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The latest in retail news, industry insights, and advice you can use – delivered straight to you.

  • Retail Round-Up: Mobile Ads Drive Sales, and More on Holiday Shopping

     

    Want to get more people shopping at your online store? According to a new study by Marin Software, mobile ads are driving more and more conversions, which means that consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to complete their transactions, not just browse. (Biz Report)

    Retailers, start your engines. Holiday shopping actually starts now. A new survey by Google finds that almost 30% of shoppers actually start ticking names off their gift lists in the days leading up to Halloween. The survey also notes that shoppers are increasingly gravitating toward sites like Pinterest to do their browsing instead of seeking out a specific product on a store’s website. Happy Pinning! (Ad Week)

    All in the family is taking on a whole new meaning in the fashion world these days, with the New York Times noting a trend of brothers teaming up to create upscale threads and accessories, including WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie. While European fashion houses traditionally have some kind of family history, this is a newer trend in North America. (New York Times)

    Lightspeed CEO Dax Dasilva weighs in on what your average Main St. retailer is really looking for when it comes to technology. He posits that for most independent business owners, futuristic technologies like iBeacons aren’t even on their radar yet. What they want is better analytics that will help them predict where their business is going, and mobile solutions to help improve the customer experience. (Wired)

  • How Small Retailers Can Make their Mark at the Mall


    Newly opened Squish in Carrefour Laval uses LightSpeed

    Location is one of the most important decisions a retailer can make when opening a new store.  Choose a street that sees little foot traffic or a neighborhood that doesn’t resonate with your core customer and say goodbye to your dream. Big box retailers have teams dedicated to researching the best locations for their stores, not to mention established agreements with certain shopping center developments – luxuries that smaller retailers rarely have.  Maybe that’s why when we picture independent stores, we often think of Main St., not the mall. But the mall can be a great choice for specialty retailers, says Matthew Hudson, a retail consultant with Rick Segel and Associates.

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  • Retail Round-Up: Amazon Gets Physical, and Holiday Shopping Predictions


    Photo by Kris de Curtis

    From eCom to brick-and-mortar, Amazon is following the path blazed by popular retailers like Warby Parker and Bonobos. By joining the physical shopping world, Amazon is reinforcing the importance of brick-and-mortar retail. Their very first physical store will be located in the heart of Manhattan, and will be a place for consumers to pick up their online orders and shop for other Amazon-branded products like the Kindle. (nymag)

    Department stores used to be the place to shop. Since the 1970’s, however, their popularity drastically declined, and luxury hubs like Harrod’s are now trying to elevate their in-store experiences to recapture their former glory. Creative merchandising and omni-channel retailing are just part of what luxury department stores are doing to remain competitive. (The Business of Fashion)

    Gourmet cupcake shops and luxury cosmetics counters can now be found in the subways of New York City. Underground retail is nothing new in Asia and in many major cities, but subterranean shopping for anything more than a pretzel is relatively new in New York. (The New York Times)

    Major retailers are coming up with new ways to entice holiday shoppers. Special layaway plans, mobile checkouts, and same-day in-store pickup are all strategies to make shopping easier for consumers this fall and winter. (USA Today)

    Retailers can prepare for the holiday season with some serious statistics: almost 60% of shoppers will use smartphones to hunt the best deals in-store, retail sales are expected to increase by 5% from last year, but only 44% of consumers will buy gifts for more than seven people. (eMarketer)

  • Retail Round-Up: SoHo is Ideal to Test the Retail Waters, and Going Beyond Facebook

    For retailers with niche target markets, Facebook and Twitter might not be the most engaging social media platforms. Ello, CafeMom, and Kaboodle are among many sites that can attract consumers with specific interests such as craft beer or motherhood. (Entrepreneur)

    SoHo in New York City is a veritable laboratory of consumer behavior.  Even food companies like Chobani use the coveted Prince Street address as a physical manifestation of their brand. The popular shopping neighborhood gives major retail companies the opportunity to organically interact with shoppers in intimate environments. (Bloomberg)

    For retailers gearing up to sell Halloween costumes, the National Retail Federation’s list for this year’s most popular costumer trends will certainly be a helpful resource. Princesses and pumpkins are still popular, but the Ninja Turtles are making a totally awesome comeback. (CBS Minnesota)

    The shopping environment is changing so rapidly that retailers have to keep up with lightning-fast trends or risk losing the game. Major trends or “disruptors” are changing the retail industry as we know it. Omni-channel retailing, mobile communications, vertical integration, and pricing transparency are some of these disruptors that are prompting retailers to rethink their strategies. (just-style)

     

     

  • How to Create Your Retail Identity

    Why do we shop? Why do we return to the stores that we love? What is the true nature of the business/customer relationship? These are some pretty big questions, but important ones for merchants seeking to create enduring relationships with customers.

    In the past, we relied on certain demographic information to build a portrait of shoppers’ buying patterns. Factors like age, gender and education are all still valid indicators, but they aren’t enough to completely define modern consumer behavior. That’s because when it comes to shopping, technology has allowed consumers to lead nomadic lives.

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  • Retail Round-Up: Celebrities With Retail Savvy, and Get Ready for Generation Z

    The very first Victoria Beckham flagship store opened in London this month, where the first-ever in-store customers enjoyed complementary champagne. The contemporary and sparse store isn’t encumbered by traditional tills—they use iPads as the checkout.  (The Guardian)

    MTV star Lauren Conrad has co-founded a not-for-profit online store with a mission to support female artisans around the world.  The Little Market sells handmade goods from cooperatives in 13 countries, and is promoted through social media exclusively, rather than traditional advertising. (Los Angeles Times)

    Macy’s is leading the way with its “digital/brick-and-mortal hybrid” model. Because of online competitors and growing customer expectations, the 156 year-old retail chain will start testing same-day shipping, smart fitting rooms, and accepting Apple Pay. (Fortune)

    Retailers can start getting ready for Generation Z. They’re born after 1995, and are America’s largest and most diverse group yet. They have a major influence on household spending, and will be a super important market segment when they reach adulthood. (Direct Marketing News)

    Beacon technology can help retailers gather the valuable data they need in order to become more competitive. Forecasts show that thousands of beacons will be installed within the next five years, allowing stores to identify customers when they enter, and more. (Business Insider)

  • Jacadi in Dublin, Ireland

    Walking through Jacadi’s two-storey Dublin outpost, childish is the last thing that comes to mind. After a month-long renovation this summer, the high-end kidswear boutique is the epitome of chic. Light wooden floors and a soothing pallet of white walls with grey-blue accents create a contemporary feel right in the middle of one of the city’s busiest shopping streets.

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  • Getting Ready for the Holidays: 4 Merchandising Tips to Create Holiday Magic

    With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day just around the corner, it’s critical that retailers put in place a strategy that will help them make it through the November-December rush with flying colors. We’ve already tackled what steps you can take now in part one of this series on getting ready for the holidays. In part two, we look at how you can optimize your store’s space to entice those all-important holiday shoppers.

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  • 24-Hour Weekday Support. Longer Weekend Hours.

    We’ve been working hard over the past year to strengthen our support services. We’ve grown our support team by 110%, drastically reduced wait times, and now, we’re extending our hours.

    Our support line is now open 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday, closing at 7 AM EST on Saturday. We’ve also extended weekend support, meaning you can reach us from 10 AM EST to 6 PM EST on Saturdays and on Sundays from 12 AM EST to 8 AM EST, and from 11 AM EST onwards.

    Give us a call at 1-866-932-1801. You can also reach us on Twitter via our new account, AskLightSpeed. We’ll be using this to communicate important information and to answer your questions.

  • Retail Round-Up: How Successful Retailers Implement New Technology While Sears Lags Behind

    What will a Saturday afternoon spent browsing your local High Street (the UK equivalent to Main Street) look like in the near future? Kind of the same as today, but with a high-tech twist. The BBC looks at some technologies already in the works, like video recognition, robotic assistants and digital changing rooms that will help keep in-person shopping relevant to an increasingly convenience-hungry population. (BBC)

    Forward-thinking luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is extending its digital footprint with the recent acquisition of shopping site MyTheresa. This digital expansion is coupled with news that they are also expanding their brick-and-mortar business with a new Manhattan store due to open in 2018. (Style.com)

    Good news for physical stores selling electronic goods—looks like consumers prefer to shop for gadgets offline. Many shoppers get the best deals by “mob-aisling”, i.e. using mobile to search for better prices or specs while they’re in the store. (MediaPost)

    Sears is hemorrhaging money, and some think the company will close its doors as soon as 2016. It seems that their attempts to turn things around have been unsuccessful, and there isn’t much hope for improvement. (Forbes)

     

     

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