Small Business Mavericks

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Offline Retail Analytics Via Smartphone

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Euclid collects data for retail businesses using smartphone technology to track consumer movement. Here’s how it works, in a nutshell: Euclid installs sensors in retailers’ locations that can measure how many people walked by a store, how many walked in and for how long they stayed based on when their smartphones emit a kind of radar searching for wireless Internet signals. The incredible thing about that is it allows retail store owners an opportunity to use actionable data that, before now, they haven’t had access to. think this is a sublime idea.

Do You Know Your “Empty Nesters”?

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Recently, Retail TouchPoints looked at the way that most “empty nesters” consult the web, browse, and buy via mobile. 85% trust third-person product reviews from major retail sites. There have been interesting changes in many of the demographics marketers are accustomed to targeting. study was done on shoppers born between the years 1946 and 1964 who do not have children living at home. This is what was discovered: 82% would rather browse online than in-store. 65% use smartphones to look up product information. 64% have made purchases using their tablets.

Video Ads, Facebook, and Marketing

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The plans, according to Internet Retailer , include targeting every woman in the United States who is over 21 with a video ad promoting their holiday magic & spirit. By the time you read this, Macy’s massive Thanksgiving ad campaign will be in full swing on Facebook. Anybody who interacts with the ad by commenting, sharing, or liking it will be targeted with follow-up ads about their sales. Every woman in America? I’ll be curious to see if I get one on my feed. Are You Looking At Video Ads? But it is going to become one sooner or later, if things keep progressing.

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Tis The Season For Marketing Mistakes

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Marketing Pilgrim’s Cynthia Boris looks at the split-personality of the season in her post titled, “ Retailers are from Mars, shoppers are from Venus.” The numbers show the inconsistencies: 16% of customers start shopping before Halloween –  BUT  – 55% of retailers start promoting holiday shopping before Halloween. 54% of shoppers say stores don’t provide enough information –  BUT  – 87% of retailers feel they give all the info the consumer needs. This is a crazy time of year for marketers. Yikes!

Good Customer Service Is Good Marketing

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This is very apparent in retail, with the current omni-channel expectations of consumers armed with a smartphone and not afraid to use it to research products while waiting in line. Blurry lines being crossed by an individual expecting a positive experience no matter which channel they access — that’s the expectation of today’s retail customer. But retailers aren’t the only businesses seeing this blurring in their siloed operations. Omni-Channel Businesses. Customer Experience Is Powerful.

Online Coupons For Small Business – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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leaving the retailer with $7.50 for $30 worth of goods – a loss of $22.50 for every transaction. Are online coupons good for small businesses? Like every marketing strategy , coupons have good points and bad points. It all comes back to management and control – lose control and you can cause serious damage to your business. That was the case with one (of many according to social gossip) business who decided to run a campaign through Groupon. While much has been said about Groupon’s role in the demise of this business, the business owner has to take some responsibility.

Mailed vs Email Greetings for the Holidays

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billion in retail sales. The holiday season is just around the corner and will be upon us quicker than we can say “Holiday Greeting Cards!”. Living in a world filled with technology, do you still mail out your cards via the USPS or do you send out e-cards? If you’re sending out e-cards, do they convey the same depth of emotion which a hand picked, hand written card is thought to expresses? According to the Greeting Card Association (GCA), approximately 7 billion greeting cards are purchased annually in the U.S., generating $7.5 Hallmark claims over the Christmas holiday 1.5

Blockbuster Is Transforming Into Netflix

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So that’s something for you fashion retailers to think about. Ever since Netflix came on the scene, Blockbuster has been struggling. Now, they’re closing all their brick-and-mortar stores. But they’re not going out of business. Instead, their going to a streaming-only model. That’s all well and good. It worked for Netflix. But I can’t help but wonder if it might be too late for Blockbuster. Remember Borders Books and Music? They discovered e-books just a little bit too late. By that time, the game was over. Is there room for Blockbuster?

The Perfect Website For Off-Line Marketing

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This makes sense since you own a retail shoe shop. About Us What’s a Maverick? Yahoo! Unloads Delicious » The Perfect Website For Off-Line Marketing Ever wonder how you can use online sources for off-line marketing? There actually is a website that is perfect for this and that was created specifically for that purpose. It’s called Meetup. Really simple, right? Yes, sort of.

Taking Advantage Of Peaks And Troughs In Website Traffic

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They tell me that visits to online retailers throughout the nation plummeted during the Super Bowl, other website owners report similar drops in traffic on holiday weekends. Bricks and mortar business owners will be well familiar with the peaks and troughs of customer traffic. Some days are busier than others; particular times are busier then others; and there are even different times of the year that are busier than others. Small business owners cope by either working harder during busy times, or hiring casual staff. What about online businesses? Troughs are not always easy to build on.

