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Loyalty marketing was born in retail, a concept that started with S&H Green Stamps back in the 1930s and has been around so long that by now much of the practice is steeped in myth. Retailers often tend to side with historic “best practices” even when research points in the other direction. Using data to demystify the reality of loyalty, however, can give retailers a clearer picture about the true value of loyalty programs instead of the historical fiction that may be clouding their minds.

When it comes to consumer behaviors and preferences, there are numerous retailing myths that don’t hold up to current research. Here are five:

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It’s three days before Christmas and you just thought of the perfect gift to buy your friend.  You need to find this item - it’s just too right.  Do you rush off to your local store in the hopes they’ll have it? Not this year.

A recent study by YouGov, sponsored by GT Nexus, found that only 39% of US shoppers trust physical stores to have their desired last-minute gift items in stock this holiday season, leaving 61% of the consumer trust pie to online retail instead.  The findings are eye-opening since consumers historically have gone in-store for their last minute holiday purchases.  But this change is just the latest in a long line that has shaken up the retail industry.

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Consumers often dream of travel rewards, and high-dollar business travelers are the superstars of any rewards program. But what about the small earn-and-burn opportunities of everyday spend? Can loyalty programs at high frequency retailers capture the hearts of consumers and motivate them to truly change their behaviors? A recent study shows that yes, consumers do respond favorably to programs at high-frequency retailers like supermarkets and grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing retailers, convenience stores and gas stations, and are actually more engaged and motivated to spend than the high rollers.

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If you’re like most retailers, you worry about making a mistake when choosing a Point of Sale (POS) solution. It’s understandable –POS software is a huge investment and the decision has a huge impact on the ultimate efficiency and success of your business.

What’s worse, there are now thousands of POS options to choose from, and they’re all different. It’s overwhelming and confusing, and many retailers end up with the wrong system if they don’t take the time to understand what’s truly most important for their business. In fact, it’s common for retailers to go through two or three different POS systems before they find one they’re happy with and finally improves their bottom line.

So how do you know which POS solution is best suited for your business? The following are some of the most common mistakes retailers make when updating POS technology, and will help make sure that you choose the right system, the first time around.

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In today’s highly connected world, privacy is becoming a more precious and rare commodity. Between social media and mobile connectivity, the lines between the personal and public spheres are blurring, and now people are reachable and information is accessible virtually anywhere at any time. As a result, there is mounting concern about data exposure and accessibility, particularly in the realm of retail. Consumers are worried about merchants’ efforts to extract and store data about their customers, and the increase in retail data breaches has not positively impacted their sense of security.

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Here are some tips for success this holiday season from Shmuli Goldberg, director of marketing for Feedvisor.

1.     Feedback makes all the difference

Seller rating on Amazon is calculated by points. If an order is fulfilled without any problems, it receives points, and if a problem arises, points are taken off. The amount of points either granted or deducted depends on the size of the problem.

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How Online Retailers Can Shine this Holiday Season

It’s no secret that the holiday season is the busiest and most profitable time of year for the retail industry. As the holidays approach, the press is awash in stories about the strategies retailers are practicing to drive traffic into their brick-and-mortar stores. But what does the season hold for online retailers?

Online holiday sales have steadily increased in recent years and are expected to continue to do so. In fact, the National Retail Federation’s digital division, Shop.org, has predicted an 8 to 11 percent increase in e-commerce sales this November and December over last year. Just as brick-and-mortar retailers are preparing for the holidays with door-buster promotions and hiring temps to cover extra floor shifts, online retailers can also shine this holiday season by following a three-step strategy for providing offers that are sure to resonate with consumers.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog

When you’re not Amazon, the holidays are terrifying.

For consumers, the act of gift-buying flings you into a state of panicked, obsessive-compulsion where the 24-hour, several-day madness of searching for the lowest prices pits you against the furious elbows of other adrenaline-filled, piranha-like shoppers.

And if you’re a retailer, prepare to get eaten alive.  From “pre-pre-pre-holiday” sales, to door-buster deals, to matching prices so low they make no sense—you’ll throw all hands on deck to get trampled by the holiday stampede, solely in the effort to attract more foot traffic.  And after the dust settles, there’s still no guarantee you’ll come out ahead.

Unless you’re Amazon.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog

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