“You Might Not Need to Worry About Breaking a Brand New Surfboard Ever Again” via The Inertia

“You Might Not Need to Worry About Breaking a Brand New Surfboard Ever Again” via The Inertia

Editor’s Note: Just bought a new surfboard? Check out Surfcare, a new option for peace of mind. You just dropped an unforgiving grand(ish) on a creamy white hunk of fiberglass – straight off the rack from your local surf shop. It’s silky to the touch. Your eye skims its clean eyes with adoration. You’re beaming with pride. You’re also a little sheepish about the purchase. The expense to fragility ratio is merciless. The reef doesn’t care about your investment. Nor does the minefield of surfboards at crowded spots like Malibu. Nope. They’ll happily break your board for you and kill that joy at no cost. The fragility of expensive surfboards has long defied logic for addicted, cash-constrained surfers. But a sensible solution may have just hit the market. Enter Surfcare: insurance for your brand new surfboard. “I was on a six-month trip to Indonesia when I had my ‘aha’ moment,” says Surfcare Founder Nick Stolz. “I showed up to the tiny Island of Sipura in the Mentawais with a brand new quiver of boards. Within a couple weeks, however, I broke every single one of them surfing HT’s and waves on neighboring islands. That’s when I decided to make Surfcare a reality.” Surfcare cofounder Nick Stolz charging Nias prior to breaking all of his surfboards and deciding to do something capitalist about it. Photo: Courtesy Stolz According to Stolz, the brand launched last month after three years of development and hoop-jumping to abide by regulations in the understandably no-nonsense insurance industry. Insurance is not a bro-bro industry.  Warranties must be vetted and maintained. “To get a little into the weeds, I didn’t know what I was...
“Top 5 Must-Have Features for a New POS System” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Top 5 Must-Have Features for a New POS System” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

A point-of-sale system must do more than process transactions. Your retail technology should enable you to collect, organize, and analyze data; maximize relationships with customers and brands; and create efficiencies. If you are in the market for a new POS, make sure these 5 features are included in your solution. Comprehensive Inventory Management and ReportingWhy have a POS if you’re still manually managing inventory? Figuring out what is on hand, what sold, and what you need to buy should be automated. You don’t have time for anything less.Consider: Sales and inventory go hand-in-hand. Look for a solution that includes features such as model stocks, purchase order suggestions, markdown management, and configurable reporting options. Aim for a cloud-based POS to enable real-time visibility into store performance anytime, anywhere. A good POS keeps you focused on what you do best which is making sales. Top 5 Must-Have Features for a New POS SystemIntegrated Payment Processing Customer Management ToolsWhy continue using complicated gateways or working with credit card companies that hide fees or change your rates all the time? Additionally, customers now bring big expectations for an easy checkout. Don’t let payment processing be a point of friction in your sales process. What drives your customers to your store/website? Do you know how to cross-sell? How are you maximizing follow-up opportunities? If you don’t have this information, you’re limiting your potential sales. Consider: Using an integrated payment processing will remove unnecessary fees, steps at check out, and save you time. Plus, customers get a simpler, better, and faster touchless checkout. Connectivity to BrandsQualified and Quality SupportDo you work closely enough with your...
“Best Practices for Physical Inventories” by Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Best Practices for Physical Inventories” by Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

