Merchandising means “Don’t forget the ice”

If you have a retail storefront, do you have a solid idea what business you lose to big online retailers vs. the business you can depend on? What sales do you lose to big box retail?¬†Perhaps the bigger question is this: Are you selling what your clients want and need? Does your merchandising support those […]

And after Small Business Saturday?

Besides being a particularly busy Christmas shopping day, this coming Saturday is “Small Business Saturday”. Once a year, American Express (organizer of Small Business Saturday) encourages shoppers to shop at a small local business and offers marketing materials to help small businesses take part in the event by encouraging locals to shop their store. While […]

Doing ahead, not just thinking ahead

Quite often, I talk with business owners about thinking ahead. Something that happened yesterday tells me that I need to change my terminology to “Doing ahead.” Why the change? Primarily, I’m concerned that small businesses are thinking ahead, but stopping there. Thinking ahead discussions often include strategic thoughts of putting yourself out of business by […]

Forgotten: What happens after they showroom?

photo credit: Polycart The last time we talked about showrooming, I referred to a Harris Poll that exposed a conflicting behavior among shoppers. The behavior? “Most” people (70%) say they showroom because of price, yet they often buy locally even if it means having to pay a slightly higher price. That’s right, 70% didn’t choose […]

Are you being showroomed?

photo credit: DaveLawler If you have a retail store, you’ve almost certainly had people showrooming in your store. If you haven’t heard the term,”showrooming” can be summarized as “shopping at local stores to check out an item before buying online.” Showrooming takes different forms and includes: Price checking items on the internet while walking through […]

The most expensive refund

photo credit: Julia Manzerova During my recent trip to Tulsa, I stopped into a chain drug store (similar to Walgreens) next door to the hotel. When I got to the register, a mom with two young kids was trying to exchange an item she had purchased for a very similar item that had the same […]

The Amazon Prime Directive

photo credit: mendhak What did you learn from – and change in your business – after Amazon launched Amazon Prime? If you aren’t aware, Amazon Prime is a membership-based service that provides access to Amazon video-on-demand and free Kindle books from the Kindle lending library – but more importantly, it upgrades all purchases to from […]

I know this sounds awful

photo credit: Badruddeen On a late afternoon errand run, I stopped into a local hardware store for a bag of potting soil. I asked the woman at the counter if they had any left. She stared back at me as if I had asked her for a date (she was at least 25+ years younger), […]

Out of Stock

photo credit: Zigar When your store is out of stock on an item…what does your staff do and say? When I was out of state not long ago, I looked around for a pair of light hikers for everyday wear. I knew exactly what I wanted right down to the model name. I visited a […]

Small business owner: “What’s with these funny new barcodes?”

photo credit: mackarus You may have seen those odd-looking square barcodes in newspapers and magazines, on product boxes, etc. You might even have noticed them in the middle of the star-shaped signage in some Macy’s television commercials. They’re called “QR codes“. Why should business owners should care about them? A smartphone can scan/read a QR […]