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Telecom Retailers Can Improve Customer Experience By Embracing Integrated Solutions


Telecom Retailers Can Improve Customer Experience By Embracing Integrated Solutions

Customer expectations from retail experiences have changed drastically in the past few years. Retailers are now expected to offer a seamless omnichannel experience, quick device activation times, and personalized experiences to their customers. It is not surprising that telecom retailers have struggled in the face of these significant changes, with legacy systems unable to keep up–sometimes leading to poor customer experiences. 

There is no doubt that customer loyalty and advocacy are crucial to ensuring competitiveness in the telecom retail industry. 60% of consumers will become advocates for a brand they are loyal to. But securing advocacy isn’t an easy task. It takes at least five purchases to earn customer loyalty, yet 32% of consumers will walk away from a brand they’ve otherwise loved after just one bad experience.

Telecom retailers simply do not have the luxury of waiting for systems to improve. They need to proactively build customer engagement strategies now.

Here are a few ways telecom retailers can deliver great experiences to customers by adopting integrated solutions and emerging AI technologies.

Create consistent, seamless omnichannel experiences

The retail industry has changed massively in the last decade. Customers have gone from buying primarily in-store to making purchases across a multitude of channels, including online via ecommerce sites, as well as starting their journey on social media. Gen Z, as true digital natives, are extremely comfortable with mobile shopping, and this trend will continue for Gen Alpha, as well. However, in-store shopping isn’t going anywhere, either.

Businesses that embrace the omnichannel trend see a 13.5% growth, which is why positive omnichannel experiences that directly address customer pain points are a necessity. Retail operators must implement policies and systems that reduce inconveniences, and facilitate efficient interactions between customers and brands.

Additionally, the popularity of buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) has been growing, and retailers need to optimize their systems to ensure that customers have a seamless online-to-in-person experience.

Telecom retailers can incorporate software that integrates point-of-sales solutions with ecommerce and mcommerce platforms, ensuring customers can interact with retailers across multiple platforms, from physical stores to mobile apps. A unified omnichannel sales process will enable telecom retailers to deliver frictionless customer experiences wherever customers are.

Build trust with your customers

There is a direct link between the pandemic and customer trust, with 63% of customers surveyed saying their expectations for purchasing products have altered. Customers now expect brands to listen to them, communicate more regularly, preferably after the very first sale, and provide innovative options for making products more affordable.

But trust between customers and brands has been on shaky ground recently–only 50% of consumers surveyed feel they can trust brands. The percentage is even smaller for Gen Z, at only 28%. 

One of the best ways to build trust is through good customer service. According to Brian Higgins, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Verizon, 75% of the customer service calls they receive are due to small, annoying issues that disrupt the customer experience, rather than massive problems. Studies have shown that great customer experiences can increase a customer’s trust in their brand, leading to multiple purchases. This is yet another reason to improve systems for customer interactions.

Integrated software solutions can be adapted for different retailers to provide consumers with more positive point-of-sale experiences, in turn, building trust between customers and brands.

Personalize experiences for your customer’s needs

Which brings us to customer data: how to collect it, how to analyze it, and how to use it. Customer insights aren’t just a nice-to-have; they are a must-have for retail operators to stay on top of customer requirements and build customer loyalty. Especially since 81% of customers want relationships with their favorite brands.

Additionally, business to consumer experiences are no longer one-to-many. About 70% of customers now expect a one-to-one approach, no matter how many channels and touchpoints they cycle through. Telecom retailers have to change the way they engage with customers, treating them not as a group, but as many individuals.

There are numerous ways for telecom retailers to collect data to create personalized experiences: feedback forms, customer interviews, observations by salespeople, and of course, purchase history. But data is useless if it isn’t analyzed to generate insights.

Telecom retailers can have a wealth of data about their customers and their purchasing behavior. But processing this data to offer customized 1:1 promotion options is another matter.

AI tools have made it much easier to process large amounts of data and even to draw conclusions. Verizon is currently using AI to sort through historic customer information and empower service representatives to deliver more personalized experiences.

AI can do a lot of data processing in the background without any involvement from employees, or anyone realizing it’s happening. For example, a store associate could be showing a customer various device options while AI is doing the research in the background. By the time the customer has decided on a device, the associate will have rate plans, promotions, and add-on options at their fingertips.

