Pop-up Retail Shops Find Fresh Advantages

Not just for holiday seasons any more, retailers of all sizes are leveraging the Pop-up store concept to pique consumer interest, drive brand awareness, launch a new product and test their business in new markets.

The good news and important part of the equations is that landlords are warming up to the Pop-up store concept due the traffic surge some neighborhoods and shopping areas receive when a new store opens and they get a chance to turn a short term lease into a long term opportunity.  “The more traffic a Pop-up store gets, the more people it brings to the space,” said Katherine Hill, Director of Offline  at BaubleBar,  in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.  “Both parties benefit.  The company gets the space and the landlord will get prospective clients who may want to rent out the space for their own purposes.”

Brands and companies that plan, launch and maintain Pop-up stores with the right strategies will find they are valuable tools for branding, experimentation, advertising, storytelling and product demand. A Pop-up shop can give your brand a personality and turn it into an entire experience.

Check out the video on how the Fleur du  Mal brand owner Jennifer Zuccarini successfully launched her latest Pop-up store.

 

 

Have any Pop-up success stories of your own?  Let us hear about them.

Need help with resources for your retail store?  See what the Ivystone and Simblist teams can offer your business.

Winning Holiday Strategies for Retailers and Brands

Winning Strategies for Holiday Planning 2013To help retailers prepare for the busy upcoming holiday season, Retail Touch Points has compiled the 2013 Holiday Outlook Guide, featuring insights from a number of leading industry experts, case studies, including a variety of tips and tactics that will help deliver a joyous holiday season to retailers, brands and consumers.

This year the guide focuses on 11 different topic areas, including:

  1. Omnichannel
  2. Mobile Commerce
  3. Mobile Apps & Sites
  4. Pricing
  5. Inventory
  6. Personalization
  7. Outbound Marketing
  8. Showrooming
  9. Workforce Management
  10. Payment

Download a complimentary copy of the Retail TouchPoints_Holiday_Outlook_Guide_2013.

Use the guide to plan a successful holiday sales strategy.  Make plans to engage with your customers early and consistently throughout the season.

Let us hear about your own insights and successes.

For an abundant selection of wholesale gift and home products for your retail operation, connect with Ivystone and Simblist sales teams.

 

Retail Touch Points delivers cutting edge content directed towards acquiring, serving and retaining customers in the new world of multi-touch retailing.

Smart Retailers Plan Ahead for Successful Holiday Sales

Whether it’s Halloween in April or Christmas in July, smart retailers look ahead and develop a plan to help them get ready for the holiday and make the most of every sales opportunity.

Here are a few of our own suggestions on helping you prepare for holiday 2013 with awesome product selections, unique collections and merchandising and smart marketing tools.

Planning for Successful Holiday Sales

Read more to learn what other retailers around the country are doing now to plan for a successful holiday season.

Brick & Mortar Retailers – Still the Desired Destination for Shoppers

Great news from a recent study by Synqera, where results show that more than two-thirds of Americans prefer to shop in traditional, brick and mortar stores than online commerce sites. The survey found that shoppers gravitate towards retail locations that offer more customized shopping experiences, but the dreaded “checkout” remains the number one pain point for 73% of U.S. consumers.

Personal service is a big factor that drives customers to brick-and-mortar retail stores, Synqera found 80% of shoppers say they’re more likely to shop in a store that provides a customized experience for them.  Custom coupons at checkout was a requested by over 76% of respondents.

Two-thirds of consumers are more likely to shop in a store where they receive personal suggestions while shopping.  While 75% make more purchases if they are in a good mood while shopping.

Take heed and make certain your salespeople actively engage with customers, greeting them when they enter, suggesting add-on products to go with what they’re purchasing, or offering advice and insights. (This is a great way to combat showrooming – if customers know they can get the info they need from your sales staff, they won’t have to turn to their phones to look it up and possibly find the product somewhere else for less).

Showrooming is very real and very damaging for retailers that can’t easily compete with e-retailers.  In an effort to combat it, insights like those that Synqera found can help to pinpoint where retailers should focus their time, money and innovation, even in the most unlikely or obvious places, like the checkout line.

There are also ways to make suggestions without salespeople. For instance, you can display groups of products that complement each other together, such as a camera with accessory battery packs, straps and cases. You can use signage to suggest “Buy two, get a third free,” “Check out our sales items in the back of the store” or “Sign up for our email newsletter and save $5 off your next purchase.” You get the idea; suggestive signage both inside and outside the store becomes crucial to sales success.

