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

  • 3 New Videos to Guide Your Purchasing in LightSpeed Cloud

    LightSpeed Cloud enables retailers to manage their stores remotely. From employee performance data to end-of-day sales, you can make decisions about your business from anywhere, including creating purchase orders.

    We’ve just released three new videos that will walk you through the basics of creating and managing POs, as well as receiving items. Depending on whether you have one physical location or several, we’ve made the process of ordering from vendors simple, here’s how:

    Multi-Store Centralized Purchasing

    Whether your business includes a warehouse or distribution center that purchases stock and then transfers merchandise to your stores, or a corporate office that creates purchase orders for each shop with direct shop shipment, these versatile purchasing features help you get the job done.

    Single-Store Basic Purchasing

    For single-location businesses, purchasing your inventory with LightSpeed Cloud is a process that takes mere minutes.

    Basic Purchasing in Cloud - https://vimeo.com/102274028

    If you’re searching for a POS that enables centralized purchasing workflows, try a free 14-day trial!

     

  • Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop: A Thriving Brick-And-Mortar Franchise


    Owner "Rocket Rob" with champion boxer Mia St John and reality star Snooki. (Her signature soda?"Snooki Wild Sherry.")

    To capture the nostalgic feeling of being a kid in a candy store, enter a candy store. The Rocket Fizz soda and candy franchise spans across 16 states in the US, with nearly 70 locations. Founded in 2009 by two friends, Rob and Ryan, the brand is known for its unusual flavors of fizzy soda pop. Their unique product mix featuring quirky best sellers such as bacon-flavored soda has garnered a huge interest in franchisees in a short number of years.

    The Rocket Fizz stores offer more than 500 kinds of soda (100 of which they manufacture themselves) well as over 2000 candy products. In the name of fun and frivolity, their “Soda Pop Labels of Fame” are named after the celebrities that endorse them, such as Kourtney’s Baby Bubblies – specially crafted for a Kardashian event – and Mighty Mouse Blue Cream Soda.

    “People LOVE our Lester’s Fixins Bacon and Bacon with Chocolate sodas,” says one of the owners, Rich Shane. “It’s the novelty that draws people to these kinds of products. They’re fun and different, and that’s what people like about us.”

    While ecommerce can be a great platform for candies and sweets, Rocket Fizz is planning on remaining exclusively in the brick-and-mortar world for now. “There are some people who only shop online looking for deals, but that’s not our target customer. We’re an entertainment shopping experience,” explains Shane.

    With stores as cool as their soda, it’s no wonder that their formula for success can be partly attributed to their kitsch Americana branding, and the environment they’ve created for customers.

    Each boutique is packed with colorful products that are as stimulating to the eyes as they are to the tastebuds, and fun pop art covers every surface. Even those who aren’t that into sweets can still enjoy browsing the funky soda flavors, and indulging their nostalgia by checking out the selection of classic American candy that’s no longer sold is most stores.

    “We offer really good products, but ultimately we’re bringing back the fun of childhood, and that’s not something you can duplicate online.”

    While Rocket Fizz’s decor may be inspired by the past, their strategy is decidedly forward-thinking. They’re using cloud-based technology to run their stores, analyze their sales, and bring their unique flavor of retail to an increasing number of storefronts – and sweet-tooths – nationwide.

  • Retail Round-Up: Shopping “Small” Grows in Popularity, and how The North Face has Mastered Omnichannel Retail

    The “small box” community – those who prefer to shop in more intimate environments – is growing. That’s why Target is opening up smaller stores called “Target Express”, which are 15% the size of their typical stores. (brandchannel)

    More good news for brick-and-mortar. Studies conclude that people like to touch things, which would explain why 94% of total retail stales come from physical stores. Online shopping will continue to be important, but companies that sell online perform better when they also have brick-and-mortar stores as one of their channels. (Forbes)

    A brand that’s gotten it right when it comes to the omnichannel experience: The North Face. Beyond building a great brand narrative, the company has mapped out their customer experience, inventory strategies, and data to become a retailer that truly does it all. (National Retail Federation)

    Both fashion and technology industries have become increasingly interwoven, leading technology to play a starring role in runway shows and retail stores. From 3D printing for designers to virtual fitting rooms, there’s a world of opportunity for new innovations. (Apparel)

     

  • 5 Reasons Pet Stores Need a POS

    This year, we partnered with Philips Pet Supplies with the goal of helping indie pet stores become more competitive. One retailer who signed up with the program is Patrick Yates of Animal Kingdom. According to Yates, many pet shops are behind the times when it comes to new retail trends. Having been in the pet shop business since 1997, Yates can attest to the fact that merchants in this industry tend to be late adopters of technology. Here’s Yates’s rationale for embracing a robust POS:

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  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Pop-Up Retail – Lessons From The Social Retail Summit


    Dax Dasilva with Greg Spielberg, Melissa Gonzalez and Eric Ho

    Last week, we were proud attendees and co-sponsors of the Social Retail Summit in Brooklyn, New York. The bi-annual conference brings together innovative retailers, experiential marketing consultants, pop-up shop experts, ecommerce gurus and more. This summer’s edition was no exception. In an industrially chic space in the developing neighborhood of Dumbo, our CEO Dax Dasilva moderated the panel of four, each with a fascinating point-of-view on pop-up retail. Here are each of their Do’s and Don’ts for opening up a temporary store:

