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When it comes to purchasing decisions, millennials know exactly what they want.
By Kevin Cundiff, VP of Retail for Fortegra

Millennials: they truly are the in-the-know generation. They do their research to educate themselves on their potential purchases — and by the time they actually get to making that purchase, they know exactly what they want.

And, many times, they’re making those purchases online instead of heading to a brick-and-mortar location to chat it out with the sales associate. Even if they’re not purchasing online, they’re doing research online beforehand. According to CMO.com, 72 percent of millennials research their options online before going to a store to make a purchase.

So, when a salesperson encounters a millennial who has done their digging beforehand, what should they do? Here are a few ideas:

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By Guy Amisano, Salient Management Company

Another holiday season is upon us and with it the constant battle small retailers face to earn their piece of holiday shopping sales. This means not only competing with big store brands, but also e-commerce sites, which are making it easier than ever for shoppers to complete their holiday shopping lists without ever leaving the couch. So, how do smaller retailers ensure they have enough customers in-store this December and capitalize on developing relationships with new customers for 2017 and beyond? The answer lies inside the vast pool of data being collected by their customer loyalty programs. 

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By John Findlay, Launchfire

The holidays are a busy time for marketers, consumers and our inboxes. There’s a lot of noise to cut through and it’s hard to get your marketing campaign to stand out. Sometimes we get so caught up in increasing our bottom line that we forget the best way to do that is to provide the customer value.

And we’re not talking discounts.

People have a lot going on during the holidays. If you can make it convenient and enjoyable to shop, you’re going to have their appreciation and their business.

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DirectBuy takes a look at the state of retail, etail and m-commerce and where the industry might be headed and what could drive it forward.

By Mike Bornhorst, CEO of DirectBuy

Based on eMarketer’s latest forecast, total retail sales in North America reached $5.254 trillion in 2015, including $4.785 trillion in sales in the United States alone. The same report predicts that U.S. retail sales will approach $5 trillion in value this year.

So, where is the industry headed and what should retailers be focused on in the coming years? There is no shortage of data points out there pointing to the state of retail today, but rounded up below are what stand out as the most meaningful insights that will continue to drive the industry forward.

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By Omri Dotan

According to the 2016 Verizon Breach Report, attackers are getting faster in their hacks and, unfortunately, victims are still slow to detect they’ve been hit. What does this mean for retailers, especially with Cyber Monday? With uptime and website performance crucial to a successful e-commerce event (remember the outcry after Amazon had Prime Day website issues?), it’s important retailers and e-commerce sites alike have their security strategy set for any day-of attacks.

With annual online events like Cyber Monday specifically, website functionality and performance is a top concern for most retailers. A one-second page delay could potentially cost an average e-commerce site $2.5 million in lost sales every year. And with Adobe reporting $3.07 billion was spent online on Cyber Monday alone in 2015 (a 16 percent increase over the previous year), this e-holiday is one you can’t leave vulnerable to attackers.

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