point of sale

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.

Future Point of Sale, Mobile Coupons and POS, Small Retail Customer Care, Direct Mail Effectiveness for Small Retailers, Branding and Marketing Trends

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Point of SaleOur first feature this week in the roundup is a video demonstration of Intel’s new POS kiosk. The concept is simply amazing although I think shoppers may spend way to long during the checkout process. Our second pick this week is a company named ChaCha that is offering an outstanding mobile coupon service that would be ideal for small retailers. There’s one catch you can’t have an outdated point of sale machine but it may be worth investing in an upgraded POS service with the new upcoming mobile technology. Third on the list this week is an extensive article about direct response through customer care. This has to be the most informative customer service advice I have ever read…don’t miss that one. We then feature an great from the Specialty Retail Expert about ways direct mail can still help small retailers succeed. Ending the roundup this week is the top 10 brand and marketing trends for the upcoming year. I thought this might help some specialty retailers out there…

1. Intel Point-of-Sale Kiosk Skips Sales Personnel But Not Fitting Rooms – The future of Point of Sale is here…checkout what Intel is calling the ultimate customer checkout experience. Personally I think there are way to many choices but it’s still great.

2. ChaCha Unveils Coupon Service – ChaCha is a text and voice based mobile search service that has recently added a coupon services. User can get discount coupons and special offers from their favorite local retailer. They plan to roll this service out across 20 markets over the next year. What a great opportunity to bring in local customers that will be loyal customers.

3. Driving Response Through Customer Care – This is an incredible article about how to make sure your customers are always happy customers. After all isn’t that what makes your business is a happy customer? This article covers simple and extensive things that may not have even crossed your mind. Read this for small retail success!

4. Direct Mail is Not Dead – Many companies have resorted to online marketing only through email, social media, websites, ect. According to this article they are missing out on a great chance to potential customers. The author lists four cost effective ways to make direct mail work for the small retail industry.

5. Top 10 Brand and Marketing Trends for 2010 – This is a great list of 10 trends that are sure to help develop a strategic retail plan over the next year. It’s always smart to know what new an emerging concepts are hitting the market.

New Mobile POS Application, Mobile Point of Sale Coupons, Small Retail Management Tools, Save Money and Build Customer Loyalty, Tell Customers about Publicity

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iStock_000005301458XSmallMobile is the new technology whether it’s in the small retail sector or every day life. This weeks roundup features a new mobile point of sale application that will run on a blackberry as well as a new mobile POS coupon application. We then turn the attentions to saving money to help with your small business succeed. Including free tools and tips on controlling costs in a small retail environment. After that we will end with ways to focus on your customers which is the single most important element to keeping your retail shop alive.

1. CHARGE Anywhere Releases New Mobile Payment Application for BlackBerry Smartphones – Mobile POS is something that I embrace to a full extent and I feel every small retailer should be using. The convenience to the customer will bring in higher sales and retain loyalty. Consider the scenario of setting up a small vendor booth at your local hometown festival. If you’re able to use a mobile point of sale for customer to pay with a credit card it’s almost guaranteed that they would spend more than having to use cash. Plus it’s so rare that you see this type of payment system outside a normal brick and mortar business that the customer will remember you and pass the word.

2. MoLo Rewards: Making Mobile Coupons a Reality – Molo Reward has introduced a new mobile coupon application that allows customers to receive coupons on their mobile phones and redeem them at a point of sale. Although this is a new concept that many large corporations are starting to implement I believe this technology will catch on quickly. The ease of use for the consumer will be phenomenal and in today’s economy any savings is a good one. There will be a certain cost to small retails in order to start accepting mobile coupons due to the fact that you will have to have a reader installed at the POS. This would however be a great investment that could increase sales and retain customers.

3. Google Docs Templates for Small Business – Google offers free use of it’s document feature for anyone that signs up for an account. Many businesses use them to share documents among other departments or easy access form home. They also have a small business friendly template gallery that’s FREE to use including business plans, basic invoices and DYI business card maker. This is something any small retailer should take advantage of, why pay when you can do it for free.

4. Reduce Costs And Build Customer Loyalty – John Nicola, senior VP of merchant sales at First Data offers some wonderful tips on how to lower your small retail business costs and grow customer loyalty. The tips include advice on upgrading your current POS, contactless payments, paperless payroll options and growing profits through customer loyalty.

5. Let Your Customers Know About Your Publicity – The Retail Specialty Expert offers up some amazing advice on publicity. If you’re running a special promotion to bring in new customers you should find a way to let your existing customers know. This builds credibility and reminds your current customers why they love shopping with you. There are four ways listed that will help you let people know about in store promotions and not just new customers but loyal returning ones too.

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