Retail sales are expected to hit record highs this holiday season. Since a large number of these sales will take place online, it is important for retailers to be prepared for any issues that might arise this holiday season. Read on to learn three tips for small retailers that are simple to implement and sure to keep you on your technology “A” game.
1. Beware of the dreaded downtime. Everyone knows that humans are not perfect, and neither is the technology that we create. Therefore, anticipate and prepare for downtime, because even high-tech companies like Google experience it once in a while.
- If your company has its technology onsite, start pressure testing the system now. Do your servers have the resources to deal with spikes of website traffic and sales at a given time?
- Most small to medium-sized retailers have outsourced technology. If it’s not too late, discuss an SLA (service level agreement) to see if the company can offer you the least amount of downtime possible. Try to adjust the contract, even if temporarily, or hire a new company if it’s time to renew the contract anyways.
Owning a small business is one of the most fulfilling choices you can make in your life. But what can you do if your business isn’t living up to your expectations? The following five brands can be inspirational if you find your own business needs a re-brand or revival. You may not be as big as these giants (yet!), but there’s still a lot you can learn from them.
Arguably one of the greatest comebacks of all time, and a leader in innovative technology, Apple came back from the dead in the late-90’s with the introduction of the iMac and the iPod.
The Lesson – You can’t copy innovation, but you can always look to the past to see where you went off track. Bring back or improve a popular product, or eat your humble pie and hire back the people you may have lost.
In 2008, Domino’s was at the bottom of consumer surveys and it’s stock had fallen from $21 to $3. They bounced back by introducing a new recipe and an interesting self-effacing ad campaign.
The Lesson – Change is good, so make changes, and acknowledge them. Everyone loves a makeover. Also, don’t ignore feedback – face it head on.
As a small business owner, you learn to appreciate the little things, like happy customers, dedicated employees, and co-workers you connect with. The key to success is to get your customers to appreciate (and impulsively buy!) the little things as well. When customers eye-up those small items surrounding the check-out counter, it can increase your bottom line. Most shoppers are aware of this trick, but they still fall for it endlessly. Why? Because they believe they need such things. So how do you increase impulse buys in your store?
1.) Attract attention: Customers will easily overlook a product if it blends in with its surroundings or looks boring. Unless they need it, they’re not looking for it, so make sure the item stands out. Does the color pull you in? Are you intrigued by the texture? If so, you’re on the right track.
2.) Not Too Big: Smaller items that customers can easily pick up, try out, smell, and/or touch are more likely to engage the customer — and if they can pick it up without assistance and don’t need to obtain further information on it, there’s a higher chance it’ll sell. Don’t forget the small items for the kids!