Suggestions help engage the customer with your store.   The more actively engaged the customer is inside your store, the better they feel about shopping there.

Synqera_Brick&Mortar_customer_experience_infographic

Brick & Mortar Customer Experience Infographic

The Perfect Pinterest Picture, According to Science

 

A team of scientists from the Curalate team, including a computer vision PhD and a dedicated in-house data scientist, recently did some intensive research on Pinterest, sampling 500,000 images and distilling from them half a dozen or so characteristics that distinguish the most popular Pinterest images.

They identified one ideal picture that best combines these characteristics. And here is that image.     Perfect Pinterest Photo

It’s from cooking show host Paula Deen, and it’s called “Aunt Peggy’s Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad.” This “perfect pinterest image”  has been repinned 307,000 times, liked 8,000 times, and commented upon 300 times. “In other words, that image killed it,” says Curalate CEO Apu Gupta.

“Consumers are increasingly communicating using images rather than words,” says Gupta. “We’re trying to decode that language and give you a better vocabulary with which to speak.”

In other words, in the future the picture will do more than speak a thousand words.

Read full article on perfecting Pinterest images here.

8 Solid Ideas to Add Customer Names to Your Email List

Grow your list, grow your engagement. A clean, well-managed email list can be your best asset, whereas “dirty” lists with out-of-date information are a leading cause of deliverability failures and are sure to damage your sending reputation.  Adding customer emails to your list

List hygiene is the process of removing “bad” addresses in a timely manner. Good list hygiene practices are essential to avoiding spam traps and keeping your bounce rates low – key drivers of your reputation. There is no better way to assure consistent deliverability success than by regularly cleansing your list of hard bounces, unknown users and other inactive addresses.

Businesses and brands need to check their email list size on a regular basis. It’s a good to track three metrics: net growth of your email list, net growth of email IDs for your direct mail file, and a steady increase in opens and clicks -this implies some form of interest in your email campaigns.

Take a hard look at your preference strategy. There are three tips on capturing preferences: ask them (your customers), observe them and group them (into categories). Use your preference page on your register or in a notebook on your check-out counter, to ask the consumer about their other channel preferences.  Don’t forget to inform them about your social media sites-where you post info about your business.

Take these extra steps: First, put up your preference page to sign up for email on your social media sites and websites.  Second, use popular social sites  (make sure it is where your customers are also hanging out) and include testimonials and content from your customer/vendor base within these sites and on your email campaigns. Third, post your email campaigns on your social media sites.

Here are 5 additional quick tips for using email marketing to promote and grow your business.

Denim and Developing Truly Loyal Customers

Today Levi Strauss is celebrating 140 years of the denim blue jean.  What an incredible and enviable success story. This company and iconic product has had an amazing and profitable history that will likely continue throughout all of our lifetimes.  Seemingly impossible that there is a product which has attracted billions of customers and has kept them loyal for 140 years!   Levi denim jeans

While true that the blue jean’s awesome versatility and work-horse functionality is responsible for this type of sustained history and loyalty, it could never have been accomplished without tremendously committed customers loyal to the brand.  Understandably, we all aren’t so fortunate to have started a business responsible for the invention such an enduring product, one that has been able to cultivate loyal customers for centuries, however your business can’t possibly grow without some similar (albeit smaller) form of customer loyalty.  Now your job is to consider how to cultivate that loyalty.

Think of loyalty as a faithfulness or allegiance to a company or a brand based on a high level of satisfaction.  Customer satisfaction breeds loyalty.  When a business or a brand consistently satisfies and exceeds customer expectations, it is natural to consistently make that company or brand the first choice.

So how can you create and encourage truly loyal customers?     Levi's denim 2

LISTEN TO THEM

Asking and hearing what customers are saying about your business along with making changes and improvements to increase their satisfaction can go a long way in making customers loyal to your business.  Loyal customers come back and can be more profitable.  Often the 80/20 rule applies- 80% of revenue comes from 20% of a business’s customers.  The key is to understand the customer needs and expectations and make changes that positively impact the customer’s experience with your business.  In 1873 Levi  Strauss and Jacob David listened to a particularly difficult customer  who was consistently ripping trouser pockets and seams due to extreme use.  Levi's denim 3   By placing metal rivets at points of strain: pocket corners, base of the zippers, etc. to strengthen the trousers, the company created the first riveted clothing, aka the blue jean.  By listening and making a small change, within a very short time, all types of working men were buying the innovative new clothing and spreading the word.

