Companies that grab onto all the new social media networks like a shiny new toy, but soon abandon it, are dulling their image. Ask three questions to get your social media message back on track: What warrants starting a new social media account?, What minimum resource commitments are required to service it? and What are the criteria that will govern its closure?
Competing with all the e-commerce sites on the Internet is no easy task. But there are three simple tools and techniques that can help small business owners take professional-looking photos without the hefty price tag. A light box, photo editing software and careful attention to detail can make your product look like it stepped out of a catalog.
Retailers are hoping to entice customers into some early holiday shopping as they start stocking Christmas goods well before the season begins. This trend accelerated in 2008, the beginning of the recession. Nearly 40 percent of Americans say they start holiday shopping before Halloween. Holiday shopping is crucial for retailers as a good — or bad — holiday season can make or break their year.
Retailers are concerned a credit crackdown set for Oct. 1 will hurt business. The new law, which determines credit based on personal income, will make it harder for stay-at-home parents, college students and others to get a credit card. Officials at the National Retail Federation are asking authorities to let issuers consider a broader set of factors.
Dave Logan, a management consultant and New York Times best-selling author, says most business books are destined for failure for three reasons: Most use stories to cover their complete lack of insight, the stories highlight the wrong message and most are empty in the middle. Want inspiration? Read “The Odyssey,” “Atlas Shrugged” and “Ender’s Game.”
Smartphones are the next big thing for retailers as self-checkout fades away. Retailers are looking to a mixture of radio frequency identification, mobile POS technology and near-field communication to allow employees to look up inventory, complete sales and allow stores to directly market to consumers based on the items in their cart.
San Antonio-based supermarket chain is jumping on the “green” bandwagon with plans to build its most sustainable store in Austin, Texas. The new store would be a test bed for expanded recycling and reduction of energy and water use. While it’s good for the environment, customers won’t see any savings, an Avanade retail expert said.
After Hurricane Irene passed with relatively little damage, there was one area that still needed to be dealt with — annoyed customers looking at piles of leftover storm supplies. Hurricane Irene exposed the new thriftiness Americans have adopted during the economic downturn, while stores dealt with supply chain issues as people returned unwanted items, an Avanade expert said.
After home delivery of groceries flopped, grocers are testing a new idea — online grocery shopping with curbside pickup. There are five groups that love the new service: people with children at home, older baby boomers, shut-ins and the disabled, people looking for a diet or budget tool and surprise users like office workers ordering sandwiches.
Roger Simmermaker is a walking advertisement to “Buy American” from his New Balance running shoes to his Lincoln Town Car. But while championing American-made products is a great thought, it’s important to remember that America is a melting pot of cultures and we’re primarily driven to buy what’s cheap, an Avanade expert said.
Retailers can’t say goodbye to summer fast enough as they push forward into the holiday sales season. Hobbled by a struggling economy, a gyrating stock market and diminished consumer confidence, retailers are anxious to get shoppers spending. But that won’t happen, an Avanade expert says, as retailers have trained shoppers to wait for big markdowns in December.
Randy Misener, Editor-at-Large
Randy Misener is the Industry Executive responsible for Enterprise Retail Management solutions at Avanade. Majority owned by Accenture, Avanade was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation and has approximately 15,000 professionals in more than 20 countries.