POS Security, Small Retail Mobile Commerce, Employee Branding Tips, Gift Cards and Small Retail, Guide to Holiday Sales and Profits

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Weekly Small Retail News Employee theft is a large problem with small retail businesses but not for long. Our first feature in the round up this week is a security device that is triggered at the point of sale when it detects a suspicious transaction. Then we move onto numbers that will show you why small retailers should be using mobile commerce to enhance the customer experience. Our third feature in the round up is an article targeted toward the restaurant industry and crew branding but it’s a universal theory that can be used in any industry. Next we feature an article that all small businesses should consider, selling gift cards for their shops. This inexpensive concept could bring in more profits than you think. The last article we feature in this weeks roundup is more of a guide, an essential guide for small retail business owners that will show you step by step how to maximize your sales and profits during the Holiday shopping season.

1. Fighting the five-finger discount – Agilence has revealed a solution for loss prevention that could revolutionize the retail security industry. The system synchronizes raw security camera footage with point of sale data, taking a till image of every product scanned at the POS. This allows for quick review of thousands of images for any suspicious activity. Read the article for a full explanation and future enhancements.
2. Mobile commerce has arrived – The numbers in this article are proof enough that small retailers need to start implementing a mobile commerce strategy. North American mobile commerce sales will be above $750 million in the upcoming year and over 57 million American people access the web via a mobile device at least once a day. Still not convinced? The article lists many other staggering facts as well as a detailed chart showing the data.
3. Your Crew Is Your Brand – As I stated in the beginning of this post, the article is targeted toward the restaurant industry. After reading the great advice given by the author about how your employees can influence your company brand, I felt that all retailers could gain knowledge from it. The article goes into what’s missing, what’s needed and examples of who is using great techniques to bring employees to the level of promoting your brand image positively.
4. Every Business Should Be Offering Gift Cards – I couldn’t agree more with the author of this article. Every shop whether large or small should be offering their customers the chance to purchase a gift card. They’re easy, a great gift idea and a fantastic way for a current customer to recommend your product or service to a friend. The article gives statistics on the number of consumers that purchase gift cards as well as some great example of why every business should be using them.
5. How to Maximize Holiday Sales and Profits – This has to be the best how to guide I have found for any retail business. It’s a comprehensive three page article that outlines how to differentiate your small business during the holiday season, how to come up with a sales plan and marketing strategies (offline & online) that will increase Holiday sales.

Small Retailer Case Studies Needed, Uniquely Outpace Big Business, 5 Top Small Business WordPress Themes, Analyze with SWOT, Small Retailers Fight Walk-Aways

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MartSmall retail business tips and suggestions dominate this weeks round up. Our first feature is a call from BusinessWeek for small retailers to share their experience and data with them during the holiday sales season. Then read about how to deal with big business moving into your neighborhood and what to do to beat them. Our third feature is the top five WordPress themes for small business which is always helpful for a small retail blog. If you’re wondering what SWOT is then check our fourth feature article of the weekly round up and finish off by reading about how small retailers can fight walk away customers.

1. Looking for a Few Good Retailers… – BusinessWeek is looking for the help of small retailers to help tell the story of “true” holiday sales. The forecast is bleak and experts say sales will drop but BusinessWeek wants to know the truth from independent retailers across the country. Read on to find out how you can help participate and tell your story.

2. Small Retailers: Don’t Emulate Big Biz, Outpace Them – This is a fascinating and helpful article that compares how to small retail shops handled the stress of a big business entering their area. You will be surprised at the results and enjoy the great tips on what you can do as a small business owner to outpace big biz.

3. Top 5 Premium WordPress Themes for Small Business – If you don’t already have a blog to share information with your customers you should get that done immediately. The holiday season is fast approaching and a blog is an effective way to communicate sales, promotions, store events just about anything you would like your customers and potential customers to know. Here is five WordPress themes that will have your small retail blog looking professional.

4. Bring The SWOT To Your Business – The word SWOT caught my eye instantly when I saw this article. I was thinking what in the heck is SWOT…one click later and I find Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats…now I have it and it has my attention. You can start using SWOT to analyze your business, put a plan into action and strategize for better results.

5. Smart retailers fight walk-aways at the checkout – When a customer leaves you retail establishment due to a long, slow line it gets you thinking of what you could do to improve response time. Many small retailers are turning to queue management solutions that can be uniquely customized for each retailer. The articles touches on the different elements of queue management as well as some positive results it may bring to your store.

New POS Printer, Mobile POS from Partner Tech, What Mobile Payments Mean, 7 Small Retailer Recession Tips, 85% will Holiday Shop Online

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iStock_000010196243XSmallNew point of sale products highlight our weekly round up this week. A POS printer with a easy to use LCD screen and a new mobile handheld POS system. The introduction of more mobile solutions for the point of sales brings us to what mobile payments will mean for the marketing world. The economy is still slow for many consumers so we feature an article with 7 tips to market to families during the recession. Then we end will the revelation that 85% of consumers will shop online during this holiday season.

1. New Citizen Printer for More Efficient POS Applications – Citizens Systems Europe has released a new point of sale printer that features an LCD screen for easy configuration and delivery of messages. Read our full review of the CT-S801 Thermal Printer.

2. New Handheld Thermal Makes Order Taking a Simpler Process – Partner Tech has released the new OT-100 handheld ordering terminal or mobile POS. It’s a wireless touch screen point of sale aimed at the hospitality industry but could have potential for all retail environments. The system features a flexible operating system, a 4.3” touch screen and Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s even small enough to place in your pocket.

3. What Mobile Payments Will Mean for the Marketing World – Although the Us has been slow to adapt to mobile payments the question still arises as to what will happen to marketing once a consumer uses a mobile phone for purchases instead of their credit card. Starbucks has introduced the use of mobile payments at the POS allowing iPhone users to download a special app that delivers customer loyalty incentives and re-fill a gift card. Perhaps small retailers will be able to learn form the marketing techniques of Starbucks and the 20% of Japanese consumers that have been using mobile payments over the last four years.

4. ISME 09: Seven tips for marketing to families during a recession – Small retail businesses seem to feel the most effects from a downed economy. Here are 7 tips to marketing to families, particularly women during the time of recession. Women will still shop and buy things that their families need but they tend to shop differently when money has become tight.

What’s different? A drastic uptick in private label brand usage, more coupon clipping, and more online research of purchases before getting in the car to head to the store.

5. Consumers say holiday budgets are tight, 85 percent will shop online – After reading this article and looking at the survey results you better hope you have an online presence this holiday season. Even a small retail shop can benefit form having their store or prices online. Connecting with customers online will be crucial during the holidays as 57% of those surveyed said they will shop around online to find the best deal. If your small retail shop is not on the world wide web you could miss out on important holiday sales.

Citizen Systems CT-S801 Thermal POS Printer with LCD Screen Review

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ct-s801Company: Citzens Systems
Product: CT-S801 Thermal Receipt Printer w/LCD Screen
Price Range: $285 – $354
Where To Buy: BarCode Discount, AutoIDSavings, POSSavings

CT-S801 Thermal Receipt Printer Overview

Citizen Systems CT-S801 prints tickets, receipts and barcodes at the point of sale. This printer is the fastest in it’s class and features a LCD screen that flashes the blacklight to red if there is any type of an error. The LCD screen shows helpful messages and makes for easy configuration of the printer’s settings. The CT-S801 also offers a soft-close system that will not allow the top cover to slam shut. Citizen systems CT-S801 has taken a innovative approach with a new snap-in system with no tools needed to replace the cutter or thermal printhead.

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