Small Retailer Recession Tips, Fighting Retailer Credit Card Fees, Specialty Retailers Can Win, Buying Behavior Shift, Small Business Dilemma

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istock_000000225098xsmallI usually bring you an assortment of POS and retail news in the weekly roundup. This week I bring you a special edition aimed only at helping small retailers gain an edge to survive and come out on top of the retail industry. Below you will find a wide variety of tips to help every area of the retail business and see how a major chain is helping to fight those dreaded merchant fees for accepting credit cards.

1. A Look at How Retailers Can Weather the Recession – As a small retail business owner you must study the strategies of big chain stores and implement those strategies according to the business sector you’re in. The author gives a list of 7 ways you can focus your attention to be a successful small retailer.

2. Circle K Petition Update – Circle K has taken it’s clout and used it for something that in the long run can be very beneficial to small businesses. They have a current petition in all their locations for customers to sign. This petition will be making it’s way to Congress in hopes of brining some type of transparency to credit card fees that merchants are having to pay. Many customers are not even aware that the cost of goods are increased to cover these fees which can be quite high.

Circle K’s petition, entitled “Fight Unfair Credit Card Fees,” begins: “The credit-card interchange fee is the biggest credit-card fee you’ve never heard of. Nearly $2 of every $100 American consumers spend using credit cards goes directly to the credit-card industry through the interchange fee. In 2008 alone, Americans paid over $48 billion in interchange fees, more than twice what was paid in credit card late fees and three times ATM fees. The average American household paid $427 in credit-card interchange fees last year. Total interchange fee revenues have tripled since 2001.”

3. How Specialty Retailers Can Outcompete Large Merchants – Have big boxed merchants showed up on your retail stomping grounds? More than likely they have and they are willing to push you right out and gain that customer base. This author gives some great tips on how a Specialty Small Retail Shop can rise above and crush the competition.

4. There’s Going to be a Major Shift in Boomer Buying Behavior – This may be something that none of you have thought about, Baby Boomers. They make up almost a third of the American consumers and they are cutting their spending. The Specialty Retail Expert offers four strategic questions that must be answered in order for you to survive the next major shift in buying behavior.

5. Small Business Dilemma: Profitability vs. Service Integrity – Balance is everything in any small retail business. This article defines the difference between the profitability and service integrity issue. Then goes on with a case study and offers some advice and balancing profits with great service.
Bonus:
6. London retailer puts shoplifter photos on its web site – I just couldn’t pass this one up! This London Company has a great way to control theft and keep costs down. They post the CCTV pictures of suspected shoplifters on their website and they offer a reward if any of the suspected shoplifters are arrested!

Wireless POS, Small Retailer Confusion of PCI, Small Retailers are Small in America, Giving Through Retail

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istock_000002468759xsmallThis weeks roundup highlights the benefits of a wireless hand-held point of sale and the benefits of holding a type of charity event for your community. We also feature a couple articles on the PCI compliance regulations for retailers and how they can make sure their POS is up to code.

1. Wireless Hand-held POS System Aids Restaurant Business – An inspiring article about how a hand-held wireless POS system manufactured by Motorola is benefiting the restaurant industry. This is coming of the age technology that will help reduce wait times, reduce order errors and super improve customer service. The days of long lines at your restaurant point of sale are over…welcome to wireless hand-held POS.

2. Research Finds PCI DSS Awareness High Among Small Retailers, Lack of Understanding Remains Huge Hurdle – The new PCI standards for security seems like a painful process but an important one for all people involved. It seems many small retailers are still in the dark about the new PCI standards and what they are to do to meet the standard. The article includes a link to a PCI Knowledge base that can help small retailers understand what exactly need to be done and how.

3. Survey: Level 4s Recognition Of PCI High, Understanding Of It Almost Nil – This article is related to the one above, but offered answered to very commonly asked questions by small businesses about PCI compliance and their current POS system.

4. America’s (Very Small) Small-Business Sector – This short but stunning article took me by surprise. A study published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that although America is known as the country to achieve the “American Dream”, only 7.2% of the retail industry consists of small retailers. Greece leads the list with 35.9% leaving America second to last in this global small retail market.

5. Give and Get Back—The Value of Cause Marketing – A wonderful idea to increase customer loyalty, increase the overall perception of your business and bring customers in. Hold a charity event! That’s right give back to the community that has supported you for so long by holding a fundraiser or other type of charity event. It will help your community and your business.

