2018 Holiday Retail Survey

Consumers are optimistic about shopping during the 2018 holiday season. This year’s holiday retail survey digs deep into consumers’ shopping behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes to help retailers make the most of this opportunity.

All Systems Go

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The forecasts are in and optimism abounds for the upcoming holiday season. Deloitte’s annual holiday economic forecast projects total retail sales will increase 5 –5.6 percent, with online sales likely rising 17–22 percent during the 2018 holiday season. Fascinating Information.

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.

online-christmas-shopping-56a9a7903df78cf772a9411b

online-christmas-shopping-56a9a7903df78cf772a9411b

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

Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

Phone Answering Skills -Critical for Businesses

The phone is still most businesses primary point of contact with customers.

The way you answer your company's phone will form your customer's first impression of your business.

answering phones

answering phones

phone calls

phone calls

Here's how to answer the phone properly and win business:

1) Answer all incoming phone calls before the third ring.

2) When you answer the phone, be warm and enthusiastic. Your voice on the phone is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.

3) When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your store. Say, for instance, "Good morning.  Laura's Boutique, Susan speaking. How may I help you?" No one should ever have to ask if they've reached such and such a business.

4) Enunciate clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone, so your caller can understand you easily.

5) Control your language when answering the phone. Don't use slang  Instead of saying, "OK", or "No problem", for instance, say "Certainly", "Very well", or "All right". If you're a person who uses fillers when you speak, such as "uh huh", "um", or phrases such as "like" or "you know", train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone.

6) Train your voice and vocabulary to be positive when phone answering, even on a "down" day. For example, rather than saying, "I don't know", say, "Let me find out about that for you."

7) Take phone messages completely and accurately. If there's something you don't understand or can't spell, such as a person's surname, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you. Then make sure the message gets to the intended recipient.

8) Answer all your calls within one business day. I can't emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved... and reinforce the favourable impression of your business that you want to circulate.

9) Always ask the caller if it's all right to put her on hold when answering the phone, and don't leave people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as "That line is still busy. Will you continue to hold or should I have ________ call you back?"

10) Don't use a speaker phone unless absolutely necessary. Speaker phones give the caller the impression that you're not fully concentrating on his call, and make him think that his call isn't private. The only time to use a speaker phone is when you need more than one person to be in on the conversation at your end.

11) If you use an answering machine to answer calls when you can't, make sure that you have a professional message recorded, that does the same thing as tip #3, and gives callers any other pertinent information before it records their messages. Update your answering machine message as needed. For instance, if your business is going to be closed for a holiday, update your recorded answering machine message to say so and to say when your business will reopen.

12) Train everyone else who answers the phone to answer the same way.  Check on how your business's phone is being answered by calling in and seeing if the phone is being answered in a professional manner. If they don't pass the test, go over this phone answering tips list with them to make sure that everyone at your business knows how to answer the phone properly.

Best Barbara  

The Evolution of Customer Service in Family Owned Businesses

smart ideas Barb picI came a cross an informative article, while browsing on LinkedIn I know will resonate with a handful of my readers. Do you own a family run business? Considering your options?

Either-way this is a must read!

 


Remember the good old days when continued Customer purchases were usually yours unless you didn’t fix a problem… 1st Generation Family Run Business Owners businesses grow from:

passing the baton

  • Investing long hours of hard work and detailed attention to Customers

  • Getting to know Customers through long conversations over dinners!

  • Loyal Customers would tell business owners when something was wrong.

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  • These Customers would complain, even make a suggestion! And wait expecting to hear back from the owner, to tell them exactly how the problem would be remedied -then offer a discount or tangible evidence that the loyalty is appreciated!

  • Lastly, where the business is Family-Run often you’ll find the 1st Generation Owners calling up the 2nd Generation (Employees) to demand that Customers problems are fixed immediately -Not just when “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][they] get around to it”.

   

Learn more, here's the Link...

The Evolution of Customer Service in Family Owned Businesses

Best,

Barb

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Day #149 - Effective Use of Signage

Order you Shoppetalk window signage today :Shoppe Talk  will be featured at the Wall Talk Booth   at the  CGTA August Show from 11- 15 , 2012Please visit and meet with Ronda Pegman to review product line.Booth # 8118 in Hall 8 Toronto Congress Centre .BestBarbara

Day #134 - The Value Of A Summer Break

A day in the park, a week at the cottage, or a month in Europe - a break from your business is a smart business investment.Here are 5 key attributes of a successful business owner that you can enhance when you take a break this summer.

  1. Clarity – get away from your business to see everything more clearly
  2. Curiosity – explore a new place or re-kindle the magic of the familiar
  3. Connection – get in touch with what’s really important
  4. Communication – away from all the noise, savour silence
  5. Creativity – rest and recharge - your ideas will really shine

Have you planned some time away from your business this summer? Can you truly disconnect? How could a break help you gain perspective on your business?Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. - Frederick BuechnerThank you Bruce Harrott for being the inspiration of this blog today.Best;Barbara

Day #124 - Strange Weather

Strange weather is playing havoc with retailers’ plans. Here is a great article about weather and the effects on retail.

