See What’s Hot At the Las Vegas Gift & Home Market

Twice a year, thousands of retailers and designers come to Las Vegas Market to see what’s new, what’s hot, and to get ahead of trends for the coming seasons.

Plan to attend July 30th-Aug 3rd, 2017 and you will find an incredible array of new resources at the “Fastest-Growing Gift & Home Decor Market in the US!”

The full spectrum of categories are here – general gift, tabletop, lifestyle, housewares, gourmet, seasonal, lighting, furniture, home décor, spa, toy, jewelry, inspirational, textile, vintage, trend, stationery and so much more providing literally thousands of reasons to attend the Las Vegas Market July 30th-Aug 3rd, 2017.

Since its launch in the Summer of 2005, Las Vegas Market has become the most comprehensive furniture, home décor and gift market in the Western United States. The campus is comprised of three interconnected buildings and a temporary exhibit facility called the Pavilions, encompassing 40 floors and 5 million sq ft.

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Ivystone and CMA have quickly settled into their prime location of 45,000 sq ft, in Building C #696 & #691 . Check out the newest Ivystone Las Vegas Showroom Book Here for amazing products to help your retail store success in 2017/2018!

Make an appointment to work with your Ivystone and CMA sales professional at market or in store now.

11 Tips To Keep Your Retail Business Thriving

There are many ways to make your retail business stand out if you’re willing to rethink the customer experience and get a little innovative. The key is to do something…something bold, different and innovative now. Otherwise, your existing and emerging competitors will act and win the day and the future.

11-trends-in-the-future-of-retail-according-to-brian-solis-12-638The concept of future retail is constantly evolving. But what isn’t evolving as quickly is the understanding and widespread experimentation to bring the future to life today.
“This is an incredible time to see things differently to do things differently. The future requires a new blueprint and we are or can be its architects” states Brian Solis from Altimeter. Mr. Solis gives us an overview of the top trends that retail businesses can use to survive and thrive in today’s environment.

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, a Prophet company, world renowned keynote speaker, and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Invite him to speak at your next event.

Missed the Dallas Summer 2017 Gift & Home Market?

If you missed the Dallas Summer Market ( June 21-27) at the Dallas World Trade Center, you can still check out the many new Ivystone product highlights here.  Make plans to work with your Ivystone sales professional in store or in the Ivystone Dallas showroom.

View the visually stunning Dallas Summer Market 2017 Look Book which gives you plenty of links throughout to make contact and to get things going for an amazing product selection to help make the remaining 2017/2018 retail selling season a success!

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Imagine, inspire and indulge your senses….

Strengthen Your Retail Business Marketing With Snapchat

Interested in ways to use Snapchat to strengthen your brand?

With Snapchat, you can increase community engagement and brand awareness through innovative marketing campaigns.
With over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day, Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social networks. As you might already assume, 71% of Snapchat’s U.S. users fall into the 18 to 34 age range. Even if your audience doesn’t fall in that demographic, Snapchat is becoming a vital part of retail marketing strategies.

Brands and content creators are using Snapchat to produce daily stories that engage and excite their customers. Snapchat stories, which last only 24 hours, are a string of snaps used to create a video narrative.

Add IvystoneSocial on Snapchat

Add IvystoneSocial on Snapchat

 

Ivystone has jumped on this popular bandwagon and will be using Snapchat during our markets.
There are over 1 billion views of stories each day!

Here we are sharing ways to strengthen your retail business marketing using Snapchat.

Please “Mess With Texas” at the Dallas World Trade Center Market

The World Trade Center is the tallest building on the Dallas Market Center campus. Originally opened in 1974, it was expanded from 7 to 15 floors in 1979, totaling 3.1 million square feet. Nine of its floors house showrooms of gifts, decorative accents, lighting, furniture, rugs, textiles, fabric, jewelry, toys and design furnishings.

Plan on visiting the Ivystone Showroom #236 in the Dallas World Trade Center

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View our beautiful new Ivystone Dallas Showroom Look Book for more inspiration for your retail establishment.

Leveraging Video To Successfully Market Your Small Business

Using video marketing can boost your small business exposure in many ways.

Not only are videos a quick way to communicate information to your customers, they are immediately engaging and can be fun!  Feel free to get creative when making your marketing video and consider adding music to draw in your viewer.

Ivystone, a national Gift and Home sales and marketing agency creates unique videos simply by utilizing a variety of Gift and Home product images along w upbeat and captivating music to promote their national showrooms-featuring a variety of Ivystone vendors and products for the wholesale gift and home market.

View Ivystone’s summer 2016 Atlanta Showroom promotional video here.

Read more for 7 proven tips to use videos for your small business and go ahead and make some video fun!

State of Retail 2016- Timetrade Report

TimeTrade recently conducted a survey of 5,444 consumers, asking in-depth questions regarding their perceptions and behaviors around retail shopping.

TimeTrade also surveyed 100 senior-level decision makers in retail, asking about their plans for customer experience.

What TimeTrade’s research reveals is that consumers still look to the in-store experience to make final purchasing decisions, except now their expectation for customer service is set even higher. For example, 85% of consumers report that if they try on clothes in a dressing room and find they need a different size, but no associate is available, they would consider abandoning the dressing room and leaving the store altogether.  CustomerService_V2

When asked to rank what they value most when shopping in a retail store, consumers choose “Prompt service” as their top priority followed by “A personalized experience” and “Smart recommendations.”

To learn more about “The State of Retail 2016” fill out this request form to download the report from Timetrade.

13 Step Road Map to Maximize Business Results with Hyper-Local Marketing

It’s a no brainer. Local businesses that want to maximize their business results should implement hyper-local digital marketing.  Identify your most critical local markets, and deliver compelling localized  messaging, content, programs, offers, and calls to action based on the area or  neighborhood.

 

In this article, you’ll learn…

  • 13 tips for effective local marketing
  • How reaching a local audience can drive business results

More folks turn to the Internet than any other medium—including newspapers, TV, or word-of-mouth—for local information, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, a whopping 83% of local search users contacted businesses offline, with 46% of consumers making contacts over the phone and 37% visiting the businesses in person, and half of all local business searchers eventually made purchases, according to TMP (15miles) and ComScore. Numbers like those demonstrate how digital marketing can take local businesses to a whole new level.

If you are a local business looking to grow (and who isn’t?), follow this digital road map and get hyper-local (with amazing results).

Read more here

 

Are You Providing An Exceptional Customer Experience?

Busting the Top 7 Customer Support Myths

Customer support is everyone’s business – from the CEO to sales, marketing, tech support and product development.  At its best, customer service is a collaborative exercise that leverages the shared knowledge of everyone throughout the business.

Five stars service

Company leaders who understand the true nature of customer support are in a better position to communicate the vision and to consistently provide an exceptional customer experience. When companies allow customers to contact them via multiple channels and effectively apply knowledge and data to resolve problems quickly, the business will surely grow, emphasizing the importance of customer service excellence. Business 2 Community. (6/13)

Technology Trends That Can Level the Playing Field

Writing an article about technology can be quite challenging as the pace of change in today’s tech world is difficult to fathom. By the time many of us feel we are on top of things, we encounter a whole new series of apps and devices that we “must try”. In many cases, technological developments can save us time and money but other times we seem to get bogged down in attempting to grasp it all.

Doug Cofiell blog image

Doug Cofiell CEO Ivystone Group LLC

Three short years ago I wrote an article about prioritizing technology in your business. The major topics in that article included the importance of your website, the permanence of social media and rise of tablets as a business tool. While the adoption of tablets in our industry has been slower than expected these three areas have certainly increased in importance in most businesses. More trends continue to emerge and there are countless developments that can be highlighted.

In an attempt to summarize some of the broader ideas without going into exhaustive detail I’ve highlighted three areas that are important to understand when making decisions about your business. These are not new trends but they will drive business decision making for many years.

  1. The Continued Rise of Mobile. Whether it is the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and “phablets” (those huge phones we are seeing out there) or the emerging Wearables market; the world is becoming more mobile. With WiFi networks readily available and costs falling there is no slowing down this trend. According to a recent study by Millennial Media and comScore, the ratio of mobile devices to people on earth is nearly 1:1.  Mobile is changing the way we work, shop and interact. We are no longer tied to a desk but we are more connected than ever; putting in more hours as our devices allow constant connectivity. With the computing power of today’s smartphone being greater than the computing power that ran the Apollo Space Missions, expect commerce to continue to be transformed as applications get more sophisticated.
  1. Shifting to the The Cloud is certainly an overused term but the shift to this type of computing does have profound effects on business. Because programming is centralized and can be accessed on any device it fosters the mobile culture and provides scalability to smaller organizations. The easiest way to think of the cloud is as a big shared service where you can pay as you go rather than making big infrastructure investments. Most of us use cloud based services everyday whether its photo sharing or music streaming. This trend will continue to grow in importance as businesses attempt to become more flexible and innovative
  1. Use of Big Data or more accurately Smart Data. Another term that is getting tossed around quite a bit and is relevant to most decision makers. As the cost of storing data continues to drop towards zero, companies are using these big databases to analyze patterns and customer trends. The implications of this are not completely downstream yet but all this data will help us understand our customers better and allow us to reach the audience we truly want to reach.

You can find many different cases of where companies use large quantities of data to make decisions. Here’s an example of smart data use on the product development side from Techtarget.com. Express Scripts, which processes pharmaceutical claims, realized that those who most need to take their medications were also those most likely to forget to take their medications. So they created a new product: Beeping medicine caps and automated phone calls reminding patients it’s time to take the next dose.

These three trends fit together with our mobile lifestyle being enhanced by the power of cloud based applications providing data that enhances the user experience. As each area grows in importance, they become more intertwined. The best part for an industry like ours that is made up of small businesses is that these trends all level the playing field; allowing small companies access to the same programs as larger competitors. Businesses can look and feel much bigger than they are by taking advantage of services that are readily available in the cloud on their mobile devices.

Lastly, a note of caution about technology in general. Back in the early 1900’s Gertrude Stein said “Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense”. I am afraid of what she’d say in today’s world given that the amount of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Technology is transforming the way we do business but it is important to maintain the core tenets of what makes you successful. If we remember to disconnect every once in a while maybe we can keep our common sense!

 

Doug Cofiell is CEO of Ivystone Group LLC, a professional sales agency providing wholesale gift, home and fashion accessories to retailers across the United States. Selling to independent retailers, large national chains and designers under two distinct brands; Ivystone and Simblist Group.