“Brick and Mortar: The Original Marketplace” by Dan Pankratz via PropagandaHQ.net

“Brick and Mortar: The Original Marketplace” by Dan Pankratz via PropagandaHQ.net

Brick and mortar retailers are the original marketplace for brands to sell to the end customer. It’s not news that this is changing and changing fast. It feels like new online marketplaces are popping up almost daily.  As brands are looking for more ways to sell directly online and streamline how they get products to the end customer. Online Marketplaces are becoming more and more of a solution. New online marketplaces are leveraging dropship to attract customers to their selections of products. Allowing them to focus on driving traffic to their sites rather than the logistics of managing Pick, Pack and Shipping products. As the customer purchasing habits are moving more online, and with online purchase growing more in the past few months that they have in the past 10 years. The importance of giving your customer a way to shop and purchase from your online is more important than ever. 5 Years ago, my brother Dave and I started to see the pinch that direct to consumer, amazon, and big eCommerce was having on our own brick and mortar retail business. As we were still recovering from being affected by the last recession where we lost our prime location to our big box competition. We wanted to find a solution that would keep the customers we created shopping with us no matter where they were and not be limited by what we had in stock.  The result was Exchange Collective.  Over the past 5 years Dave and I, along with Jason Strubing from Skate Works, and John Normoyle who worked in our retail store during college. Have built...
“What If We Told You That You Could Protect Your New Surfboard Against Breaks And Dings…” via STAB Magazine

“What If We Told You That You Could Protect Your New Surfboard Against Breaks And Dings…” via STAB Magazine

Well, you can. And it starts at just $10 a month.  Posted by: STAB What’s worse: breaking your new board first session, or watching every person you love getting mauled by a voracious pack of lions? Answer: the lions, but only just. New Board Anxiety is a serious medical condition that affects millions of surfers worldwide. If you or any surfer you know has suffered from this debilitating ailment, we present you with a viable (if only marginally costly) solution: Surfcare.  First and foremost, and despite how that intro read, this is not an advertisement. Or, I guess technically it is, but the crew at Surfcare didn’t pay a penny for it, so good on them for creating a product so inherently fascinating that we couldn’t help but write about it.  Second, Surfcare is exactly what it sounds like: AppleCare for your surfboard. It’s actual, genuine, real-life protection that you can buy as financial protection against a dinged or broken board.  Here are their available plans: Below we chatted with Nick Stolz, founder of Surfcare, to get more info on his product and see if the juice is truly worth the squeeze.  What inspired you to start this company? Well, I grew up breaking a ton of boards! Maybe I took that “stomp it” saying a little too literally [laughs]. I came up with the idea in Indonesia three years ago after running through a quiver at HTs. It’s a bad feeling when you spend a bunch of money on a new board and break it first session, or even at all. We all know the feeling. So Surfcare was...
“Prime Day vs Election Day” by Dan Pankratz (Co-Founder of the Exchange Collective) via Building The Revolution

“Prime Day vs Election Day” by Dan Pankratz (Co-Founder of the Exchange Collective) via Building The Revolution

With Covid now in its 8th month and what could be Americas most debated presidential elections less than a month away, we are now faced with another decision that can change life as we know It.—- PRIME DAY. You might think voting for a Career Politician, a Businessman, or Rap Star will help fix our country’s economic and social welfare. Think again. Some Americans celebrate spending money on mass-produced products from a multi-billion dollar company where the average warehouse employee could not even purchase 1 share of their company stock with a full month’s paycheck. How you spend your money on Prime day does more than get you a discount on crap you don’t need. It also effects the community you live in.  It is no secret that when a business can offer more convenience and better pricing we feel like we are getting the best deal. But what if that convenience and pricing are really costing you and your family more than you think.  For every $1 you spend by entering the digits of your credit card to have your hard-earned money securely zip through space into that multi-billion dollar corporations bank account, less than 20% off that money will ever end up circulating back into your community. When that same $1 is spent in a business with a physical location that percentage can double. If that business owner lives in that town up to 80% of that money can stay in your community.  Convenience and pricing are for toilet paper and deodorant. But if you are going to buy a new vacuum for your wife, or a new...
“How Can Surfcare Help My Surf Shop?” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Surfcare