Small Business Owners Hopping Mad Over Amazon’s New App

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This has caused small business owners to complain to the Retail Industry Leaders Association about the unfair competition. Just when you thought you had seen and heard it all, Amazon takes on a brave move to take business away from small business owners. Amazon has released a free app for iphone and smart phone users so that consumers can then go into any brick and mortar business, find something they are interested in, scan the bar code and see if Amazon has it at a lower cost. This is the reason that small business owners are so mad. Of course, the product has to be an exact match.

Time To Go Digital

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They have become the digital competitor to virtually every type of retail business in the brick-and-mortar world. If traditional retailers like Staples are struggling, then how much more so are all the rest? Where will brick-and-more retailers be in 15 or 20 years? Imagine yourself being in a small town and having your retail business swallowed up by the likes of Wal-Mart and Target. One option is to transition your small town retail shop into an e-commerce store and expand your customer base. Say what? Will they be extinct? In fact, now may be too late.

Your Social Media Lead Generation System

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You spent X amount of dollars on a social media campaign to drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar retail stores. In my last post, I talked about the most important thing in your online lead generation efforts. But today I want to talk about using social media for lead generation. How do you determine your return on investment (ROI), or should you bother? I’ll say right off the bat, it’s difficult. You should definitely measure your results, but don’t be discouraged if you find ROI an elusive target. There are many things that affect the ROI of your social media.

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To Pin Or Not To Pin

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Social Media business e-commerce Pinterest products retail Constant Contact has a great post on how to determine what is pinnable on Pinterest. It’s a useful post, particularly if you don’t own an e-commerce website or don’t sell physical products. You may think that you don’t have anything you can pin, but you’d be wrong. Pinterest isn’t necessarily about promoting your own products. You can promote your business indirectly by promoting others. couple of sentences of commentary can demonstrate you understand how to fix problems. Think “vibe.”

Why You Should Not Give Up On E-mail Marketing

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General retail follows with 41.4% Retail Apparel is second in the click-rate category (5.3%). In August, Smart Insights published some statistics on e-mail marketing for various sectors within the UK and U.S. markets. You’ll find these insights useful, but more importantly, they say something about how important e-mail marketing really is. Let’s take a look at some of the stats: Of 46 business sectors, e-mail open rates range from 13.9% to 29.4%. The top three sectors for open rates include Hobbies, Arts & Artists, and Photo and Video. unique open rate. Which U.S.

Can Social Media Generate Leads?

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Or it could be someone who walks into the door of your retail store. Social media has come a long way since the days of Friendster and MySpace. Facebook was a game changer in a big way. But other social media websites have upped the ante in some very real ways. YouTube, for instance, is the second largest search engine on the planet. There is some evidence that Google+ increases search exposure for brands that use it. Pinterest has a very loyal demographic in strong female base. Twitter is notorious for delivering high click-through rates (CTR) and conversions if done well.

Can You Cross-Promote Online?

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One thing retailers off line have grown mighty adept at is cross-promoting. Online retailers can get in on the cross-promotion game as well. Perhaps the best online retail store at cross-promotion is Amazon. Small Business Internet Marketing cross-promotion online retailYou go to your favorite store and put a bit of merchandise on the counter and what does the sales clerk do? If she’s a smart sales clerk she’ll ask if you’ve tried the new wing-ding that nicely compliments this gadget you’re about to buy. Have you shopped there lately?

If You Build It, Will They Come?

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They are beautiful, but major retailers didn’t see a demand for such a small niche. Major retailers had turned down the chance to market these dolls because they saw limited sales, but online marketing is proving them wrong. There is a deceptive slogan floating around our culture–one that says, “If you build it, they will come.” ” This movie misquote leaves out an important factor: If they don’t know it exists, why would they come anywhere near it? How would they find it? Case Study in Word of Mouth. How many sales? About 10-15 a month.

Is SearchDex A Scapegoat? | Small Business Mavericks

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The New York Times published a story on Saturday about huge retailer J.C. – The New York Times published a story on Saturday about huge retailer J.C. About Us What’s a Maverick? Facebook Changes Page Layout Features » Is SearchDex A Scapegoat? Penney getting caught buying links. The interesting part of this story from a small business standpoint is what happened to J.C.

Are You Using The Best Way To Get Traffic To Your Site?

