Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Warning From Sears

Many department stores have been in the news lately, struggling to keep their doors open. Sears, in particular, has been in the news after announcing in February that they would be closing another 50 stores over the course of the year, after having closed 360 stores and 160 K-Mart stores (owned by Sears) in the last five years.

What happened? Sears, like many other department stores that are struggling, did not change with the times. Over the past few years, Sears has stated that it would become more digitally oriented, it would begin taking up less physical space and it would become more focused on membership. None of these things came to fruition. In fact, the situation is so bad at Sears that female shoppers prefer the clothing selection at Goodwill, rather than the women's clothing department in Sears. 

In the midst of the department store doom and gloom, smaller stores can learn from their mistakes! Consumers are no longer willing to shop the way that they did 20 years ago, and they expect a completely different shopping experience. In the three ways that Sears neglected to move forward, smaller stores should take initiative and use them to create more profitability and better customer satisfaction. Also, just like with ships – smaller ones are able to change course faster!

1.      First, a digital presence is necessary. This means a mobile-friendly website and a firm social media presence.
2.      Second, take up less brick and mortar space and move to a more online medium. Consumers want to browse in-store, but also be able to shop from the comfort of their home--allow them to do this.
3.      Third, create a connection with customers. While Sears was going to do this through a membership program, it can also be done through more intimate contact on social media and a more personalized touch with every interaction the company has with a customer. 

Observing the moves and mistakes of large retailers can help small retailers of all kinds to not just stay afloat, but grow and succeed. Branding is always an important part of growth for any company, so be sure to contact us for advice and options on your branded retail packaging.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Day Devoted to Customers Brings Big Haul to Amazon

Certainly most businesses could learn a lesson or two from, whose massive multi-billion dollar website has been hailed as a leader in customer service and satisfaction. This e-commerce giant had its second annual Prime Day on July 12th, not only offering amazing deals to its Prime subscribers, but also enticed many to sign up for the free 30-day trial that converts to a yearly membership status if not cancelled. According to CNBC news, last year more than 179 million visitors logged on and has now established Amazon Prime Day as the fourth busiest shopping event behind Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday.

Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) can also set apart a day of special discounts to loyal customers. Instigating a customer appreciation program is a great way to thank your loyal customers while increasing your customer base. Try one of these quirky concepts:
  • Hold a learning day to offer free tips on the use of your product line.
  • Offer one lucky customer an over-the-top experience they will share with others.
  • Have a book give-away particularly tailored to your product or services.
  • Start your own VIP rewards program with a discount on the customer's anniversary.
  • Feature customers on your businesses website for a personal touch.
  • Everyone loves receiving gifts; mail your customers something special.
  • Offer a day of upgraded services for your customers.
  • Throw an in-store party, maybe a wine tasting or appetizers.

There are so many ways to show your customers how much you value their business and also how your business cares about their satisfaction. For all of your everyday packaging needs, as well as any special promotional events you might run, be sure to contact us to discuss your packaging options! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Brick & Mortar Struggling, Online Sales Soaring

The global economic insecurities of the past decade are still rattling retailers. But maybe the Great Recession is getting too much of the blame. Rebounding, even surging, sales from online giants such as Amazon indicate that more and more consumers are turning to the web for their shopping.

Major retailers are definitely rattled, though. A June 8th article from CNNMoney reported an announcement from Ralph Lauren saying the company "was looking to cut about 1,200 jobs -- 8% of its full-time workforce." Ralph Lauren isn't the only retail giant taking a beating. Nordstrom, Macy's, and Walmart also announced layoffs.

The ecommerce industry growth at the expense of retail stores isn't just an American problem. An article in Forbes magazine shows that the British retail sector is behaving almost identically to the American retail sector, the trend toward online shopping for apparel indisputable, rising 18.5% while the in-store sales dropped 1.9%.

The growth of ecommerce is directly related to the ease, especially for the technologically savvy millennials. With a smartphone and five minutes, you can check dozens of reviews, compare prices at ten different stores, and order a new sweater. All while you wait for your coffee.

The Takeaway

The retail sector is increasingly overshadowed by online shopping. A strong online presence is a must. With it you'll need a robust shipping system and branded e-commerce packaging. For help with any of your packaging needs, please contact us.

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