5 Things That Make a Good Promotion

Successfully selling products is the ultimate goal for a small business. However, in order to sell those products, whatever they may be, the business must entice customers to make a purchase. Promotions are the backbone of creating a sense of urgency to take initiative and purchase a product.

But, what makes a good promotion? How do you create the perfect promotion that encourages buyers? Here are five ways to successfully promote to your customers!

  1. Run a Targeted Promotion

Promotions are used in a multitude of ways, whether it is to gain new customers, sell products, or steer them away from competition. However, one promotion cannot reach every point in your promotional plan. Therefore, it is crucial to determine your promotion’s target efforts:

  • Do you want to entice more purchases either through greater frequency or volume?
  • Advertise to new customers?
  • Repair your relationships with previous customers?
  • Advertise your business during slow months?
  1. Know Your Incentives

Once you have determined the purpose of your promotion, you have to create an incentive for your promotion to draw your customers in. Here are some examples:

  • Discounts/Coupons
  • Samples/Trial Offers
  • Events
  1. Set a Goal

Although this may seem obvious, always have a goal for your promotions in mind. Know what you want to achieve. For instance:

  • What is your sales target?
  • How many new customers do you want to gain?
  • How much revenue do you want to bring in for the quarter?

Having a determined goal for your promotions will help to keep your business on track an aid in your its success.

  1. Choose a Promotional Strategy

Once your goal is determined, you will need a strategy for your promotion. That is, how will you best reach your customers? There are many effective ways to successfully advertise to your customers.

  • Social Media
  • Contests
  • Mail Order Marketing
  • Giveaways
  • Customer Surveys
  • Charity
  • Customer Appreciation Gifts
  1. Know Your Promotional Techniques

It is important to have an understanding of the many promotional techniques that can be offered. Like incentives, these techniques can be used to draw in your customers and lead to an increase in sales and loyalty:

  • Free samples, trials, and gifts
  • Special Pricing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Digital Marketing

To Discover Star Micronics Newest Value-Added Service PromoPRNT

Why Shoppers Prefer Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Oro — Singapore.

Written by Michael K. Spencer

 

While in parts of Asia e-commerce is really catching on, in North America especially, brick-and-mortar shopping experiences still dominate. However consumers have new expectations regarding convenience, discounts, personalization in retail, and in particular, the interactions at the POS like mobile payments and offers on receipts.

As stores are learning the kinds of experiences their audience enjoys, physical retailers are getting better at adapting and boosting store traffic and engaging with their customers in contemporary and complementary ways. Enabling a better experience is key by marrying the human with the technology.

  1. Cater to experiences.
  2. Create human-interaction that’s educational and fun.
  3. Do seasonal campaigns better, promote community, and leverage unique product, lifestyle and cultural niches.

We live in an era where online sales are booming and a lot of retail growth occurs online, however, the majority of shoppers still prefer visiting stores in person. Why is that?

Local retailers provide a grass-roots way to connect with the community, culture, and vibe of a neighborhood, culture, and social life of a district. Retail and the marketplace is about connecting with our roots.

It’s Not Just About Convenience

While online shopping has never been easier, in a mobile-addicted world, younger consumers are showing a preference to experiences over the acquisition of stuff, goods, and material products.

Many younger consumers live in an era of discount shopping, price-wars, and comparative shopping impacted by the likes of mobile search, causing them to make different kinds of choices that retailers are still discovering in efforts to keep up with.

Smart small businesses and independent and local retailers are leveraging this to create a whole new retail culture around their products, staff, and locations. At Star Micronics, we’re creating products that reflect this. Sleek POS hardware at the cutting-edge of reliability and innovation.

We Are a Species of Touchers and Feelers

The more mobile is starting to impact every aspect of our lives, the more, as consumers, we crave tactile, human, intimate, empowering, and genuine interactions with local retailers. Human beings thrive not just with good customer service, but with customer experiences tailored to them in-person.

Small Businesses Are Learning to “Hack” The Experience Economy

Fostering the “experience economy” that has been related to Millennials (shoppers under 40) means how small business retailers engage with their audience through education, classes, in-person local influencers, events, and creating social relevance of their locations in the community, is a huge deal!

If the modern shopper associates the big-box retailers with price, speed, and fulfillment, what then are the equivalent characteristics of their favorite SMB local retailers? Small business-love and shopping local as trends, it can be argued, are at all-time highs. Consumers want to support family-owned businesses and retailers they consider more like them and in sync with their own values.

Men and Women Shop Differently — Why it Matters

According to Retail Dive, the way men and women approach shopping experiences might be different.

In particular, female shoppers overwhelmingly want to see, touch and feel products before buying them. Males, on the other hand, skew more toward the immediate satisfaction of taking items home with them.

If this is true, in-store enhancements that are design-orientated are catering to Millennials, including digital influence that is good for the planet such as Star’s Micro Receipt that saves paper on receipts. In fact, when stores show they care about sustainability and corporate social responsibility, their female customers gravitate more to them, showing how valuable from a loyalty and marketing perspective CSR and sustainability is for stores to embed in customer journeys.

How we Do Customer Experience is Changing

The way we do customer experience is shifting to the preferences of the new consumer. Retail tech must shift to being customer-centric, giving more choice and augmenting a store’s ability to connect with their customers on the most human basic emotional level.

