaint will be forwarded to the business within two business days. The business will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the business’s response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

    What is BBB Advertising Review?

    BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to prove their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.

    What government actions does BBB report on?

    BBB reports on known government actions that are relevant to the business’s marketplace dealings with the public.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    BBB Reporting Policy

    As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

    BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

    BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.

    Additional Phone Numbers

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    2015 Retail Outlook #stores #to #shop #online

    #retail sector


    2015 Retail Industry Outlook

    What should businesses be mindful of as they plan for growth?

    With data comes risk. Given the numerous high-profile retailer security breaches this past year, minimizing cyber risk is a business priority for retailers. Moreover, data risk management should be an enterprise-wide concern–not just an activity relegated to and housed in the IT department. Furthermore, retailers need to be cognizant of the fact that personal data security is top of mind with consumers. Not only do consumers have a heightened concern regarding the security surrounding the personal data they provide to retailers, this perceived risk is influencing their retail store patronage decisions. As evidence, our 2014 holiday survey findings revealed that 20 percent of consumers indicate they will not shop at a retailer that has experienced a data breach. However, a silver lining in this gray cloud is that 36 percent of consumers indicate they are more likely to shop at a retailer that provides education pertaining to the security of their personal data. Consequently, wise retailers will be forthcoming and transparent with information regarding how they are using and securing consumers’ personal information.​

    Data security is not the only activity that should be integrated across functions. Retailers planning to thrive in the coming year need to shift their organizational and cultural mindset from a functional expertise and departmental silo focus, to a more collaborative, cross-functional, and holistic approach.

    What got you to where you are, won’t get you to where you want to go.

    Smart retailers are realizing that success is dependent on constant innovation–to be relevant and grow, they must embrace disruption and evolve. The most compelling example is the changing role of the brick and mortar store location and accompanying square footage. Being in an ‘A’ location doesn’t buy the competitive advantage it did in the past. This decreased importance of the physical store location and space also leads to lower barriers for entry. With these lower barriers comes increased competition from local, regional, global, and purely online retailers. Competition is just a click away. In terms of what factors are currently important, price and additional free services, such as shipping and returns, are increasingly guiding consumer shopping decisions. Retailers must be nimble in responding to competitive pricing actions–as consumers continue to incorporate price checking into their shopping process–both prior to and during the in-store visit.

    Finally, as the competition heats up and consumers continue to seek bargains, success will come to those who are creative in managing their product supply chain–ensuring consistent supply, services, and quality across all channel platforms. Adopting an agile supply chain strategy is of critical importance for allowing retailers to preserve already narrow margins while simultaneously not compromising the customer experience.

    What’s the next big thing? What markets do you see emerging in the sector?

    To grow and differentiate, retailers need to look beyond traditional formats, products, and services. Industry convergence is expected to continue to increase in the coming year. We have already seen many examples of convergence: retailers providing health care services; physical stores matching the online experience through increased in-store technology; and online sites providing a virtual physical store experience. This is just the beginning of the convergence era–expect to see more. Retailers will need to get comfortable with achieving growth not only through innovations across their primary offerings, but also through services outside of their core competencies.

    Accordingly, expect to see retailers adopting business models that are similar to the financial investment philosophy of minimizing risk by diversifying ones portfolio. This diversification will take the form of embracing new technologies, new businesses, and investing in new centers of innovations. Visionary and innovative retailers will continue to expand into other markets such as China and other emerging nations. This move will be driven not only by the desire to capture their share of business from the growing middle- and upper-income classes in these markets, but also minimize their reliance on the health of the US economy.

    With this product and market expansion, retailers will also need to diversify their talent portfolio and employee skill sets. Therefore, expect to see more “unusual” collaborations such as employee reciprocity programs between companies from different industries that possess different cultural and organizational mindsets and talent pools. These cross-company collaborations and reciprocity programs can lead to talent diversification and innovation. Consequently, retailer diversification will take the form of additional products and service offerings, channels, markets, and talent. Given this increased emphasis on convergence and diversification, I anticipate we will see not only more globalization but also an increase in mergers and acquisition activity.

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