If you like to make and sell Shrinky Dink jewelry or have an abundance of vintage clothing to sell, Etsy is your go-to.It fosters not only an environment of creativity, but also a social connection. While the site works wonders for a consumer looking for a one-of-a-kind art print or vintage bag, it brings people of an entrepreneurial spirit together. Before Etsy, most people were limited to selling their creations and vintage items on eBay or a personal site, but Etsy takes the hard work out of that, allowing people to focus on crafting, creating and making money for their hard work.
This month, Etsy celebrates its 10th anniversary. Its meek beginnings in a Brooklyn apartment in 2005 have evolved into a successful platform for people of all countries and talents to sell and buy goods.
Read more on the blog.
Due to low sales, 175 underperforming Gap stores are closing across North America, along with the chain eliminating more than 250 corporate jobs. Store sales have been in decline for the past five quarters and this action is an attempt to save and revive the leftover stores. Once these stores are closed, Gap will be left with 500 regular retail stores and 300 retail outlets. And it projects to be saving $25 million by 2016.
But what Gap really needs to save is its brand.
Many stores do not have a store-specific app for their customers, which could be detrimental to sales in the long run. People like to pre-shop before getting to the store to see what's available and if your customers can't easily access your merchandise via mobile, they may head to a competitor instead. The following infographic illustrates why it's important for all retail stores to utilize the growing popularity of mobile apps. Nearly every consumer is connected online and most of them via a smartphone, so retailers need to capitalize on this trend because it's not going away.
See the infographic on the blog.
During summer music festivals, the heat is oppressive and dehydration happens easily. So much so that one might get extremely dizzy in the middle of a large crowd. Which is exactly what happened to me a few years ago at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Upon arrival to the first aid tent, I was handed not a bottle of water, but a box of water. Initially, I thought this was a bizarre way to drink water, but I learned that Boxed Water’s design has the environment in mind.
Boxed Water’s packaging is made of BPA-free material, with 76 percent being made from paper. And it’s recyclable. This can make a huge difference when only 13 percent of plastic bottles are recycled every year, according to the NRDC, while the rest end up in landfills, not decomposing for thousands of years. To get this message out, Boxed Water has teamed up with Banana Republic to reach a new audience and put its product directly in consumers’ hands. It will be featured in 11 flagship stores across the United States and Canada. The campaign will encourage Banana Republic customers to pick up a free 500 mL sample of Boxed Water while they shop.
So, what the heck does “the Internet of things” actually mean? According to Michael Higgins, vice president of marketing of Hussman Corporation FMI Connect, it’s actually “the Internet of your things.”
And your “things” are mainly smartphones. They are connected and embedded not only in our daily lives, but also with all other electronics, software and sensors. Because so many people have a mobile device these days, and more often than not, have it with them while shopping, smartphones offer a multitude of data for retailers.
Digital gifting is becoming a much more prevalent way of gift giving and more retailers are jumping on this trend. It enhances retailers’ brand awareness, it’s cost effective and gives them the ability to connect with the customer. Customers need a speedy and convenient way to purchase or interact with their favorite brands or stores, so they turn to their phones, which are almost always in their hands.
Mobile loyalty benefits merchants because it can attract new customers, reduce churn and improve brand affiliation. Consumers find it easy to earn and redeem awards, there’s no hassle of carrying around a physical card and they can share rewards with friends.
Customers want options when they’re out shopping. They want to check their phone to see if their purchase could be cheaper at a different store, if they can get a better deal by buying it online or if there are any coupons available.
SessionM, the self-described market leader in mobile data management and engagement tools, recently conducted a survey of more than 50,000 randomly selected mobile users. The purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of how using our mobile devices impacts and influences decision-making while shopping for consumer packaged goods (CPG).
I was surprised to read that 82 percent of people still prefer to shop for CPG in store. Going to the store seems like such a hassle when I can get everything delivered to my home, but there is more of an instant gratification attributed to in-store purchases. Regardless, one-third of those surveyed said they planned to make a purchase via their mobile device this year, so perhaps that percentage will be lower next year.
Retailers offer so many different means of purchasing, from in-store to online to smartphone apps and more. So much so that retailers are getting bogged down in the complexity this creates throughout the supply chain. Their data and metrics get mixed up and this makes it harder for them to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
To make retailers’ lives easier, FusionOps has introduced its newest analytics suite, FusionOps Retail, designed specifically for the retail industry. This cloud-based analytics platform is meant to give retailers complete end-to-end visibility of their supply chains, so they can streamline their operations, improve finances and optimize customer fulfillment. FusionOps is a leading provider of cloud-based supply chain analytics, so offering a retail option was a natural fit. Thanks to the cloud, retailers can deploy their solution in weeks instead of months and they can see the immediate impact.
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