Cultivate a sense of ownership

Are you launching a new service or new products?  Invite your most loyal customers to become beta users and solicit their feedback to make adjustments and improvements.  This will give your best customers a sense of being a “shareholder” in your business as well as helping you create better offerings to your at-large customer base.  Way back in the 1850s Levi Strauss developed denim as work-wear for the pioneers of the American West. Only in the 1950s did this fabric evolve into fashion garments; jeans and jackets were taken up by bikers and rockers, giving denim a sense of cool and rebelliousness. By the 1970s Hollywood stars such as Steve McQueen and Paul Newman wore the brand.  Can your customers help you test and launch new concepts and be the trendy messenger for your business?

Create a loyalty program

Reward customers for multiple purchases of a high margin product.  Remember to measure your results and make changes that positively impact the customer (while being fiscally responsible).  Consider a program that provides free products or services as a reward for repeat business.

Creating truly loyal customers through these types of programs can prove to be a long-term distinct competitive advantage.

 

Offer premium services

If a small portion of your customers are responsible for a majority of your revenue, provide them with premium level of customer service.  Perks for your best customers let them know how much you value their business.

  • Let your best customer’s preview and purchase new products.  This could be anything from opening early or staying late to accommodate their schedule, shipping products to their home or office for free, giving them first chance to purchase new arrivals or attend sales.
  • Host an exclusive event for your best customers inside or outside of your business.
  • Make a point to call out your best customers in email marketing campaigns (preferably with a great quote or referral) or social media.
  • Reward referrals-consider providing discounts and other rewards to customers who recommend your business to friends and associates after they make a purchase.  Customer referrals are a valuable tool, so let them know how much you value their recommendations.

Back in 1873 it was for Levi Strauss’s challenging but quality customer for whom they added the rivets to denim in order to satisfy his need and that one decision is responsible for  the growth of the company and 140 years of success!

Simply two visionary immigrants- Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis turned loyal customers, denim, thread, and a little metal into the most popular apparel on earth…..just think of what you can do.

Have a great working customer loyalty program? Let us hear about it!

See How Small Businesses Are Competing Successfully With Big Brands-Infographic

Having quick access to online, mobile and social platforms along with the value consumers place on one-to-one relationships and customer service, makes it easier and likely for small businesses to succeed in more ways everyday.

12 Social Media Strategies to Reach Women

Are You Doing What it Takes to Run a Small Business?

In this thought provoking post on “What it takes to run a small business in rural America” from American Express Open Forum blog, experience the unique set of challenges these small businesss face working in rural areas along with actions and ideas to overcome these and other small biz challenges.

Help yourself and others by sharing successes of running your small business -post your stories through our comment section so we can share new concepts to strengthen and grow small business.

All stories will be shared here on The HI Note and on social media.

Here are 5 related posts to add to your small business brain trust:

How to Make a Lasting First Impression for Your Business

5 Actions That Can Affect How You Grow and Lead Your Business This Year

Social Media and Marketing Lessons from Retail Industry Expert Crystal Vilkaitis

7 things you’re already doing that could be more remarkable

5 Ways to Create More Value

 

Read full Open Forum article here

 

 

How to Make a Lasting First Impression for Your Business

A good first impression is the way to start a great relationship.  A negative first impression can often be overcome, but why give yourself the extra work?  

Make the best first impression possible by using your store entrance and windows as a first rate introduction to your business.  Imagine your store entrance as the “date of your dreams”  and create a space that is so attractive  and welcoming that everyone

will want to keep coming back to get to know your store better!

When Kathy Hampton bought Ice Cream Renaissance in 2010, she inherited an inefficiently designed shop. Customers walked in and were greeted by a cash register on a small pedestal table, a giant sink full of dirty dishes and a cavernous seating area that was usually vacant.

A year later, when she moved the Vancouver, Wash.-based ice cream parlor to a new location down the street, Hampton didn’t repeat those design mistakes. She built a long, more functional checkout counter, concealed the kitchen behind a swinging door and placed seating in front under accent lighting. Since the change, sales have increased by 20 percent.

Unfortunately, many retailers don’t notice poorly designed areas of their stores until it’s too late.

 Retail Disaster Zones Every Storeowner Should Avoid

  • Don’t clutter your entry and exit
  • Spend money on lighting
  • Display clear signs

Read more of the 7 most common store spaces that retailers botch up and ways to avoid making the same mistakes.

Let us hear of successful money making changes you have made to your store layout and don’t forget to send us your photos so we can share the good news!