How Should Retailers “Connect” with College Students?

Retailers today recognize the enormous buying power of college students and very much want to gain their attention and patronage. But are retailers able to “connect” with college students through media channels which they most favor?
As eMarketer puts it:
“Amid their interest in millennials, [retailers] look to the 19 million-plus U.S. college students as an audience worth courting. After all, it is a mostly millennial subset that already deploys considerable spending power and (with degree in hand) will be poised to outearn and outspend noncollege millennials for decades to come, according to a new eMarketer report, ‘U.S. College Students 101: Updating Fundamental Facts About This Diverse, Digital Cohort.’”
“An October 2014 Student Monitor survey probed students’ preferences in the media through which they learn about products and services. Internet ads got more mentions than TV ads, albeit not by a vast margin. E-mail messaging had a significant constituency, despite the popular notion that young people regard email as hopelessly old-fashioned. Not registering in double digits (and, hence, not included in the chart here) were ads in campus or national newspapers, printed catalogs, and information on a company’s Facebook page.”
Click the chart to read more.
 

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can You Pass the “8-Second Resume Test?”

Many times, resumes are processed by computer software looking for key words — or busy executives inundated with job applicants. So, we have to make sure that OUR resume is the one that is read and liked!

As Don Goodman writes for Careerealism:

“Skimming – that’s what hiring managers are doing when they are going through resumes. There’s no time to read word-for-word when there are hundreds of resumes coming in for that one position, so they skim for key information. In fact, studies show that they spend about eight seconds scanning your resume. If you want a positive response on your resume in the 8-second resume glance, here’s what you have to do.”

Click the image to read several suggestions from Goodman.
 

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Happens Online Every Minute?

Our Internet activity keeps on increasing. So what do we do online most often?
As Tech Spartan puts it:
“The Internet is a wonderful thing, a thing of knowledge and power but also a thing of beauty and inspiration. We are all a part of the Internet in one way or another, whether that is via our E-mails or our social media accounts. But what do we all actually do on the Internet? It’s an interesting question which we here at Tech Spartan aim to answer in this infographic looking at what happens in an Internet minute, comparing last year (2013) to this year’s (2014) latest statistics. Did you know that there are now 11.6% more Internet users now than 1 whole year ago?”
Take a look at this infographic from Tech Spartan.

 

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Should Retailers Compute Customer Lifetime Value?

Smart retailers realize that repeat business (customer loyalty) is one of the most important — if not THE most important — objectives to achieve in both the short and long run. This is a key challenge for many retailers, both large and small.
As Bain & Company explains: 
“Investing to earn the loyalty of your customers often requires trade-offs — you must decide which of the many investments you could potentially make will result in the greatest return. A clear understanding of your company’s loyalty economics will help you make those decisions. It will give you a quantitative basis for investments in long-term customer assets and provide a defense against the short-term, sub-optimal, ‘quarterly earnings’ mind-set that often tempts leaders to generate ‘bad profits.'”
“It is possible to calculate loyalty economics with great precision, if you have the resources and the tools to do so. If not, you can also make rough estimates that can help guide decision-making. This page describes a relatively simple way to get reasonable, rough estimates of the potential value that can be created by improving your company’s Net Promoter score and earning the loyalty of more of your customers.”
According to Bain, a simple formula for computing customer lifetime value is:
Click the above formula to read a lot more about customer lifetime value and how to calculate it.

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look Back at the Evolution of Delivery Services

Over the past year, we have been writing a lot about the latest trends in shipping and delivery practices. (See, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
But, let’s also take a look at the evolution of shipping practices to see how far we have really come. Most of today’s shipments arrive in a few days, not in a few months [or longer!!]– as in the past. :-)
Here is a neat infographic by endicia, a postage software company.

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Fast Food Fast Again?

Isn’t it time for a number of fast-food restaurants to return to their roots and offer scaled-down menus and fast service?
In the “good old days,” fast-food menus were really simple. Take a look at this early McDonald’s menu, for example. (And yes, as with everything in the “good old days,” prices were really low then. :-) )
Photo by Getty Images
 
However, over the last several years, many fast-food chains have added numerous items to their menus — sometimes to broaden their target markets and other times to include some healthier items.
Consider this 2015 screen capture from McDonald’s Web site. It’s not even readable unless you actually visit the Web site. [Please read more below the image!!!]
Mcdonalds menu
McDonald’s seems to have gotten the message — albeit just a bit so far. After a period of lackluster results, the world’s biggest fast-food chain has decided to trim its menu. To date, the other leading fast-food food restaurants do NOT seem to have gotten this message at all.
Keeping in mind the screen shot above, what do you think of this move by McDonald’s? 
According to Mary Bowerman, writing for USA Today:
“McDonald’s is sending eight items to the chopping block and maybe even getting rid of some ingredients, as the fast-food chain tries to revamp its supersize-me reputation. The chain announced plans to speed up service time by simplifying the menu and reducing the number of Extra Value Meals from 16 to 11. The chain plans on reducing choices of various items, meaning instead of four quarter-pound options, consumers will have one.”

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Do Entrepreneurs Feel About 2015?

After enduring the Great Recession, many — but, by no means all — entrepreneurs have done better the last couple of years. So, how are they feeling as we enter further into 2015?
As Leigh Buchanan reports for Inc., the leading publication devoted to entrepreneurs, as well small and fast-growing firms:
“Entrepreneurs, optimistic by nature, are particularly — indeed, almost giddily — enthusiastic. Our second annual State of Small Business survey finds their collective confidence up sharply from last year. While they do have concerns — about health care costs, political gridlock, and regulation — most seem to share the sentiments of J. Schwan, CEO of Solstice Mobile in Chicago, who says, ‘It would take something pretty significant to inhibit the growth we’ve been experiencing.'”
“The percentage of respondents who describe themselves as ‘very confident’ about the economy’s prospects over the next 12 months has almost tripled, from just under 10 percent last year to 26 percent this year. The number who say they have little confidence that the economy will be strong has dropped by more than half.”
“Survey respondents, drawn from the Inc. 5000 universe of America’s fastest-growing companies, were even more upbeat about the prospects for their own companies, with 57 percent rating them as ‘excellent,’ versus 38 percent [last year]. The percentage who see their company’s 12-month outlook as average or poor fell from 16 percent to just 8 percent.”
Click the image to read more.

 
Inc

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment