24
Mar

Ethical Sourcing – A Must-Have For Retailers

download (25)The millennial customers, besides being dominant in purchasing goods, also care about the company’s social values — its social responsibility, sustainability and ethics.

Previously, consumers would be satisfied with only the end-products. But not anymore. Today, they want to make sure that the products are ethically sourced. They even go as far as looking at the conditions of workers in the factories. The consumers today are gauging retailers on many parameters, like sympathetic labour practices, community involvement, ethical dealings with vendors, humane treatment of animals among others.

Henceforth, if a business wants to win the hearts of customers, then they have to get rid of the ‘corporate hypocrisy’, that corresponds to discrepancies in words and deeds. Customers are always on the look-out for such “inside information”, as getting any kind of information these days is just a ‘Google Search’ away.

Proliferation of social media is a powerful tool that easily identifies the company from their words and deeds. This kind of customer inquisitiveness is the latest thing, as study on consumer habits suggest that consumers are demanding that the companies should value the interests of the society at least and have some sense of responsibility towards the societal interest and wellbeing.

The global marketplace demands the business world to lend importance to value over the fiscal imperatives, where they should try to emulate Starbucks that spends more than it needs to spend on coffee beans to buy only the most ethically sourced beans, and H&M, the brand has recently claimed to have 100 per cent ethically sourced down products in their collection this year.

There are many cases in which consumers have shunned retailers just by their concern about their factory production.

The most-celebrated case is of Nike. The brand had insisted that labour conditions in its contractors’ factories were not its responsibility — a statement for which the Nike factories suddenly came under attack and the brand was sullied disastrously for malpractices within its factory that included child labour. On seeing the sharp decline in its revenue, the brand took a re-formative step in the form of a collaborative approach by drafting a code-sharing workplace and best human resource practices.

13
Mar

Convenience Store Digital Coupons

images (25)Why has the affiliate couponing industry abandoned the convenience store industry? If you dig deeper into any affiliate coupon program (retailmenot.com, coupon.com) you will find that there are not many if any coupons available for convenience stores. It seems like there is a disconnect between the coupon affiliates and the convenience store industry. If you consider how much money is at stake it does not make any sense. $1 out of every $24 dollars is spent in this country in a convenience store. So why has the coupon affiliates abandoned this channel?

I think one of the problems is the sheer number of convenience stores. There are 154,195 convenience stores in the U.S. as of December, 2015 (NACS/Nielsen) and the site counts keep growing every year. Another possible problem could be the fragmentation of the industry. There are many regional players and only a handful of national players. Another problem is probably the speed of the transaction. We have all been in line at the grocery store and had that lady in front of us pulling a bunch of coupons out of her little pouch bag which simply slows down the transaction time at the register. That is not good for the convenience store. The average time it takes for someone to get in and out with a purchase at a convenience store is 3 minutes and 33 seconds (NACS). However, with the advent of the smartphone it becomes a lot easier to use a coupon. Digital couponing is basically changing the way we save money at the convenience store. The usage trend of all retail store coupons is definitely in an upward trajectory and it doesn’t look like it is going to slow down any time soon. Convenience stores account for 34.2% of all retail outlets in the United States (NACS). There is no other U.S. retail channel that is such an important part of virtually every community in the country and that is reflected in the overall dollar sales of the industry at $696.1 billion. Those sales represent about 4.1% of the entire estimated $17.7 trillion U.S. gross domestic product.

I think there is a marriage of sorts going on with convenience store coupons and the smartphone. It is estimated that upwards of 5% of sales transactions within the store will include a digital coupon of some sort by the year 2019 (Gasbuddy.com). It is predicted that there will be around 1.05 billion global mobile coupon users in the world by 2019. With the ease of use the GPS location features on smartphones and push technology getting better by the day it is no wonder why store coupon usage on your smartphone is on the rise. Digital coupon redemption is roughly 10% right now. While the old fashion print or paper coupons have a redemption rate of 1% or less. 90% of digital coupon users redeem their coupons within just a few days of receiving them on their phones. One would think that the redemption speed will only increase for the convenience customer and redeem them sooner. It’s all about speed of the transaction in this retail space.

7
Mar

Is Shrinkage Eating Up Your Profits? Combat Your Retail Enemy With These Handy Anti-Shrinkage Tips

download (26)Running a successful retail business isn’t just about driving tons of traffic, generating hefty sales and standing out in the crowd. But it’s also about determining potential or ongoing loss-generating events and laying out a well-planned strategy to prevent loss and reduce factors turning profits away.

That being said, shrinkage remains one of the biggest concerns for retailers, costing them a lot of money every year as a result of fraud, shoplifting and employee theft. It’s not only necessary for retailers to be vigilant about factors driving revenue losses, but you may need to nip the lingering issue in the bud to ensure that your business runs smoothly and is more profitable.

Here are a few ways you can improve security around your store and prevent shrink before it starts.

Invest in an Inventory Management System

Keeping track of retail stock is paramount to loss prevention. And this can be achieved with a robust inventory system integrated into your business. An efficient inventory system will help keep track of merchandise by conducting frequent stock counts and spotting unusual inventory patterns and discrepancies.

And a POS Cash Register

A cash register is vital POS hardware for any retail business that performs numerous product base transactions on a daily basis. Not only does a cash register facilitate easy and efficient record keeping but it also comes with a cash drawer that offers a safe and reliable space to store cash and receipts.

Surveillance Cameras

Today, video surveillance systems and cameras are installed in almost every retail store as an advanced security solution to monitor the movement and happenings taking place inside the store. By installing cameras in and around your store, you can help reduce shrinkage, theft and manage liability while creating a safe environment for your customers as well as staff.

Mirrors

For small retail stores, mirrors can work as an inexpensive yet effective tool to detect shoplifting and other suspicious activities. Mirrors can be installed in blind spots including corners and areas that are covered by fixtures and shelves and aren’t clearly visible from the point of sale.

Employee Training

While you invest in advanced technologies and tools to reduce loss prevention around your business, training your employees on professional selling etiquettes can help a lot. By conducting training and loss prevention programs frequently, you can make employees aware of good retail values and principles and train them to identify shoplifting and theft activities.

 

1
Mar

How To Become A Smart Retailer

download (27)In today’s time, being a retailer is the most challenging profession because there are numerous local competitors or big malls around you, who are selling exactly the same goods which you have in your stock. With the increased competition, you have to be very careful, while marking the selling price of the goods you are offering to your customers and this ultimately leads to low business profit. This is the main reason, why many small retailers are finding it hard to grow or sustain their businesses. However, if you follow the below mentioned simple and effective tips, then you will become a smart retailer of your area or town and your business will grow at a rapid pace.

Purchase goods in bulk quantity

It is always advisable for small retailers to purchase selling goods in bulk; because if you buy items in bulk, then there are chances that the whole sellers will offer you extra retailer margin which is very helpful to meet your business loses. And, you can also purchase goods directly from the manufacturers of goods. Additionally, there are many online whole sellers which offer bulk items at reduced prices. Therefore, it is the best method or tip to save a lot of money.

Give discount on overstocked items

Give your customers a reason to shop from your brick and mortar store by giving discounts or offers on goods which are overstocked in your store to attract your customers. Moreover, this is also very useful to reduce dumped backlog of products in your stock.

Keep researching

As a small retailer, you should on your toes in this era of retail competition. Research your customers and competitions. Research your staff before hiring them. Research your sell weekly or monthly sell.

Be local

As a local retailer, you need to be very familiar with the communities within which you operate your business.

Go online

Shoppers of today’s time are more tech savvy than ever; they love to shop with their fingertips. So, try to have an online platform for your store by hiring a team of IT professionals, to build a strong brand of your business.

Good dress sense

You should be very careful with what you and your staff is wearing, as a small retailer you can wear sneakers, but this looks indecent and leaves a customer’s negative impact on your customers which mostly include housewives.