Some of the projections for the “Internet of Things” (IoT) sound straight out of a wild science fiction movie, from self-replenishing refrigerators to cars that drive themselves. According to a recent Gartner study, the world will see 25 billion Internet-connected “things” by 2020. It further estimates that IoT will produce close to $2 trillion of economic benefit globally by transforming many enterprises into digital businesses and improving efficiency, as well as producing new sources of revenue. Retail, in particular, is a sector that can expect significant IoT-based upgrades.
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Digital now drives in-store traffic; is your network ready?
Retailers need to rethink the notion that online shopping steals or cannibalizes their brick-and-mortar sales. While it’s true that in-store visits have dropped thanks largely to digital e-commerce, the value of each in-store visitor has risen tremendously.
According to a recent Deloitte study, digital influences 36 cents of every dollar spent at retail stores. Digital also impacts in-store sales rates; consumers using digital devices in the store convert at a 40% higher rate. Consumers visit less, but are better informed about what they want when entering a store. Each trip is more purposeful and they buy more.
The problem is those conversion rates drop precipitously when the in-store digital experience fails to deliver a positive customer experience. Even a few second delay on an in-store Wi-Fi network can send an otherwise promising customer out the door. Considering that 70% of millennials shop with their mobile device in hand according to a recent report from MSLGROUP and the Hartman Group, retailers cannot afford a poor experience. And with social media, a single bad experience can exponentially influence a retailer’s customer base.
More and more retailers are taking advantage of beacon technology, but many don’t understand that they can be used for more than just offering coupons to consumers. They can be valuable tools in driving traffic and sales to retailers, along with providing customers with real-time, engaging experiences that can better connect them to the retailer’s brand. If customers are engaging in a different, but fun way, they’ll likely be more inclined to purchase and perhaps become repeat visitors. Beacons are even popping up in the fast food industry, stadiums, concert venues, theaters and banks.
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One of the best ways to show your fandom is by wearing it. Whether you’re a fan of wrestling, horror television or a classic cartoon series, these garments are for you.
Cause marketing campaigns have become a trend this back-to-school shopping season. A study by The Case Foundation found that millennials develop social consciousness earlier in life than former generations and have a strong desire to help others, offer funds to charities and generally want to give back to their communities. Thus, retailers are taking advantage of this during the back-to-school shopping season to inspire millennial shoppers to give back with their cause marketing and loyalty programs.
Converting a shopper into a customer can be difficult, especially on your mobile site. Even though it may be frightening, it’s still important to know that mobile sites actually have a 97 percent abandoned cart rate. It’s intimidating, but can definitely be fixed with one word: merchandising. A good merchandising strategy will boost conversion rates and cut back on cart abandonment.
Answer These Four Sales Tax Collection and Filing Questions to Avoid Expensive Issues
Guest Blog by Jonathan Barsade
It’s a sign of success when a company starts to experience rapid growth. Expanding into new markets and adding to your customer base is exciting. But it’s important to make sure you stay focused on all aspects of the business, not just your growth trajectory: Don’t allow growth to distract you from the administrative aspects of running your business, including sales tax collection and filing.
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