“Retailers Turning to Gift Cards as Promotional Tools” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

“Retailers Turning to Gift Cards as Promotional Tools” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

Gift cards, both physical and digital, have often been viewed (mistakenly) by retailers as strictly a transactional product — in most cases to be rolled out during the Q4 holiday shopping season. However, gift cards hold a lot more value to a retail organization than simply as a product that’s purchased in-store or on an e-commerce site. For example, they can be used as a tool to incentivize consumers to take other preferred actions, such as signing up for an email and/or loyalty program, downloading an app, submitting a customer review, among other actions. As part of the 2019 Merchant Gift Card E-Commerce Evaluation, a comprehensive report produced by Blackhawk Network, a company that delivers branded payment solutions through the prepaid products, technologies and network that connect brands and people, in partnership with NAPCO Research (NAPCO Research and Total Retail both are brands of parent company NAPCO Media), a cross-platform evaluation was done to assess 150 leading brands across 108 unique criteria. How merchants are leveraging gift cards as a promotional tool was just one of those 108 unique criteria. Related story: Report: Merchants’ Investments in Digital Gift Card Programs Paying Off In the 2019 assessment, 40 percent of the 150 merchants evaluated were credited with points for the use of gift cards as a promotional tool. However, when looking more closely at the data, for the 95 brands that were analyzed in both 2018 and 2019 (the sample size increased from 100 in 2018 to 150 in 2019), 43 percent received points for their use of gift cards as a promotional tool. So while brands are beginning to use gift cards...
“V-shaped June recovery for US skate and surf but concerns remain” via Action Watch

“V-shaped June recovery for US skate and surf but concerns remain” via Action Watch

June 2020 US core skate and surf sales grew +15% When we first saw the preliminary June 2020 sales data for the ActionWatch US retailer panel, we had a hard time believing the results. The first set of data indicated that year-over-year sales grew by 20% or more. By the time we received all the data, the store sales for all categories increased by +15% when compared to last June. This resulted in an almost perfect V-shaped recovery after a disastrous March, an even worse April, and a promising May. Source:  Same-Store ActionWatch Panel 2019 to YTD June 2020 On the surface, this V-shaped recovery is encouraging, not just for the short-term recovery of the core surf and skate channel, but for the long-term health of the industry. While the Covid-19 pandemic forced store closures in March, April, and May, it also had a positive impact. As schools and team sports activities were shut down, kids and adults were looking for alternative ways to engage in sports while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Skateboarding not only fits this description, but is inexpensive and can be done just about anywhere. While water sports tend to require a larger investment in equipment and access to beaches, lakes, rivers, and boats, they are easy to participate in while practicing social distancing. Source: (C) 2020 Physical Activity Council (PAC Study). The PAC study is the most comprehensive study of sports participation in the USA, conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys USA – contact info@sportsmarketingsurveysusa.com. Once core stores were able to reopen, malls were still closed, and consumers received stimulus checks it represented a perfect...
“Office Depot Preferential Member Pricing Program now available for all BRA Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members”

“Office Depot Preferential Member Pricing Program now available for all BRA Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members”

The Mission of Board Retailers Association is to consolidate the voices, the experiences and the visions of Board Specialty Retailers into a cohesive organization. We do this by identifying ways to lower day to day expenses, to increase profit margins and to create more remarkable customer experiences for our Retail Members. As a BRA Retail Member, you will have a voice, you will benefit from BRA relationships and you will have access to a number of BRA programs and resources including the new Office Depot Exclusive Preferential BRA Member Pricing Program. The image below elaborates on this outstanding Member Benefit, which is available to both Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members. If you are interested in improving your business, click on the following link to learn about both BRA Retail Membership options: https://www.boardretailers.org/retail-membership/ Soon after you complete the following super simple join form, we will email you the link to gain access to this rad program and begin saving on over 20,000 Office Depot Products and Services: https://www.boardretailers.org/join-bra/ #boardretailersassociation...
“Surf Expo Moves to Virtual Show for September” via Shop Eat Surf and Surf Expo.com

“Surf Expo Moves to Virtual Show for September” via Shop Eat Surf and Surf Expo.com

Please click on the following link to view this informative Shop Eat Surf announcement and interview with Roy Turner (SVP of Emerald, Surf Expo Show Director and co-founder of BRA):  Surf Expo Moves to Virtual Show for September Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf The following appears on https://www.surfexpo.com/ Since 1976, Surf Expo has united the watersports and beach lifestyle community twice each year to provide an unmatched marketplace and opportunity to share our passion for the industries we serve. Driven by our responsibility to serve your best interests, we regret to announce that we are cancelling this year’s Surf Expo, which was scheduled to take place September 10-12, 2020, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Recent developments have made it impossible to bring our community together safely and successfully. This is due to the ongoing progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest government data, measures, and guidelines on the phased reopening plans in the U.S.; current restrictions on congregating and large gatherings imposed by states and other government and public health authorities; the inability of Surf Expo’s international community to travel to the show due to travel restrictions and bans; and the various company-imposed travel restrictions on employees affecting attendees and participating companies. The health and safety of our customers, partners, and employees remains of paramount concern to us. Though we are so disappointed we won’t see you all in person this summer, our team remains committed to offering new ways to keep the industry connected. We...
“U.S. Postal Service Announces its First Loyalty Program” by Kristina Stidham via Total Retail

“U.S. Postal Service Announces its First Loyalty Program” by Kristina Stidham via Total Retail

The U.S. Postal Service announced a loyalty program designed to help smaller businesses, according to a press release obtained by Total Retail. Registered business users of USPS Click-N-Ship will earn credits by purchasing postal products they’re already using for their shipping needs. Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express postage purchased online through Click-N-Ship will generate credits that can then be applied to future purchases of these products. Click-N-Ship business account users will earn $40 credits for every $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express labels. The program will launch nationally on Aug. 1. Existing business accounts will be auto-enrolled in the program. New Click-N-Ship business account users will earn a one-time $40 Welcome Bonus for the first $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express postage. In addition, the Postal Service is offering a one-time $20 Introductory Bonus for any registered Click-N-Ship business user for $500 spent in August and September this year. Loyalty tiers recognize and reward existing Click-N-Ship users for their ongoing business throughout the year. They provide increasing levels of benefits that users can access as they grow their business and shipping volumes. All participants will be enrolled in the Base Loyalty Tier when the program begins Aug. 1. Assignment to the tiers begins Jan. 1, 2021, and will continue annually thereafter. Total Retail’s Take: The USPS Loyalty Program is geared towards business customers rather than consumers, making the program attractive to retailers shipping hundreds, if not thousands, of packages to customers each day. Earning credits to reduce cost on future shipments could potentially save retailers thousands per year. This loyalty program could have major impact on commercial mailers, and...
“How Digital Signage Can Improve The In-Store Experience” by Bobby Marhamat via Independent Retailer

“How Digital Signage Can Improve The In-Store Experience” by Bobby Marhamat via Independent Retailer

Prices matter, but for the consumers of today, numbers are less important than the experiences that surround them. In the new age of commerce, both online and in stores, shoppers usually have several options for where to buy. Using their smartphones, they can stand in front of products in stores and find the best price online within a few seconds. In some cases, they can even limit their searches to local options. This evolution of price and product access means retailers cannot compete solely on price to keep customers coming through the door. Better in-store experiences attract customers to retail locations in situations when they might have otherwise shopped online. Retailers don’t have to host carnivals and concerts to offer great experiences, though. In most cases, factors like cleanliness, organization, and staff helpfulness make a bigger difference than additional entertainment. The experience isn’t about adding bells and whistles to the shopping but about making the shopping easier and more meaningful. Advantages of Digital Signage Today In pursuit of this ideal retail experience, digital signage empowers brick-and-mortar stores to offer the kinds of conveniences that today’s customers prioritize. Let’s explore a few of the ways that digital signage can appeal to shoppers in 2020: 1. Adding an Interactive Element Static signs are just that — static. They don’t respond to customer presences, and they certainly can’t personalize their content to match the tastes of the people in front of them. Their messages stay the same no matter what. Digital signage, however, offers something much more interesting. With digital alternatives, retailers can boost shoppers’ brand engagement by using video or personalized...