Tag Archives: E-Commerce

The Struggle to Overcome Cross-Channel Commerce Challenges is Real

1WorldSync Omni-Channel Data Study: Charting Course for Global Commerce

A new data study commissioned by 1WorldSync highlighted some of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  The study surveyed 400 merchants and suppliers from Europe and the U.S. with more than $500 million in annual revenue, and uncovered key insights into the struggles that are faced in today’s omni-channel world.

As the global $1.9 trillion e-commerce landscape continues to expand, companies are facing difficulties successfully managing cross-channel commerce across continents, supply chains, and software systems, and are losing revenue as a result. Some even doubt the value of investing in these capabilities. In a key finding nearly half of global merchants and suppliers report having lost at least a million dollars in revenue to cross-channel commerce challenges.

The study sheds light on the apparent struggles both ends of the supply chain face in a fast paced market places where Artificial Intelligence, and online/mobile commerce emerge as top trends for consumers.

Merchants and Suppliers Face Significant Roadblocks in Navigating Cross-Channel Commerce

Key findings suggest that a majority of merchants and suppliers are not fully prepared to meet the varied demands of modern customers. Channel readiness is a significant struggle throughout the supply chain as e-commerce continues to evolve. Other data highlights include:

  • Future investment plans don’t address current e-commerce weakness: Forty-five percent of merchants and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to cross-channel commerce challenges, and more than one in ten (13 percent) have lost more than $3 million.
  • Lack of content solutions hamper success: Half of merchants and suppliers do not use a third-party content provider, which hinders their ability to syndicate product content across channels and platforms.
  • Merchants lag when it comes to cross-channel commerce: Fifty-one percent of merchants cannot support mobile commerce, and 80 percent don’t integrate product information management across web, mobile, applications, and physical stores.

Market Leaders Show the Path Forward

While many merchants and suppliers surveyed struggle with different aspects of the retail experience, there are clear lessons to be learned from market leaders (defined as companies that complete 51 percent or more of sales online). For companies looking to learn from these market leaders and upgrade their e-commerce capabilities, top action items include:

  • Invest now in cross-channel capabilities: Sixty-five percent of market leaders have dedicated more than 30 percent of their commerce budget to digital and mobile commerce expansion in the last year. Today, 73 percent of merchant market leaders can fully execute mobile commerce, nearly 20 percent more than market laggards. Investments here help in the short and long term.
  • Engage with a third-party content provider: Eighty percent of market leaders use a third-party content provider, which is undoubtedly one reason this group reports greater visibility between trading partners.
  • Migrate to the cloud: Ninety-five percent of supplier market leaders use a cloud-based product information system, which simplifies the online sales process and enhances supply chain efficiency.

Blurred Lines & Blended Commerce – The Changing Face of Retail

“The shift in retail to the Internet is a huge change… every retail company is trying to manage the transition. It’s not well defined or understood and there’s no road map” said Simeon Gutman, a retailing analyst for Morgan Stanley (New York Times 2015).

Download a copy of our full data study here.

Enabling Trusted Content Everytime in Every Channel

The majority of consumers (88%) say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision (Google Shopping Guide, 2016).

Accurate and timely product content is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight. As digital pre-shopping, such as product research and comparative reviews, increasingly influence the shopping journey, so too increases consumer reliance on consumable content.

EnterWorks & 1WorldSync Q&A

This week, 1WorldSync’s Director of Professional Services, Data Source Solutions, Vanessa Lin, and EnterWorks CEO Rick Chavie joined for a Q&A. Together, they discussed the drivers of cross channel commerce and how EnterWorks and 1WorldSync are joining forces to pave the path for trusted content.

Vanessa Lin:

How is EnterWorks seeing new regulations and data requirements changing the way businesses must manage/distribute data?

Rick Chavie:

We have entered a new era of data standards. Whether it is the Google GTIN update last year which mandated that all brand-name products include the manufacturer-assigned GTIN number or the FDA regulations on nutritional content effective in May 2017, the growing insistence on data quality means online sellers including retailers, brands, and distributors must invest more in time, resources, and digital competencies to update product feeds continuously.

But the imposition of a single view of standard content across channels, while being pushed by the industry and government, pales in comparison to the role that the consumer is playing in driving the expectations for content to a new level.  Fickle or not, loyal or opportunistic, the consumer is now accustomed to having content that they need regarding their preferred products at their fingertips.  Correspondingly, the cost of poor and inconsistent content mounts as sellers increasingly realize that they now compete on content for share of mind and wallet.

