Web Usage Varies Greatly by Global Region

Here is important information for online retailers.
Recently, the International Communication Union, a UN agency conducted research on Web usage around the globe. Click here for a PDF of the highlights of its 2016 report based on this research.
Statista has devised an interesting chart from the ICU data. [See below.] And its Felix Richter  offered these insights:
“25 years ago, August 23, 1991, a British computer scientist made the World Wide Web available to the public. Tim Berners-Lee, who was then working at CERN, could not have imagined the impact his actions would have on the world over the next two-and-a half decades. Honoring this milestone in the history of the Internet, August 23 has become known as Internaut Day.”
“However, even 25 years after what some call its inception, the World Wide Web is not nearly as universally available as its name suggests. According to the latest estimates by the International Communication Union, a UN agency specializing in information and communication technologies, only 47 in 100 world citizens use the internet these days. While Internet access in regions such as North America and Europe has become a commodity not unlike electricity and running water, people in less-developed regions often still lack access to what has arguably become the most important source of information of our times.”
Infographic: The Not So World Wide Web | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista.

 

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How Students Can Be More Marketable

Want to get the best job and career path possible? If you are still a student, there are several suggestions. [If you are currently working, some of these suggestions apply to you too.]
According to Tim Green, writing for The Conversation, here are 10 tips to help students become more employable:
  1. Get involved in university life — “Besides meeting new people you can learn new skills, particularly if you are involved in organizing events or take on a leadership role in the society.”
  2. Ask career services for professional advice — “Many people wait until they have nearly finished their courses, but it is better if you can work with it [career services] from your first year. It can help you choose a suitable career and advise what employers are looking for in a new recruit. Make sure you get advice on your resume and attend a session to practice your interview skills.”
  3. Keep a record — “You will have a record of your grades but you also need to be able to tell employers the skills you have developed and how you use them.”
  4. Get good grades — “While high grades aren’t everything, many organizations still ask for your GPA.”
  5. Volunteering — “Companies like employing people who have given their time for free as it shows you are prepared to help others to try to make a difference. If you don’t have time to volunteer every week you may be able to help out on a special project.”
  6. Work experience — “Many students work part-time, and gaining work experience as part of your degree really improves your employment opportunities. Whether it is a short internship or a 12-month sandwich placement you will be gaining hands-on, practical experience.”
  7. Networking — “It’s not what you know it’s who you know. Attend careers fairs and company presentations to speak to the people involved in recruiting graduates. Also create a professional social media profile. LinkedIn is the largest network though there may be others specific to the industry you want to enter.”
  8. Understand the graduate job market — “Each organization has its own approach to recruitment, so research the company and tailor your application. Timing your applications and fitting them around your exams/coursework is important.”
  9. Be flexible and mobile — “If you are prepared to move, you will increase the number of jobs for which you can apply.”
  10. Be confident — “If you get through to the later stages of interviews, remember you have earned the right to be there. The company has seen potential in you and wants to find out more. There is a job out there for everyone; you just need to be persistent to find the right one for you.
Click the image to read more.


 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Better Understanding the Consumer’s Path to Purchase

We know that consumers shop differently for various goods and services. But we can always learn more.
Millward Brown Digital recently produced a report entitled “Demystifying the Consumer Journey?” A free download is available with a simple login.
The chart below summarizes the average length of a shopper’s journey (in days) and  the level of involvement accompanying a purchase decision (in other words, how hard the consumer was willing to work to make a purchase decision). Millard Brown concluded that:
“The risk of making the wrong decision is a powerful thing. When a wrong decision could result in significant financial loss or impact personal safety, consumers invest more time and care in the decision-making process. As a result, the average journey length for an auto purchase, for example, is nearly 10 times longer than that of a beauty purchase.”
“A ‘retailer-centric’ approach to budget and resource allocation is often the easiest option. However, by placing the consumer at the center, retailers can tailor budget allocations to the digital touchpoints that drive real consumer action.”

 

 

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, Social Media and Retailing, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Department Stores Still Rocky

Traditional department stores are having a tough go of it. Despite many store and online initiatives, the competition is taking its toll. And better times ahead do not seem in the cards for this sector, even though individual department stores may stay strong.
Consider these observations from Daphne Howland, writing for Retail Dive:
“Department stores continue to report woeful earnings, the only group of retailers that have lost money in the second quarter, according to research firm Retail Metrics in its report “Retail Headwinds Persist,” which includes an index of 116 chains. Losses have mounted for Sears in particular, according to the report (forwarded to Retail Dive), and operating income is expected to drop substantially for six of the eight publicly traded department stores. Just four of the eight (Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, and Dillard’s) are expected to turn a profit in the quarter. Retail Metrics estimates that overall second quarter retail revenues will rise 2.9%, or 3.6% excluding retail giant Wal-Mart. Drugstores, home improvement stores, and personal care retailers like Ulta, along with “entertainment retailers” (a segment led by a smaller-than-expected loss at bookseller Barnes & Noble), are expected to experience at least modest growth.
Click the image to read much more.


 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, 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, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Apps for Bricks-and-Mortar Firms

Being a store owner/manager can be demanding on your time, resources, and energies. There are so many responsibilities; and it likely seems that often there aren’t enough hours in the day. Technology has helped to make many mundane tasks more efficient in our leisure and business lives. Apps and smart phones are ubiquitous and so it makes sense to use any apps that can make the business of retail more efficient.
This infographic from Storetraffic gives useful suggestions for apps that retail owners and managers can download in order to help them streamline some of their everyday tasks. Check it out below.

useful-apps-for-retailers
 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, 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, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our Six-Part Series on Retail Pricing Tips

Recently, we published a six-part series on retail pricing practices and offered several tips.
Here, in one place (:-) ), are links to each part of the series:

 

Posted in 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Pricing in the Mid-Range Succeed?

This is a difficult question for some retailers — given the popularity of discounters and luxury retailers for two different customer segments in the marketplace. AND many retailers seem nervous to be in the mid-range.
Yet, as Anthonia Akitunde (founder, mater mea) observes for American Express Open Forum:
“In spite of the slide toward polarized pricing, don’t count out the middle-priced businesses yet, especially if they’re creating quality products, says Brent Ridge, co-founder of Beekman 1802 Mercantile, an artisanal lifestyle brand he started with his partner and The Amazing Race co-winner Josh Kilmer-Purcell. ‘We always try to educate our consumer that if you are getting a cheap price for a product, it’s because someone else has already paid the price; i.e., there was cheap labor, hard-knuckling the smaller guy on procurement, etc. We are finding that the consumer, more than ever, is in tune with these struggles. People are gravitating away from the idea of a throw-away society where we buy something for cheap fully expecting to throw it away and buy something else when it falls apart.'”
“There’s also opportunity for growth beyond the confines of the middle, says Jason Parks, owner of The Media Captain, a digital marketing company based in Columbus, Ohio. ‘Small retailers with a storefront should focus on promoting their products via social and setting up an E-commerce store. The retailer can drastically improve their profit margins if they are receiving orders from all over the country. If the mid-price retailer is currently struggling, an E-commerce strategy could result in saving money while still generating online orders for their products. There are a lot of people [who] still want quality products without having to spend their entire paycheck. “This is the exact reason why there is still space for mid-priced retailers.”
Click the image to read more.


 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, 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, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment