Tag Archive : retail

Any small business owner knows how stressful the holiday season can feel. December comes around, and it becomes hard to participate in the holiday spirit amidst the hustle and bustle of the fourth quarter. Here are a few guidelines to staying sane during this busy time:

Eat a Balanced Diet
You may think eating has nothing to do with running your business (unless you run a restaurant!), but studies show that’s not at all the case. In fact, there are signals sent directly from your stomach to your brain, which impact your level of stress. So swap out junk food for some fruit and vegetables, and focus on portion size when attending holiday parties with indulgent treats. Eating better will actually make you feel better during those long days at work this month!

Ditch Your Coffee
Caffeine may feel good in the moment (like, really good), but overtime, too much caffeine can cause you to be emotionally overreactive to stress. Drink some festive egg nog instead of your usual cup of joe a few times a week. Cutting back on caffeine will increase its positive effects when you do drink it.

Time to Unwind
Another thing that will make you feel a whole lot better during those long days is a reward waiting for you at the end! Whether it’s time spent baking some christmas goodies, hanging out with your family, or even watching A Christmas Story- you need some down time to balance all your hard work. Also, reward your employees or co-workers by including them in a festive wine night, or treating them to dinner, where you can all focus on making spirits bright.

Get Enough Sleep
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends seven to eight hours of sleep per night for adults. This holiday season, make a point of having lots of silent nights. You will feel more productive in the morning and be more motivated when helping your many customers!

Play Some Music
In the words of Buddy the Elf: “The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”. Okay; so maybe the constant Christmas music echoing through the month of December is not something you find completely relaxing. That said, music is good for your brain. It makes you happier, more productive, and more motivated. Your mood can be improved by simply listening to your favorite tunes. Try listening to music on the way to work, or even playing it in your work environment.

Take some deep breaths, and keep calm this month. After all, the holidays are about appreciating our lives and loved ones, and spreading kindness. Keep that in mind, along with these relaxing tips, and you’re sure to have a successful holiday season.

If you own a business, you know how quickly time goes by when things become busy. That’s why planning ahead is key to running your business smoothly. Sure, you can get away with procrastination. But it feels so much better to plan in advance, so you can actually remember to enjoy your business, especially during the busy holiday season. Here are a few reasons you should start planning now, not later:

1. Success
When you make a plan for the future, chances are you have an end goal to that plan. Planning ahead, therefore, allows you to reach a goal and find tangible success in your business.

2. Preparation
Planning ahead also allows you to be prepared for a multitude of scenarios. Once you know what to expect, you are more likely to handle a given situation in the best way possible.

3. Control
With the ambiguity and unpredictable nature of business ownership, you should take advantage of the things you can control. One of those things is planning. Whether its an event, a strategy, or something as simple as employee hours, planning can never hurt.

4. Efficiency
If you set a plan, you are more likely to take action efficiently. This means less time and effort on your part, which is always a plus.

5. Fulfillment
When something goes as planned, you will find it fulfilling. As aforementioned, you probably have an end goal to any plan you set. Meeting that goal will remind you why you love your business so much.

6. Direction
Plans are like maps. They have definite direction, just like your business should. Planning ahead will help you refine the direction of your business, and benefit you in the long run.

Hopefully after reading this, you feel more motivated to start planning now, rather than later. The evidence is clear, and the plan is now in your hands!

Promotion and Deal Ideas for Shopping

Need some ideas to get started using SLN to promote your deals and promotions? Here are some that we came up with!

Birthday Deals- Offer discounts or deals for your loyal customer’s birthdays! It shows them you care and gives them a birthday gift–from you!

Holiday Deals- The time of the year where everyone is buying gifts for their loved ones. If you offer deals, your customers can save money and be able to get more for their friends and family.

New Products- Provide promotions for any new items or brands, let your customers know by advertising it! They then know where it is available. If it is a well-known brand, try promoting before hand so that your customers get excited.

Sidewalk Sales- Or end of the season sales, or anything else-let your customers know! If you advertise it before hand, your customers will get excited and plan a visit to your store!

