SENTELLRetailers have long struggled with increasing their customer base. Here are two key tips to solve this problem. 

 

Retailers, we know you are always asking this question. You have run countless sales promotions, marketing campaigns and other incentivizing activities, in the hopes of answering this question once and for all. Unfortunately, you’ve failed to find a simple solution up until this point.

At SailPlay, we have worked with hundreds of retailers across the world and through industry research; we have uncovered two key solutions that can help boost any retail customer base.

We’ve seen that many retailers are already running a customer loyalty program, which is great. However, their focus seems to be only on rewarding their current customers that have made purchases. While that is an essential component to a valuable customer loyalty program, it’s not incorporating the potential lifetime value of their loyal customers. These customers are likely to refer their friends and family to a business, plus they are more likely to share their positive experience over social media.

First Solution - Customer Referrals

Adding customer referral quests to your loyalty program is an important aspect many retailers fail to include in their campaigns. Most retailers we initially speak with assume that if a customer has a positive experience with their business, then they will most likely refer their friends and family. But, things are (unfortunately) not as simple as that. According to a study by Texas Tech University, 83 percent of consumers are actually willing to refer someone after a positive experience, but only 29 percent actually do.

What you can do to increase customer referrals is to offer a reward. According to Software Advice, offering a reward increases the likelihood of a referral by over 50 percent. By offering a reward, customers are more incentivized to spend their time referring their friends and family.

In addition to having your current customers refer their friends and family, referred customers are a great way to further grow your customer base. Referred customers are four times more likely to refer their friends and family, according to Annex Cloud. So, the benefits of customer referrals continue to be a fruitful long after the initial customer comes onboard.

Second Solution - Social Media Actions

Posting on social media is all the rage in today’s world, especially for Millennials. Most people nowadays are sharing everything on social media, whether it’s a birthday party they attended, what they just ate for lunch or what clothing they just bought. According to the Annex Cloud, 55 percent of consumers share their purchases socially on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites.

Retailers should capitalize on this trend, encouraging their customers to post about their business on social media and in return their customers will receive points, rewards or some sort of discount. Just like with referrals, a reward will incentivize customers to promote your business on social media.

And through social media, retailers can expect to reach thousands of new customers they could never get to so quickly before. Social media alone drove 31 percent of overall website traffic, according to Shareaholic. Now imagine if customers are incentivized to share about your business on social media. How many more customers would visit your business or website?

Plus, social media helps consumers make purchase decisions. Eighty-one percent of U.S. online consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. You can see for yourself, social media promotions work. It’s time for you to start increasing your customer base.

These two easy-to-implement solutions will help your business continuously grow your customer base. With customer referral quests and social media actions running around the clock, you can now focus on more targeted and personalized campaigns, helping increase the lifetime value of each of your customers.

Arnab Mitra is a marketing strategist, experienced in working across various industries. Currently, he resides as the Marketing Manager at SailPlay, a customer loyalty platform. He can be reached at a.mitra@sailplay.com.

SGK econtent ipadYour brand can and should look as flawless on the digital shelf as it does on the physical shelf. By Bruce Miller

To gain brand share of a rapidly expanding e-commerce market, marketers need to provide customers with an experience online that’s as true as possible to the product they choose at the physical store shelf. It’s time to regain control of the way your brand is depicted on the digital shelf.

Your brand can and should look as flawless on the digital shelf as it does on the physical shelf. Are you ready to take control of your e-content supply chain? These are the top seven questions you need to be able to answer.

Does my organization have a unified supply chain strategy for managing the representation of our brands on digital shelves?

Brand managers have a clearly defined supply chain process to ensure the package on the shelf is right and ready on time. Without a similarly unified strategy for packaging e-content development, it’s difficult to control a brand’s timely and accurate representation across retail and product review websites.

Does my packaging look consistent across multiple online retailers?

Check your brand’s e-commerce images across online retailers and product review sites. If you’re seeing a mix of 2D and 3D images, different angles, different lighting and color, missing information, outdated images or any inconsistency at all, consider it an opportunity to improve the impression your brand makes on the digital shelf. You’ve earned your consumers’ trust. Continue to encourage them to buy with confidence.

Can I achieve a stronger brand presence and reduce costs at the same time?

By using final, approved artwork for both your printed and virtual package, you eliminate the need for photography thereby lowering supply chain cost. At the same time, you gain control of the presentation of your brand and consistency between packaging on the digital shelf and the physical shelf. It’s the easy way to administer e-content management.

