Loss Leader Pricing in Big Box Technology Stores

Loss leader pricing is a strategy where big box retailers price and advertise an item at or well below cost in order to attract buyers into their store. Big box technology stores are using this strategy now. The store breaks even or takes a loss on one item, in order to try and increase traffic in the store.

Loss Leader Pricing in Big Box Technology StoresThe idea is that customers will purchase regular priced items at the same time. The other items are at regular price, or maybe even at a price that is higher than customers would pay somewhere else. The customer would think “yes, I could get this cheaper at that other store, but I’m here already and I saved so much on the loss leader pricing of X, so I might as well just get it here.”

Consumers are always looking for the lowest priced products, but they are also used to convenience. Going from store to store to get the lowest price on each item they want to buy is not only inconvenient, it wastes expensive gas. This makes the loss leader item as the “hook” that gets them in your big box technology store. Yes, there is lost profit, but the sales of other items will make up for it. It is a risk, and there are always those who will go the extra mile and purchase everything they need at the lowest price.

That means that you will lose on some sales. That’s where the risk comes in. There are negatives to using a loss leader pricing strategy in a big box technology store. First, if your business really can’t afford to take a loss on any product, then don’t risk it. Another is, just like Apple, some consumers may think that if you are willing to lower your prices that much on your products they may just not be worth the money. The decision is yours.


 

Technology store mystery shoppingMystery Shopping Programs
Looking for a great Mystery Shopping Company that focuses specifically on the wireless and telecommunications industry? Look no further!
TechnologyStoreShopper.com puts vital information right at your fingertips. We’re the secret shopping specialists for the technology retail sector – developing and managing turnkey programs for retailers, wireless carriers, franchise companies and manufacturers.

Setting Retail Sales Goals

Setting retail sales goals is vital to reaching sales success. Does your retail business set goals? No? Why not? How can you know if you are winning at business if you don’t keep score?

Setting Retail Sales GoalsMaking and tracking your retail sales goals is an integral part of any successful business. Think about it this way: success is a game, one that you want to win. So how can you win if you don’t know how to play the game? Setting and writing down your goals is the playbook for achieving them.

Tracking your goals is the difference between attaining them and wishing you had. It’s how you keep score. In sports, you can’t know if you are winning without keeping score. Find ways to make keeping score fun, but keep your eye on the prize in a visual way.

Using a scoreboard in goal tracking is just like using a scoreboard in sports: it helps people track what is happening. It tells us how we’re doing. In goal success, tracking daily achievements is key in not only knowing your progress, but celebrating the small wins. The bigger your goal, the more scoreboards you should have.

Break your goals into areas that need attention. Each step to goal attainment needs its own board. The boards should track what you have to do to survive, as well as what you need to do to succeed. Surviving shouldn’t get lost in the big picture. Put your scoreboards in a prominent place that you will see all the time and update them at least daily, if not more often.

Part of keeping score should be keeping the reasons that you are in business in the first place. Your goal boards provide the encouragement to keep going.

When making a goal board, find pictures about what attaining your goals will mean to you. Think of it as the “what” of your goals. It’s the question that you asked yourself when setting it – “What do I want that made me set this goal.”

After you make a board that tells you how awesome things will be when you attain that goal, make another that gives you the “why.” This board includes pictures of people, pets or things that will remind you of why, or the reasons you are working towards your goal. It’s your “don’t quit” board.


 

Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

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Industry Titans – Who Are the Best Retail Leaders of All Time

Who are the industry titans, the best retail leaders of all time? These businesses have weathered many a storm in the last 100 years.

People think that bad economic times kill businesses, and sometimes that is true. But there are industry titans that are some of the best retail leaders, from the 19th century until now. They have done this through branding, changing as the times changed and having quality products. Here’s a list, see which ones you recognize.

Industry Titans - Who Are the Best Retail Leaders of All TimeBrooks Brothers (1818) – The longest surviving men’s clothing company in the US. It has always been a privately held company. Originally opened by Henry Sands Brooks and called H. & D.H. Brooks & Co. his four sons later renamed it “Brooks Brothers”.

