“Why 2022 is the Year of First-Party Marketing for Retailers” by Ryan Milman via Total Retail

“Why 2022 is the Year of First-Party Marketing for Retailers” by Ryan Milman via Total Retail

With the ad industry phasing out cookies and third-party trackers, data and privacy concerns and regulations taking center stage on a global scale, and a plethora of logistical issues like labor shortages and supply chain backups impacting inventory, retail brands have had to completely rethink how they approach marketing. Despite all of these challenges, however, retail marketers have plenty to look forward to this year. Why? Because first-party marketing has finally come to the forefront and no other industry is poised to excel in this environment as much as retail. First-Party Data = Marketing Gold First-party data has become like gold for marketers looking to provide consumers with the personalized experiences and messaging they’ve come to expect without the creepy third-party tracking that made it possible in years past. And retail brands, perhaps more than any other industry, have access to an abundance of first-party data because they’re so close to the point of sale (POS) — customers share information in exchange for a product. The smartest online retailers know this already, which is why they often ask you to sign up for an account to make a purchase (because it makes it easier for them to build a profile to understand your preferences). Once a customer makes a purchase, the retailer can start to know more about their behaviors, what they’re buying, what other products they might be interested in, etc. Retailers can then capture and use this type of first-party data to build loyalty, future-proof their marketing strategy, and drive revenue without ever having to rely on intrusive tracking that plagues other industries. Related story: Grabbing the Holy...
“Apple unveils Tap to Pay on iPhone tool for merchants” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“Apple unveils Tap to Pay on iPhone tool for merchants” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Courtesy of Apple Dive Brief: As more companies and consumers adopt contactless payments, Apple announced Tuesday plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The feature will enable sellers to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets by tapping their iPhones, according to an announcement. Stripe will integrate the tool for businesses first, including Shopify’s Point of Sale app this Spring, and other payment platforms will adopt it later this year. The feature, which won’t require additional hardware, will work on iPhone XS or subsequent devices, and will accept contactless credit and debit cards from “leading payment networks,” including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa. The company will integrate the feature into Apple’s retail stores later this year, per the press release. The Tap to Pay on iPhone tool will encrypt transactions using Secure Element.  Dive Insight: Apple noted in its announcement that 90% of U.S. retailers currently accept Apple Pay, but the introduction of this new tool signals Apple’s deepening interest in payments. As Apple eyes payments to bring in additional revenue, the launch of more payment tools could be a blow to competitors like Block, formerly known as Square.  “As more and more consumers are tapping to pay with digital wallets and credit cards, Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide businesses with a secure, private, and easy way to accept contactless payments and unlock new checkout experiences using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, said in a statement. Apple is just the latest payment provider to offer tap-to-pay payments. About a year ago, Mastercard teamed...
“Gen Zers relied on buy now, pay later during the holidays. It’s time to pay up.” by Maria Monteros via Retail Dive

“Gen Zers relied on buy now, pay later during the holidays. It’s time to pay up.” by Maria Monteros via Retail Dive

ViewApart via Getty Images What may be a beneficial feature to retailers poses risks to young consumers who’ve increasingly flocked to installment services. The busiest days of the holiday shopping season may be over, but some young consumers have yet to pay their dues to the likes of Klarna and Afterpay. The wildly popular buy now, pay later services were the go-to payment option of about one in five holiday shoppers — 22% of which were Gen Zers, according to NerdWallet. Of the Gen Z respondents who’ve used BNPL, 43% said they missed at least one BNPL payment this past year compared to just 31% of millennials, an October report from Piplsay shows. BNPL lets consumers pay for big-ticket items in smaller amounts per month, typically interest-free, an attractive option for younger shoppers who may not have the cash to pay everything all at once, experts said. “Buy now, pay later makes the purchase seem smaller,” said Joel Rampoldt, a managing director at AlixPartners. “It enables you to get today what you couldn’t necessarily afford today.” It isn’t unusual for consumers to be filled with holiday fear rather than cheer due to end-of-year debt. In fact, almost 30% of consumers haven’t paid off their balance from the 2020 holiday season, NerdWallet’s survey indicates. Another survey from credit card brand Discover in November found that 44% of Gen Zers expected to spend more during the holiday compared to 33% of Millennials. For consumers, but especially for Gen Zers, BNPL has provided an alternative to credit cards’ high-interest rates during the busiest shopping season of the year, attracting the attention of retailers who have increasingly adopted this...
“Top 5 KPIs for Actionable Retail Decisions” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Top 5 KPIs for Actionable Retail Decisions” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurement of business performance and health. The best KPIs help you make decisions and take action towards achieving your goals. At a minimum, we recommend you review these Top 5 KPIs for Actionable Retail Decisions weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.  Gross Margin Dollars: Gross Margin = Sales – Costs Paid Always review total units and dollars sold. Go deeper by analyzing Gross Margin to understand sales profitability. Review sales and Gross Margin by brand, category, style, gender, or any segment of your business. Compare results to plan, last week, or last year to see program performing. If you’re beating plan, buy more. If you’re below plan, create a plan to move the inventory (e.g., promotions or return to vendor (RTV)). Average Transaction Value (ATV): ATV = total revenue / number of transactions ATV is the average amount your customer spends per transaction. Increasing ATV is accomplished by suggesting a better quality and usually higher priced item (upselling) or a complementary item (cross selling) to go with a purchase. To increase sales, you either need more customers or you need to increase how much each customer spends. Gross Margin Return on Investment (GMROI); GMROI = Gross Margin $ / Average Inventory Cost It’s important you know the return on your investment in inventory. GMROI tells you. If your GMROI is greater than $1, you are making money. How do you increase your GMROI? Increase the priceLower your cost of goodsIncrease inventory turnover Sell-Thru: Sell-Thru % = Units Sold / Units Received Sell-Thru rate measures how much of your inventory was sold during a...
“How to Create One Connected System for your Retail Store” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“How to Create One Connected System for your Retail Store” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

As businesses grow, the importance of system integration grows with it. Without it, you lose time and money. System integration is connecting software applications allowing them to talk to each other and act as one coordinated platform. Top retailers have found ways to connect their store to their stockroom, ecommerce, and available inventory from the brands they sell, creating one system of record that does it all. As you think of your retail business, how many different software or manual applications do you use?  Are they working together or working against you? Where are the opportunities to integrate your technology? Here are a few ideas on where to begin: ECommerce – Connect your ecommerce platform to your POS. With ecommerce sales driving growth for most small businesses, it’s imperative your POS and ecommerce platform communicate to one another in real time.Payments – Don’t let payment processing be a point of friction in your sales process. Establish an integrated payment processing feature to remove unnecessary fees, steps at check out, and save you time. Plus, customers get a simpler, better, and faster touchless checkout.Ordering – Eliminate pains when placing orders by finding a solution that integrates with your supplier’s system to automatically add, edit, delete, or share product information. A real-time connection will ensure you are accurately seeing product data and availability.Marketing – Use customer data to drive your marketing outreach by connecting your customer database to your marketing tools.  Create personalized email campaigns or manage your customer loyalty program knowing your customer data is accurate and always up to date. Establishing the right integrations allows you to build one...
“Why Inventory Management Matters” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Why Inventory Management Matters” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

It’s not easy to keep inventory in line. You analyze sales trends to make decisions. You review margins, sell-thru, and return on investment to evaluate profitability. You create buy plans, propose reorders and cancellations, and you suggest markdowns. All this just to keep your inventory in line. Inventory management is crucial to thesuccess of your business. Why? Because accurate purchase order planning is a necessary step towards optimal profit. Inventory influences sales.Sales drive business.Business creates profit.And profit measures success. Having the right product at the right place at the right time is the reason why sales occur, making it crucial to use all the information at your disposal to make inventory management decisions. When you’re not selling merchandise, you’re losing money. Period. The longer you hold on to merchandise that isn’t moving out the door, the more moneyyou are losing. In this article, we will share the 7 best practices on how best to manage your inventory, putting you in charge of you store’s success. When you’re not selling merchandise, you’re losing money. Period. Plan before you buyUse your data to plan out your assortment rather than reordering using the same quantities you always have for convenience’s sake. In the long run, profits beat convenience. Take the time to analyze which items are profitable and use past numbers as a guide to forecast future demand. Only after thoughtful data-driven planning should you start writing purchase orders. If you’re in the process of ordering merchandise for a particular season, use historical data as a benchmark for pricing decisions and sell-thru rates. Too often, merchants get stuck pricing seasonal or trend-driven...