“Customers want you but choose Amazon, WHY?” by Dan Pankratz via Exchange Collective blog

“Customers want you but choose Amazon, WHY?” by Dan Pankratz via Exchange Collective blog

70% of Americans Prefer to Shop Local You hear it all the time, “I love your store,” or “I want to support local,” and “I am over Amazon.” But it is no secret that millions of customers are going to Amazon’s market place to shop and buy. But in a survey of 1,500 Americans done by Intuit, they found that 70% of customers prefer to support local businesses through online and instore purchases. Connecting with your in-store customers online is critical. It is proven that a majority of shoppers start their purchases online. This means your website needs to give customers the option to shop what you have to offer. “But I will never be able to compete with online prices,” so what is the point of trying to have an e-commerce site? A survey done in 2020 by Red Egg Marketing found that 82% of customers surveyed are willing to pay more for a product from a local retailer, and 8 out of 10 customers are willing to spend more money at local businesses. Your website should be treated as the first stop for your customers. Exchange Collective What does this mean for brands and retailers? Exchange Collective solves this problem – it allows people to support their local retailer and buy the brands they want. Brands win by controlling their product images and descriptions, Retailers win by having Brands manage the product data so they don’t have to. In the past few years, it has become easier for retailers to set up e-commerce sites. Though it may be easier for retailers to set up a site, the...
“Why Retailers Should Focus on Online Reviews to Improve Credibility and Drive More Sales” by Heidi Sullivan via Total Retail

“Why Retailers Should Focus on Online Reviews to Improve Credibility and Drive More Sales” by Heidi Sullivan via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Kiyoshi Hijiki It’s not a novel concept anymore, but in an age of instant gratification when consumers have all the information they need right at their fingertips — and at a moment’s notice — many retail businesses are finding that sometimes it’s best to let someone else do the talking. That’s not to say retailers shouldn’t advocate for themselves, but as service providers and restaurant owners have known for some time now, online reviews carry more weight than ever before, and they can have a very real impact on the bottom line. Online reviews shape a retail business’ reputation more quickly and more significantly than, say, sponsoring the local Polar Plunge or donating supplies to aid disaster relief. Again, those are important activities, but when it comes to conversions, consumers are looking to see what others think before reaching for their wallets. Trust and Credibility A recent study showed that 72 percent of consumers trust a business more after reading positive reviews. That should be reason enough to pursue online review generation. If you don’t have potential customers’ trust, what do you have? That said, an online review is simply a technology-fueled version of word-of-mouth. Your neighbor sees your new lawnmower and wants to know where you got it and what you think of it. Online reviews are no different, and folks don’t even need to know the person. In fact, 89 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. What does it all mean? Online reviews beget trust. Trust begets sales. Related story: Want to Drive More Sales? Use These 4 Digital Merchandising Strategies The...
“Retailers Adapting Digital Marketing Strategies for Customer Acquisition, Retention” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

“Retailers Adapting Digital Marketing Strategies for Customer Acquisition, Retention” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

More time spent at home thanks to remote work, cancelled events and activities, and other pandemic-related factors resulted in consumers bringing more attention to digital shopping. Creating a consistent experience across all channels is what will keep consumers’ attention and business, driving both customer acquisition and customer retention efforts. As a result of shifting consumer behaviors and the impact they have had on retailers’ marketing strategies, Total Retail, in conjunction with SMG, a leading experience management firm, recently produced a new report, The Changing Consumer: Adapting Digital Marketing Strategies to Acquire and Retain Today and Tomorrow’s Customer. The comprehensive report addresses how retailers must adapt their marketing tactics to acquire and retain digital-savvy, channel-agnostic shoppers. To start, brand style, content tone, and other elements of a retailer’s marketing strategy must be consistent across all digital channels. The consumer needs to recognize at first glance the brand they’re hearing from. Emails confirming orders, advertising a special promotion, announcing a new product launch, etc., need to share consistent brand styles and tones, creating a familiar feeling for the recipient. If a customer goes into a brick-and-mortar store, their experience and how it makes them feel is likely going to be the same regardless of what task they went in to accomplish. This can be achieved digitally as well. Social media, text messaging, affiliate marketing, etc., all need to be consistent to ensure customers are associating the messaging they receive with your brand. As mentioned previously, consumers are habitual. Therefore, if they’re familiar and comfortable with your brand, they will think of it when they need something and return to make repeat purchases. Related...
“4 Best Practices for Creating a Social Commerce Experience That Converts” by Elise Stieferman via Total Retail

“4 Best Practices for Creating a Social Commerce Experience That Converts” by Elise Stieferman via Total Retail

Online shopping received a serious bump in 2020. So did its offshoot, social commerce. In fact, among the strongest trends in the e-commerce industry, making purchases from social platforms seems to be the one to watch due to its projected year-over-year sales bump of 35 percent. It only makes sense that people would start using social media to not only find and explore items, but also to buy them. After all, social platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok have taken on a digital “hangout” role, especially for younger audiences. Being able to snag a deal without leaving a favored platform removes barriers and increases convenience. Social commerce isn’t just attractive because it’s easy for consumers, though. It’s also exciting because it can replicate the feelings elicited during in-store shopping — but virtually. Consumers can interact with brands in real time through likes, comments, direct messages (DMs) and chatbots. They can also share their “finds” with followers, creating opportunities for retailers to enjoy organic cross-pollination. From the retailer’s perspective, social commercemakes just as much sense — particularly for companies in tangible product categories like electronics, apparel, home decorations, jewelry, and cosmetics. Why? The business basically has a built-in pipeline to consumers without the need for a physical location. Additionally, most brands already have a social presence. Therefore, adding social e-commerce into the mix by using Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, or a third-party integration doesn’t involve a giant leap or learning curve. Related story: The Power of Social Media, Video and Storytelling for Two Blind Brothers Crafting Your Own Social Commerce Strategy Nevertheless, brands shouldn’t underestimate the need to map out their social...
Available Now: On-Demand Relevant and Helpful Educational Webinar “Retail E-Commerce: Adapting to the New Consumer Mindset in 2021 and Beyond”

Available Now: On-Demand Relevant and Helpful Educational Webinar “Retail E-Commerce: Adapting to the New Consumer Mindset in 2021 and Beyond”

Board Retailers Association kicked off the first of many relevant and helpful quarterly webinars on a variety of topics in collaboration with BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One on March 30, 2021. Fortunately, many board retailers saw demand for products rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, however store closures impacted the 1-on-1 personalization of in-store experiences, while supply chain disruptions altered buying forecasts for upcoming seasons. To survive in 2020, retailers were forced to embrace the adaptation of e-commerce, but how can board retailers successfully navigate the new retail landscape in 2021 with a larger focus on e-commerce? Achieving success in an increasingly digital era DOES NOT mean throwing away the traditional retail fundamentals, but augmenting the existing processes with new capabilities that adapt to the new landscape.View the on-demand webinar by pushing play in the box below to learn about the e-commerce strategies that are working to help board retailers meet and exceed pre-COVID benchmarks, while building a solid foundation for the years ahead: “Alan Roseman at Management One has been a great partner to have for my business. He helps not only manage inventory and cash flow but has proven to be a valuable consultant on marketing, expansion, hiring, advertising and just about anything a small business owner may be dealing with.”—Dan Hasselschwert, Ossie’s Surf Shop “Management One has transformed our business! After running our retail stores for many years and having the constant concern of cash flow, we needed to find a better way. Management One provided that way. Our business has truly reached the next level of success and continues to grow.”—Dave Carlson, Unlimited Skate and Snow Click on...
“SMS Marketing 101: Marketing that gets a response” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Podium

“SMS Marketing 101: Marketing that gets a response” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Podium

Want to reach your potential customers in real-time? Want the edge on your competitors? It’s time to think about SMS. This step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know to begin within minutes.  Take a look and start reading! Here is the link: https://learn.podium.com/eb-SMS-marketing-101/?utm_campaign=BoardRetailers2021&utm_medium=partner&utm_source=refp 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 announce 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...