"Retailers are at war with the weather"

Already reeling from the winter that wasn’t, many stores in Canada now find themselves struggling to match their inventory to the spring that came too soon.Tom Johnson, co-owner of Tall Tree Cycles in Ottawa, delayed bringing in new stock at his Ottawa bike store this year because last year’s spring was so “horrible.”“Now because of the early start in the season, there are long wait times for certain bikes,” said Mr. Johnson, whose sales are up about 10 per cent this month from a year ago. “We can’t keep up. Orders are coming in. You’re filling them but you can’t get the new product on the floor to show it.”The inability of some smaller- to mid-sized retailers to get shipments into stores faster comes after already suffering through poor sales last spring in cool and rainy weather, prompting some to delay or scale back inventory purchasing this year.And larger retailers, though better positioned to respond to inventory challenges, are racing to recoup painful losses from a mild winter that melted away sales of such items as coats, boots and snow blowers. Anticipating a cold, snowy winter, many merchants were forced to clear out merchandise at heavy discounts, slashing profit margins.For retailers of all sizes, the pressure to keep up with fickle weather patterns highlights the challenges of planning merchandise and reacting quickly to shifting demands in order to stay competitive.Today, retailers are enjoying a welcome lift in sales of shorts, sandals and other warm-weather merchandise – up as much as 30 per cent or more in some categories from a year earlier. But keeping up with demand has been a challenge, especially for smaller players.Part of the challenge is that retailers make many of their purchase orders six to nine months in advance, with little flexibility on deliveries from overseas.“We’ve been working with our suppliers to try to get delivery dates moved up,” said Steven Cross, owner of Threads Lifestyle, an outdoors clothing and gear store in Toronto. “The biggest challenge is just having the goods on the floor.”Mr. Cross, whose store is enjoying double-digit sales growth this month, said he “just gave up on winter” in early February and ran heavy sales of up to 70 per cent off to clear out inventory, which wiped out profits. On the flip side, he’s brought out many spring products 60 days earlier than last year – and 30 days earlier than he typically does – which is bolstering his bottom line.Large chains, such as Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Sport Chek (owned by Canadian Tire Corp.  and Rona Inc.,  say they’re in good shape to profit from record temperatures in much of Canada. But after having missed out on many winter sales, they’re now racing to bring in spring inventory to help cut their cold-weather losses.“Demand is up, whether it’s consumables like water and sport drinks or … T-shirts and sandals and shorts,” said Evan Gold, a senior vice-president at Planalytics Inc. in Philadelphia, which advises retailers such as Canadian Tire, Starbucks and Payless Shoes on business weather intelligence.“From a retailer perspective, they may be struggling individually, retailer to retailer, to make sure that they have enough product in the right place. … But over all it’s been good.”This month so far in Canada, retail sales of T-shirts have shot up 16 per cent, women’s capri pants, 21 per cent, and barbecue supplies 33 per cent from the previous year, according to Planalytics. Restaurant traffic gained 3 per cent while retail traffic over all rose 5 per cent. Still, retailers wrestled with declining winter sales – boot sales fell 20 per cent, outerwear dropped 17 per cent and snow removal  products fell 24 per cent, Planalytics data show.The early spring hasn’t arrived in all parts of the country. In Vancouver, retailers are still operating in cool conditions, Mr. Gold said. “They’re still getting rid of winter product and the spring product isn’t moving.”Spokespeople at most large chains said they’re generally ready for the warm spell. “We’re set for customers in nearly all of our seasonal areas, including patio furniture, barbecues, and lawn and garden tools and products,” Home Depot Canada’s Michael Langdon said in an e-mail. “We even have live goods available in certain Western Canadian markets.”marina strauss — RETAILING REPORTER From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2012 7:30PM EDTBest;Barbara

Day #120 - In Style Trends

I picked this up from a recent newsletter from Retail News;

In Style Trends:

Five days, 1000 plus exhibitors, one million square feet, 17,000 retail buyers – the Toronto Gift Show is the most comprehensive market in Canada for sourcing giftware, home décor, jewellery and fashion accessories along with housewares. It's here that suppliers unveil their newest collections and their latest distribution agreements. As we travelled the aisles of the 10 halls at the show, we were on the lookout for over-arching trends. There were plenty to be spotted, but here are four of the most prevalent. Enjoy!

MASCULINE MANNERS

From antiqued leather couches to the dapper 1960s style of Mad Men, unabashed masculinity is on one big power trip at the moment. 

FRENCH FLAVOURS

Savour a perfect Parisian macaroon or the scents of Provence, as products reminiscent of French patisseries, hotels, restaurants and apothecaries are plentiful.

BOTANY

An anatomical take on the nature trend, Botany is about an appreciation for the minutia of natural beauty like the detailed intricacies of a butterfly's wings.

BRIGHTS FEEL RIGHT

We've broken free from the repressive constraints of “greige” and are now lusting after bolts of bright colour. Read more...Retail News | Retail News Now! | Current IssueAs always,BestBarbara

Day #120 - In Style Trends

I picked this up from a recent newsletter from Retail News;

In Style Trends:

Five days, 1000 plus exhibitors, one million square feet, 17,000 retail buyers – the Toronto Gift Show is the most comprehensive market in Canada for sourcing giftware, home décor, jewellery and fashion accessories along with housewares. It's here that suppliers unveil their newest collections and their latest distribution agreements. As we travelled the aisles of the 10 halls at the show, we were on the lookout for over-arching trends. There were plenty to be spotted, but here are four of the most prevalent. Enjoy!

MASCULINE MANNERS

From antiqued leather couches to the dapper 1960s style of Mad Men, unabashed masculinity is on one big power trip at the moment. 

FRENCH FLAVOURS

Savour a perfect Parisian macaroon or the scents of Provence, as products reminiscent of French patisseries, hotels, restaurants and apothecaries are plentiful.

BOTANY

An anatomical take on the nature trend, Botany is about an appreciation for the minutia of natural beauty like the detailed intricacies of a butterfly's wings.

BRIGHTS FEEL RIGHT

We've broken free from the repressive constraints of “greige” and are now lusting after bolts of bright colour. Read more...Retail News | Retail News Now! | Current IssueAs always,BestBarbara