Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sometimes a great notion - July 13/09

Sometimes a Great Notion

Welcome to the maiden voyage of our weekly newsletter, summarizing the latest trends and developments in the retail service world. Brought to you by The Retail Muse, and posted each Monday morning, this collection of the latest, most interesting retail developments, will be sure to inspire and engage you, and help your store remain on the cutting edge.

Don’t forget to sign up at The Retail Muse website, to receive SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION in your inbox each Monday. And, look for more in depth discussion each Thursday, as the The Retail Muse dips into a specific topic each week, giving you a more comprehensive overview of developing stories.

Enjoy, and onto the notions for this week!

PayPal for your website – The future is here.

Consumers are avoiding shopping on line again as fear of on line fraud grows, and person

al debt rises, making debit and credit cards not as welcome as a payment method on line . The result, a growing percentage of the top 50 online retailers offering new payment methods including PAYPAL and BILLMELATER.

What an easy enhancement for websites in campus stores to consider. With the growing acceptance of PayPal accounts, especially with the younger student demographic, adding these payment methods to campus store websites could drive some new traffic and larger sales activity.

Theft in your store? Say it ain’t so!

A new survey by KPMG, of 47 large worldwide retailers, found that retailers are losing 3% of their sales each year to theft and inventory errors. These retailers seem to see this loss as a cost of doing business. Retailers blamed customer and staff theft more than inventory errors.

The report reminds retailers that most shrinkage mistakes can be avoided, by focusing on improving errors in counting, and data entry errors. This is a good reminder, to focus on the receiving and inventory process, to easily mitigate inventory losses.

Designers look to Mass Merchants

A flood of designers, have recently turned their attention to large scale retailers, in an effort to make their products available for reasonable prices in the largest, and most influential stores. Vera Wang is adding a new line at Kohl’s called Simply Vera, H and M is adding Jimmy Choo. Lo low priced versions of his famous shoe brand. Wal-Mart, endlessly looking for new markets, is planning to add a line from BCBG Max Azaria.

All this price pushdown, by traditionally exclusive high priced designers, is a direct response to the slumping economy. Expect to see even more designers join the fray as they look to increase margins and profits.

Are Isaac Mizrahi or Ralph Loren branded campus sweatshirts far behind?

It’s Free on facebook and twitter.

Major vendors, such as Pizza hut and Starbucks ,are looking for ways to make their facebook and twitter activities of interest to customers. Pizza Hut awarded facebook and twitter followers with a coupon for a free stuffed pizza roll, while Starbucks is giving away free pints of ice cream to followers on their page.

Proves again that businesses setting up social networking sites, need to offer some value to the customer. to keep interest going. Otherwise, why bother? Seems like an easy low cost marketing idea to reach college students.

Pizza Hut has a new intern for the summer – a “tweet tern”! A great idea, snagging a college student to tweet for your store, and enhance your networking presence.

Widgets – the new big retail application.

Desktop and mobile widgets are growing in popularity with large scale retailers. From the fun “snow globe” gift suggestion widget of Target to the “EASY Button” widget at Staples, retailers are trying new ways to bring info, promotions, and ordering ease to the customer.

Imagine a campus bookstore widget on every staff and student computer on campus! Now imagine the sales and marketing possibilities. No snow globes though, dancing books? Prancing mascots? Shimmering sweatshirts? Sounds like a good project for the Widg-tern!

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