Walmart rolling out high-tech ‘pick-up towers’

Walmart is expanding its modern-day — and oversized — version of a vending machine — but the new model will come with an additionThe discounter plans to add more than 500 additional “pickup towers” to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. Walmart said the response to the existing 200 kiosks has been “overwhelming positive,” with more than half a million orders retrieved since the chain first introduced them.Based on customer feedback, the new towers will come with pickup lockers, which will allow customers to retrieve large items, such as TVs.I found this article very interesting. I know you will as well.

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?

Gen Z loves digital shopping tools — and physical stores

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I came across this article and felt you would benefit from the information .

Gen Z loves digital shopping tools — and physical stores

Move over millennial's, Gen Z is snapping at your heels. And retailers should take note.Retailers looking to capture share of wallet and brand loyalty from Gen Z – the most digitally- and socially-engaged generation to date — need to step up their focus on new ways of engagement. But they also should pay attention to their physical stores.That’s one of the key takeaways of new research from Accenture, which found that one of the ways to Gen Z’s heart is through enhanced digital tools, such as the ability to purchase directly via visual social platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.At the same time, the study revealed that retailers should not neglect the physical store. Sixty percent of Gen Z shoppers still prefer to purchase in-store, and 46% will still check in store to get more information before making an online purchase. In the U.S., 77% of Gen Z respondents said that brick-and-mortar stores is their preferred shopping channel.The Accenture report, based on a survey of nearly 10,000 consumers across the globe, revealed some distinct shopping habits and preferences among Gen Z consumers, which make it imperative for retailers to further rethink and redesign their digital shopping capabilities and methods, according to Accenture.

Why Selfies Need to Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

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Since visuals continue to drive customer engagement all small businesses need to take advantage of the selfie phenomenon. Sharing these types of photos can help a company connect its brand identity to customers. How can you use selfies in your marketing strategy?According to Research this word has been around since 2004 when the selfie hashtags first appeared on Twitter. Taking this type of self-portrait became easier when in 2010, Apple introduced a front facing camera on its iPhone.Since visuals continue to drive customer engagement all small businesses need to take advantage of the selfie phenomenon. Sharing these types of photos can help a company connect its brand identity to customers. How can you use selfies in your marketing strategy? Show personality. Customers traditionally rank authenticity as a top trait they seek when doing business with any company. Selfies by their very nature are personal. Their content usually says a lot about the people who work at the company. They are much more effective for connecting to customers than posed photographs. For example, a selfie of employees at the office or a related event can be a powerful message that says, “We like to work here, and we support the company’s mission.” Become human. It is much easier to connect with a person than an abstract concept like a company. Posting employee selfies shows that there are real people behind the brand. This helps create a powerful emotional connection for anyone considering the company’s product. Customers value transparency, and selfies can accomplish this. Remember, prospects buy from whom they know, like and trust. Selfies can strengthen these factors. Give social proof. When customers post selfies with a company’s product, this is the social proof or recommendation that other prospects crave. It acts as a perfect advertisement, since it's not from the company. Logically, customers do not pose with products they do not like. Share a laugh. Humor can be used to promote almost any brand, and funny photos have a greater chance of spreading around the Web. Ask employees and customers to ham it up when they are in front of a camera. Encourage customers to submit selfies by having a contest and rewarding them with prizes. Tie these photos to a Twitter or Instagram hashtag or have a specific Facebook page or Pinterest board for the contest. The selfie risk. Pictures can get posted that a company doesn’t want associated with its brand. While you can edit selfies posted to your company's site and social media pages, you can't control what other people are posting to their sites. Your best defense is to be aware of what's out there. Wishing you every success.

IKEA pick-up and orders points

IKEA responds to the incredible growth of retail sales online. Have a look at what IKEA is doing.

IKEA pick-up and order points

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There are more ways than ever to bring IKEA products home. With IKEA's pick-up and order points, you get to shop for your favourite products online and have them delivered for only $20 to a location near you.Coming soon to Whitby and St. Catharines. PICKING UP YOUR IKEA ORDERPlease bring a valid government-issued photo ID and your proof of purchase. For fast service, enter your order number at the kiosk located at the pick-up counter. You have up to 7 days to pick up your order. The $20 delivery fee to the Pick-up and order point is non-refundable. If you wish to designate another person to pick-up your order, they must bring:A forwarded copy of your proof of purchase with your written consent, including the full name of the designated personMatching government-issued photo ID.Please consider the size of your vehicle, as your order may be larger and heavier than expected due to packaging. If your order doesn't fit, delivery service is available at the Pick-up and order point. $20 SHIPPING FEEThe flat rate fee covers the charge to deliver your purchase to the Pick-up and order point, and applies to all orders regardless of size. More importantly, it can help you save. Ship as little as a single sofa or as much as an entire kitchen all for just $20. Whitby Location:

Prevent Shoplifting

smart ideas Barb pic

Thinking that someone doesn't "look" like a shoplifter might lull you into a false sense of security.  Prevent shoplifting by removing as many opportunities to shoplift as possible.

Merchandise: Arrange aisles and displays so that employees have a clear view of a much of the store as possible. Utilize convex mirrors for areas that are blind spots.2 Put less expensive items closer to the door, more expensive items further away. This prevents a shoplifter from being able to grab expensive items and be out the door in a matter of seconds. Put security tags on merchandise that can only be removed at the cash register.

Learn Shoplifting Techniques: Limit the number of items that can be taken into the fitting room. Lock all fitting room doors so that customers must have an employee them. Require your employees to note how many items the person is taking into the fitting room. Shoplifters will sometimes use a fitting room to put on stolen merchandise under their own clothes. Note anyone who seems to be wandering in the store, or who seems to be watching employees and other customers closely. They may be looking for an opportunity to shoplift when no one is watching. Take note of a person wearing a baggy coat, especially if the weather doesn't call for it. They may be hiding stolen merchandise underneath.

Involve Employees: Have your employees greet each customer as they enter the store. A shoplifter is less likely to go through with his crime if they think someone might be able to identify them. Offer bonuses to employees who catch shoplifters and alert security. Let your employees know that shoplifters often work in teams, with one person distracting the employee while the other one shoplifts. Tell your employees avoid distractions and to watch other customers at all times. If you have more than one employee, train them so that only one deals with a dominant customer while the other watches the store floor.

  Good-luck! -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