“How Can Surfcare Help My Surf Shop?” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Surfcare

Surfcare brochures on display at Rip Curl San Clemente. Shop employees share Surfcare with every perspective customer buying a new board. Surfcare’s Surfboard Protection Plans Can Help Your Board Shop Increase Sales & Customer Loyalty  Customers want to feel secure when they make a big purchase. This is true in pretty much every market and the surfboard industry is no different. Buying a new surfboard can feel like a major life decision. And whether they’re a beginner or veteran, board purchasers want to feel like they aren’t going to regret it the second they get their first ding.  Surfcare QR Code stickers on new boards for sale at Rip Curl San Clemente. These QR Codes link to Surfcare’s website and let Surfcare know every time a Rip Curl Customer visits the site. It’s not uncommon to see surf shops providing an exchange window or limited-warranty with board purchases. Still, their customers generally know the drill. Those narrow offerings barely scratch the surface when it comes to true product protection.  Sure, the customer can always bring their board back in for repair. They’ll just have to pay for it entirely out of pocket. This additional expense later down the road can potentially worsen their relationship with your business. It also ultimately leads to less board purchases from customers who might be too risk-averse to pull the trigger. The more they have to worry about hidden maintenance and repair costs, the less likely they are to buy your boards.  Product Protection Plans Add Value to Most Industries  Offering a type of insurance or product protection plan for the higher-cost items in...
“Do you know what your missing?” by Dan Pankratz of Exchange Collective

“Do you know what your missing?” by Dan Pankratz of Exchange Collective

When only 23% of US retailers use people counting devices to measure traffic, how do you know what you are missing?  Reports from Footfall and ShopVisible state that only an average of 20% of your stores traffic will make a purchase, meaning 80% of your traffic is walking out the front door. Yet about 55% of the people walking out of your store were there to make a purchase. So for every 10 people that come in to your store, you are only making 2 sales, and 4 potential sales are walking out the door.   What are you doing to find out what the 4 people wanted? Are you letting customers leave to buy somewhere else? Will those 4 potential customers ever come back? Empowering your sales staff in this day and age is more important than ever. The consumer now has more information about the products they want to buy than any other time in retail history. This drives the need for your sales staff to be equipped with the right set of skills and tools to be able to give customers the best service possible. If a customer walks into your store you have a chance to make them a customer for life or let them fall in to the abyss of online shopping. It may seem simple to say good customer service is what your sales staff needs, but what does that really mean. Originally this would be a good greeting of each customer, an open ended question to break the ice, and then finding out why they came into the store and help them...
“MY DOORS ARE OPEN and I survived the summer…NOW WHAT??” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

“MY DOORS ARE OPEN and I survived the summer…NOW WHAT??” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

Now that summer is over, I’ve been chatting with specialty retailers across the nation on ways to boost profits, manage inventory & orders, keep customers coming through the doors and much more, as we head into 4th quarter. With uncertain consumer spending, retail closures, bankruptcies & job losses, and a consumer who wants an engaging retail experience along with quality, value and competitive pricing, the savvy specialty retailer will be looking ahead to see where all of these factors will lead 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.  Consider the following questions as you strategize and plan–“how have my customers changed over the past six months, and what can I learn from it?”, “what products might my customers be interested in that I am not currently stocking”, and “how can I improve their customer experience when they walk into my store”. Here are some areas that, I believe, require focus and commitment in the months ahead: 1)  Manage  orders & inventory levels to maximize sales of high margin items &  private label/shop-logo goods             Many shops this summer were selling record numbers of surfboards, skateboards, accessories and more, often causing shortages and lost sales.  Meanwhile, sales of high margin soft goods overall were down, compared to prior summers.    While such hard good sales boost monthly numbers quickly, their low margins are usually below the cost of doing business, thus jeopardizing true profitability.              NOW is the time to focus and prioritize on high profit, high margin items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, some accessories and certainly your shop-logo/private label items. Display and merchandise high margin items in the...