How PromoPRNT Empowers Retail Stores with Receipt Messaging

The New Consumer has Arrived

In an era of mobile advertising and discount shopping, retailers need to find new ways to reach their customers. New ways to create meaningful customer experiences. With new technologies coming and fading, for many retailers ‘going back to basics’ takes on a whole new meaning. Online advertising is expensive and the ROI has diminished in recent times.

As consumers have fundamentally changed how they shop and how they buy, retailers need to rethink how they use their existing hardware and software to augment their paths to purchase. This can be achieved also at the POS and with existing technologies. For local retailers, it’s not all about customer data, but also about providing memorable experiences that foster a deep human connection.

Nothing quite beats the charm of customer service and little personal touches on purchases and the intimacy of shopping at a local store or a favorite small business. So what then are the high-value potential channels that many retailers are neglecting? It turns out it’s offline and in-store marketing opportunities.

What if there was a simple way to drive customers important messages that they nearly always see? Email marketing open rates are declining, so retailers need to think about an easier way.

Consumers want to be recognized, and they want non-invasive messages that resonate with them. According to the 2017 DMA factbook, consumers with personalized experiences spend more and become repeat customers:

Post-Purchase Messaging

  • Product-specific feedback requests in an appropriate post-purchase timeframe (not too soon, but don’t wait too long either)

 

Event Reminders and Seasonal Campaigns

  • Invitations to special events at nearby locations

 

New Products Launch

  • New product releases in areas of interest

What if there was an offline tool at the POS itself that could deliver salient messages? Now there is.

 

What is PromoPRNT?

PromoPRNT is an in-store advertising tool that allows retailers, small businesses and any business with a physical location to leverage the full power of receipts.

Any POS with a Star Micronics printer can be using PromoPRNT to drive customer experience, build loyalty and engage its shoppers.

While retailers try to implement personalization and drive traffic online, this is a bit expensive for your local retailer or independent retail store. They need tools that humanize their brand, that are low-cost but yield long-term benefits.

 

Benefits of Using PromoPRNT

Customer-centric receipt messaging at the store or physical location can augment a retailer’s business in many ways:

 

Convert Offline to Online Traffic

  • Convert offline eyeballs to online website and social traffic

 

Drive Seasonal Deals and Advertise In-Store Events

  • Seamlessly increase “buzz” about seasonal campaigns and promote in-store discount events

 

Communicate Important Updates to All Customers

  • Communicate general purpose messages that have a wide reach and a nearly 100% “read-rate”

 

Conduct Retailtainment Campaigns that Charm Shoppers

  • Use wit, humor, and charm to create a memorable point-of-purchase experience that has long-term customer loyalty benefits.

 

Improve Authenticity of Brand Impressions that Build Trust

  • Create authentic moments for shoppers that will get them to return to your location.

 

Drive Repeat Sales

  • Drive repeat sales with loyalty program messages, discounts, coupons and time-limited offers.

 


Want to be among the hundreds of retailers and small businesses trying out PromoPRNT?  It’s free and easy to get started.

 

Retail Stores are Boosting In-Store Customer Experiences with Receipts

 

At Star Micronics, we’ve been innovating POS Tech customer engagement solutions for years as an innovation hub for POS.

Recently we have solved how retail stores can achieve digital receipts and micro receipts that engage customers, and this year we’re rolling out PromoPRNT, a seamless feature that allows stores to easily reach their customers with POS Ads in-store on receipts.

 

A Star printer at Souvlaki George, 2017.

PromoPRNT as an Innovative Location Marketing Tool

  • PromoPRNT is a new service available to Star Micronics Cloud (formerly called Star Cloud Services) registered members that empowers retailers to create printed promotions in addition to receipts.
  • PromoPRNT is a suite of tools that allow small businesses to easily reach their customers with the creation, design, and execution of location marketing campaigns on receipts.
  • Ultimately, with these PromoPRNT tools, retailers will be able to deliver incentives directly to shopper’s hands at a fraction of the cost of other marketing tools.

Mobile In-Store is Catching On

According to a survey by iVend Retail’s 2018 Global Path to Purchase, 60.1% of shoppers said they used their smartphones in brick-and-mortar stores. This means mobile is an important touch-point for physical retailers and stores to elevate the customer experience. In 2017, Star created a seamless way for customers to upload their receipts to their smartphones called AllReceipts.