Reduce customer waiting times

One of the most precious commodities for customers is time. Retail operators cannot afford to waste a customer’s time or they will risk losing that customer. Queueing for retail purchases is three times more common than in other industries, and 82% of customers avoid brands because of lines. In particular, the device activation journey has been notoriously difficult for customers, often taking between 45-60 minutes to complete. That is an inordinate amount of time for a customer to wait.

Integrated systems are the key to reducing queues in-store and improving customer purchase experiences. Using interconnected technologies, sales representatives can access customer data, product information, and carrier rate plans faster, enabling them to communicate with customers more effectively. This, in turn, ensures that salespeople are better able to process purchases and smoothen the device activation process.

Customers are reaching brands from multiple channels, and this presents exciting growth opportunities for telecom retailers. However, businesses must also react to the shifting needs of customers to ensure retention and loyalty. A multi-pronged approach using today’s interconnected commerce systems and evolving AI technologies is beginning to improve customer experiences and satisfaction. Technology is only going to get better–if telecom retail operators can adapt to the improvements, they will see positive results.

About the Author

Stacy Hamer is the Chief Operating Officer at iQmetrix, North America’s only provider of Interconnected Commerce solutions for telecom. Stacy has been with iQmetrix since 2002, handling everything from account management to enterprise consulting. More recently, Stacy headed Client Experience and, in 2022, she stepped up to lead the company’s operations.


ODW Logistics to Showcase Innovative Retail Consolidation Solutions at Shoptalk 2024 in Las Vegas

ODW Logistics Helps Retailers Save Over 30% On Transportation Expenses And Contribute To A Greener Environment

ODW Logistics, a rapidly expanding national third-party logistics (3PL) provider specializing in integrated logistics solutions, has revealed its plans to present cutting-edge freight consolidation solutions at Shoptalk 2024. Additionally, the company will highlight its unparalleled proficiency in contract logistics, warehousing, and transportation management.

Jeff Clark, Executive Vice President of ODW Logistics, expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity Shoptalk presents for networking with industry peers and potential clients. He stated, “ODW boasts a robust retail consolidation program, allowing our clients to merge shipments and optimize truckloads for major retailers nationwide. Shoptalk provides an ideal platform for our team to engage with industry leaders and share expertise on solutions that align with the evolving needs of expanding businesses.”

The company’s Midwest distribution campus, featuring over 17 distribution centers spanning four million square feet, serves as a central hub for consolidating shipments destined for retail giants such as Walmart, Target, Dollar Stores, Kroger, Walgreens, and numerous others.

Clark emphasized the significant cost-saving potential of ODW’s consolidation services, stating, “By consolidating multiple shippers into more efficient truckloads, businesses can realize savings of over 30% on transportation expenses. Our solutions not only drive down transportation costs but also enhance shipping efficiencies, reduce freight claims, and contribute to lower carbon emissions. ODW goes beyond mere service provision; we lay a sturdy foundation for our clients’ growth and equip them with the tools and resources necessary for sustained success.”

Attendees of Shoptalk are encouraged to visit Booth 2341 to discover more about ODW Logistics, its comprehensive range of 3PL services, and potential career opportunities within the organization.


Where Retailers & Manufacturing Partners Will Leverage The Metaverse in 2024

Retail is one of the most important areas of today’s business and commercial landscape, and while has evolved over the years it will not go away anytime soon. Technology evolution is a constant in the industry, from the invention of the first cash register in 1883 to barcodes and inventory management methods in 1974. 

And while the Internet and mobile technology have also played a major role in this evolution, today the metaverse is poised to bring even more promise to elevating the experience for consumers through greater efficiencies realized by the retailers themselves.

As the industry faces ongoing economic pressures in the coming years, it’s important for retailers to stay ahead of the curve by adopting the latest technology trends. Ultimately, the best technologies for retailers are solutions that remove all barriers to the customer experience and make shopping easier for customers. In recent years, the retail industry has adopted POS systems, CRM platforms, ERP systems, artificial intelligence (AI) systems, retail management software (RMS) and more. 

Enabling a Greater Customer Experience

Great customer experiences will continue to be the biggest customer expectation in 2024. Technology continues to do that. Customers expect a seamless, consistent and memorable shopping experience. There has been a lot of interest in metaverse-based immersive digital retail environments where consumers can shop across platforms through AR and VR. VR is the most immersive way to join the metaverse. Although the future of the metaverse is uncertain, retailers are exploring AR and VR solutions to create immersive and fun experiences that allow shoppers to shop in a simulated environment.