Have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out these example businesses for inspiration:

http://your-townusa.savelocalnow.com/business/Zach-s-Sporting-Goods

http://your-townusa.savelocalnow.com/business/Puck-Hardware

http://your-townusa.savelocalnow.com/business/The-Thrift-Store

Michael Della Penna, ClickZ.com

The holiday shopping season will be here before you know it. Now is the time retailers need to think about all the ways mobile marketing can help them reach their goals.

Here’s five ways they can:

  1. Responsive design. With the growing number of emails being opened on a mobile device (surpassing 50 percent or more), optimizing email rendering to create a great customer experience is critical this holiday season. But why then have nearly a third of marketers surveyed at my company’s recent conference indicated they have not utilized responsive design for email yet? While responsive design is more difficult to produce, marketers who implement responsive design report a 20 percent increase in clicks and conversions on average. Start slowly by isolating one or two responsive-designed emails to track and measure the impact for your brand and then proceed with a full rollout in time for the holidays.
    Survey results from attendees of “The World Has Gone Mobile” at Responsys Interact 2013.
  2. Apps, push, and cross-channel triggers. App development ranked second to only mobile measurement in terms of a marketer’s top mobile priorities for 2013, according to a recent Responsys survey. If you’re a leading retailer who still does not have an app, build now and consider using the holiday season to launch and promote it. If you already have an app, look to enable push notification and inbox messaging to help promote your marketing efforts. Location-based offers and geo-fencing may also be considered and tested to help drive store traffic and marketing success during the holidays. Finally, location signals from push may also be used to trigger cross-channel-orchestrated messaging across email, SMS, and Passbook if your marketing provider and/or system can connect app users to the customer record. Be sure your marketing provider can also support orchestrated messaging across channels to improve the program’s efficiency and to maximize success.
  3. Passbook/Google Wallet. While the popularity of Passbook/Google Wallet continues to increase, a growing number of retailers are embracing Passbook/Google Wallet to encourage customers to load loyalty cards, coupons, and more. Consider using email and SMS to introduce and promote Passbook/Google Wallet to your subscribers, and be sure to explain the benefits and appropriate call-to-action to encourage usage. Finally, use holdout groups to measure its impact and track the increase in incremental in-store sales.
  4. SMS remains the workhorse of mobile marketing. Leverage the ubiquitousness of SMS to promote marketing programs offline as well as through text messaging. Consider in-store signage and promotional initiatives to encourage incremental spend and text messaging signups. Create program flows that enable the consumer to not only sign up, but to provide her email address and location. This helps tie phone numbers to the right customer records, which in turn enables marketers to produce highly targeted offers and messaging. Finally, it is also important to note that as you add new mobile channels, providing consumers access to an expanded preference center to control what messages they receive where and the frequency of those messages is paramount. Automated technologies may also be used to trigger additional messaging based on behaviors (e.g., didn’t open an email) to help expand reach and response without overwhelming the consumer.
  5. In-store Wi-Fi. In-store Wi-Fi is increasing in popularity. For retailers that are embracing and testing in-store Wi-Fi, it offers numerous opportunities including the ability to measure in-store traffic and competitive online shopping and price comparing. However, the future and opportunity of in-store Wi-Fi will continue to evolve. It will enable marketers to have the ability to capture important consumer behaviors during a brick-and-mortar experience, and potentially serve up offers to individual shoppers based on their behaviors and interests with the appropriate permissions. Finally, Wi-Fi offers and shopping behaviors may even be tied to POS systems enabling marketers to close the loop on the journey from pre-shopping communications to behaviors during an in-store visit to post-shopping up-sell/cross-sell offers. Continued developments including gaining permission to market and match consumers to existing databases while in-store will allow leading retailers to tie behaviors across online and offline activities. Several leading retailers now offering in-store Wi-Fi are currently exploring new and exciting activities on this front.

If the 2013 holiday season is a continuation of last year’s trends, shoppers will be more likely than ever to turn to their mobile devices to view offers, comparison shop in-store, and purchase goods and services. The marketers who embrace the mobile mindset and offer an optimized mobile experience across email, web, apps, Passbook, and in-store will be well positioned to drive success in the coming months.

View the original article here.