“Introducing the newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner plus special BRA Member discount and link to register for ‘Reels Means Deals’ on-demand webinar” by Doug Works via BRA

“Introducing the newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner plus special BRA Member discount and link to register for ‘Reels Means Deals’ on-demand webinar” by Doug Works via BRA

A warm and enthusiastic WELCOME to our newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Crystal Media!    As a Board Retailers Association member, you save 15% on select Crystal Media Services! As always, we at BRA continue to bring you Supporting Vendor Partners that are here to save you time and money.  Crystal Media is one of them.  Take a look and decide for yourself whether this will work for you and your company,  Please give us feedback at doug@boardretailers.org  with your opinions.  For a decade, Crystal Media has been devoted to helping retailers—just like you—grow through social media. Their team has worked with thousands of companies in the retail industry to help them generate millions of dollars in additional revenue by deploying successful social media campaigns, providing consulting services, and managing digital marketing on their behalf. They’ve also taught thousands of retailers how to implement social media that delivers powerful results. What makes Crystal Media special is their unmatched expertise of retail and social media which allows them to produce what their clients care about most—results. Their passionate, approachable team of experts that, as a client, becomes an extension of your team—encouraging and supporting you no matter what your comfort level is with social media. They live their happy-to-help motto everyday, and are grateful to play a small role in helping independent businesses make a positive impact in their local communities. Check out these Crystal Media services to see what’s right for you and your business.Board Retailers Association members save 15%!  Use code BRA15 at checkout.➤ Insider: The social media membership every retailer needs. Get comprehensive, on-demand training, transformative virtual and in-person...
“Did the Pandemic Change Retailing Dramatically?” by Jan Rogers Kniffen via The Robin Report

“Did the Pandemic Change Retailing Dramatically?” by Jan Rogers Kniffen via The Robin Report

Any professional observer of retail trends and every shopper in the U.S. would tell you that retailing, and retailers changed dramatically during the pandemic. But many of those changes were already in the works before the pandemic even started. One of the interesting things that happened during the pandemic is that Amazon announced the closure of almost all their test stores that were in the works. On the surface, one might think that online retailing charged ahead so rapidly during the pandemic that Amazon decided to withdraw from stores altogether, concluding that the world had passed brick-and-mortar stores by. Well, there is no doubt that online selling charged ahead during the pandemic. It went from about 9 percent of retail sales to over 18 percent in that short (very long living through it) pandemic period. But Amazon’s move to close stores and try “something new,” which right now seems to be a 30,000 square-foot department store, seems to be driven by the poor consumer reception to the various test stores tried so far, not a belief that stores are not still important. 1/ The Physical Store Actually Became More Important My conclusion is that despite the explosion of online selling during the pandemic, stores became even more important as retailers realized that physical stores were going to be great support for online retailing going forward. They saw the billboarding effect of the store was real, using the store as a distribution center was necessary and using the store as a customer service center for online sales was a requirement. Despite Amazon arguably (some experts would say unarguably) being the very best online retailer in...
“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

Ensuring your website visitors have a positive experience is absolutely crucial for turning shoppers into buyers. But increasingly, the online customer journey is disrupted by pop-up ads, browser plug-ins and extensions designed to redirect shoppers away from your site. More than just distracting, “audience hijacking” can take a real bite out of sales, significantly impacting your bottom line. By some estimates, audience hijacking is costing retailers billions in revenue. Yet, because it’s occurring within the browser, retailers may not even be aware it’s occurring. A Common, Complex Problem How common is audience hijacking? One estimate suggests that between 10 percent and 20 percent of retailers’ shoppers are lured away by competitive offers — or, worse yet, by fraudulent offers. Audience hijacking can take several forms, most commonly injected ads or coupon codes. One concerning trend is the increase in affiliate fraud, where a third party “hijacks” credit for affiliate sales they didn’t make. In addition, there’s also the risk that your customers could be lured away to a phishing site designed to steal their credit card number or other personal financial data. And those attacks can go undetected for weeks or months. So why not simply block all third-party ads, extensions and scripts and eliminate the “threat surface”? The fact is not all third-party elements are problematic — and some may actually be beneficial. Customers are increasingly using third-party shopping apps and tools to find the products they want. You don’t want to miss out on those opportunities. In addition, allowing authorized affiliates to piggyback on your online presence may actually result in sales that you otherwise might not get. Therefore,...
“The Best Advice I Can Give Retailers Right Now” by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys

“The Best Advice I Can Give Retailers Right Now” by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys

It would be easy to start this article by talking about how we’ve all been through the craziest times in our lives.  But you already know that.  I could also talk about how challenging things can be now, with the extreme difficulties in the supply chain causing many to struggle to keep up with increasing demand.  On top of all that, we’re dealing with mask mandates and all kinds of political noise that affects retail.  But you know about that too, and you’re already navigating that. So let’s get down to something important.  In times like these, the winners are those that can become hyper-focused on the truly important things.  It’s very easy to get distracted by the problems that exist in our industry, to throw up your hands and just hope that things work out.  You could do that, but you’re also better than that. At this moment in time, my most successful clients are focused on 2 things, and 2 things only: Their customers and their inventory.  It could be argued that staying hyper-focused on those 2 things has always been the key to retail success, and that’s true.  That said, it’s especially true today, given everything I wrote in the first paragraph, the fundamentals of focus are more important today than ever before. But how do you do that?  The nature of our business is such that there seems to never be enough time to get everything done, and lots of small details seem to block our ability to focus on the things we want to focus on.  Push play to hear about how Dan Jablons...
“Malls and Shoppers Are Back In Droves” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

“Malls and Shoppers Are Back In Droves” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

Don’t look now, pundits, but those dire predictions of the collapse of malls are crumbling. I visited the Garden State Plaza in New Jersey Saturday around noon. It took me about ten minutes to find a parking place. Once inside, I found the mall packed with shoppers scurrying all throughout. Smiling, laughing, and most importantly, holding bags with their purchases. There was a line 30 people deep to get into Pandora. The Shake Shack was packed. There was no evidence of curbside or BOPIS like in previous months. The only way a time-traveler would know it wasn’t the Saturday before Christmas was the lack of decorations. That’s about it. I even made this LinkedIn live video I was so overwhelmed by the traffic. (Apologies for the wankiness of the video due to wifi.) That’s not to say retailers were dealing with it all equally. At Nordstrom: fully staffed, friendly help. A sincere desire to greet and meet like before. Several shirts and a new Canali jacket. Check. At Macy’s: though much better stocked than their location I visited in Albany a few weeks ago, there was a clear lack of help and desire to do so. Fitting rooms stacked with clothes, cardboard boxes of merchandise haphazardly left on the floor, and even shipping pallets (!). The employees stood behind their plexiglass giving the appearance of being forced to work in prison rather than being delighted they had work and people shopping with them. The only courtesy I saw was from the shoppers who were congenial and engaging each other. At Neiman Marcus: no one at all to be seen...
“The Best & Worst Times To Post On Social Media” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

“The Best & Worst Times To Post On Social Media” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

Social Media plays such a huge part in brand growth, but unless you use it properly, it will not help you gain any extra exposure. There are many different factors that go into creating successful social media accounts, and one of the biggest ones is posting at just the right time in order to get the most visibility.  Before you know the best and worst times to post on each social media platform, retailers need to provide attractive content if you want all of those eyeballs on your page. Two of the main points to keep in mind is that not all content needs to be shared everywhere, and not all content is suitable for every social media platform. While some sites encourage videos and fun pictures, for others, it is best to post facts or polls.  The Best Content for Facebook According to Buffer, videos and curated content will get the most attention on Facebook. From their own research, video posts generated the highest average reach among all post types. The average engagement on their video posts is almost on par with that of their photo posts, which have the highest average engagement. Buzzsumo analyzed 68 million Facebook posts and found a similar trend: videos have higher average engagement than images and links.  The Best Content for Instagram Shopify says that it is important to have a mix of engaging content that will appeal to Instagram users at different stages of their customer journey. For example:  Show off your products with high quality pictures and videos.Be sure to avoid making your pictures look like ads, and include rich, interesting captions, not just product names and a...