Major retailers today, including Hugo Boss, Walmart, and Amazon, allow visitors and shoppers to virtually try on clothing using digital representations of themselves, an extension of the earlier use of AR by furniture companies. In fact, IKEA’s app was one of the first AR apps to be released using Apple’s augmented reality technology.

How Will Retailers Use the Metaverse?

Retailers and their manufacturing partners today are leveraging the metaverse and digital twins to create greater efficiencies in their operations in several ways.

The metaverse refers to a collective virtual shared space that is created by the convergence of physical and virtual reality. It’s a digital universe where users, in this case shoppers, can interact with computer-generated environments and other users in real-time, such as a virtual retailer. 

A digital twin is a digital representation or replica of a real-world entity or system. This can include physical objects, processes, or even people – such as virtual items found in a retail environment. Digital twins are created using data from sensors, IoT devices, and other sources to simulate and monitor the behavior and performance of the corresponding real-world entity. 

For retailers, the opportunities in 2024 are plentiful. Implementing digital twins of their supply chain processes can provide real-time visibility into inventory, production, and distribution. This helps in identifying bottlenecks, optimizing logistics, and reducing lead times.

Using the metaverse for virtual prototyping and testing of products can accelerate the design and development process. This can lead to faster time-to-market and reduced costs associated with physical prototypes.

Retailers today are identifying possibilities to create virtual stores and showrooms in the metaverse, allowing customers to explore and interact with products in a virtual environment. This enhances the customer experience and can drive online sales.

Along with their manufacturing partners, they are looking into using the metaverse for employee training simulations, especially in manufacturing where complex machinery is involved. This can improve employee skills and safety. This also enables opportunities to create virtual workspaces for teams spread across different locations. This promotes collaboration and communication among team members.

Marketing teams can also benefit from using data from customer interactions in the metaverse to personalize recommendations and marketing strategies, improving customer engagement and loyalty.

Furthermore, the companies can leverage digital twins to remotely monitor and control manufacturing processes and equipment. This is especially beneficial in situations where physical presence may be challenging.

The Importance of 3D & AI in Immersive Mixed Reality

One of the key requirements for metaverse and mixed reality applications is to precisely overlay on an object its model or the digital twin. This helps in providing work instructions for assembly and training, and to catch any errors or defects in manufacturing. The user can also track the object(s) and adjust the rendering as the work progresses. 

Most on-device object tracking systems use 2D image and/or marker-based tracking. This severely limits overlay accuracy in 3D because 2D tracking cannot estimate depth with high accuracy, and consequently the scale, and the pose. This means even though users can get what looks like a good match when looking from one angle and/or position, the overlay loses alignment as the user moves around in 6DOF. 

Retail and manufacturing users are overcoming these challenges by leveraging 3D environments and AI technology into their immersive mixed reality design/build projects.

Deep learning-based 3D AI allows users to identify 3D objects of arbitrary shape and size in various orientations with high accuracy in the 3D space. This approach is scalable with any arbitrary shape and is amenable to use in enterprise use cases requiring rendering overlay of complex 3D models and digital twins with their real-world counterparts. 

Why Working in a Cloud Environment is Crucial

Enterprises and manufacturers should be cautious in how they design and deploy these technologies, because there is a great difference in the platform they are built on and maximized for use.

Even though technologies like AR/VR have been in use for several years, many manufacturers have deployed virtual solutions on the devices, where all the technology data is stored locally, severely limiting the performance and scale needed today’s virtual designs. It limits the ability to conduct knowledge sharing between organizations that can be critical when designing new products and understanding the best way for virtual buildouts.

Manufacturers today are overcoming these limitations by leveraging cloud-based (or remote server based) AR/VR platforms powered by distributed cloud architecture and 3D vision-based AI. These cloud platforms provide the desired performance and scalability to drive innovation in the industry at speed and scale.

By integrating these technologies, retailers and manufacturers can streamline their operations, reduce costs, and enhance both customer and employee experiences in the rapidly evolving landscape of the metaverse.

About The Author

Dijam Panigrahi is Co-founder and COO of GridRaster Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based AR/VR platforms that power compelling high-quality AR/VR experiences on mobile devices for enterprises. For more information, please visit



How Are Retail Companies Using Compartment Planning To Improve Customer Experience?

As the number of orders placed grows exponentially, enterprises must find solutions to streamline their delivery operations. The use of a delivery management software has been a major focus in the retail industry. Businesses that usually had warehouses on the city outskirts have started to place dark stores across cities to help with faster delivery. If you have a business that helps deliver goods, customer experience is of paramount importance. 

