Stay on Trend With the Pantone 2014 Fashion Color Report

For more than 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and beyond to bring you the season’s most important color trends. We are bringing you the report of the most prominent hues for spring 2014.

Designers are taking a modern twist on the traditional for spring 2014 by pairing soft pastels with vivid brights to create a colorful balance. Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers, travels abroad and strong, confident women, designers use color to refresh, revive and defy conventional wisdom.

“This season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “While this need for stability is reflected in the composition of the palette, the inherent versatility of the individual colors allows for experimentation with new looks and color combinations.”

Be the trend setter you want to be by using and introducing these beautiful hues into your 2014 gift, home décor and fashion merchandise.

Pantone 2014 Fashion Color Report

If you are looking for direction on 2014 products for your business, please contact the professionals at  Ivystone and Simblist  for assistance.

Pantone Fashion Color Report-Spring 2014

Pantone Fashion Color Report-Spring 2014

 

 

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.

Ways to Make the Remainder of 2013 Amazing

During the last full month of summer, allow yourself  time to take stock of your business and personal situations so you can set an action plan to make the rest of the year as productive as possible. Regardless of your position or status, there are actions you can take to drive forward your business and yourself.     All things are possible

Chances are you will need a productive To Do List to make the rest of your year amazing……here is a useful  tip to start (or add to) your list for the remainder of this year.

Seven actions you can take on to make the rest of your 2013 amazing!

What would you add to the list?

 

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

Why Does Free Cost So Much?

The old adage “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” is a reminder that while something on the surface may sound free it may actually be very costly. This is especially true with Point of Sale (POS) systems. Some of the most recent marketing ploys I have heard have been where one company “gives away” a POS but then requires you to process your credit cards exclusively through them at an excessively high rate.

freeI have also heard of another company that would “give you the POS software  for free”, only if you purchased the equipment from them along with a support agreement. Make certain your new POS does everything you need it to do and don’t purchase features which are not needed.

A good Point of Sale should pay for itself by increasing product turn and helping to increase margins.

For more information on POS and Business Solutions contact Shawn Thompson at Merchant Solutions Authority:

sthompson@merchantsolutionsauthority.com

www.merchantsolutionsauthority.com

p.s. Be sure to look for Shawn and the Merchant Solutions Authority table at the summer markets!

Buttery Hot Rolls & Fashion- A Scrumptious Pairing at Americasmart!

Looking smart and put together on the outside isn’t always easy. Life is busy and though you take the time to put together a fabulous ensemble, in reality lipstick fades and hairstyles sometimes droop. While not a cure for all that’s ailing the modern girl, a great bag that does duty as a carry on for travel, a market tote and an insulated food transporter is a step in the right direction.

Sister Schubert w Haul Couture cargo bag

Sister Schubert showing off her Haul Couture cargo bag

Sister Schubert filling her Haul Couture cargo bag

Sister Schubert filling her Haul Couture cargo bag

Enter the Haul Couture Cargo and Cargo Mini Bags. Striking fabrics and innovative design combine to make it the bag you want and need.  The possibilities are endless and uses are only limited by your imagination.

Join Ivystone’s newest partner, Haul Couture, on Saturday, July 13th in Americasmart (Atlanta Gift Mart, Bldg 2, #1801) from 10:00-3:00 along with Patricia “Sister” Barnes, founder of Sister Schubert Homemade Rolls while she serves hot rolls from her very own Haul Couture bag.

A huge fan of the Haul Couture Cargo Bag, “Sister” will demonstrate how she cannot get through her busy days of cooking AND travel without the help of her “Milla” and “Tiger Walk” Cargo Bags! See why Haul Couture is “…more than just a bag!”

The original Haul Couture Cargo Bag already enjoys a bit of fame in features on the Today Show, The Next Iron Chef and most recently in O magazine.

Find these and other great wholesale product lines for your retail business in the Ivystone and Simblist Atlanta Showrooms (July 9th-17th) and through your Ivystone and Simblist sales reps.

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.

Smiles Prove to Make the Difference in Customer Service

Need proof that congenial customer service matters? A recent study from London’s Kingston University found that a smile and a friendly greeting were the most common reason why shoppers felt loyalty toward independent businesses.         Smiley Face!

The study examined more than 2,000 consumers and 1,200 small- and medium-sized businesses and found that more than one-third of shoppers come back to stores because of great service, and 20% say having a salesperson remember their order is important.

While great customer service seems like a no-brainer, only half of the businesses surveyed said a smile and greeting were a common practice for their staff.

Customers willing to pay for smiles