Increase Instagram Followers for Your Online and Offline Store

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Run Hashtag Contests

If you want an Instagram hashtag of your very own to start trending, contests are one of the best ways to make it happen. Most people aren’t going to just use your hashtags because you want them to. But they WILL use your hashtags if they know it is how you are organizing and collecting contest entries. If there is something in it for the Instagram user, they are much more likely to behave in the way you want.

It’s very easy to setup a contest for your online store.  Have Instagramers post a pic or video on their account and then have them tag it using your specific contest hashtag.  

What is an Instagram Hashtag Contest?

An Instagram Hashtag Contest is one of the simplest ways to get fans interacting with your brand. It involves an individual posting their own picture on Instagram, then tagging it with a specific hashtag that your business has chosen.

All pictures uploaded with that hashtag are then displayed in a gallery page on your website or Facebook Page as well as being shown in one single stream on Instagram.

This type of contest allows you to deepen the emotional connection you have with followers. You get them communicating about your business to their own networks while also capturing user-generated content which you can then use for future marketing efforts.

What’s better than having fans as brand advocates? Not much at all.

Once in the gallery, all photos with the hashtag can then be voted on, shared or liked. This increases the reach of your contest and your business massively, allowing other users to discover you on the platform. You can then choose if you want to display submissions in the gallery based on most votes, most recent submission, or randomly.

 What makes an Instagram Hashtag Contest so effective?

  • Using a specific hashtag allows you to spread the word about a campaign, exposing your business to new users

  • It requires little effort from your business - the hardest part simply being coming up with a good, catchy hashtag and theme

  • You get rewarded with engaged followers and authentic images from the customer themselves, showing your business through their eyes

  • A prize of a $100 gift certificate is relevant and valuable to Instagram users (more valuable, even, than a specific product worth $100). It is also proportionate to the level of effort required for users to participate. 

  • They have asked users to tag their business in the photo, allowing all uploaded images to also be shown on their account in their tagged photo section. 

Any questions. Let me know

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Are men the salvation of brick-and-mortar retail?

Mall retailers have long considered women to be their primary shoppers, but all that might be about to change.  A study from new product solutions provider First Insight found that men are more likely than women to want to touch and feel a product before buying it, more likely to pay full-price at a retail store, and less likely to turn to Amazon for a cheaper alternative.

I loved this post and knew you’d be interested in reading about this issue. Enjoy Barbara

Online Shopping Goes In-Store

At the base of Canadian Tire Corp. headquarters on Yonge St. near Eglinton Ave., a small, chic experiment is taking place.

Humble products, including baseball caps and cotton T-shirts, toques and hoodies, branded North Point, hang like designer wear off elegant racks in a small concept store being tested. The atmosphere is spare and white and bright.

It’s not just a different look for the retailer, which also runs more workmanlike Mark’s stores. Beside the wall of sneakers and shoes at the concept store is a tablet, where customers can swipe to find the shoe they want, to see whether it is in stock in their size, and have a sales associate bring it out of the storeroom to try.

In the store’s change room, another tablet. A shopper with an armful of products to try on can order a different size or colour, or a different product altogether — perhaps a pair of shoes suggested by the interactive tablet — without having to poke their head out of the room, flag down an associate and wait while the associate searches the floor and returns.

Loved this article. I know you will too.

Justice Department’s No. 3 official leaving for top legal post at Walmart

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The third-ranking official at the U.S. Justice Department is leaving to take a job in the private sector.

Walmart announced Rachel Brand will join the company as executive VP, global governance and corporate secretary, effective April 2. Brand, who will report to president and CEO Doug McMillon, will be responsible for the company’s legal, global ethics and compliance and global investigation, security, aviation and travel departments, along with her role as corporate secretary. She is replacing Jeff Gearhart, who retired at the end of January.

I found this very interesting:

Green Monday

Hi Everyone,

Not  a lot is know about Green Monday. I loved this article and hope you will as well.