How can the inaccurate representation of my brand online put my market share at risk?

You’ll lack the control to execute design changes simultaneously offline and online. Your current customers will expect to see the same package they buy on the physical shelf, on the digital shelf. If they don’t, they may question its authenticity or freshness. New customers who’ve never purchased your product on the physical shelf will expect to receive the package that they ordered online. Any difference between the two can create a brand disconnect. In either situation, you risk eroding consumer trust in the brand – the very trust that you’ve built over time at great expense. You could lose customers to a competitor who’s getting it right.

How does the inaccurate representation of my brand online put my business at regulatory risk?

EU Regulation 1169 requires clearer and more prominent display of allergen and other information on packaging and specifies that compliance include the digital shelf. Forthcoming FDA regulations will require changes to the Nutrition Facts label to emphasize calories, provide realistic serving sizes and align with the latest nutrition science. The FDA has not yet addressed images of packages online, but they may, and if they do, will you be compliant? And are you willing to risk that you won’t be?

How can I ensure that images of our packaging online adhere to brand standards?

If you haven’t already, you should consider specifying explicit standards for packaging on the digital shelf in your overall brand guidelines. A digital e-content solution that uses approved artwork final files and enforces GS1 standards for 3D images can go a long way to simplify compliance with your own standards for packaging images online.

How can I take control?

Commit to complete, correct and up-to-date packaging wherever your brand appears – on the digital shelf as well as on the physical shelf.

If brands are truly successful in creating a singular brand experience, the online experience must mirror the offline experience. ‘Getting to market’ on time is critical of course, but the best deployment processes will deliver far beyond that. They will protect a brand’s equities and the way it’s presented in all marketing mediums around the world.

As Vice President of Product Development for SGK, Bruce Miller leads the practical application of new technologies to the brand deployment requirements of SGK’s clients. 

Sony Pictures is gearing up for Ghostbusters 35th anniversary in 2019 with a new slate of licensed merchandise. Whether you're an old or new fan, Sony's offering a product for everyone. “We have refreshed the style guide, have a new classic toy partner and are doing a number of co-branded partnerships,” says Sony's Executive Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Products and Licensing Jamie Stevens. Read more about Sony Consumer Products' licensing plans here.

 

GB Firehouse 1

Playmobil Ghostbusters

Playmobil brings the world of Ghostbusters to life in one of the first licensed deals for the toy company. The range includes Ghostbusters Firehouse, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Ghostbusters Ecto-1, Slimer with Hot Dog Stand, Venkman & Terror Dogs, and Spengler & Ghost. “We’re ready to believe you!” with endless hours of ghostbusting fun!

 

Ripple Junction 1

Ghostly Good Adult Apparel

This cool Ripple Junction tee is based on vintage Ghostbusters Japanese poster art and definitely stands out among the crowd. Freeze also has ghostly good sweatshirts. 

 

TMNT GB 1 Cover1 1

IDW Publishing

This November, the TMNT and the Ghostbusters reunite for an inter-dimensional comic book adventure for a five-week cross-over series from IDW Publishing. Available wherever comics are sold. 

 

Hybrid Onesie 1For the Youngest Ghostbusters In The House

Mad Engine created toddler tees with a new interpretation of the iconic logo. These adorable onesies from Hybrid with the classic no Ghost logo keeps the business of busting ghosts relevant for even the youngest members of the family. 

 

PlaymatesNinja Ghostbusters by Playmates

The Turtles gear up for Ghostbustin’ action suited up as the iconic Ghostbusters to help rid New York of spooky spirits. 

See more New & Notable products here. 

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and WWE teamed up two years ago to reposition Tapout, a lifestyle brand that was formerly associated with UFC and mixed martial arts fighting, as a fitness and training brand. The duo has expanded their brand growth initiatives to two key areas: the first being the continued focus on Tapout Active, and second is the reintroduction of Tapout Lifestyle. Check out some of Tapout's wonderful apparel below and read more about the lifestyle brand here

 

canva photo editorSalute Shirt

Hit the gym and go all out in this Tapout Salute Graphic T! Its lightweight performance fabric feels ultra-soft and wicks sweat away to keep you comfortable while you train; the front is decked out with a military-inspired graphic.

 

Miz ImagePower Button Muscle Shirt

Push harder, go faster, and do better in this Tapout Power Muscle Tank! Its sleek fabric wicks distract sweat away, so you stay dry and ready to power through your most intense set yet. A textured logo on the front adds eye-catching appeal.