Customer-centric apps allow retailers to boost their sales. A good example of this is how Starbucks has created a seamless way to do mobile ordering.

 

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Business Insider.

 

Deployment 2.0 of Starbucks reworks the workflow of employees to better optimize their time that caters to the new mobile ordering feature at Starbucks locations, with a dedicated place for customers to pick up their orders.

Starbucks insists that digital sales are a key for its future and displays one of the top in-app experiences of any global retailer. Dedicated employees for mobile ordering tasks means Starbucks have sped up their customer-experience to enable mobile ordering to become an ever-increasing portion of their sales.

In-Store Mobile Experience Trends

Shoppers who receive special offers via mobile while they are inside physical stores show higher conversion rates than in other customer journeys, according to Retail Dive. Mobile is also increasingly the starting place for research into products and retail locations that are local. At Star, we recognize the importance of both digital and physical cues for shoppers and thus have dedicated digital receipts and location marketing suite of services that is an omnichannel solution to better engage the modern shopper.

 

 

Digital Signage that combines Mobile Loyalty with Digital Displays

With more consumers using mobile at physical retail locations, Star also has another new program that leverages POS Digital Signage, with digital signage partner, Sophatar.

Sophatar® POS Signage is another new service available to retailers who are registered Star Micronics Cloud users, for a low monthly subscription cost. Combining POS Data, with digital signage screens, the solution is able to increase the basket size of the most popular selling items at hospitality, grocery, retail, and apparel boutique locations.

In this article, we have covered how retailers and brick-and-mortar small businesses can easily combine mobile, location-marketing receipt tech and POS digital signage to create a better in-store customer experience that increases retail sales.

 

The SMB Guide to Retail Promotions

E-commerce sales have outpaced brick-and-mortar store growth, but effective retail promotions will help you compete with online goliaths.

The weather is getting warmer and school’s almost over for the year. SMBs are shifting gears for summer months, lining the shelves with warm weather merchandise. Customers are ready for some fun in the sun, but they’re looking for deals to affordably stock up for summer camp and trips to the beach.

E-commerce sales have outpaced brick-and-mortar store growth, but effective retail promotions will help you compete with online goliaths. It’s important to focus on your existing customer base because marketing experts agree that it’s less expensive to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. How much exactly? According to the Harvard Business Review, it ranges from 5 to 25 times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to generate repeat business.

Brick-and-mortar stores still have the upper hand over online competitors when it comes to instant gratification and the face-to-face service experiences that shoppers crave. Supercharge these advantages by combining them with effective retail promotions that draw in foot traffic, giving customers can’t-miss reasons for wanting to shop in your store.

  1. Discount promotions: It’s natural to think that the easiest way to give sales figures a boost is to run discount promotions however, it’s important to ensure there’s enough long-term value to justify the short-term discount. Bundling is a great way to encourage shoppers to spend more money. Couple related items for a discount—for example, purchase a beach towel and get a bottle of sunscreen for 50% off. Partnering less popular items at full price with discounted best sellers is a smart way to move inventory quickly while still earning a profit.
  1. Utilize “free” in your promotions: Free items or small “tokens of affection” can go a long way toward making shoppers feel their business is appreciated. Customers are more likely to return to your store if they feel they are being rewarded for buying items they need or value, so “buy one, get one free” can inspire shoppers to stock up. This is especially effective for special event-related merchandise that’s headed for the markdown bin after the season is over. Retail promotions such as “purchase a $100 gift card and get a $10 gift card free,” are also popular because consumers feel like they are getting a bonus with their purchase.
  1. Coupons, coupons, coupons: Coupons are a great way to get people to try new products at a lower price, and if the product lives up to expectations, pay full price the next time. In addition, coupons like “spend $50 and take $10 off” give people an incentive to buy a few more items to reach the $50 goal, and let the shopper choose which items to purchase. Merchants can use their POS solutions to reduce the cost of printing coupons by generating offers in-store. Printing coupons on receipts allows you to reach a higher percentage of shoppers because you can be sure the customer receives it, and it gives your sales associates an additional opportunity to engage customers before they leave the store.
  1. Limited-time-only retail promotions: Discounts or items that are only available for a short amount of time creates scarcity and a sense of urgency to purchase. For example, flash sales that happen between certain hours will force people to purchase in that time frame. Daily deals give the perception that the deal will last only as long as the items are in stock. Use these tactics to your advantage with summer deals.

Although the retail landscape is competitive, SMBs can employ smart retail promotions to help attract new shoppers and retain their customer base. Coupons, free products, discounts, and limited-time-only sales can make an already-great, in-store shopping experience too irresistible to pass up.

3 Cloud-based Applications Every Pizza POS Should Integrate With

Integrating these 3 cloud-based applications with your pizza POS will boost profits and keep customers coming back.

A POS system can help raise sales at your pizzeria by streamlining the entire operation from order to delivery. It’s no secret that pizza margins are razor slim, so anything pizzeria owners can do to encourage repeat business like online ordering and faster service will help boost sales, and keep people coming back for hot, fresh pizza. There are 3 cloud-based applications that will boost your profits.

You can enhance your POS system with several cloud-based applications for ordering, receipts and technology-monitoring apps that alert you immediately if there’s a problem. If you already own a POS system and want to upgrade some of the technology but aren’t ready to lay out the cash for a technology overhaul, there is a solution. Here are the applications you should integrate with for faster customer service, higher profit margins, and an edge over the competition.

 

  • Online Ordering – You don’t need to upgrade your hardware to get online ordering. Your Star printer should integrate with Star CloudPRNT, which acts as a bridge between the ordering module and the store’s printer.

On average, orders placed online are 25% higher than orders placed over the phone. Diners prefer to order online, because they can place their order without anyone waiting on them, which takes off the pressure of deciding quickly.

A cloud-based application also helps reduce the number of errors an employee makes while taking an order over the phone and then inputting it into the POS system. By transmitting orders directly to the system, you eliminate the extra step and the possibility for mistakes. ­

Online ordering also means that restaurant staff can see sales reports and ingredient tracking information in real time, which helps avoid disappointment when a diner finds out the selections they ordered are unavailable.

 

  • Digital Receipts – The sales receipt is your last chance to make a great impression, so don’t waste it. These paper proofs of purchase are an important tool to help your pizzeria stand out from the competition, build brand awareness, disseminate information about promotions, issue coupons and solicit feedback. Receipts can be customized to include website information and social media pages, so customers can stay in touch about new menu items, or send in a review.

Digital receipts and online ordering applications can help you gather data about your customers, which can be used to distribute marketing materials and information about new menu offerings and specials.

Star Micronics’ AllReceipts technology is a cloud-based application that pizzeria owners can download to print receipts directly from their online ordering module. AllReceipts communicates directly with the printer (no additional hardware necessary), for a seamless integration into your online ordering system.

 

  • Device Management for in-house and delivery – A cloud-based application for device management can alert you to a hardware problem before it snowballs into a bigger issue. Star Micronics’ Device Management tool gives you insight into your installed base of printers, even those with different locations, on an online dashboard. This is ideal for monitoring, maintaining and updating your receipt printing hardware, because time diverted away from the kitchen or front end to troubleshoot your printers means a delay in customer service.

 

Finding an Online Ordering system that integrates with your POS software is not always the best solution. In reality they come with many challenges that could be detrimental to your business and potentially damage customer relationships. Many restaurateurs have abandoned their POS-integrated solutions and moved to standalone systems. However, by using a standard POS receipt printer like the TSP654IICLOUDPRNT from Star Micronics, you now have the possibility to use the same printer for both your POS and Online ordering system while limiting your hardware cost!

The pizza business can be tough—but the right technology can make it easier to stay ahead of the competition. Pizzeria owners looking to add new technology shouldn’t scrap their current POS system—there’s a host of cloud-based applications you can integrate to introduce online ordering, device management and receipt printing. These apps are easily downloaded and integrated for immediate results—higher profits, faster customer service and satisfied diners.

Customer Experience Trends for the Future of Retail

VR

Technology in retail has reached an all time high and is continuing to grow in 2017. The Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) have all began to make their breakthrough into retail technology. It’s needless to say that this technology is changing the customer experience.