Green Monday is the second Monday in December. It's also known as Cyber Monday 2 because it's the second biggest day for online holiday shopping.

For that reason, Green Monday is promoted by top stores like Wal-mart, Target and Amazon to extend the excitement around Cyber Week and the Black Friday kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

In 2016, Green Monday online retail sales were $1.621 billion.

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Read on …..

That beat the 2014 record of $1.615 trillion. It's more than double the pre-recession high of $881 million set in 2007. Only Cyber Monday saw greater sales, at $2.5 billion.

Both Green Monday and Cyber Monday follow the bricks-and-mortar shopping done on Black Friday, the first shopping day after Thanksgiving. Bit the online days set greater records each year as more people enjoy the convenience of shopping with their computers, tablets, and phones.

Like Cyber Monday, Green Monday is more appealing to Millennial's and Gen X. Sixty percent of those under 40 buy their holiday gifts online, compared to just 40 percent of Baby Boomers.

The holiday shopping season is critical because one fifth of annual retail sales occurs between Black Friday and Christmas. Some, like jewelers, receive 40 percent of their annual revenue during the holidays.

How Did Green Monday Get Its Name?

In 2007, eBay reported that its busiest day was the second Monday in December. At that time, it was the last day shoppers could get gifts in the mail so they would arrive by Christmas. eBay christened it Green Monday for two reasons. First, green meant revenue for the company.

Second, eBay markets online shopping as environmentally friendly, or greener than brick-and-mortar stores.

Green Monday is no longer the busiest day, as shoppers are attracted to deals throughout Cyber Week. With Amazon Prime and other services, shoppers can wait until closer to Christmas to buy online and have it arrive on time. But Green Monday is still a good bargain. Retailers offer 50 percent to 90 percent offregular prices.

How to Get the Best Green Monday Deals

Deals can be found on each stores' Green Monday or Cyber Monday websites. You can find the best deals for all stores on FatWallet's Green Monday web site.

Green Monday sales can be found on CyberMonday.com, which promotes online discounts from 800 retailers year-round. These Cyber Monday Shopping Tipscan also apply to Green Monday.

Of course, the best deals are on Wal-Mart's site. More than 300 online specials are offered, including ten of the most popular deals from Black Friday.  Green Monday was Walmart.com’s highest traffic day in December for two years in a row.

Barbara

What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

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Really found this post interesting. Had to share it with you. Here are three explanations for the recent demise of America’s storefronts.1. People are simply buying more stuff online than they used to.The simplest explanation for the demise of brick-and-mortar shops is that Amazon is eating retail. Between 2010 and last year, Amazon’s sales in North America quintupled from $16 billion to $80 billion. Sears’ revenue last year was about $22 billion, so you could say Amazon has grown by three Sears in six years. Even more…..Read more : What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

How to Spend the Last 10 Minutes of Your Work Day

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The last 10 minutes of your day can also be the most crucial. It’s a time where you can prep for the next day, organize your work-space, sign out of email and reflect on what you achieved in the past eight hours. In the end, you should feel confident and proud when you walk out of the office.Read more:Also check out:5 Daily Habits That Will Increase Your Productivity Levels5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

Enjoy;

Barbara

Displays That Will Get Customers Sticking Around The Store Longer

Q: What are some of the most effective ways to make the kind of display that will get customers sticking around the store longer.A: A few ideas on displays that promote sales:

  1. Set up several feature areas in your store. Tables are best. These areas bring your store to life and are points of interest. They slow down shoppers.

  2. Use cross merchandise technique to showcase multiple items and how they work together. This creates interest in add on sales.

