“Retail Moves From ‘The Great Acceleration’ To ‘The Great Rebalancing’.” by Steve Dennis via Forbes

“Retail Moves From ‘The Great Acceleration’ To ‘The Great Rebalancing’.” by Steve Dennis via Forbes

A Best Buy store, a retailer of consumer electronics, operating in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.GETTY During the early part of the pandemic, it became popular to say that we had experienced 10 years of e-commerce growth in only 10 weeks. While that was rather obviously not close to being true, the idea of a “great acceleration” in just about all things retail made its way into the popular vernacular. Moreover, many media outlets and retail pundits declared that some trends—most notably grocery home delivery—were permanent sea changes. As it turns out, not so much. While it’s clear that some important shifts did occur during the Covid crisis, it’s also quite apparent that right now we are experiencing much more of a “great rebalancing” and a rather clear return to more familiar shopping patterns. As revealed in the today’s US Census Bureau monthly sales data report, spending in the areas with the greatest activity spikes over the past two years are almost all decelerating significantly, and the most pronounced spending shifts of the recent past are seeing a reversion closer to the mean. For example, big ticket purchases and fitness equipment outlays that had been way up, are now seeing year over year declines. Apparel and restaurant spending, which had been hard hit during the depths of Covid, are both now registering solid gains. The rate of increase in eating out now greatly exceeds food purchases for the home, bringing us closer to the pre-Covid relative share of spending. As more data comes in, the supposed massive acceleration of online shopping is now turning out to be closer to one or...
“Instagram is Becoming the New Mall: 3 Ways to Start Conversational Commerce Marketing” by Beerud Sheth via Total Retail

“Instagram is Becoming the New Mall: 3 Ways to Start Conversational Commerce Marketing” by Beerud Sheth via Total Retail

Credit: about.fb.com Everyone knows Instagram as a social medium, but only a few realize it’s now becoming a conversational medium as well. Recently launched features now enable brands to conduct business with customers through private conversations. Businesses can now directly carry out commerce through Instagram. This is a powerful capability poised to transform e-commerce as we know it. There are over 1 billion Instagram users worldwide who actively follow businesses, and 90 percent of Instagram accounts follow at least one business. With a majority of users in the coveted 18-34 age group, Instagram is becoming one of the most important social engagement channels for businesses, along with WhatsApp. Today, businesses use Instagram to reach existing and future customers and partners as well as the general public with rich media content, including videos and sponsored ads. While Instagram has already become a huge asset to digital marketers, it now has additional capabilities that can drive overall business growth by fostering what’s core to achieving that growth — conversational commerce. Conversational commerce goes beyond collecting likes, shares and comments on product marketing posts and advertisements. It requires businesses to use Instagram to deliver personalized two-way conversations with followers across the consumer pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase journey. According to research from Meta, half of buyers said they engage in conversational commerce primarily through social media and messaging platforms, with 90 percent reporting they do so on Meta platforms (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram). Implementing Conversational Commerce Via Instagram to Fast-Track Business Growth Here are three ways to start your conversational commerce journey on Instagram and grow your business faster: Related story: There Can Be No Denying:...
“5 Ways To Ace A Quick Store Refresh Of Your Retail Merchandising” by Bob Phibbs via Retail Doctor Blog

“5 Ways To Ace A Quick Store Refresh Of Your Retail Merchandising” by Bob Phibbs via Retail Doctor Blog

When I lived in Los Angeles, I did business makeovers for the Los Angeles Times. Now that I speak and travel more, I only do business makeovers as a paid consultant.  Recently I was contacted by a spa and outdoor furniture retailer for help with a storewide refresh focusing on their Retail Merchandising. I’m sharing five tips any retailer can use to help refresh your store. Of course, if you’re looking for my personal help, you can contact me here. When I approached the store I was taken by how much Big Green charcoal was piled in the windows and throughout the store. There was no focal point so upon entering, your eyes would be drawn to the cabinet lights on the mezzanine. One of the traffic draws at the location is free water testing on the mezzanine. How to interrupt shoppers to see all we had? How to focus their attention down and not up? How to draw customers’ eyes to the other parts of the large store? And finally, how to help people clearly see their complete product offering? I can’t go into all we did but these are some clues to follow for your own store reset. You can see my live video of the start here and the conclusion 9 hours later here. These are not the ultimate final pictures as they were in the process of setting up a whole new outdoor kitchen area and we had a lot to clean up, but you’ll get the idea. How to Remerchandise Your Store Color leads the way. One of the things outdoor furniture stores have that most others don’t are umbrellas....
“Why Retailers Should Refocus on Customer-Centric KPIs” by Greg Chen via Total Retail