Lord & Taylor (1826) – Lord & Taylor is the oldest upscale department store chain in the US. Found mostly in the eastern US, it started in New York.

Macy’s (1858) – a mid-range department store chain headquartered in New York. The store has produced the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, a well known parade which was started in Newark, New Jersey by L. Bamberger & Co. and has been held on the streets of New York City annually since 1924.

Bloomingdales (1861) – Another upscale department store chain is actually owned by the Macys Company. It was founded by brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale; they started selling hoop-skirts in their Ladies Notions’ Shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After that fad declined, they started selling a variety of garments such as ladies’ skirts, corsets, “gent’s furnishings”, and European fashions.

Saks Fifth Avenue (1867) – Saks was founded by Andrew Saks and incorporated in New York in 1902 as Saks & Company. It’s an upscale department store that in 1923, Saks & Co. merged with Gimbel Brothers, and in 1924, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Barnes & Noble (1873) is the largest book retailer in the US. It was founded by Charles M. Barnes and originated as a book-printing business. The first true bookstore was set up by his son, William, in partnership with G. Clifford Noble, in 1917 in New York City.

There are other industry titans, but working hard, providing great customer service and providing quality products will help ensure that your business can weather any storm!


 

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Retail Event Marketing Tips – How to Make Your Event SHINE

You have a new product you want to launch, and think that having an event is the way to do it. So what do you do to promote it? You are a retailer, not a retail event marketer. You could use a typical agency that hires outside demo representatives to give out samples and information. But why not do something different?

Companies like Retail Business Development (“RBD”) are doing retail event marketing differently. Why just show things off, when you can use an event like this to grow your business? Instead of investing your hard earned marketing dollars on a simple promotion, get more from your event.

Retail Event Marketing Tips - How to Make Your Event SHINERBD has event and mobile teams filled with trained event sales specialists. These trained event sales specialists are chosen for their ability to engage people and sell. Unlike demo reps, they aren’t just there to sell a specific brand, spit out a script and not care if you sell a thing. They act on your behalf to ask questions, educate new customers and explain how your product will help simplify their lives, opening the possibility to making a sale on the spot.

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Capitalize on the excitement of the moment rather than sending people home with a brochure and miss the sale? RBD knows where to go to find the best people for your market: sporting events; street festivals; entertainment venues; county and state fairs; auto shows; boat shows; home shows; college campuses and more.

RBD has the experience and know how to create a campaign and program based on your target market and goals. They have relationships to make the space you need happen, and will mobilize their team of trained event sales specialists on your behalf quickly and effectively.

Looking for more, check out our retail event and mobile sales division!

Ways to Improve Store Sales – POS Checkouts, Good Displays, Sales Training

Improving your store sales takes effort in many areas, POS checkouts, store displays and how you train your sales staff. You need to give attention to each to get what you want, a robust bottom line.

Ways to Improve Store Sales - POS Checkouts, Good Displays, Sales TrainingYour POS (point of sale) checkout system is important. Many stores are using tablets to facilitate this. The tablets have an app for checking out and it allows customers to either self-checkout at the store itself, or have a salesperson immediately check them out in place instead of having to drag them back to a stationary register.

What this means from a customer service stand point is that the employees are not tied to a cash register, and they can be free to mingle with customers and answer their questions. It saves time for the customer, and stops them from changing their mind during the walk to the register.

Your in store displays are also very important. Customers want to hold, try out and play with technology to see if it would be a good fit for them. Many times, they want to do this before a sales person comes into the picture. What is unfortunate is that to do that today they have to do it with phones or tablets tied to a counter with locks. A few bad apples have made that necessary by putting those cool phones or tablets right in their pockets and walking out the door. Try and see if you could set up a way that the locks aren’t necessary, or are as unobtrusive as possible.

Another very important part of improving sales is training your staff. They need to know how to sell, and how to sell your products. Retail wireless sales encompasses knowledge of different phones, carriers, plans and rebates, as well as good techniques in sales itself. They need to know the difference between Apple, Android and Windows phones; how they differ, what kinds of apps are available for them, operating systems and how each phone works. Having all that information can crowd out all the sales training you have provided for them.