  3. Your sales staff should be trained to use these feature /cross merchandized display as a sales tool.

Q: What are some tips on putting up effective displays on a budget?A: Many retailers still buy props for display set up. Not the right way to think. Everything you use in a display other than the actual fixture or table and may be the risers are for sale. I do not recommend retailers spend any money on props. If you have it, you sell it! What I do suggest is that within your display grouping you use multiple products and products with many heights to create flow and impact.Q: How can a manager find inspiration for non-holiday themed displays?A: The manager should be following a promotional calendar for each month. That’s 3 to 4 events happening in the store, more than enough activity to support their merchandising program other then holidays.Q: Is there such a thing as too little or too much when it comes to displays?A: Interesting questions. The display is always defined by the space provided. In my years of being a visual merchandiser and that’s 37 years, retailers struggle with this for sure. I would recommend hiring a VM. They are worth the money. Sales will go up for sure. But, in the mean time, bring more products out of the stock room make your store look lush!Q: What should be the creative angle when the idea is to gin up sales?A: Complex questions. Displays are the icing on the cake. They alone will not completely gin up sales. It’s selling the right product at the right time, it’s training staff to sell, and it’s creating a customer experience to say the least.Q: Are there any cardinal sins when it comes to displays?A: Ample lighting, most stores skimp on lighting because it’s expensive. Lighting has been shown to be one of the strongest influences in retail selling. My other pet peeve is not using signage to complete displays. Signage is a silent sales person when everyone is busy. Of-late, chalkboards have become very popular again. “If you feel stuck please contact Retail Makeover we can help you.”

How to Make a Newsletter More Engaging With Two Little Words

By Miranda Paquet | Jun 13, 2017how-to-make-a-newsletter-ft-image

Wondering how to make a newsletter that drives action?It comes down to using two simple words:“Read more.”Why? If your business is in the habit of sending jam-packed newsletters, filled with updates, articles, and tips — you might be unintentionally turning your readers off.Rather than overwhelming your subscribers with text-heavy emails, add Read More blocks to let readers quickly skim your emails and find the topics that interest them.This will increase your email engagement and help you learn what topics are most interesting to your audience. 

Survey: America’s favourite stores are…

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Survey: America’s favourite stores are…

Thought you might be interested in this information:A regional department store, a warehouse giant, a discount supermarket and an online powerhouse rank among the nation’s favorite retailers.That's according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which rates consumers’ satisfaction across six retail industries. The report found that satisfaction with the overall retail trade rise 4.7% in 2016 to a score of 78.3 (on a 100-point scale) an all-time high for the sector.Dillard's was tops among the 15 companies surveyed in the department and discount store category. It received a score of 83 out of a possible 100, up 4% from the previous year. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. took second place with a score of 82, and also had the largest increase from the previous year, up 11%.Nordstrom was the only department store to deteriorate in customer satisfaction, slipping 2% into a three-way tie with Dollar Tree and Belk at 80.Customer satisfaction with Walmart rose 9% as the company's renewed attention to customer service via "holiday helpers" to expedite checkout lines and aid shoppers paid off. Despite the ACSI gain, however, Walmart continues to anchor the low end of the industry with an ACSI score of 72.The supermarkets sector was led by Trader Joe’s, with a score of 86, followed by Publix at 84 and Aldi, H-E-B and Wegmans at 83. Whole Foods climbs 11% to 81, ahead of Hy-Vee, Kroger and ShopRite (all 79). Meijer matches Target at 78, followed by Bi-Lo (+4% to 77).Costco led the specialty retail category, with a score of 83, followed by Sam’s Club, L Brands, and Barnes & Noble, all at 81.Home Depot rose 10% to 80, ahead of Lowe’s (79) for the first time, as well as Menards (79). Ascena, which recently acquired Ann Taylor, makes its debut at 78 and ties with two pet supply stores: Petco and PetSmart. Best Buy, Big Lots and Toys “R” Us follow at 77. Abercrombie & Fitch improved the most, up 17%, but remains last at 76.In the online category Amazon continues to hold first place, advancing 4% to 86 amid a strong holiday season, followed by Newegg at 83 and eBay at 81.The ACSI report, which is based on 12,515 customer surveys collected in the fourth quarter of 2016, is available for free download here.