“Why Retailers Should Refocus on Customer-Centric KPIs” by Greg Chen via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Fang Xia Nuo The science of customer attraction these days goes beyond offering a helpful, useful and accurate product that fulfills a need; it’s also about ensuring the customer is satisfied throughout their journey with your brand. Being top-of-mind for customers has become more difficult, with around 53 percent of global consumers having higher customer service expectations than they did a year ago. But how do you know if you’re meeting these customer expectations? The way to track this and to a successful digital transformation for startups is through data analysis. And yet, for all the different marketing channels and profit-centered metrics, many businesses fail to put customer loyalty and satisfaction at the heart of their data efforts. Without them, teams would blindly follow numbers instead of encouraging critical thinking and the implementation of value-based, customer-centric metrics. With so many different marketing channels and profit-centered metrics to keep track of, retailers often overlook crucial key performance indicators (KPIs) that focus on the relationship between a customer and the brand and how this ties into building solid customer loyalty and a customer-focused product. Building a data-driven organization around customer-centric KPIs helps startups guarantee sustainable strategies to keep them competitive and lead in their respective industries. Small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) especially must seize this opportunity and reap the benefits of a startup or SMB culture willing to act fast on meaningful data. Crucial customer KPIs are paramount to help measure and effectively monitor retail processes and performance. But what exactly are these KPIs that retailers must be aware of, and what do they mean for their business? Let’s take a look....
“Is an urban retail recovery underway?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Is an urban retail recovery underway?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“It’s slow progress, but retailers’ interest in urban corridors is returning and deal volume is inching up, while shoppers, workers, travelers and diners return to city life,” according to a new report from real estate services firm JLL. Are they right? The report finds more workers heading into the office, although well below pre-pandemic rates. Since March, the average occupancy rate for security firm Kastle Systems’ 10-city average has hovered at around 43 percent of their pre-pandemic occupancy level, up from 17.5 percent at the start of the year. Recent analysis by The Wall Street Journal found cities with longer commutes have taken the biggest economic hit, while urban areas where people live closer to work have a higher return-to-office rate. Tourism has revived with Times Square and San Francisco’s Union Square seeing the biggest gains in foot traffic from last year. According to JLL analysis of Placer.ai data, foot traffic from domestic tourists is up 14 percent in New York City from 2019. San Francisco is still below 2019 levels, but foot traffic to Union Square has doubled over the past year and retail leasing interest is starting to return. Foot traffic to Chicago’s prime urban corridors is within 10 percent of 2019 levels. Miami’s hotel lodging rates are well above 2019 levels despite restrictions on international travel. The U.S. still requires pre-departure COVID-19 testing for international passengers. Meanwhile, dining is poised for a “full recovery” to support city visits as concerns ease about eating out, according to JLL. According to a Morning Consult survey, Americans’ comfort with dining out sits at 75 percent as of the end of May, 14 points higher than it was at the start of...
“Boost Sales With Gifts & Impulse Buys” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

“Boost Sales With Gifts & Impulse Buys” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

With the prime tourist season upon us, this is the perfect opportunity for indie retailers nationwide to capitalize on gifts and impulse buys. Whether shoppers are looking for something to bring home to their family and friends, or you need small influential products that can easily be placed next to registers to increase a sale, Independent Retailer has you covered. Global Gift Industry Statistics In the face of ever-changing consumer habits, the gift industry is constantly evolving. The global gift market’s worth is currently estimated at $62 billion, according to SaveMyCent, and 38 percent of consumers look at physical store displays for gift inspiration. Jewelry is a popular gift option, seeing as 58 percent of women prefer to receive jewelry as a present. This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to take advantage of and ensure sales in a difficult economy. Impulse Buys Are Changing Smaller gifts that can be placed by the register make for perfect impulse purchases. After taking a hit early in the pandemic, sales of impulse buys are beginning to rebound, but they are looking a little different now than before the outbreak. Elizabeth Crawford details in an article some different impulse products that consumers are on the lookout for, such as multi- and variety packs of snacks. Physical storefronts are not the only places that shoppers are making influential purchases. With the pandemic-driven rise in online sales, making impulse buys has also seen an increase. According to Statista, almost six-in-ten women surveyed in select countries worldwide said they mainly bought clothes or shoes online by impulse. Less than 40 percent of male respondents reported impulse online shopping in this category....