For example, if you order burgers, fries, and cold drinks from a fast food chain. On delivery, you would want the burgers and fries to remain hot while the cold drink remains chilled. This will ensure the best customer experience. Here, compartment planning becomes a crucial aspect of delivery management. The use of an intelligent delivery management software to handle multi-compartment configured vehicles will ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction.

What is Compartment Planning?

Compartment planning is the process of arranging delivery items in the vehicle based on size, weight, fragility, and temperature requirements. This helps businesses to maximize space available, minimize trips for delivery, assure easy unloading, and enhance customer experience.

For example, John (end-consumer) places an order consisting of milk, cold drinks, ice cream, chips, and grocery items from an app. Retail businesses without compartment planning might need 2 to 3 trips to complete the order. With compartment planning, the business can get the order delivered in a single trip. Thus enhancing John’s delivery experience and reducing the fleet’s operational cost.

How is Compartment Planning Transforming Retail Delivery Operations?

As retail businesses move towards the use of compartment-configured vehicles for their delivery operations, the two key focus areas to enhance fleet operations include-

Reducing Transportation Costs:

Optimizing vehicle capacity- The use of compartment planning for delivery will ensure the vehicle space is efficiently utilized. The delivery management software helps assign orders to compartment-configured vehicles, minimizing space wastage, and helping with more order delivery. Since the vehicles are smartly filled, it lowers the number of fleets utilized and maintenance costs.

Reducing delivery trips- Since compartment configuration helps the operations team to strategically place the goods inside trucks, it reduces the number of trips for delivery. The use of route planning and optimization in the delivery management software will reduce the time and distance to get the order delivered.

Easy loading/unloading- One of the major pain points for the delivery team is loading and unloading the goods. With compartment planning, the ordered items can be ensured they are placed in the right order for faster turnaround.

Preventing returns- When transporting fragile and perishable items, the operations team have to ensure no damage or item getting spoiled. The delivery management software will ensure the proper placement of items based on temperature, fragility, crates, etc. This significantly reduces damage and wastage, which helps improve brand reputation and reduce the loss on order returns. 

Improving Customer Experience:

Easy inventory management- When shopping online, or at the store, what’s the worst customer experience? The item they wanted to order or purchase is out of stock! To help businesses restock their inventory and enable accurate forecasting and replenishment strategies, compartment planning can play an important role. This helps avoid running out of stock, timely replenishment, and improving customer experience.

Timely delivery- Compartment planning combined with route planning helps with timely delivery. With the help of compartment-configured vehicles, delivery of goods having different categories can be delivered in a single trip. All these factors are for a great customer experience.

In today’s competitive retail market, the operational team should find the best delivery management software to enhance operational efficiency while reducing costs. By optimizing retail delivery trips and maximizing vehicle capacity businesses can thrive in this demanding marketplace. This helps them save thousands of dollars for delivery operations. Make use of compartment configuration to truly unlock the true potential of your retail delivery operations.

Are you finding it difficult to segregate items to help with single-trip order delivery for goods that need a controlled environment during delivery? You can choose LogiNext’s delivery management software to help assign orders to your compartment-configured vehicles. This will prevent orders from getting assigned to multiple vehicles, overloading vehicles, and ensuring maximum customer satisfaction.


This article discusses how compartment planning in delivery management will enhance the customer experience. The use of an intelligent delivery management software will ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction.

Author Bio

Matt Murdock works for a leading SAAS-based platform called LogiNext Solutions.

Where he helps businesses optimize their logistics operations and improve their delivery

performance. With a passion for innovation and technology, Matt is always looking for new ways

to streamline logistics processes and enhance customer experiences. In his free time, he enjoys

writing blogs based on his experience in the logistics industry. Happy reading!


accountants professional

Why Every Retail Business Needs Professional Accounting Services

Running a retail business requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and attention to detail. One of the most important aspects of managing a retail business is ensuring that your finances are in order. Proper accounting is critical to the success of any retail business, as it provides accurate and timely information about the business’s financial health. 

While some retail business owners may attempt to manage their finances on their own, professional accounting services can provide a range of benefits that can help to streamline operations, increase profitability, and ensure compliance with tax laws and other financial regulations. In this article, we will discuss the reasons every retail business needs retail accounting services.

Business finance man calculating budget numbers, Invoices and financial adviser working.

From tracking sales and expenses to managing inventory and taxes, accurate retail accounting is essential for informed decision-making, compliance with financial regulations, and achieving long-term financial stability. Let’s delve into the significance of actual accounting practices in the retail industry and the benefits of hiring professional retail accounting services to ensure smooth financial operations for your retail business.