IoT in Retail

The Internet of Things simply defined is the “internet working of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as ‘connected devices’ and ‘smart devices’), buildings, and other items – embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these object to collect and exchange data.”

IoT is everywhere! If you own a smart phone, then you are using IoT on a daily basis. With the new trend of mobile wallets and near field communication (NFC) payments, retailers are beginning to use IoT in their stores to enhance the customer experience. With wearable technology and NFC payments, retailers can provide more payment options for the customer and a smoother transaction process by allowing the customer to pay via smartphone or wearable device such as an Apple Watch.

Moving toward an age of paperless transactions, it’s crucial for retailers to accept mobile payments and offer digital interaction with their shoppers via IoT. Virtual and digital communication and transactions are something that shoppers are going to be looking for in 2017, and it will have a huge impact on the overall customer experience.

VR and AR in Retail

2016 has proved to us that virtual reality and augmented reality will change the way people shop and in turn, transform the customer experience in retail. Shoppers will no longer need to physically travel to a store to experience the way something looks and feels. While VR and AR are definitely related, the two are used very differently in retail technology.

If you are active on Facebook or another social media platform, you may have notices that many people have received a pair of virtual reality goggles during the holiday season (seriously… a lot of people). Overall, these goggles are used to play video games or experience virtual realities like riding a virtual roller coaster or exploring a virtual jungle. In terms of retail technology, virtual reality could possibly be the new way people do their shopping.

How will this change the customer experience? How will this change omnichannel retail?

Think about when you are shopping online, but hesitant to make the purchase because you’re not sure if the pants you are purchasing will fit you, or because you don’t know if the lamp you’re looking at will go well in the living room. With the rise of VR, ecommerce retailers will be able to create a virtual store and connect the shopper with the physical product, without the shopping ever needing to leave their home. Sounds crazy, right?

Now let’s talk about AR. In 2016, Pokémon Go! took the world by storm by introducing one of the first successful augmented reality games for smartphones. We quickly learned how the game could affect retailers, and retailers quickly learned how to take advantage of the game by offering discounts and special promotions to their customers who were playing.

As technology continues to advance and VR and AR becomes ‘the norm’, shoppers will expect a more technologically advanced customer experience. We can already see this trend with the growing adoption of online retailers and mobile payments. Now the question is: what can SMB retailers do to keep up with this advance in technology? How can they continue to keep the customer satisfied?

SMB Retail Technology

While the rise in retail technology will have a huge impact on the overall customer experience, there are ways SMB retailers will be able to better the customer experience for their shoppers in 2017 that won’t require a virtual reality store.

One very simple way SMB retailers can use technology already available to them to ehance the customer experience, is to create an omnichannel shopping experience for their customers. Engaging customers beyond the transaction is key when creating the ultimate shopping experience. This can be done through the retailer’s website, mobile app, etc. According to nChannel, two-thirds of shoppers will check prices on their phone before making a purchase in a brick and mortar retail store. For this reason, SMB retailers need to make sure that they are engaging customers both in-store and online in order to keep their shoppers satisfied.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

In this age of new technology, omnichannel retail, and being able to basically purchase anything you need online or on your smartphone at your convenience, there is an increased pressure being put on SMB retailers to keep their customers satisfied in-store. The important thing to note is that shopping is no longer just about making the purchase, but it is about the entire shopping experience, whether that is a virtual reality store, or superior customer service.

In order for SMB retailers to keep their customers satisfied, they must first understand their audience and their needs. If a retailer’s target audience is a middle or older-aged crowd, creating an app for a virtual store may not be appealing. For this same audience, increasing customer service reps in store or sending mailing coupons might be more efficient. With every audience comes a new strategy for providing the best customer experience.

 

Star Spotlight with Vend

Vend with Star

What does Vend do?

Vend is America’s leading retail POS software, inventory management, ecommerce & customer loyalty platform for iPad®, Mac, and PC. Vend has customers in over 150 countries and prides itself on providing seamless point of sale solutions for retail, food and beverage, coffee shops, and more. Vend’s ecommerce and sales operations features make it easy for retailers to provide the perfect shopping experience for any customer whether in-store or online.

How is Vend working with Star Micronics?

Vend works with Star Micronics’ printer peripherals to bundle a sleek, yet reliable point of sale solution for any retailer. With certified support for Star’s TSP100 and TSP650IIBTi desktop printers, SM-S220i portable printer, and all-in-one mPOP™ peripheral, Vend offers solutions for large or small retail environments. Vend has also recently added support for Star Cloud Services’ free digital receipt solution and customer engagement tools. Star Cloud Services, along with Star’s AllReceipts™ digital receipt app, allows retailers to offer their shoppers the option to claim a digital copy of their receipt and gives them the ability to later engage with their customers through the app.

How is Vend working with the new Micro Receipt?

Star Cloud Services recently released a new feature called the Micro Receipt. The Micro Receipt allows retailers to print only the AllReceipts QR code on the paper receipt, saving up to 80% on paper compared to the original. While only the QR code and optional store name and time stamp will appear on the paper receipt, once scanned within the AllReceipts app, the customer will have gained access to the full, itemized receipt in the app. Vend is the first to integrate the new Micro Receipt, allowing their retailers to get a longer lifecycle out of every Star Micronics printer.

“We think there is great potential to introduce this new solution, specifically the Micro Receipt, to our customers,” says PE Perruchot de la Bussiere, General Manager of Channel and Business Development for Vend. “With this innovative solution, we will be able to work with resellers and find new customers together.”

The Rise of Experiential, Discount, and Specialty Retail

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In 2016, we have seen major shifts in the retail industry and consumer buying patterns. We’ve seen the largest Internet-based retailer in the world (Amazon) open brick-and-mortar stores, and we have seen “big-box” retailers closing stores. Clark has named just a few:

  • Macy’s plans to close about 15% of its locations amid challenging retail environment.
  • According to the Dallas Morning News, JCPenny CEO Marvin Ellison said the department store chain plans to close some of its roughly 1,000 stores soon.
  • CVS, America’s leading retail pharmacy, plans to close 70 stores early this year.
  • Mall-based retailer, The Limited, closed all of its nearly 250 stores across the country on January 8, but will continue to have an online presence.

Shift in Consumer Buying Patterns

With the closing of many department stores and “big-box” retail stores, we see that discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross are thriving. Consumers are now realizing that many of the products or goods that they typically shop for in department stores can be found for a cheaper price either online or in discount stores. This shift is being largely influenced by the millennial generation. For retailers who do not fall into the “discount retailer” category, the key to competing is improved store data. This means creating a way to better track customer data in order to provide unique and authentic shopping experiences for each customer.

The Millennial Consumerscan_shop_featured

According to Forbes, there are eighty million millennials in America alone, and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power. This means that the buying patterns of millennials are having a direct impact on the retail industry and brick and mortar stores.

While millennials are commonly targeted as the “self-entitled” and “lazy” generation, it has been found that they are extremely price sensitive. Meaning, millennials will take the time to search for more affordable options (usually online or by using their smartphone) before making a purchase. Based on a survey performed by Accenture, 41% of respondents said they have practiced “showrooming” – the act of examining merchandise at a nearby retail store and then shopping for it online to find the lowest price.

It’s no question that the millennial generation is very unique. Retailers have struggled to understand the buying patterns and the interests of this generation for quite some time now. Unlike the Baby Boomer or Gen X generations, millennials tend to be less influenced by advertising and promotional content, and care more about the authenticity of a brand. Millennials best connect with people over logos. The fact that millennials are less likely to go for the “brand name” over a cheaper option, is largely impacting the way retailers must market themselves and their brand. The recent closing of Macy’s and JCPenny stores speaks volumes when compared to the popularity these stores held with previous generations.

Specialty Retail Steps Up

Specialty retailers are businesses that focus on specific product categories. It isn’t the product they sell that determines if a company is a specialty store, but rather the breadth of their product offering.

As we see more and more large retail stores closing, we see specialty retail continue to thrive. Brick and mortar retail is becoming less about shopping and more about the customer experience. With the rise of retail technology such as IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality in retail, consumers are entering brick and mortar stores with the expectation that they will walk away with more than just their purchase, but with a valuable and unique shopping experience.

With the generation that values experiences over items now holding such high buying power, retailers have to make an adjustment to their previous selling strategy. Retailers are beginning to take advantage of IoT and artificial intelligence to create a more personalized shopping experience. Specialty retail is thriving because it has been much easier for SMB and specialty retailers to create these personalized experiences, because they are more likely to have repeat customers, making it possible to establish a certain level of customer loyalty. “Big-box” retail stores have a more difficult time creating a unique customer experience, simply because their audience is too large, and too diverse to maintain a valuable relationship with the customer.

For retailers to survive in this age of discount and digital shopping, it is essential that retailers do not just sell goods, but that they sell an experience.

Star Cloud Services Introduces the Micro Receipt

Micro Receipt - Website 2

Star Cloud Services (SCS) is proud to introduce the Micro Receipt service, available to use with the AllReceipts™ or Itemize app.

What is the Micro Receipt?

The Micro Receipt is a printed 2D barcode (QR code) paper receipt. This QR code can be scanned by any smart phone using the AllReceipts or Itemize app to claim a digital copy of the full length, itemized receipt. The Micro Receipt allows retailers to create a reduced paper receipt, printing only the store name, time stamp, and the AllReceipts QR code.

Who can use the Micro Receipt?

The Micro Receipt is an additional service offered by Star Cloud Services. Star Cloud Services is free to install for any retailer using a Star Micronics thermal receSCS certifiedipt printer. SCS can either be easily downloaded with the Star futurePRNT Windows driver or integrated with the StarPRNT SDK for iOS and Android. In addition to the Micro Receipt, Star Cloud Services offers a full suite of digital receipting and customer engagement tools.

Star has made it easy for retailers to know which point of sale software has certified Star Cloud Services. Simply look for the “Star Cloud Services Certified” logo on any POS software page or on the Star Micronics Software Partners page.

Benefits for the retailer

Retailers are now looking for an eco-friendly and simple alternative to offering lengthy paper receipts. The Micro Receipt allows retailers to reduce the paper size of the receipt up to 80% from its original length. With the Micro Receipt, retailers can actually include more information on the receipt while saving on paper! In addition to the transaction information, SCS allows retailers to utilize the back of the digital receipt with its Receipt Flip service. Receipt Flip enables users to include coupons, promotions, terms and conditions, and more on the back side of the digital receipt. Once the receipt is scanned in the AllReceipts app, the shopper can use the Flip feature to access these promotions or conditions.

Retailers can now include store information, coupons, promotions, terms and conditions, bar codes, and more, all while saving on paper!

Benefits for the shopper

People are beginning to be less accepting of lengthy paper receipts. It’s no secret that long paper receipts can be obnoxious and inconvenient for the shoppers. Often times, shoppers are opting to received email receipts as opposed to the standard paper receipt. The only problem with email receipts is that they are not anonymous. Once a retailer has your email address to send a paper receipt, they can then access more of your personal information, or spam your inbox with unwanted emails.

Star Cloud Services digital receipts are 100% anonymous for the shopper, and the AllReceipts digital receipt app doesn’t require users to give any personal information upon download. With the customer engagement tools such as Receipt Flip and Engage Now, customers can choose when they want to engage with the retailer, rather than being bombarded with emails.

In addition, users only need to scan their receipt once in the AllReceipts app, and the receipt is kept as a digital copy forever. You never have to worry about misplacing or accidentally throwing away a receipt! On the flip side, if the shopper does need to hold on to the paper receipt, the Micro Receipt takes up significantly less space in they shopper’s purse or wallet due to its vastly reduced paper size.

Learn more about the benefits of the Micro Receipt at www.starmicronics.com/star-micronics-cloud/micro_receipt or www.starcloudservices.com.

Top Retail Blogs to Follow this Holiday Season

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With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, retailers are in “holiday season” mode with special promotions, seasonal marketing campaigns, long hours, and hectic customer requests. Now more than ever, retailers need to pay attention to the holiday retail trends, and look for any tips they can find on how to make this season a little bit easier for everyone.

SMB retailers require actionable insights that are retail-centric for the nitty gritty of the daily management of their stores. In our years of working with hundreds of ISVs, VARs, POS providers, and retail stores themselves, we’ve come to also appreciate the retail influencers, insiders, and thought-leaders that inspire us to perfect our craft. Star took a look at some retail blogs and put together this list of the best retail blogs to follow this holiday season.

Here are just a few that we recommend checking out:

1. Vend

Aside from the fact that Vend is one of the best blogs for retailers to follow, they have dedicated an entire series of blog articles to holiday retailers with their “Vend’s 2016 Holiday Retail Boot Camp” series. The twelve-part blog series includes tips on how to improve your store and increase sales during the holiday season, all while answering of the what, how, any why on where to begin!

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2. Retail Geek

For a non-traditional holiday retail blog, be sure to check out the Retail Geek. This site hosts weekly podcasts with hosts Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg and Scot Wingo. Their last two podcasts have focused on the holidays with a holiday preview and cyber holiday recap. Many of their podcasts also feature reputable guest hosts as well.

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3. Shopify

Shopify is another point of sale company that is killing the holiday retail blog game! Shopify boasts tons of great blog articles for retailers that vary from retail tips, to management strategy, to inspirational posts. This holiday season, they are helping out retailers with articles like: Seasonal Staffing 101: How to Prep Employees For the Holiday Shopping Rush and How to Cater to Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers.

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4. Signal

The holiday season is the perfect time to capture customer data because store traffic is generally increased. But, what do you do with data once the sleigh bells stop ringing and the holiday hype is over? Signal offers tons of articles that focus on data capture, sharing, and onboarding for the SMB retailer.

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5. ShopKeep

ShopKeep is the perfect blog to follow if you are an SMB retailer looking to compete with “big-box” retailers this holiday season. ShopKeep offers tons of tips and guidance on how to boost those retail sales. With the holidays underway, this is the best time to check out their blog and see how you can exceed your sales goals and increase traffic to your store.

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6. Square

While the holiday season usually brings in the highest profits of the year for retailers, there is still a ton of work that needs to go into an effective seasonal marketing plan. Square’s blog has tons of articles to help retailers with their holiday marketing plans. From email marketing, to trendy window displays, Square can help you get the most bang for your buck this holiday season.

best-holiday-blogs-square

7. Lightspeed

Lightspeed takes holiday blogging to a whole new level! Like most retail blogs, Lightspeed’s holiday blogs offer tips and guides for retailers on how to get through the holiday season with the most ease as possible. Including articles for inventory management and Holiday tax treats for small business, Lightspeed has something for any retail business.

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Time is ticking! Visit any of the recommended blogs above to start gathering tips and pointers on how to get the most out of this holiday season for your retail business.

 

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Star Spotlight with Hike POS

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What does Hike POS do?

Hike POS is an award-winning omnichannel retail point of sale solution designed for small businesses around the world. With Hike POS, retailers can sell in-store, online, and on-the-go. Hike believes that point of sale should be modern, flexible, and user-friendly, which is why they have made their solution available for PC, Mac, and iOS users. With a wide application suite including inventory management, gift cards, customer loyalty, and more, Hike POS makes it easier than ever to start & grow your business.

How are you working with Star Micronics?

Star was the first choice of point of sale printers for Hike POS. Hike POS promotes Star printers with their cloud-based feature which was recently introduced. Hike POS software combined with Star’s mPOP combination cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner, allows retailers to get a true, all-in-one mPOS solution that is easy to use and helps grow business.

Hike POS has also been one of the first Star Certified Software Partners to fully integrate Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt and customer engagement tools. Using Star Cloud Services, Hike POS retailers can now offer their customers the option of digital receipts through Star’s AllReceipts™ digital receipts app.

What are the biggest benefits of AllReceipts™ for retailers and for Hike POS?

Retailers love the idea of offering their customer digital receipts, but struggle to get their customers to give up their email address. Hike POS wanted to provide a solution for this problem that their customers where experiencing, so they turned to AllReceipts™. Allowing their retailers to still offer digital receipts without needing any personal information from the customer was a huge win for Hike POS customers.

Hike POS vendors were also able to take advantage of other Star Cloud Services features including the instant customer feedback survey, Engage NOW, and Receipt Flip.

“Star is a leader in technology and manufactures fully integrated printers that are easy for our customers to use, including their USB and Ethernet printers, along with the all-in-one mPOP. Star is truly the printer provider of choice for Hike POS” – Jay Sutaria, Business Development Director for Hike POS.