Vanessa Lin:

Agreed! Competing with trusted product content consumers can rely on is critical. Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile. What areas has EnterWorks observed where consumers are driving change?

Rick Chavie:

This is the age of content enthusiasts. Forrester Analyst Carlton Doty recently described our post-digital world, saying “customers aren’t just empowered by digital technology – they’re actually entitled. They think they deserve something, they want it now, and if you can’t provide it, they will quickly find it somewhere else.”  

Retailers, manufacturers and distributors must consider not only the effectiveness of product data, but how their content tells a story and creates differentiated experiences. Compelling, trusted product information that is consistent across channels is key. That’s where Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions can help, by enabling companies to acquire, manage and transform product information into persuasive content. This content then drives higher sales and new competitive strengths through e-commerce Web, mobile, print and in-store digital channels.

Vanessa Lin:

Indeed, today’s shopping experience is driven by ‘I need to know’ moments for consumers. Given the consumer’s lofty expectations for an integrated cross-channel shopping experience, there is a steady race to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

A new data study commissioned by 1WorldSync highlighted some of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  For example, over half (53 percent) of merchants and suppliers experience a knowledge gap internally when it comes to understanding the value of cross-channel capabilities.

Let’s talk about how 1WorldSync and EnterWorks are working together to provide an end-to-end solution.

Rick Chavie:

The successful partnership between EnterWorks and 1WorldSync continues to hit exciting milestones, ushering in new clients, opportunities, and a powerful go-to-market strategy.

This builds on our news last year that EnterWorks received certification on Major Release 3 from 1WorldSync. The MjR3 certification expands the functionality for EnterWorks customers already connected to GDSN, and offers new users of EnterWorks’ PIM and MDM solutions the most advanced bi-directional data publishing and synchronization tools available.

Vanessa Lin:

Thanks, Rick! Overall, the EnterWorks/1WorldSync partnership brings enhanced access to richer, trusted product content to clients around the globe. We invite readers to learn more about the benefits of our partnership here.

1WorldSync and EnterWorks will both be exhibiting at GS1Connect on June 20-22 in Las Vegas. Visit EnterWorks booth #5 or 1WorldSync booth #17 to learn how the joint PIM solution can help your business.

Learn more about EnterWorks Enable GDSN Solution utilizing the 1WorldSync connector.

References

Have What It Takes To Win In A Post-Digital World? Forrester 2016 http://blogs.forrester.com/carlton_doty/16-05-04-have_what_it_takes_to_win_in_a_post_digital_world

 

Digital Catalogs Drive Conversions

Are you at risk of losing share of the $23.4 trillion in worldwide e-commerce sales predicted for 2017? (Source: eMarketer)  

Today’s buyers and modern-day voyagers are tasked with navigating an ever-evolving e-commerce landscape. Companies are investigating newer and better strategies to meet the evolving demands of partners and consumers.

There’s huge opportunity for merchants and suppliers to use the digital channel to reach shoppers in a new way.

  • Have you ever wanted to send over your seasonal product collection to your buyers?
  • Would a mobile-friendly catalog with information enable your business to train your sales team more effectively?
  • Do you have the ability to give your smaller retailers a place to get your latest, up-to-date product information?
  • Are you ready to go digital, sell everywhere and deliver content efficiently?

Enter the Sales Kit App!

The 1WorldSync Sales Kit App, part of our Product Information Cloud, is a digital catalog that provides businesses with the ability to render their own Digital Catalog(s). Sales Kit mobilizes product content and enables the easy creation of selling sheets, catalogs, slicks and other digital sales aids.

Leveraging your company’s product data that’s been loaded into the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud Sales Kit enables:

  • Creation of a public or private online catalog with complete product details
  • Delivery of field selling sheets, spec sheets, product slicks and other digital sales aids to help drive global sales
  • Power and drive sales through eCommerce, global websites and other digital applications

Are you ready to go digital, sell everywhere and deliver content efficiently? Digital Catalogs clearly help drive online sales for large and small brands. To learn more about the 1WorldSync Sales Kit and our Omni-Channel solutions, visit here.

March Madness Hangover

So it’s April… but at 1WorldSync, we are experiencing nostalgia or better yet a March Madness Hangover!