Common Pitfalls in retail accounting

A retail organization’s financial stability and success may need to improve significantly from common retail accounting mistakes. 

1. Sales and revenue tracking issues:

Failing to record all sales and expenses can cause distorted financial statements, misleading financial ratios, and incorrect tax reporting. 

2. Cash flow management issues:

Cash flow management issues, inventory management and tracking issues, sales and revenue tracking issues, and tax and compliance issues are common challenges retail businesses face in their accounting practices. These issues may arise due to a variety of reasons, such as slow-paying customers, unexpected expenses, or mismanagement of funds. Cash flow problems can result in a range of negative consequences, including an inability to pay bills or employees, missed opportunities for growth, and damage to a company’s credit rating.

3. Inventory management and tracking issues:

Accurate inventory management is critical in the retail industry to ensure optimal stock levels, prevent stockouts or overstocking, and maintain profitability. However, tracking and managing inventory can be challenging, especially in businesses with large or complex inventory systems. Issues such as inaccurate tracking of inventory levels, stock discrepancies, and obsolete or slow-moving inventory can cause stockouts, overstocking, decreased sales, increased carrying costs, and decreased profitability.

4. Tax and compliance issues:

A crucial component of retail accounting is tax compliance. Retail enterprises must abide by complicated tax requirements and pay various taxes, including sales, payroll, and income taxes. Penalties, fines, and legal problems may occur from problems including erroneous tax calculations, inability to collect and return the proper taxes, insufficient record-keeping for tax, and non-compliance with tax legislation.

Benefits Of Professional Retail Accounting Services

Professional retail accounting services can offer several benefits to businesses. 

1. Expertise in industry-specific accounting practices:

Retail accounting can be complex and require specialized knowledge of industry-specific accounting practices. Professional accounting services with experience in the retail industry can provide expertise in inventory accounting, cost of goods sold (COGS) calculation, sales and revenue recognition, and cash flow management. This specialized knowledge can help ensure accurate financial reporting and compliance with industry-specific accounting regulations, resulting in more reliable financial statements.

2. Enhanced accuracy and efficiency:

Professional retail accounting services can improve the accuracy and efficiency of accounting processes. Skilled accountants can record and track financial transactions, reconcile accounts, and generate financial reports. This can minimize errors, reduce the risk of financial misstatements, and improve the overall efficiency of the accounting function. Accurate accounting practices can help businesses make informed decisions based on reliable financial information.

How Professional Accounting Services Can Help Retail Businesses

Professional accounting for retail businesses can play a crucial role in supporting the financial success of retail businesses. With their expertise in industry-specific accounting practices, accuracy and efficiency in financial record keeping, and ability to provide valuable financial insights, accounting services tailored for the retail sector can be a game-changer for businesses in this competitive industry.

1. Specialized knowledge of retail accounting practices:

Retail accounting involves unique challenges and requirements, such as inventory accounting, cost of goods sold (COGS) calculations, and sales and revenue recognition. Professional accounting services with experience in retail accounting are well-versed in these specialized practices, ensuring accurate and compliant financial reporting. This expertise can help retail businesses navigate complex accounting rules and regulations specific to the industry, mitigating risks of financial misstatements and non-compliance.

2. Improved financial analysis and decision-making:

Professional accounting services can provide retail businesses with valuable financial insights through financial analysis. These insights can help to formulate growth strategies and make strategic business decisions.

3. Time and cost savings:

Outsourcing accounting services can save retail businesses time and money. Retail business owners can focus on their core operations and growth strategies while leaving the accounting tasks to the experts. By leveraging the expertise of professional accounting services, retail businesses can reduce the risk of errors, streamline financial processes, and optimize costs associated with in-house accounting staff and systems.

 Choosing the right retail accounting service

Selecting the right accounting service provider is crucial for the financial success of any retail business. 

1. Expertise in retail accounting:

Look for accounting service providers with experience and expertise in retail accounting. Retail accounting involves unique challenges and requirements, such as inventory accounting, cost of goods sold (COGS) calculations, and sales and revenue recognition. Ensure that the accounting service provider deeply understands these specialized practices and can provide tailored solutions for your retail business.

2. Industry knowledge:

Consider whether the accounting service provider knows the retail industry, including trends, regulations, and best practices. This industry knowledge can be valuable in providing relevant financial insights and guidance specific to the retail sector.

3. Services offered:

Evaluate the range of services the accounting service provider offers. Besides traditional bookkeeping and financial reporting, consider whether they provide additional services such as tax planning and compliance, financial analysis, payroll processing, and other relevant services that benefit your retail business.

4. Technology and tools used:

Consider the technology and tools used by the accounting service provider. In today’s digital era, advanced accounting software and tools can significantly streamline financial processes and improve accuracy. Ensure that the accounting service provider uses up-to-date technology that aligns with the needs of your retail business.

Questions to Ask:

1. What experience do you have in retail accounting?

2. What technology and tools do you use for accounting?

3. Can you provide references or testimonials from retail clients you have served?

4. What are your pricing and contract terms?


Accurate retail accounting is crucial for the success and sustainability of retail businesses. It helps ensure reliable financial reporting, compliance with industry-specific accounting regulations, and informed decision-making. 

Partnering with a reputable accounting service provider specializing in retail accounting can significantly benefit retail businesses. By outsourcing accounting functions to professionals with industry-specific knowledge and expertise, businesses can minimize accounting pitfalls, improve financial analysis and decision-making, and maintain compliance with tax regulations. Retail businesses must prioritize accurate retail accounting as a strategic investment for long-term success.

Author’s Bio

Jessica Flores is an accomplished blogger with several years of experience in the accounting and bookkeeping industry. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, she is an accounting specialist at a leading outsourced accounting firm Cogneesol. Throughout her career, she has developed a keen interest in sharing valuable insights related to accounting with her engaging and informative write-ups.




e-commerce online

Why and How Do Retail Businesses Include Online Shopping 

Online shopping is growing at a rather rapid rate. More people are ditching buying from physical stores and embracing the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes. As a retailer focused on taking your business to the next level, including an online shop could be all you need to do. Continuing to ignore the wave can only hurt the growth of your business. Here is why you should be seriously thinking about an online store as well as how to start one. 

Why include online retail

The benefits of online shopping aren’t only reserved for the customer. We highlight some top reasons why e-commerce is a good route for your retail business using Retail billing Software:

·         Wider coverage

The internet eliminates geographical limitations for your business. When you start selling online, you aren’t only limited to your locality. You can reach more customers from anywhere around the globe. If you are struggling to get a market for some of your products locally, an e-commerce store can open a new market in another geographical region.

·         Reduced costs

Running an online shop comes with reduced operating costs. Customers can buy without the assistance of a salesperson. This translates to reduced salaries. Also, with an e-commerce site, you don’t need a huge fancy outlet. You can find smaller premises if you want to retain an outlet or operate entirely online, saving you rent money.

·         Easy to scale

Operating in the online space makes scaling up simple and cheaper. Unlike in a physical store where you might need to hire additional staff and rent extra floor space, all you need to do is increase the product list in an online shop. A few digital changes here and there and you are good to go.

·         Access to customer data

Meeting customer needs is paramount for every business. With an online store, you can easily collect customer data. You can then gather insights into customer preferences, behaviors and buying patterns, and more. This allows you to make data-driven decisions that meet customer expectations, enhancing customer experience significantly.

·         Better marketing

You are likely to see better results from your marketing campaigns when selling online. The customer insights stated above allow you to target your customers better with your marketing. This means that you are able to market to people with a high potential of buying your products.

How to start retailing online

To start selling online, you can decide to build your own website or sell on popular e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, Squarespace, and the like. You can also decide to do both.

Setting up your e-commerce store

After deciding on your sales channel, the next step is to build your online shop. Decide on your domain name and check its availability. After that, you can start building the online storefront. Start by adding your products then create compelling product titles, descriptions, images, and videos. Next is to set the prices and a way of tracking inventory. You also need to think of shipping costs – which criteria you are going to use to determine the shipping costs.  

The next step is to start designing the storefront. Choose a theme based on how you want your store to feel and look. Work on the navigation, colors, and typography. Set up the checkout page and customize it to offer the best experience.

Most importantly, figure out how you are going to be paid. This is where you add a payment gateway. Include different payment methods for customers to pay. Then complete the setup by entering your banking information. For your online shop, it would benefit you to consider a modern business banking alternative. This way, you can enjoy faster and more secure payments. You also get to manage your money from a single account.

Market your online shop

After setting up your store, it is important to make it known to your target customers. One of the ways you can market your online shop is through social media. Consider using influencers to reach more people and paid ads for better targeting.