 

Naomi ImageMedium Support Sports Bra & Shorts

Women’s Tapout Starlet Bra and Shorts are the ideal base layer for high intensity workouts and competition. Its body hugging fit and moisture wicking technology provide comfort and performance without interference. Oblong mesh inserts deliver added ventilation, while stretchy fabrication ensures a perfect fit.

 

Cena Boy ImageYouth Wrecking Crew T-shirt

Lightweight and breathable, the Tapout Wrecking Crew T-shirt is the perfect layer for practice and play. It is made from a soft, moisture wicking fabric in a classic fit. Also available in our Tapout men’s collection.

 

canva photo editor 1Tempo Short Sleeve Hoodie

You’ll be 100% focused on your reps, HIIT and cardio in this Tapout Tempo Short Sleeve Hoodie! It’s designed with performance French terry fabric, a reflective logo and versatile short sleeves that won’t impede movement while you train. 

 

Tapout Collection ShotMen’s Body Sprays

Step up your game with NEW Tapout Men’s Body Sprays. Perfect for getting you ready for the day, after a workout, or when you need to smell your best. These six high-performance body sprays work as hard as you do and their distinct scents ranging from refreshing and clean to spicy and musk will have you ready for any challenge. Available nationwide at Walmart, Tapout Men’s Body Sprays are easy-to-use and long-lasting, suitable for every occasion.

See more New & Notable products here.

RETAIL LABOR STRESSHow retailers can address and alleviate employee stressors by getting creative with their benefits. By Bianca Herron

As more industries begin to take a more holistic approach to employee benefits, they are looking for offerings that solve the causes of employee stress, not just the effects.

In the retail industry, one of the biggest stressors for low wage earners is transportation, according to Edu(k)ate CEO Chris Whitlow. He adds that with employee financial wellness programs retailers can help solve this challenge.

“In addition to offering personalized resources to help employees take control of their finances, such programs can also drive home the importance of creating an in-case-of-emergency fund that ensures they’re never forced to miss work because they can’t afford to get there,” Whitlow explains.  

Financial wellness among retail employees is extremely important because it allows employees to take control over their overall financial journey, instead of simply planning for retirement, Whitlow adds.

“Financial stress has a huge impact on the overall productivity, focus and feelings of employees,” he says. “Employees who are stressed lose their ability to be present in the workplace. By offering financial wellness benefits, retailers can build a culture of healthy employees who enjoy coming to work, and providing genuine and exceptional service to customers.”

Digging Deeper

Common stressors affecting retail employees not only include transportation, but also access to emergency funds and credit, housing and childcare. “Retail employees must solve the same problems as employees in different industries nationwide, but they often do so on a smaller budget,” he says. “Therefore, they are less likely to have a reserve fund in case of emergencies.”

Without this reserve, employees that are at risk for financial stress continue a vicious cycle that leads to even more stress, Whitlow notes.

“For example, a retail employee may be driving to work one day when their car breaks down” he says. “If the employee does not have an emergency fund already in place to fix the car or find alternative modes of transport, they will not be able to work that day. And if they don’t go to work, they have even less money to pay their bills.”

Employers often don’t realize that they also suffer when their employees suffer, Whitlow says. However, there are four things retail employers can do to alleviate their employees’ stress. “First, retailers need to understand how to engage their employees,” Whitlow explains. “To do this, they should look at employee demographics and determine how their employees like to engage.”

Secondly, retailers need to deliver relevant learning opportunities and guidance to employees. “This guidance needs to be timely and targeted,” Whitlow says. “For example, many retail employees don’t want to think about saving for retirement until they’ve paid down their student loans.”

Finally, retailers should connect their employees with benefits in the way they are used to connecting, Whitlow notes. “An in-person meeting once a year during open enrollment isn’t usually enough to spark benefit engagement all year long, so retailers need to be making an active effort to constantly connect employees to their benefits,” he says.

Additionally, it is essential that retailers create a culture around “wellbeing and mindfulness of finances.” “Implementing this change also benefits employers’ bottom lines because employees are happy and confident in a culture that supports and understands them, and their individual needs and concerns,” Whitlow explains.

Ultimately, retail employees are typically less likely to participate in their benefits, according to Whitlow, so it’s up to retailers to find ways to engage them. “Financial wellness is especially important in service-based industries like retail because employees aren’t typical white-collar workers with access to computers and unbiased financial advice,” he says.

“Employers who stand out in this industry are the ones providing good benefits and a nurturing culture,” Whitlow concludes. “Retailers can’t give the best experience to a customer until they’ve given it to their employees first.”

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