March Madness is all about constantly checking your bracket, placing bets, arguing with friends, and of course now believing you can now play in the NBA. The American Gaming Association predicts that more than 40 million Americans wager $10.4 billion on March Madness, a 13 percent increase over 2016. They also predict the madness will cost employers $2.1 billion in lost productivity (American Gaming Association 2017).

Brands and retailers, while taking advantage of the consumer’s need for related product, battle the loss of productivity. In effect, they create their own strange connection to the tournament.  Many historic brands are not having their best year ( Macy’s, Sears, KMart, Sports Authority) and even simply the old mom and pop store) are falling off our bracket.

March Madness = Marketing Magic

March is a slow time in the sports advertising world with little competition, creating a retail season of its own. Tapping into the fans’ feelings and providing a personalized experience will help produce brand loyalty.

Not only are consumers socially active via mobile, they show high engagement with the companies that speak to them during the games. Food and beverage are obviously big buyers for advertising in the tournament. Yahoo Data showed that in 2016 ad purchases paid off heavily (Yahoo Data, 2017):

  • Wing orders were up 24%
  • Pizza orders were up 17%
  • Sponsored apparel site searches were up 33%

Generating this excitement can be easy for companies of all sizes. There is enough room for smaller players as well.  Thinking local, social and timely can help revolutionize your customer experience, turning fans, into customers.

Win Consumers on Their Path To Purchase With 1WorldSync

Clearly, today’s world of commerce is ever changing and there is no perfect bracket. Why else would Warren Buffet give up $1 million to anyone who had one?

Similarly, trying to match the convenience and needs of consumers with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

Looking for a whitepaper to help equip your organization with strategies that set you apart? 

Download our latest whitepaper to learn more about connected commerce and see how your organization can develop an operational backbone to support your e-commerce investments.

March Madness has become an annual event all consumers and retailers get caught up in. Whether it is the gut wrenching emotional pull,  money on the line, the right for office bragging rights or the excitement of seeing a Cinderella story,  it has created a month of madness that cannot be missed!

 

References

March Madness Betting to Top $10 Billion. March 13, 2017. https://www.americangaming.org/newsroom/press-releasess/march-madness-betting-top-10-billion

How bracket time can be a slam dunk for marketers. Feb 17, 2017.
https://advertising.yahoo.com/insights/how-bracket-time-can-be-slam-dunk-marketers?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

Shoptalk 2017 Recap

It was a great week at Shoptalk 2017.  Connected Commerce is the name of the game…companies are mobilizing behind mobile and beyond!  From sessions on how online is going offline to rising mobile commerce in China;  with major retail and brand speakers like eBay, Nordstrom, Walmart, Kimberly-Clark, Mondelez, Samsung, HSN, Apple, Lowe’s and on and on and on….the discussions were insightful and engaging.  Not to mention the appearance of the Bumby’s for fair and honest appraisals of attendee appearances.

So for our loyal 1WorldSync followers, let’s boil it down on a few key insights relative to product content.

  • Shoppers will start and end their purchase journey in different places.  It’s a fact.  Brands and retailers alike must make their cross-channel commerce capabilities and content in those channels consistent, authentic and engaging.
  • Omni = Om-need…one speaker coined a phrased that omni really means om-need.  As a brand, you need to have your product content available when the shopper wants it, needs it, and when they ask for it.  Is it a Dash button?  Store Display? Alexa? Challenges abound!
  • Content is global, distribution is local.  Content is not “one-size-fits-all;” yet, brand reputation, recognition and market position has to be consistent globally.  However, consumers around the world consume that information differently – it must be tailored for local markets.  Product content strategies are following global commerce strategies and no longer siloed within channels.
  • The “connectivity of things” means product content is traveling and traversing mediums in exponential fashion.  Voice search to physical outcome is not easy.  Natural processing language and search context are just the start of challenges (or opportunities) facing retailers and brands on the consumer path to purchase.

All this points to the fact that connected commerce is growing, changing, evolving, iterating, exploding and imploding…all at once. Product content in this environment must be trustworthy, authentic, consistent, relevant and timely.  Brands and retailers need partners to help them in this quest for delivering frictionless commerce.  The eco-system is growing, these global power houses are choosing trusted, experienced experts to help them on their journey!

 

Thank you Shoptalk for another great year of rewriting the commerce blueprint!

