“Conversational Marketing is Key for Retailers in 2021” by Matt Ramerman via Total Retail

“Conversational Marketing is Key for Retailers in 2021” by Matt Ramerman via Total Retail

It has never been clearer that mobile channels are where customers are. In 2020, consumers spent an average of 4.2 hours per day on their phones. At the same time, conversion rates for e-commerce hit a record, reaching 3.5 percent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this past year. While that is way up from 2019, the obvious truth is the majority of marketing text messages, as is the case with all direct marketing, aren’t resulting in a transaction. In my view, this presents marketers with a quick win opportunity by shifting the way you engage with customers. Retail as we know it has changed dramatically over the last decade thanks to technological advances and the demands of savvy customers. However, despite the evolution of their preferences when it comes to how they access products, services and information, brands are still relying on one-way, high-frequency “spray and pray” campaigns to drive conversions. Quality is stronger than quantity when building formidable customer relationships. Take that 3.5 percent conversion rate, for example. Maybe the product and/or timing of the offer were spot on, but some of the 96.5 percent of consumers who didn’t click buy just needed some more information to feel confident in making a purchase. Maybe they wanted to see similar products at other price points? Regardless, one-way, linear mobile marketing can’t accommodate this. Enter conversational marketing. Related story: SMS Marketing Tips for Retailers in the New Digital World Conversational Marketing Enters the Chat Conversational marketing is the notion of activating two-way channels (e.g., SMS, or messaging apps such as Instagram or Facebook Messenger) to support marketing campaigns and programs so consumers can respond...
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...
“Vaccinations Do Not Mark the End of Americans’ COVID Shopping Behaviors: What Retailers Need to Know” by David Fisch via Total Retail

“Vaccinations Do Not Mark the End of Americans’ COVID Shopping Behaviors: What Retailers Need to Know” by David Fisch via Total Retail

We’ve entered the next stage of combating COVID-19 as vaccinations roll out across the country. While this may be the next step towards getting the pandemic under control, consumers remain wary. In fact, vaccine or not, most Americans said they would hardly change their current shopping behaviors — an important finding for retailers currently planning their long-term strategies. As part of our ongoing efforts to support brand and retail partners with regular insights throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Shopkick recently surveyed more than 21,000 consumers to learn more about their sentiments toward the vaccine and how it will impact their shopping habits. What we learned is eye-opening. Many Consumers Don’t Plan to Get Vaccinated Part of the hesitancy to revert completely to pre-COVID shopping behaviors comes from the knowledge that many people will choose not to get vaccinated. While some of the folks surveyed had already received at least one dosage of the vaccine (8 percent) or were planning to receive it (48 percent), nearly half (44 percent) said they didn’t plan to get vaccinated at all. Retailers must also recognize how these views differ amongst demographics in order to successfully reach and engage with their target consumers. When broken down by generation, millennials made up the largest segment of those not confident in the vaccine (35 percent) and not planning to get vaccinated (51 percent). Meanwhile, the youngest and oldest generations proved the most confident in the vaccine, with 71 percent of Gen Zers and 75 percent of boomers saying they felt some level of confidence. Related story: How 2020 Shaped Consumer Behavior: Key Insights for 2021 Don’t Dismiss Online and Omnichannel — Consumers...
BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently updated State Regulations for In-Store Shopping on March 30, 2021

BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently updated State Regulations for In-Store Shopping on March 30, 2021

Welcome to the BRA COVID-19 Resource Guide. Below you will find resources for the benefit of all board specialty retailers (BRA Retail Members and non-members alike) during this challenging period. The Board Retailers Association is actively aggregating resources to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters. We update this page with additional resources regularly. If you are interested in contributing relevant information or helpful resources that will benefit other board specialty retailers, please email our Executive Director at doug@boardretailers.org Relevant and trustworthy online resources providing facts related to transmission of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) and strategies to battle the spread #spreadthestokenotthevirus Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Official Website Flatten The Curve – Everything you and your customers need to know to battle COVID-19 is on this website World Health Organization – Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak This epic and relevant drawing was created by Reddit User Darth Voter Relevant educational webinars (on-demand) > Crystal Media – 3 Tips To Get Started With Social Selling Today and Staying Top-of-Mind and Connected to Customers During a Pandemic > Management One – 1) “The Retailer’s Guide to the Economic Stimulus Package & Financial Options to Address COVID-19” – The CARES Act is a complex mix of government aid and bank loans each with their own timelines and requirements. The parameters and regulations for these loans is changing hourly! 2) With rent being one of the highest monthly expenses for brick and mortar retail businesses, it’s a good idea to approach the subject of temporarily altering the structure of your agreement – The Art of Landlord Negotiation to Ease the Highest...
“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...
“Strategically Grow Your Private Label With Science-Based Pricing And Promotions” by Cheryl Sullivan via Independent Retailer

“Strategically Grow Your Private Label With Science-Based Pricing And Promotions” by Cheryl Sullivan via Independent Retailer

Independent retailers have struggled against proliferating online and brick-and-mortar competition for years. The pandemic only heightened the unpredictability of the fast-changing customer, competitor and shopper behaviors, as well as supply chain disruptions. The Imperative for Science-Driven Pricing and Promotions Fortunately, indie retailers continue to adopt science-based lifecycle pricing (which includes prices, promotions and markdowns) to sort through the overwhelming data and separate the signal from the noise and hone in on accurate demand signals. These systems, which have manageable up-front costs with their cloud-based hosting model, make price and promotion recommendations to enhance margins and profits while aligning to category roles, strategies and financial objectives. A high-return area of focus is private-label items. Traditionally, shoppers had definite national brand preferences and were skeptical about private labels delivering equivalent quality. The pandemic has caused a change of heart, as newly price-sensitive shoppers turned to private-label items with a more open mind. A global shopper study conducted earlier in 2020 showed that a surprising 43 percent of shoppers are very likely to purchase private labels over a national brand during the pandemic, and 44 percent plan to remain loyal to private labels in the future, and post-COVID.  A similar and more recent shopper study, which also polled shoppers in the U.S., Brazil, France, Germany, and the UK, uncovered even more dramatic results that underscore how radically shopper perceptions of private labels have evolved: 80 percent of shoppers see private labels as being of similar or higher quality than national brands. The March 2021 survey found that 17 percent of shoppers think private labels are much higher quality than national brands, while...