Small Retail Customer Service Tips

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istock_000007195515xsmallThis is a special post for all small retailers to help focus their attention on the importance of customer service. These tips and examples will help you improve loyalty, image and overall profits.

1. Why good customer service is like billiards – Great analogy focused on the importance of retail training for employees and how it reflects on your customer service.

2. Does your sales staff sabotage your business? – Another great personal experience from an author that’s in the retail sales industry. A great example on how one bad employee can lose you a customer for life, which in the small retail world could be crucial.

3. Three reasons customer service is so bad – This is a short, but informative article listing three reasons you may not think of when it comes to bad customer service. From health insurance to erratic pricing learn how to avoid these small business pitfalls.

Small Retailer Business Strategies, Back to School Woes for Small Retailers, Tips to Organize, Mobile POS Benefits, Traditional Point of Sale is Changing

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Would you like some tips on excelling your small retail business in a drowning economy? Maybe you’re one of the small retailers that can’t obtain stock for back to school items? Are you familiar with the benefits of deploying a Mobile POS or even know what Mobile POS is? Are you ready to lose the magnetic stripe used to purchase products at your point of sale? If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions read on for this weeks round up of retail and point of sale news.

1. How Small Businesses Win Big in Tough Economies – A positive article stressing the importance of small businesses in the economic recovery. The author states

For every small business failure, dozens more are actually thriving despite the economic panic.

Then the article proceeds with a list of five things that will ensure your small retail business will strive in today’s economy complete with links to some great resources.

2. Credit Worries Limit Small Retailers’ Back-to-School Stocks – The Wall Street Journal features this article which explains why small retailers are limiting their back to school stocks. Many do not have the money or credit to bring in big supplies which in turn will hurt consumers and profits.

3. How to Organize Your Paperwork – Organization can be a problem for any small business. Many times small retailers may feel overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork piling high on their desks. Here are some quick tips to help keep you organized and up to date.

4. Unwiring the store: aligning with the evolving customer lifestyle – Mobile POS (point of sale) has to be one of the best new technologies. It allows for so many options including setting up a payment location anywhere you would like to sell your product or service.

If you have no idea what Mobile POS is or you would like a simple explanation with a great list of benefits then read this extensive article. From benefits to explanations to examples it’s simple to understand and easy to see exactly what you’re missing by not having a mobile point of sale for your small retail business.

5. U.S. magnetic stripe credit cards on brink of extinction? – Finally a day when you can pay for item without worrying if the magnetic stripe still works on your bank card. Not only will this make it easier on customers but better on retail customer service. How many times have you been in a line to pay for an item and another person checking out can’t get their card to read and the cashier has no idea how to send it through manually?

This concept has already been put in place in many areas across Europe. The article gives some insight on why it hasn’t quite taken off in the U.S. yet.

POS Trends, Mass NFC Deployments, Small Retailer Bargain Finds, Customer Service Survival Guide, Small Business CRM

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istock_000005997582xsmallRead about the latest trends in the point of sale industry and get answers to the top four upcoming questions in the small retail pos industry. Then read on and learn about the mass NFC technology deployment being made by large retailers to place contactless readers at point of sale terminals across the country. Ending the weekly round you will find an inspiring article about small retailer real estate bargains, customer service tips and what it means to have a good CRM in place.

1. 4 Retail POS Trends to Watch Out For – An interesting article that focuses on the top four small retail technology trend questions such as new software and hardware trends that are specific to retail. The questions were asked to a variety of vendors close to the field and you’ll be surprised at how close all their answers really were. A clear sign of where small businesses are headed in the point of sale industry.

2. North American NFC Payment Deployments March On – I was amazed at the number of major retailers that are installing contactless readers at point of sale terminals. Among the top stores are Home Depot with a whopping 20,000 systems and Sports Authority. Another very informative and interesting article on where POS technology is headed.

3. Small retailers find opportunity – A truly inspiring article showing that even with the economy looming the small retailer can still come out ahead. Although the article focuses on the New York City area, it’s nice to know that small mom and pop shops that have been around for years serving the community can run their business in the best areas at the best rates.

4. The Small Retailer’s Survival Guide Part 4 Customer Service – We showcase a lot of article on Customer Service, but this one added a few extra tidbits that were interesting. From eye contact, complaints to hygiene and disrespect this article deserves a good reading from every small retail business owner.

5. Small Business CRM Is Here To Stay – If you do not know what a CRM is , it’s simply a customer relationship management system. If you’re not using one, you should. Read up on some important information about why and what to look for in a good CRM.

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