Omni-Channel Starter Kit for GS1 Member Organizations – The Launch

Digital Product Content is now as strategically important for any company as the product itself. It’s become key for brands and retailers to seamlessly connect all of their online and offline sales channels creating an “cross- commerce” shopping experience, requires clearing multiple hurdles before brands will find success. A cross-commerce shopping experience  is about the virtual world coming together with the physical world seamlessly so that the consumer or contractor’s experience is frictionless. Continue reading

Essential 2017 Omni-Channel Tips: How to Beat The Competition In The Digital Era

There is no denying it…2016 was a rough year for various brick and mortar retailers. The 2016 holiday season  wasn’t as merry as industry pundits anticipated, resulting in the following store closures:

  • Hancock Fabrics:  Filed chapter 11; all 255 stores    
  • The Limited: Filed chapter 11; all 250 stores
  • Office Depot/Office Max – Merged; closed 400 stores
  • Sears / Kmart:  Closed 142 stores (10% of its store base)
  • Sports Authority: Filed chapter 11; all 140 stores
  • Macys: Closed 100 stores
  • American Eagle: Closed 150 stores   

The ‘Amazon’ Effect Takes a Bite Out of Brick & Mortar

The root of their problems may lie with a company that isn’t even competing with them for customers at the mall: Amazon.com. Amazon has been poised for success in its pursuit of relentless innovation and a seamless blend of the warehouse processing efficiencies with the e-commerce shopping experience.  

It is estimated that Amazon makes up about 7% of the U.S. apparel market, and that figure is predicted to increase to 19% by 2020 (Barrons 2016). Moreover, the 2016 “State of Amazon” study revealed that Amazon is often involved in almost all online shopping activities (Consumer Goods Technology 2016). Approximately 9 in 10 consumers will check Amazon even if they find a product they want on another retailer’s website.

Blurred Lines & Blended Commerce – The Changing Face of Retail

Today’s consumers float freely from physical shopping to virtual experiences as traditional and modern shopping models unify  into blended commerce. Pure e-commerce retailers are evaluating retail store fronts, while traditional brick and mortar retailers are rapidly pursuing online and mobile commerce channels.

“The shift in retail to the Internet is a huge change… every retail company is trying to manage the transition. It’s not well defined or understood and there’s no road map” said Simeon Gutman, a retailing analyst for Morgan Stanley (New York Times 2015).

Given the consumer’s lofty expectations for an integrated cross-channel shopping experience, there is a steady race to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

While Amazon is expanding its physical presence, Walmart is strengthening its ecommerce strides (eMarketer 2017).

At the beginning of 2017, Amazon announced that it will open its newest brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City. At the same time, Jet.com – a Walmart subsidiary – announced that they purchased online footwear retailer ShoeBuy.

Achieving Operational Excellence Between Brick And Click

Clearly, today’s world of commerce requires a multi-pronged approach. Trying to match the convenience of Amazon with an integrated supply chain with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

A connected commerce approach supports a harmonious model in which transactional and product data work together to optimize the supply chain process.

1WorldSync and DiCentral have set out to explore how brick & mortar retailers can develop the operational backbone that supports e-commerce investments.

Download their joint whitepaper now  and discover how to:

  • Equip your organizations with strategies that set leading digital commerce business apart
  • Connect cloud-based B2B integration with product content aggregation and syndication;
  • Achieve streamlined end-to-end digital commerce in a cost-effective and scalable manner.

References

  1. “Amazon Could Be Largest U.S. Company by 2020.” Barrons. 2 June 2016, http://www.barrons.com/articles/amazon-could-be-largest-u-s-company-by-2020-1464866783
  2. “Amazon Set to Dominate 2016 Holiday Shopping”. Consumer Goods Technology. 27 September 2016. https://consumergoods.com/amazon-set-dominate-2016-holiday-shopping
  3. “Walmart Plays Catch-Up with Amazon.” New York Times, October 22, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/business/walmart-plays-catch-up-with-amazon.html?_r=0
  4. “Omnichannel 2017: Amazon and Walmart Make Moves”. EMarketer. 9 Jan 2017. https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Omnichannel-2017-Amazon-Walmart-Make-Moves/1015000

Love is in the Air for Trusted Product Content

Roses are red, violets are blue, we love trusted product content, and so should you! It’s that time of the year again to share the love, and this year, our love goes to connecting trusted product content everywhere!

Who Says Love Don’t Cost A Thing?

Whether you’re in the store, on your phone, or even in your home, product content is everywhere. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching and flowers, sweets, and cards to distribute to that “special someone”, make sure your products bring convenience and accurate product content to your consumers.