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  • Retail Round-Up: Beating eCom with Stellar Service, and Empowering Your Employees

    Tory Burch’s brick-and-mortar business is beating out eCommerce rivals due to their hyper-attentive service strategy, headed up by complimentary refreshments, listening intently to customer feedback, and using iPads in-store. (T-Cuento) (Image: Tory Burch)

    Where are retailers’ priorities when it comes to technology? A survey of 640 LightSpeed users reveals that predictive analytics, inventory management, e-commerce, and in-store mobile device integration are key.  (Tech Vibes)

    Are your employees empowered to do a little extra for customers? Granting employees leeway to delight customers or solve a problem can cause a stir of positive reviews – as we see in two examples from Red Lobster and Frontier Airlines. (Forbes)

    American merchants should take note: people are spending more than ever on practical necessities this summer. Gas, bills, and groceries are leaving little room for leisurely activities and frivolous treats. (Washington Post)

    Your store’s online reviews matter. A new study shows that consumers are paying close attention to online recommendations and reviews of businesses including retail stores. The ultimate recommendation, however, remains word-of-mouth. (RetailWire)

  • The LightSpeed Retail Tech Forecast

    The way in which technology is transforming retail is a perpetual hot topic. Weekly news stories on iBeacon, eCommerce, fitting room technologies, inventory management, mobile checkout and more reveal technology’s growing role in the evolution of the industry. To help make sense of it all, we reached out to the real decision-makers in retail: store owners.

    Our first annual Retail Tech Forecast delivers some hard-hitting stats about the kind of solutions merchants need. 640 independent retailers gave us a clear view of what technology they are using, planning to invest in (or not!), and why.

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  • Summer Reading: 5 Musts for Retailers

    For retailers, summertime often means sales time, tourist season, or a few weeks to prepare for a busy season ahead. During the dog days of summer, we hope they take some time to kick back and relax! Local book stores are great places to cool off, browse a little, and get expert advice from passionate readers. Whether you’re a store manager, owner, or contemplating a new venture, here are five great reads containing business tips and inspiration you can absorb while enjoying some well-deserved R&R.

    1) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
    -By Stephen Covey

    Our social media feeds have inundated us with lists over the past couple of years. Here’s a list that will keep your attention longer than a BuzzFeed page (and it’s probably more useful). This best seller balances anecdotes and theories, and has been described as “life changing”.

    2) Pop-Up Retail: How You Can Master this Global Marketing Phenomenon
    -By Christina Norsig

    The pop-up shop trend isn’t about to slow down, so if you haven’t considered looking into opening your first pop-up, it’s time you did. This book acts as a step-by-step guide for first-timers, covering everything from choosing a location to how to market your temporary store.

    3) The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
    -By Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

    For better or for worse, modern technology has had the biggest impact on our lives and economy since the industrial revolution. This year’s release will trigger your thoughts on how tech innovations have changed societies, and how we can adapt for the future.

    4) David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
    -By Malcolm Gladwell

    It is summer, after all; complement that weighty philosophical reading with something light and fun! Malcolm Gladwell’s books contain highly entertaining anecdotes, while remaining inspiring and thought provoking. This book explores the phenomena of advantages and disadvantages, and how to play with (or against) them to end up as a winner.

    5) Think and Grow Rich
    -By Napoleon Hill

    An oldie but a goodie, Think and Grow Rich has topped the charts as a must-read for entrepreneurs since 1937. Long before the cult-like following of the theories revealed in “The Secret”, Dr. Hill explained the power of positive thinking and creating your own successful realities through desire.

  • Retail Round-Up: Attracting Millennials with Digital Signage, and how Nordstrom is taking Instagram to the Next Level

    Retailers take note: Millennials will make up 1/3 of consumers by 2020, and they’re easily bored. Digital signage is crucial for companies looking to keep their attention. (Market Wired)

    Nordstrom is making shopping on Instagram possible—almost. The app itself doesn’t currently directly link to their site, but they do share bit.ly links that open up in a user’s browser. Instagram has become crucial for consumer interaction, and Nordstrom’s insta-strategy is ahead of the game. (Luxury Daily)

    Main street shops can thank the mobile commerce trend. When it comes to smart phones, consumers are looking for coupons that drive them to physical stores, rather than deals online. (Venture Beat)

    Speaking of mobile commerce, 5 trends including mobile POS devices are slowly becoming the standard in modern retail. Despite the changing face of consumer engagement, focusing on the core product will ultimately remain the most important. (Fox Small Business)

    Since the early 90’s, Chico’s stores have catered to women aged 40+ looking for colorful, affordable fashion. Despite some major financial crises, they’ve retained their target market with loyalty initiatives such as their Passport Program, and by adopting omnichannel strategies. (The Robin Report)

     

  • The No-checkout Checkout at Kinsley

    The typical Californian lifestyle is all about having a laid back, easy-going attitude and fun in the sun. It’s also about being at the forefront of what’s on-trend while remaining comfortable. Kinsley, an independent retail chain in the LA area, exemplifies this lifestyle.

    The three (soon to be four) boutiques reflect southern California’s flavor, and sell mostly LA-based apparel and accessories brands – think breezy dresses and funky totes. With a weathered wood decor, white-washed tables and coral accents, the stores are relaxed and contemporary – and they thought their POS should match. That’s why they’ve switched out their traditional cash registers for a modern iPad setup.

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