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recent report by BrightEdge called “Cracking the Content Code” that took five industries (Retail, Media & Entertainment, Business Services, Technology/Internet, and Hospitality) and analyzed  which was the most effective driver of traffic; organic search, paid, display /email or social. . Retail and Hospitality do best with paying for search marketing. Marketing Pilgrim’s Cynthia Boris knows a lot about online marketing and content so she was pretty happy the other day. As she says, “ You can pay and pay but organic search still wins.”

Are Your Customers Worried About Security?

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One of the devastating effects of past retail security breaches was a drop in the number of people willing to shop in those stores. It sure seems like there are repeated waves of news stories about hackers managing to compromise security for a lot of people. This latest wave has anyone who has done business with part of the Community Health network worried, but even those not affected yet wonder when they will be. People Want To Feel Safe On Your Site. One of the best ways to help customers feel confident is by making your privacy policies easy to find and easy to read.

Get Creative With QR Codes

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Imagine that mobile user passing by your retail shop and seeing the QR code on your front door. A QR code is a special scannable icon that you can put on your store window, a sign, a flyer or brochure, or a print ad. The icon is designed to allow mobile phone users to scan the graphic, which takes them to your web page or landing page designed for a specific purpose. Pac Man. Louis Vitton.

Track Your #Hashtags More Easily With HashAtIt

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It could help specialty retailers predict fads (always a challenge) and give you a good idea on which branding strategies are working and what isn’t. There’s a new social search engine in town: HashAtIt.com  says they can make it easy to combine all the metadata tags (those # symbols followed by a word or unspaced phrase) and look them up. This means any trend you want to follow on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter can be monitored on all sites at once. Here’s how it works — you see a #hashtag that catches your attention on any subject at all, anywhere.

Promote Holiday Shopping With Social Media

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A set of holiday shopping statistics shared by Constant Contact illustrates the growing importance of social media for retailers, especially during the holiday shopping season. It seems that holiday shoppers are starting earlier every year. Many people now shop on Thanksgiving Day. But, like always, many consumers still research products online and buy in brick and mortar stores. Still, having information available to them online is very important for driving sales at your brick and mortar stores. 90% of sales take place in brick and mortar stores. Online sales will increase by 15.1%

Use The Past To Predict The Future

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Retail businesses have been doing this for years. There are lots of ways to predict the future. One way is to use the past. That is, take data from history and use it to predict what the future might hold. It’s called predictive analytics. If you have a particular product that does better in July than at any other time of year, then you can use that information to plan for your next July. Stock up on that product, merchandise it well in your stores, and make the necessary arrangements for the rest of your inventory while you’re at it. Even service businesses.

Gearing Up For Black Friday, Cyber Monday

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Two days of the year are traditionally the biggest shopping days for retailers, online and off line. It’s the day when retailers open their doors early to allow shoppers inside to do their Christmas shopping. It’s the biggest day for online retailers and every year it keeps getting bigger. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar retailer or an online e-tailer, online marketing is still a necessary endeavor in your overall marketing plan. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest day for brick-and-mortar stores. It always has been.

Google Trends Adds Top Charts Lists

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Retail Companies. Just in case you need a new search tool, Google has added one. It’s called Top Charts and it’s a part of the Google Trends project. Top Charts allows you to search for the top searches in a variety of categories by region and by month. It goes back to January 2004. Categories you can view top searches for include: Actors. Animals. Athletes. Actors. Baseball Players. Baseball Teams. Basketball Players. Basketball Teams. Books. Business People. Car Companies. Chemical Elements. Cities. Cocktails. Colleges & Universities. Countries & Regions. Drinks.

Growing Your List With Smartphones

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It works for retail stores, restaurants, service businesses, any type of business. Smartphones have changed mobile marketing for the better. Well, they’ve changed marketing period. For the better. Constant Contact has two free apps to help you grow your list to smartphone users. Text-to-Join allows you to acquire e-mail addresses through texting whilst Scan-to-Join allows you to acquire new list members with QR codes. The great thing about the Text-to-Join app is you can set it up today and then forget about it. It works its charm. It’s also free. Easy as pie.

The Brick And Mortar E-commerce Advantage

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If you run an off line retail shop and you’re wondering how you can compete with your online counterparts, well, don’t think you can’t. The brick and mortar retailer, however, can market themselves online and take payments off line – even in cash – which gives you a stealthy advantage over your online counterparts. This advantage doesn’t just extend to large retailers. You might actually have an advantage. Online-only stores have no way to take cash payments. If a customer prefers to pay cash, that’s too bad. Don’t believe me?

Optimize Globally, Rank Locally

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If you sell shoes in a retail shop in Wayzata and don’t do any selling through an online store, then ranking globally makes no sense. Many small business owners wonder whether or not it is possible to rank locally and globally at the same time for the same keywords. The answer is, yes. But you may not want to rank globally at all. You should stick to local Internet marketing. But what if you are a regional or national shoe store chain? Then you can rank locally for each store in your chain and pursue global search rankings as well. You should pursue those local rankings in Maps.

When Social Comes To Your Automobile

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Here’s another scenario: Suppose a customer of yours is driving by your retail shop. There’s a growing technology boom in the automotive industry that is based entirely on telematics. It utilizes in-dash technology to deliver real time data through the Internet for the benefit of drivers and their friends. For instance, GPS technology allows a driver to chart a course using Google Maps to arrive at a predefined destination via a predetermined route. In some cases, this can be done by voice commands. Awesome, right? That would be useful, right? think it would.

Why Amazon Has A Strong Reputation

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But with Amazon, the Internet’s largest retailer, it begins with the competition. Reputation management begins with customer service. That’s what I get out of the new Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient Study. Last year, Amazon ranked No. 4. Apple was No. 1 and Google was No. 2. The Coca-Cola Company fell in at No. 4. This year, it’s Amazon, Apple, The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson rounding at the top 5. The surprising part is why consumers see Amazon so positively. Admirable and respectable. Trustworthy. Plays a valuable social role.

3 Off Line Ways To Building Your E-mail List

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Hold a Raffle – Give something away to your retail customers. Building an e-mail list is one of the most challenging tasks for businesses as they make their first attempt at marketing online. But it can be done. And it can be done using off line, or traditional, marketing methods. Here are three off line ways to build your e-mail marketing list. All you have to do is require them to join your e-mail list to enter the raffle. You can have a sign up form on your counter or give them a flyer when they purchase something. Pass out your business cards.

More People Shopping Online In 2012

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The National Retail Federation reports that 51.8% of shoppers this year plan to shop online. A couple of weeks ago I predicted that the Christmas holiday season would set a new record for online shopping. Well, it appears that I was right. Are you surprised? And guess what? 4 out of 10 of them are starting before Halloween. More than 50% will start their shopping online before Thanksgiving. And these consumers plan to purchase nearly 40% of their entire gift selections online. That’s nothing to sneeze at! Have You Started Your Online Christmas Marketing Yet?

Getting Around The Thin Content Rule

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Or, what if you own a chain of retail stores and you decide to offer coupons for your stores. The Panda and Penguin updates that Google introduced over the last year-and-a-half have shaken up the Web a bit. One way that really took a lot of webmasters by surprise is something called the thin content rule. If you have just a few words of content on a web page, then Google won’t necessarily index that web page – or they could bury it down in the search rankings somewhere. ” So what kind of information might we be talking about?

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Welcome To Cyber Monday

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Not because online retailers have conspired against you, but because consumers have become more comfortable buying online. OK, and partly because online retailers want your money. Today is the biggest online shopping day of the year. Or is it? According to Mark W. Smith of Detroit Free Press , it’s all a sham. You’ve been had. Just as Hallmark created days for greeting card sales, the candy makers created days to make more candy sales, and the Easter Bunny is in cahoots with Santa Claus and the credit card companies to keep you busy twice a year. Who knows?

Amazon Goes Local

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That’s right, Amazon.com, the online retail giant. If you think Groupon is a good deal and enjoy making daily deals, or taking advantage of the daily deals offered by other local businesses in your area, then you’ll likely fall in love with Amazon. Amazon has recently offered its own daily deals site to compete with Groupon. It’s called AmazonLocal. This is a big deal for a number of reasons. First, Amazon is a recognized name brand, which means instant recognition. think both of those statements is probably true. But I expect new markets to open soon.

Why Local.com Is Important

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These include restaurants, movie theaters, medical services, house cleaning, massages, and retail shopping of various sorts. Local.com is carving out a niche for itself in local search. This is good because local search is one of the most important marketing channels online right now. Most small businesses serve a local market. Furthermore, many service industries can do nothing but serve local markets. For instance, you can’t provide dental services over the Internet. Nor can you change a spark plug or change an automobile’s oil online.

Facebook’s New Ad Products for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

SocialTimes Facebook

Facebook Tuesday introduced three advertising products aimed at retailers with brick-and-mortar stores: store locator, store visits and the offline conversions application-programming interface. Store visits gives retailers information on the number of people who viewed local awareness ads  on Facebook and then actually visited those stores. Optimize future campaigns.

4 Retailer Tips for Marketing to Consumers

Convince & Convert

Time and time again we have heard the phrase, “The customer is always right.” In an era where customer service is so important, retailers and business owners must always remember to keep this in mind. Yet, how can retailers make sure that their consumers are not only getting the message they want to send, but also getting a message the consumer actually wants to hear? Keep It Simple.