In the 21st century, a consumer’s journey begins at the favorable option of a digital interface. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, people are relying on eCommerce sites to find all the items they need and how quickly they can get it.

Not only are they looking for accessibility, but more importantly they are expecting dependability. The National Retail Federation reports that U.S. consumer spending on gifts this year will drop approximately 8% from last year’s record-high of $19.7 billion (NRF, 2017).

How Retailers Show Consumers A Little Love

That being said, your products need to stand out in order to meet your sales expectations this year. Here are 3 ways to ensure that your site’s products outrank your competitors.

  • Offer bundle deals to maximize sales – According to Bing research, over 50 percent of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day; though, the average money spent amongst most couples is $146 with expected declines to $136 this year (Goodwin, 2017). Bundle options that include flowers, cards, chocolate, and even those cute little bears will prove to be more successful in sales. When strategizing the types of offers on your sites, be sure to keep in mind these consumer standards.
  • Ensure your products show up as good as they look on screen – Chances are, people aren’t going to be spending too much time bouncing from site to site to get what they need. That doesn’t mean that your products should disappoint. For many online flower companies, Valentine’s Day is one of the highest revenue earning days of the year. However, year after year, people are frequently disappointed in the presentation they receive. What they thought was portrayed online, often shows up dead or wilted. Talk about killing the mood… To avoid consumer dissatisfaction and the risk of future consumer neglect, be sure to offer accurate representation and information about your products. After all, ratings and reviews mean everything! 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (BrightLocal, 2014).
  • Invest in search engine optimization strategies – Of the 50% of Americans that celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28% of their shopping happens online (Goodwin, 2017). Some of the top searched keywords from 2016 accessed through mobile and desktop included jewelry, Valentine’s day, Etsy, and flowers. Optimize search campaigns that include some of these typical searched terms but also invest in others such as last-minute gifts or handmade presents for those searching for specific items to buy for their significant others.

Marrying Brand Loyalty with Trusted, Authentic Product Content

Whether or not your company is planning on utilizing Valentine’s Day to boost sales this year, adapting these 3 techniques are essential to consumer satisfaction and experience. Brands must ensure that they’re distributing trusted and accurate product content if they want brand loyalty.

Word to the wise, dependability on product content is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, suppliers, retailers, and even consumers are demanding more detailed and accurate content on eCommerce sites than ever before.

At 1WorldSync, we strive to offer brands our services to share authentic, trusted content with customers and consumers, empowering them to make the right choices, purchases, health and lifestyle decisions. Seize this unique opportunity, play cupid with your consumers and stay ahead of the curve!

Happy Valentine’s Day from 1WorldSync!

 

References

  1. “Valentine’s Day.” National Retail Federation. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
  2. Goodwin, Danny. “14 Irresistible Valentine’s Day Search Stats From Bing.” Search Engine Journal. Search Engine Journal, 13 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
  3. “Local Consumer Review Survey 2014.” BrightLocal. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Walmart Unleashes Bold Strategy To Take Amazon Head-On

Walmart has just issued its strongest response to the growing Amazon threat, since its acquisition of e-commerce newcomer Jet.com last summer.

Last week, Walmart announced an unlimited free delivery program offering free, two-day shipping on over 2 million items, with no need for a membership fee.

  • Walmart has done away with it’s  “ShippingPass” program that charged customers $49 a year, just about half the cost of an Amazon Prime membership.
  • Walmart said that ShippingPass customers will receive a refund on their membership, since the program is no longer required in order to take advantage of free shipping.
  • Last week, Wal-Mart announced free two-day shipping program to compete with Amazon Prime program. Wal-Mart also decreased its minimum order amount to $35 from $50, but experts think that Arkansas-headquartered retailer giant is far from denting Amazon’s business.

A new Slice Intelligence report suggests that Amazon.com, Inc. captured over 53% of total online e-commerce growth in the US in 2016, up from 40% a year earlier. Other ecommerce and retail players were battling for the rest of the 47% of the market share.

However Walmart has become agile and is now operating like a start-up reacting quickly to test ideas to capture new customers that includes this free shipping strategy.

Walmart U.S. eCommerce Marc Lore stated in a media briefing “I couldn’t be more excited. We are moving at the speed of a startup. In today’s world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it.”

Battle of the Brands: David vs. Goliath – Does Size Matter?