In addition, think of how your online shop can easily be found on search engines. Create valuable content enriched with keywords. You can think of video demos, how-to guides and the like. Additionally, work on having your page optimized with SEO to help in rank higher on search engines.


Deciding to include online shopping can only set your retail business up for exponential growth. This is because you are opening it up to a wider customer base. You can start enjoying increased sales and profits. Take the plunge and design your online shop. Then put in marketing efforts to reach your target customers around the world.

US retailers’ unusual request to suppliers: Stop sending new products

US Retailers’ Unusual Request to Suppliers: Stop Sending New Products

US retailers have so much extra stuff in their stores and warehouses this holiday season that they are telling some of their suppliers to stop sending them products — even if those items are selling well.

The unusual move highlights the magnitude of the excess merchandise that US retail companies are struggling to sell. The average amount of inventory held by the 20 biggest public apparel companies in the US was up 26% to $2.1 billion in the third quarter of this year versus pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to an analysis by consultancy AlixPartners of S&P Capital IQ data. The figures are unadjusted for inflation. And the average inventory held was up 30% versus the same period last year.

Steve Greenspon, chairperson of the International Housewares Association trade group, said an employee at a major retailer told him recently that executives are instructing buyers to reduce inventory. “‘You could give it to me for free and I cannot take it,’” Greenspon said the buyer told him.

Executives at brands including VF Corp., the owner of Vans and North Face; Guess? Inc.; and Hanesbrands Inc. have talked in their most recent earnings calls about the pullback from their wholesale customers — whether those are small boutiques or large department stores.

“Many of our wholesale customers had warehouse constraints that limited their ability to take delivery of new product during the quarter,” La-Z-Boy Chief Financial Officer Bob Lucian told analysts during a Dec. 1 earnings call.

Supply-Chain Woes

The buildup of inventory is a consequence of supply-chain problems in 2021 that delayed the arrival of many holiday shipments until the spring, just as rising inflation forced consumers to downshift their spending. Companies including Target Corp., Walmart Inc. and others said they were canceling orders earlier this year to try to slow the growth of the piles of poor-selling merchandise. Retailers have also increased the breadth and depth of discounts to stoke demand among inflation-shy customers.

Those measures have helped reduce inventory — but not enough, hence the trend of recent months.

“I’ve never really seen a time before — or heard of a time — when retailers have been cutting back on what sells just because they don’t have the space,” said Paul Cosaro, chief executive officer of Picnic Time, which sells picnic gear and other home goods. “It’s not because of soft sales,” he said, adding the pullback was notable but not widespread.

Cosaro and some other suppliers say demand has been robust for their products when they send the items directly to consumers on behalf of a retailer, a process known as drop shipping. Retailers have been leaning more on some suppliers to handle shipments to avoid having to hold the inventory themselves or delaying orders, forcing suppliers to store the merchandise.

“The cost of money and capital is on us,” said Thomas Nichols, president of Pretika Corp., which manufactures and distributes skin-care devices to retailers. “We’ve been ordering less and yet we still have high inventory levels.” Nichols said he’s producing less in order to enter 2023 with lower inventory levels. Storage has become more expensive as US interest rates have gone up and as demand for warehouse space has outpaced supply.

Sharing Pain

“Typically in times of duress, people try to share pain vertically through the supply chain,” said David A. Shiffman, co-head of consumer retail at Solomon Partners, a boutique investment bank. Retailers have also been grappling with inflation that’s at the highest rate in decades and geopolitical and economic headwinds. “I haven’t seen the confluence of this many obstacles in the path of retailers — and the challenges that the C-suite is facing — in three decades,” Shiffman added.

Some of the slowdown in orders is strategic, Shiffman said. Companies, particularly those that sell fashionable apparel and accessories, “want to make room and secure their orders for spring,” he said.

The International Housewares Association’s Greenspon said that in recent weeks, some retailers have started to replenish certain items sooner than he had expected, a sign that some constraints might be starting to ease. He’s also CEO of Honey-Can-Do International, which sells home items and other consumer products to retail companies.

Overall, the race to clear goods is good news for shoppers. “Consumers are going to continue to get phenomenal deals while all of this is going on,” Greenspon said. He expects the excess inventory levels in home goods to start diminishing within the next five to six months.

The combination of excess inventory, increased markdowns and cautious consumers is putting pressure on some retailers’ profitability. That’s making some companies consider charging consumers for returns as a way to increase revenue, said Melissa Minkow, director of retail strategy at digital consultancy CI&T.