Pay attention to each area, POS checkouts, good displays, sales training and you will improve store sales. Your sales will soar!


 

Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

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What Should Your Customer Do When Their Phone Acts Up?

What can your customer do when phone issues happen? It’s so annoying for a customer when a phone is acting up!

Freezing up, blank screens, taking forever to pull up web pages or apps. They’ve tried to fix it themselves, deleting apps not used, finding new apps to clear caches and so forth, but nothing seems to help. So what to do? Bringing it in for repair can be a bigger pain, and may mean your customer is without a phone. But now that doesn’t have to be the case. Many retailers are able to fix smart phones at the point of sale.

What Should Your Customer Do When Their Phone Acts Up?Whether a customer’s phone’s issue is “user error” or something else, dealing with insurance or repair shops isn’t optimal. Some stores are trying a new solution. They are training their staff to diagnose “broken” phones, fix minor issues, and reset phones. It sounds so simple, but this allows customers to immediately get their phone issue fixed. If it’s user error, some simple education improves the rapport with customers, and keeps them happy. Your customers have their phone, data intact.

The service can be accessed several ways, meaning your customers may even not have to come into the store to receive your help. If they do, your employees can use the knowledge and tools the service provides to educate the customer with how to use their phone. These “Multiple Points of Service” are a great asset for the off hours when your store may be closed. Having support available when issues arise means that your customers are even happier with your business. Problems are solved quickly, customers are happy and when they need a new phone, they will come back to your store where they know they will get help.

So the bottom line is what your customer should do when their phone is acting up is take it to your phone store or access the “Multiple Points of Service” you provide and get the phone diagnosed & repaired. Customers benefit by keeping their phone and having their problems solved. It also means you gain their loyalty and they will come back when they need a new phone because they know you and your staff will be able to help them with any problems with their new phone.

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What is Your Retail Staffing Plan?

What is Your Retail Staffing Plan?Do you have a retail staffing plan? As a business owner you plan. You plan for sales. You plan store stock and merchandising. You plan your store design. You even plan you store hours and location. One of your biggest expenses as a business owner is employment costs, so why wouldn’t you plan your retail staffing?

There are a few things that you need to consider when planning your staffing needs. First, you need to know the ebb and flow of your business. When are busy times? When are slow ones? Are certain days of the week busier than others? This information will tell you how many people you need in your store at any given time. Now you can plan for the number of people you need to hire or retain in order to adequately staff your store.

Now think about the seasons. Some times of year are much busier than others. Depending on where you are located you may get a lot of summer business. For almost any business the months leading up to the Christmas holidays are very busy. January and February tend to be less busy. Plan out your year for retail staff like you would stock on hand. Know when you need more help, and less. Keep in mind times when you may need to get things like inventory done, or sales training. Then plan accordingly.

Retail, telecommunications, mall speciality retail outsourcingWith that data in hand, you can set up a plan to hire full time, part time and temporary staff. The last kind, temporary staffing can be procured with the help of a retail outsourcing company who can provide you with fully trained staff. That will save you time and training costs, and keep your store up and running, even at the last minute.

Planning your retail staffing needs is just smart business. Don’t leave it to chance, plan and save.

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Cell Phone Repair at Point of Sale

Cell Phone Repair at Point of SaleGetting your cell phone repaired is frustrating. Nothing is worse than having a broken smart phone. Think about all the time without a phone, loss of your data, photos and music. What if you could get it repaired at point of sale?

More than three quarters of smart phone returns have nothing wrong with them. Call it “user error.” On average, each time a cell phone is returned it can cost the store owner up to $100, if not more. What’s worse is then the store is stuck with phones that are perfectly fine, but can’t be resold because they were returned as broken. On top of that, you now have customers that are unhappy because they had to spend money to replace the old cell phone, or worse yet they are turned away to deal with an insurance company to get their replacement phone.

Now, some stores are trying a new solution. They are training their staff to diagnose “broken” phones, fix minor issues, and reset phones. It sounds so simple, but this allows customers to immediately get their cell phone repaired at the point of sale without dealing with swapping out or dealing with insurance companies, and keeps the store from having phones they can’t sell. Your customers have their phones, data intact. Your employees are empowered to use new knowledge and tools to educate the customer with how to use their phone, meaning they don’t come back with the same problem and leave even happier.