In a crowded commerce world, it’s critical to move quick to capture new customers and drive conversion. 1WorldSync has you covered with our new eBook, ‘Battle of the Brands: David vs. Goliath’ that includes strategies on how to move quick to capture new eCommerce market share. This eBook will demonstrate that bigger doesn’t always mean better and how David can compete with Goliath all year long!

Download the eBook now

Are You Ready to Get Your Products to Walmart.com and Jet.com? Learn more

1WorldSync Product Information Cloud solutions help 25,000 global customers engage the elevated expectations of today’s omni-channel shoppers.

Further, 1WorldSync is a strategic partner of Walmart and has been facilitating product content exchange for Walmart manufacturers and suppliers for more than a decade. As a certified Content Service Provider to Walmart, we can help you get your product content to Walmart.com and Jet.com.

Ringing In The Retail: Does Size Matter?

Currently, there are 28 million American small businesses, which account for 54% of all U.S. sales (Patriot Software 2016).

In the Internet Retailer 2016 Second 500 Guide, the most successful e-commerce companies in the middle tier have outperformed their larger rivals by identifying and leveraging their sweet spots (Internet Retailer 2016). Second 500 web merchants, whose 2015 web sales fell between $1.7 million-$28.3 million, are solid proof that small can indeed be mighty. As a group, they grew their online sales last year by 14.9% to $6.99 billion, ahead of their larger Top 500 competitors, who grew at 13.5%.

Many smaller retailers rely on Small Business Saturday, an initiative launched by American Express (CNBC 2016). In its seventh year since the recession, Small Business Saturday events and entertainment encourage consumers to shop at small businesses versus big-box stores and malls that draw in Black Friday shoppers.  

However, as a smaller retailer, competing for e-commerce dollars during the busiest shopping season of the year is no easy feat. With higher than ever stakes, how do you tackle the big retailer squeeze?

Avoid Getting ‘Amazoned’ This Holiday Season

Smaller retailers face the constant struggle of having to match the convenience that Amazon offers, while personalized and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights, to keep streams of loyal consumers returning.

The only way is to create a better end-to-end user experience that is driven by customer insights. Failure to deliver on this experience will mean leaving revenue at the door – revenue that Amazon will be happy to gobble gobble (pun intended!).

86% of companies want to excel at customer experience. But only 27% even qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers (Forrester Customer Experience Index 2015). One thing is for certain regardless of your size as an organization:

Consumers expect a seamless path to purchase from discovery to delight across all channels and devices.

Agile Is The New Black

One of the greatest benefits a small business has is that they can react much more quickly than most larger corporations or big box stores. In other words, if you see an opportunity to introduce a new vendor, you can make this happen more quickly than the many steps necessary it would take at a big box store.

For example, if you see inventory sales have gone cold turkey (pun intended!), you can help move it through displays, employee engagement and even marking it down to help it sell faster.

Big retailers have the advantage of large scale systems that optimize processes. However giant companies suffer when they lose touch with the granularity of their businesses. As a smaller retailer, you can better understand how swiftly consumer needs change prior to larger competitors because of direct contact. You are better equipped to deal with changes in the environment and test new ideas quicker among customers without obstacles.

Retail Is Big On Small Business

Gaining a national footprint no longer relies solely on big brand partnerships – with the right attitude, resources and strategy, small business have the power to go it alone.

And if a little support is needed to survive holiday pressures, there may even be opportunities to partner collaboratively with industry giants. Smaller retailers may offer flexibility and a more intimate customer experience but when coupled with their larger, wealthier counterparts, the global market offers an array of quality goods and services. If you can’t beat them, join them!

References

1 “The State of Small Businesses in the U.S” Patriot Software. 2 May 2016.  https://smallbusiness.patriotsoftware.com/small-businesses-in-the-us-infographic/?utm_source=FRB45&utm_medium=article&utm_term=smallbiz_sat&utm_content=GBL

2 “Keeping up with innovation keeps smaller retailers in the game” Internet Retailer. 13 June 2016. https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/06/13/keeping-innovation-keeps-smaller-retailers-game

3  “A secret weapon to help small retailers on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday”. CNBC. 23 November 2016. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/23/ai-software-aids-retailers-on-black-friday-small-business-saturday.html

 “The US Customer Experience Index, Q1 2015.” Forrester. 6 October 2016 https://www.forrester.com/report/The+US+Customer+Experience+Index+Q1+2015/-/E-RES117482