“Return policies got really, really loose as a kind of competitive differentiator over the past few years,” she said. “We’re seeing a big pullback on that.”


Tips to Grow your Manufacturing Business with a Help of a Blog

Nowadays, blogs are proving very useful in growing any business. And the same adage holds true for manufacturing businesses. In fact, if you own a manufacturing business, there are several tips that could prove handy to grow it with the help of a superb blog.

Why Manufacturing Businesses Need a Blog

There are a few reasons why manufacturing businesses need a blog. Firstly, a manufacturing business isn’t like a retail one. In retail businesses, you’ll be mainly selling stuff directly to a consumer. For a manufacturing business, you’ll be selling to both, the direct end-user of the product or even to an intermediary party.

In such cases, a blog can prove very useful to grow the business because an intermediate party might not promote your products as much as you would prefer. And furthermore, a good blog for a manufacturing business can also popularize your products in today’s highly competitive market.

A blog is a superb resource for branding your business and letting people online know that you’re offering excellent products that they would love to use, regardless of whether they are Business-to-Business (B2B) customers or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) buyers.

Tips to Grow Your Manufacturing Business with a Blog

Therefore, here are some excellent tips on how to grow your manufacturing business with a blog. You can adapt these tips to meet your own needs for marketing and promoting your business and products according to their nature and target clientele.

Provide Excellent Content

It goes without saying that content is the king of the blog. Therefore, to attract more visitors to your blog, it would require compelling content that people find interesting, engaging, and relevant to their needs. Content is also called the king of any blog.

This would also help you with the digital marketing processes necessary to promote your blog and get it on top of the Google search engine result page. The better the content, the higher your chances of attracting buyers that translate as customers.

Superb Digital Marketing

While we’re on the topic of digital marketing, here are some tips to consider. Hire a good digital marketer, either as a freelancer or full-time employee to do various digital marketing processes on your blog. That would be useful to rank your blog in the topmost searches of Google. And getting on the top always attracts more attention since nobody usually looks for websites or blogs that appear on the second or third page of Google search results.

Digital marketing processes include Search Engine Optimization- both on-page and off-page, social media marketing, and email marketing, among others. A good digital marketer will be able to offer these services that can help your manufacturing business to have a strong online presence and create a superb brand through a blog and your business website.

Spread Out Through Social Media

As part of efforts to promote your blog for the manufacturing business, also open Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. That way, you can disseminate information about any new posts on your blog very quickly to your followers. And one of the best things about social media posts about your blog is that it would attract people to share your posts if they’re interesting.

Social media also provides you with an opportunity to interact with potential buyers or others that are interested in your manufacturing business and its products. These people can be your prospective customers. If you handle their queries and suggestions or comments carefully, you could convert them as buyers for your products.

Provide Affiliate Links

You can also provide affiliate links to your own products through your manufacturing business blog. That’s because some 90 percent of buyers trust blogs more than company websites and ads. And they read blogs in the initial stages of buying anything before placing an order. Therefore, a superb blog about your manufacturing business can help swing the decision in your favor.

When you provide affiliate links even to your own business website, you’re actually asking potential leads to take action immediately. Very often, this translates as instant sales for your products and helps your manufacturing business to grow.

Create an Email Marketing List

Generally, every blog has a contact form. And you can capture the names, locations, and email IDs of persons that comment on your blog through this contact form or comments section. Now, why would a person part with their email IDs? The answer is simple. They’ll give their email IDs only when your content is attractive, useful, and relevant to their needs.

And you can create an email list and use it for email marketing. If you find that any person comments, or contacts you, through the blog, you could convert them as customers by making special offers or asking your marketing team to approach these potential leads to secure business for your organization.

Speak About Your Industry

As a blogger for your manufacturing business, you can also provide news and views about the latest happenings in your industry in general. That keeps readers and other stakeholders in such businesses interested in your blog. And that’s also one way of increasing your business blog following. Speaking about your industry through news and news analysis also helps establish yourself and your manufacturing business as a formidable brand in the broader industry.

One more thing that occurs when you speak about the industry is that consumers know that you’re serious about your business. And generally, such consumers can translate as loyal customers too, provided you handle them appropriately. There’s always news and views about the industry and you can simplify these and inform your followers and customers through the blog for self-branding.

In Conclusion

These six tips could help your manufacturing business to grow steadily. Nowadays, a blog is a vital resource for every organization serious about doing business and serving its customers. Some of the largest brands in the world also have their own blogs. And you can open one too for your manufacturing business.