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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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The holiday shopping season is upon us. Black Friday is creeping into Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday seems to last through New Years Day. And during this time, consumer behavior becomes less predictable. How does their gift buying change during this frantic time of year? Retailers need to pay attention to these shifts in behavior to ensure they are engaging with customers in a meaningful way.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog.

According to the Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey, conducted with consumers over seven markets, Americans will spend almost 14 hours shopping for friends and loved ones this year. This breaks down to 3.94 trips per person, spending an average of 3.5 hours per trip. Children, partners and moms were found to take the most dedication when shopping at 90 minutes, 77 minutes and 70 minutes respectively.

The survey revealed the most difficult person to buy gifts for is a spouse or partner (20%), followed by mom (12%), dad (10%) and finally children (9%). However, some Americans find the shopping ordeal pretty easy with 20% saying they find "no one" difficult to buy for. These may have been the same respondents that admitted they spend around half an hour treating themselves to a little retail therapy.

Read more: Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey results

For local business success you need word-of-mouth marketing and of course a great product, but you cannot ignore the importance of an online presence. You have to establish a strong web identity, which means well-constructed SEO to be sure your business appears among relevant search results on Google and other search engines.

The need for SEO for a local business is so great, that most will not survive without a plan to capture local online searches. Here’s four facts about SEO that are undeniably important and should drive SMBs to devote resources to SEO strategies:

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser Blog

Whether you’re an online or traditional retailer or even in the supply chain or licensing business, competition is something you always want to keep an eye out for. Many retailers have tried to fend off competition with price wars, which means lowering their prices to stay more competitive in their industry. This is not always the right approach—customers seek value and do not want the most inexpensive product out there, especially if it looks low-quality.

In today’s economy, many retailers are seeing that higher quality with higher prices can be the best solution.

Read more: 4 Ways to Make More Money

Mind Candy, the global entertainment company behind the Moshi Monsters franchise, today launched World of Warriors, an epic adventure and combat strategy game, exclusively on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In World of Warriors players must amass an army of history’s greatest warriors to defeat a power-hungry warlord and his evil Skull Army.

Read more: Mind Candy’s World of Warriors Now Live on the App Store

Smartphone apps have radically changed the way people shop, and retail businesses that don't adapt risk losing money. A study by UsableNet found that more than 10 percent of smartphone users have used their phone in-store to look up product information and compare prices. Consumers still want the experience of talking with a salesperson and seeing the product in person, so the brick-and-mortar store isn't a thing of the past yet. Here are some of the best smartphone apps out there to help drive foot traffic into your stores.

Read the full article on the Retail Merchandiser blog.