What’s more, some stores are using “Multiple Points of Service” to service customers. Really, whose cell phone breaks between the hours of 10am to 6pm? Having support available when the issue arises means that your customers are even happier with your business. Point of sale cell phone repair means problems are solved quickly, customers are happy and when they do need a new phone, they come back when they are ready.

Point of sale cell phone repair will keep your customers happy and coming back!

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Mystery Shopping – What Mystery Shoppers Check for in Your Store

Mystery shoppers are not a new thing, but they are a smart way to keep tabs on what is happening in your store when you aren’t there. So what does a mystery shopper look for when checking your employees out?

Mystery Shopping - What Mystery Shoppers Check for in Your Store

  • How is your customer service? How do employees treat your customers?
  • Are they friendly and customer-focused?
  • How long does it take them to greet people when they come in?
  • Are employees helpful and polite or bored and annoyed?

A good mystery shopper can tell you how your customers feel when they are in your store.

Next, product knowledge; how well do your employees know about the products and services they are selling? The wireless industry can be incredibly confusing, and if your employees can’t explain it, how can they possibly be selling the right plans and phones to your customers? Obviously they can’t and confused customers become angry ones if they felt they were talked into something they really didn’t want.

Mystery shoppers are also looking at the appearance of your store.

  • Are displays up to date and eye catching?
  • Is the store clean and neat?
  • Are your employees neatly dressed, professional looking or in uniform?
  • Are they following store policy about appearance, cleanliness and so forth?

A clean well kept store should be your expectation, and professionally dressed employees should be as well.

Some mystery shopping programs will also check things like what happens to customers calling in on the phone? How long does it take to answer? How long are they put on hold? Some will even shop your competitors and compare how you stack up against them.

Knowledge is power, and knowing what is happening in your business when you aren’t there can mean the difference between staying in business or not!


 

Technology store mystery shoppingMystery Shopping Programs

Looking for a great Mystery Shopping Company that focuses specifically on the wireless and telecommunications industry? Look no further!

TechnologyStoreShopper.com puts vital information right at your fingertips. We’re the secret shopping specialists for the technology retail sector – developing and managing turnkey programs for retailers, wireless carriers, franchise companies and manufacturers.

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Is Outsourcing the Best Way to Manage Your Staffing Needs (YES!)

When trying to figure out how to manage your staffing needs, outsourcing can be a viable solution. Depending on what you need, whether it is temporary staffing, staff to handle specific projects, or starting a new venture, outsourcing keeps your well trained sales staff making you money by selling. It solves specific issues by providing a temporary solution to fit each particular need.

Is Outsourcing the Best Way to Manage Your Staffing Needs (YES!)Outsourcing can be a smart solution for new business ventures or projects in an existing business. Hiring employees in a brand new business or to take on these new projects may mean taking on expenses that your business isn’t ready for, or leave you with people to lay off when a project has been completed. That may not be the best way to manage your staffing needs.

You could, you think, use a temp agency, but that solution may not give you the expertly trained people you need to handle the project. Staffing agencies are great for admin and general workers, but most top salespeople are not looking for that kind of temporary solution. Additionally, just having a warm body to work doesn’t mean you have a salesperson on your floor.

So what to do? Find a company that has trained, efficient people who can do the job for you: a company like Retail Business Development. RBD can give you customized solutions from complete, turn-key services, to project-based initiatives. Using them to manage your staffing needs will give you the solutions you need, while also providing trained people you can trust to complete projects or staff that new store until things are solidly underway.

Remember too, that outsourcing also keeps your employment costs like taxes and benefits minimal. That kind of overhead can mean the difference between your business surviving or not.

Retail, telecommunications, mall speciality retail outsourcingAn outsourcing company like RBD can provide solutions that mean you can do many things while you manage your staffing needs, like expand into new markets; launch new retail ventures; try out new retail concepts; improve your market; launch new programs and come up with flexible solutions that are a perfect fit for your business.

Outsourcing doesn’t need to be a negative; it can be the best solution for each of your staffing needs.