To make it in the world of retail, business owners need a killer product, a great space to match, competitive pricing and fantastic customer service. Now with the social media world exploding with potential business opportunities, many retail store owners are looking into how they can utilize the various spaces available in social media to gain popularity for their business. So what specifically can retail owners do to enhance their social media space?
Facebook is where business owners can collect their loyal customers. Entice customers to be a fan on Facebook by offering exclusive offers, or reveal your new line of skinny jeans on the fan page first. If you’re new to Facebook, ask customers as they check out to join the Facebook page.
Once you have a loyal following, encourage your followers to share your product with others. This can be as easy as holding a contest or circulating a special offer for your product. Even just revealing an exciting new product will encourage your followers to talk about the new product with their friends.
Facebook can also be an extension of a business’s customer service. If someone raves about an item they just purchased, thank them for their business. If someone posts a complaint, address the problem immediately. If a disappointed customer ends up pleasantly surprised by your service, they will let their friends know.
Twitter is a unique platform in that it extends a businesses’ reach to its loyal followers, while allowing business owners to establish themselves as leaders in their industry and connect with other retailers.
Tweets should be more informational and much less promotional. A clothing retailer can tweet about anything from the hottest trends that season to a recent fashion mishap that has been all over the news.
Business owners should, however, remember their brand when expanding their tweet repertoire. A hip, young company should have a much different tweeting style than an older, conservative company.
A blog gives a company the chance to expand on the expertise they establish on Twitter. Many businesses, in fact, will base their tweets on key points they make in their blog posts and then link back to the blog.
While the blog medium allows for longer posts and more information, remember people have a much shorter attention span online, so keep the posts to around 600 words or so. Pictures, short paragraphs and bullet points are also good things to include in a blog.
Fernanda Bohme owns Bohme Boutique, a growing retail chain. For more information please click here.
Tag Archives: Retail
There are many challenges that face the modern retail manager. Whether you work for a large company in one of hundreds of retail stores for a huge company, or run your own retail business, different challenges are thrown up every day to be dealt with in as quick a manner as possible.
In the modern world, where business costs are higher than ever meaning our headcount will likely be severely compromised, managers need as many tools as possible at their disposal in order to help them carry out their job effectively. Modern POS systems are one huge factor in giving managers this power. What benefits can modern POS systems bring not only to retail managers, but to businesses as a whole?
Knowing the Team
In a world where generally, sales figures are a whole number giving a total store performance, it can be difficult to understand which employee is adding value to your company, and which isn’t earning their wages. Using modern POS systems, today’s retailer can quickly analyse many aspects of employee performance and importantly, have the evidence at hand to take action, whether this be in the form of praise or otherwise.
POS systems can be used, for example, to monitor employee attendance and punctuality, as clocking machines can easily be integrated into POS systems. Other simpler methods, like asking an employee to sign into the system when they arrive, can also verify their attendance and timekeeping. Other business critical issues such as sales performance and even task management can also be viewed on POS. One popular way to drive sales at till points, for example, is to have a promotional product offered to all customers. Using the POS systems, managers will be able to quickly see which team members are performing better in this area of the business.
Modern POS systems can be extremely effective to business owners who are operating across multiple sites, or for area managers in larger businesses. Analysing and understanding trends from store A to store B, for example, can help business owners drive accountability and implement positive changes across their estate in order to ultimately make more profits. POS systems also act as the platform for the managers to understand how each business is performing, as well as the team members in each business.
Having this knowledge will enable business leaders to use POS systems much more effectively, and to impact on their business’ performance.
Two trusted bodies recently released surveys that show the serious extent of organized retail crime in the U.S. Organized retail crime is on the rise in the country and retailers should take preventive measures. It is also important for the lawmakers to take decisive actions.
Hayes International published its “24th Annual Retail Theft Survey” showing that over a million dishonest employees and shop lifters were arrested in 2011, leading to the recovery of over $161 million. The survey involved 24 large retail groups whose sales exceeded $589 billion. Hayes International provides consulting services on shrinkage control and loss prevention.
Within the past decade, apprehensions and recovered dollars have risen in eight years. According to the survey, a rise in organized retail crime plays an important part in increasing shoplifting activities.
The National Retail Federation’s eighth annual organized retail crime survey also showed how prevalent the situation is. The federation surveyed 125 retail companies, 96 percent of which had fallen victim to ORC within the past year. The results showed a rise from the previous year when 94.5 percent of respondents had experienced ORC. Over 87 percent of those surveyed believed shoplifting had risen within the last three years.
The survey revealed that the criminals involved in organized retail crime tended to target such high-end electronics as cell phones, laptops and televisions. However, retailers should safeguard against shoplifting of almost all products, including small, lower cost items, for example: pregnancy tests, diabetic testing strips, kitchen aid mixers and energy drinks.
Organized retail crime involves multiple operatives who cover large areas in the regions where they operate. They move from one store to another in a stretch of interstate and steal so many products that they sometimes rent storage units. They later sell the stolen merchandise at flea markets or online.
Retailers should take measures to avoid falling victim to organized retail crime, including:
- Having good sight lines on sales floors. It is particularly important to have clear view of popular and high-value items, which should preferably be kept close to employee work areas.
- Keeping organized and neat displays to make it easy to see missing items.
- Limiting easily pilferable and high-value items on the sales floor. Apart from making it easy to notice any missing items, this will also avoid the risk of large losses.
- Using appropriate technology, including ink/dye tags, CCTV, merchandise alarms and electronic article surveillance.
A growing trend is the use of cameras that integrate point of sale software and loss prevention hardware, which also helps to deal with insider fraud. For example, the camera makes a record when a cashier with “no sale” transaction opens the cash draw.
All retailers must not assume they are immune to organized retail crime. They must take suitable measures right from the hiring stage to the installation of appropriate security systems.
Michael Gardner is a sales rep at CardPrinter.com, an online retailer of Fargo plastic badge printers and identification systems. To learn more about Fargo printers including the DTC4500 visit: http://www.cardprinter.com/products/dtc4500-duplex-ID-card-printer.
There are a great deal of challenges facing the business world today and in particular those businesses whose primary revenue comes from sales, such as retailers. The costs of running these businesses are forever increasing, and as such, a business’ profitability will be reduced dramatically. Whether it is in the form of increased materials, distribution costs, or minimum wage increases, business owners everywhere have a constant headache in terms of minimising costs.
The biggest way for businesses so remain successful in 2012 is to produce an effective cost reduction plan. Not only will this see them remain financially healthy in the short term but it will also put effective business practices in place, enabling the business to remain strong through another global financial crisis, should one occur in the future.
Significant sums of money are spent by businesses each year on the upgrading and on-going maintenance of point of sale programs. By obtaining a free POS software download program, a business can take huge steps to dramatically reducing the costs associated with this. The beauty of such software is that it is entirely cloud based, so all that is needed is a computer terminal in a business in order to use the software. The only costs associated with a free POS software download come in the support functions. However, given the increased reliability and performance levels that you get with such programs, these costs are unlikely to be colossal. In a world where business leaders are forever fighting cost increases, this is much more favourable than paying for 24/7 support cover for an unreliable software and hardware package. This is before we even get into the additional costs of an engineer visiting your business to resolve the issue if it is something that cannot be resolved remotely.
How It Helps Your Business
In addition to the superb cost savings, a free POS software download can help your business in many ways. It can be a great time saver for the multi-site business manager, as they can simply log on to the cloud at home and view each site’s performance, rather than having to visit each site individually, or rely on communication from all of their managers.
A free POS software download can also drive significantly better employee productivity, as visibility of performance measures is dramatically improved. Other key business levers such as inventory control and stock loss can also be measured accurately.
Posterita provides free point of sale software to retail businesses. Moreover, they offer marketing and business advice to their partners and clients to help their business grow. If you want to find more about their free POS software download it from their website.
For those that are not involved in the retail business the area of shop shelving and display cabinets could easily be confused as being the same. Both are essentially storage and display items that are used to show off products to customers. However, whilst their role is the same, the requirements that shop owners need from their shop shelving and display cabinets can vary greatly. Here we consider the fur key areas of shop shelving and display cabinets that make them completely different beasts and touch on which option best suits which kind of shop.
Products for sale
The first consideration to take into account when deciding on shop shelving or a display cabinet should always be the products that your shop sells. If you have a shop that sells quite low priced items and that has a high turnover rate then you should be looking for a display solution that offers easy access to products. Where items are priced higher and you sell a lower quantity then display cabinets tend to be the most sensible option. One thing to consider with display cabinets is that they are available with inbuilt lighting; which is a great way of showcasing items.
The higher priced your products are the greater impact there is to your business if they are stolen. In order to protect yourself from shoplifters you can continue to use shop shelving in unison with security tags. However, if your items are of great value, such as antiques or jewellery, then you should consider the extra security that display cabinets with locks provide.
A quality solution
The longevity of the display and storage item solution that you are looking to purchase should also be a factor. Display cabinets tend to be built to a higher spec than shop shelving and therefore usually last a lot longer. That isn’t to say that good shop shelving won’t also last the test of time, but the display cabinets do tend to be more durable.
The ever important price
The final factor and possibly the salient one in most cases is the price of shop shelving and display cabinets. Having considered the previous three points it won’t surprise you to learn that display cabinets do on the whole tend to be the more expensive of the two options. This is due to the quality of the materials used and the security features involved. However, the extra outlay is always worth the money if you are selling expensive goods and may even be a necessity for insurance purposes.
Having recently helped one of his children set up a retail outlet, Paul Banburry is happy to share his experience on how to select the right shop shelving for your business.