What is a physical inventory? An audit of a store’s inventory to confirm that what the point of sale says you have on hand is actually there, either on the store floor or in backstock. They help identify things like discrepant transfers, fulfillment errors, theft or products that were never received in or received incorrectly. While frequency can vary depending on size of your store, seasonality and staffing, performing one full physical inventory (PI)—or count—every six months is generally recommended. Because you’ll want to freeze your store’s inventory while doing so, schedule PIs after hours or on a day you are closed (remember to communicate any closures to your customers ahead of time!). Traditionally, PIs were done on paper or spreadsheets, but affordable, mobile technology has made this once dreaded task far more efficient for many retailers. Necessary Materials Mobile, cloud POS with inventory managementiPads (one for every member of the PI team is ideal)Bluetooth scannersA few empty baskets or boxesSanitizer to wipe down hardware in between usesWater and snacks Preparing the Store Dividing your store into scannable “batches” keeps both the physical space and operations organized. Draw a map of your store, including front andback of house.Section off manageable areas, including all fixtures:tables, shelves, racks and display cases—the smallerthe batches, the higher the accuracy.In the days leading up to the count, give your store aliteral sweep.Check for products under racks, in forgotten binsor dressing rooms, behind the cash wrap and everydark corner where something could be hiding.Tidy your backstock, making sure apparel is foldedand products are in the appropriate packaging.Confirm that everything is scannable: Every itemmust have a...
“3 reasons retailers should adopt BOPIS” by Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“3 reasons retailers should adopt BOPIS” by Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Outside of serious growth for retailers, BOPIS offers incredible benefits to shoppers. Here are three reasons retailers should adopt BOPIS and a free resource to help you get started. In the wake of a global pandemic, amid social distancing guidelines and lower in-store capacity caps, retailers and consumers alike have adopted new practices and habits—pivoting into a new world for retail. 73% of shoppers adopted new shopping habits and behaviors in the last year (and over 60% plan to continue those new practices). We’ve seen a direct impact of new behavior in both digital shopping and social media with a 50% year-over-year increase in revenue over the holidays for digital shopping and a 104% increase in the number of purchases made directly from a social media channel.  And retailers that adopted creative options for contactless pickups, such as curbside, drive-through, or BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store), grew more than 60% in the five days leading up to Christmas than retailers that failed to make the shift.  Buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) isn’t just a trend. It’s here to stay. Adoption rates in 2016 were above 40%, but they’re expected to rise to 90% by 2024. It’s a new strategy that’s proving to be the key to improving sales and customer satisfaction. Outside of serious growth for retailers, BOPIS offers incredible benefits to shoppers. Here are three reasons retailer should adopt BOPIS, whether it’s through curbside pickup via a phone call, curbside pickup via an app, or traditional buy online, pick up in-store: 3 reasons retailers should adopt BOPIS. 1. BOPIS gets products into customers’ hands faster. Digital shopping trends continue to rise, with nearly 80% of consumers starting their buying...
“Show me the money!” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Show me the money!” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

            While 2020 started out with closures, quarantines and ever-changing regulations, many retailers were disclosing record sales by the end of the year, “best year ever” claims and similar results.  Inventories of surfboards, paddleboards, skateboards, skimboards, wetsuits and accessories were emptied quickly, with refills slow to arrive.  Loyal customers and new participants were eager to get outside, get active and simply get out of the house!             While strong gross sales were indeed a positive sign amidst a period of uncertainty, frustration and job losses, I was hesitant to celebrate too strongly since profitability had taken a hit.  Retailers who’d had banner sales reluctantly admitted that net profit (the money that was ending up in their pockets) was LESS than the prior year.  Wait what???  Sales were UP, net profits were DOWN!  Retailers were working harder and longer, sold lots of goods yet made less money—what happened?             This disappointing realization was the result of unexpected/unbudgeted expenses, increased costs and low margins in certain categories. Unexpected costs to create COVID-safe retail environments tapped profits.Many retailers spent a lot of money to develop or enhance their online presence—new websites, upgrades & maintenance, Google Adwords, additional personnel & supplies and more—the boost in sales took many months to offset the necessary expenditures.Freight costs, especially those for surfboards and paddleboards, rose exponentially throughout the year, squeezing already-thin margins.Sales of boards and wetsuits, while strong, don’t provide the needed profits to cover the costs of today’s retail business.  Margins for these categories are generally less than 40%, while the average cost of business for a specialty retailer is 44+%.Sales of apparel, footwear and...
“Texting is hot. How to use it effectively? Glad you asked – 7 Clever Ways To Use Text Messaging In Your Business” on-demand webinar by The Retail Doctor and Podium

“Texting is hot. How to use it effectively? Glad you asked – 7 Clever Ways To Use Text Messaging In Your Business” on-demand webinar by The Retail Doctor and Podium

Text is the only marketing channel with a 98% open rate. With that knowledge, how do you build an effective SMS marketing campaign?Covering everything from simple tips and tricks to compliance to building a world-class opt-in flow, this webinar will get you up to speed.We share insights on: • How to market like a human with personalized messages• How to increase responses and promotional engagement• How to provide value to your opt-in list This 30-minute workshop will leave you empowered to know how to use SMS messaging to grow your retail sales. Learn a new way to contact and be contacted by your customers. WHEN: View it On-Demand Right Now SMS Marketing 101 – retaildoc If you are currently a BRA Regular or Distinguished Retail Member, you can email doug@boardretailers.org to receive the Podium 2021 State of Reviews Report. If you are not yet a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member, please complete the super simple join form  Shortly after it is received, we will email you the report as well as the link to access the BRA Office Depot Preferential Pricing Program and more. BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that Podium has joined Board Retailers Association as a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. If you would like to be introduced via email to the solid people behind this outstanding resource, be sure to email me. – Doug Works, BRA Executive...