With more than a third of consumers shopping online at least once a week, physical retailers and small business owners need to find ways to be more personable, unique, and offer better customer service than ever before. For these are the true differentiators that will build a loyalty customer base that generates revenue and improves margins.

Brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to incorporate mobile technology that humanizes their retail brands, such as Instagram stories, mobile coupons, digital receipts, and QR code-based technology. This technology marries the human with the resonating digital influence that is starting to permeate our society that can no longer be seen as separate from the emotional experience of our love of shopping in stores.

Physical stores are going through a wonderful transformation and a retail renaissance, and are still at the core, the center of our urban commercial experiences. This is even more true for small towns and local communities. Shoppers prefer trips to stores since they deliver experiences and not just stuff.

 

 

 

10 Ways to Increase Foot Traffic for Small Businesses

Written By Michael K. Spencer

 

Getting customers in the door is a challenge for most brick and mortar retailers. Customers aren’t going to leave their homes to visit a physical store unless the company is offering them something they can’t get online. And that something needs to be relevant to the customer’s lifestyle and shopping patterns. In fact, relevance is the most overlooked component to success in retailer efforts to increase foot traffic. The following 10 tips will help your store increase foot traffic by catering offerings to customer demand

1. Add a personal touch

Why do you think fine dining chefs walk around and introduce themselves to everyone at the restaurant? People want to connect with the person behind the scenes. Connecting to your customers will humanize your brand, but it needn’t always be done in person. Respond to Instagram photos and customer posts on social media to connect with your customers in a time efficient way. Also, regularly post photos of your offerings that portray the lifestyle marketed by your brand, and offer prizes for the best customer photos of your product.

2. Get that local flavor

Make products relevant to customer locales is pivotal to boosting foot traffic in your store. Make a calendar of major music, culture, and sporting events near your store and narrow the list down by which local events cater to your customer base. In other words, a sporting goods store probably shouldn’t throw an event based on a ballet production, but could definitely increase visibility by sponsoring the local 5k. From there, pick a few events to use as focal points for your store’s philanthropy, store events, or promotions.

3. Seasonal Marketing

Seasonal marketing is an easy way to personalize your offerings for your customer base. Whether your store is exposed to all four seasons or the temperature only drops 10 degrees during the cold months, there’s opportunity to connect with your customers through shared experience via signage and promotions. Offer fun seasonal discounts, such as, “10 percent off if you come wearing earmuffs,” or “free coffee to anyone who shows us their umbrella!”

 Photo: Thirdshelf

4. Keep ’em coming back

Customers expect to be rewarded for their loyalty. No matter the size of your store, some sort of loyalty reward program is imperative to show your customers that you value their business. Customer relationship management software (CRM), similar to the loyalty program builder and communications automation technology offered by Thirdshelf, can help to track and identify the results of your loyalty programs to maximize the traction of your marketing spend. This shows you areas that are working and areas where you can to improve.

5. Throw in freebies

If you feed them they will come and if you give them something for free they will spend. Time Magazine lists 5 reasons why customers spend more when you give stuff away. The list includes when customers get something for free they’ll pay more for it later, and that people talk about freebies more than anything else. Whether you’re offering samples of your newest hand lotion or free appetizers at a store event, giveaways immediately increase foot traffic and make a lasting impact on your customers.

6. Create an experience

Since millennials value experiences over things, it follows that to sell things to millennials, retailers need to tap into experience. In 2015, more than 3 out of 4 millennials said they would rather spend money on an experience than accruing more things. With that said, even the most frugal shopper will make a purchase as a reminder of a one-of-a-kind in-store experience.

7. Be Disruptive

You can only create foot traffic in a market of breakneck retail evolution by adopting a business model that’s as disruptive as the market itself. Fashion trucks and pop-up shops generate enthusiasm due to their transient nature. The “get it before it’s gone” mentality generates the excitement that most customers find lacking in traditional department stores. Social media marketing is huge for mobile retail, so customers know where to find you and a bit about your offerings. And if you think big companies can’t pull off a disruptive retail model, check out what Zappos is doing with their “Friends With Benefits” roadshow.

8. Build a community

Most retailers cater to consumers with a shared interest, whether you are a home goods store with customers who love to cook, or you sell apparel to Instagram-obsessed teens, there’s an opportunity to bring your customers together over a shared interest. By offering your customers relaxing social spaces and online forums to voice share their experiences, you can create a community in which a love for your brand is the unifying thread.

9. Teach your customers

Shared interest can also be utilized to create foot traffic by offering your customers classes or seminars on topics related to your products. For instance, outdoor retailer REI is famous for the hiking and camping events they facilitate for their customers. Once you realize what lifestyle you’re selling with your inventory, you’ll have a better understanding of what type of education you can offer customers to get them in the door.

10. It comes down to people

Of course, the most thoughtful marketing initiatives don’t count for anything if your customers are greeted by a rude or poorly-trained staff. Know your employees’ strengths and weakness. If you aren’t able to spend much time at your store’s physical locations, invest in a staff augmentation platform like the insights you can get from Dor for hour by hour data that will help you make informed staffing decisions.

The US Census Bureau reported that e-commerce counted for only 8.3% of total retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. Since most purchases still take place in brick and mortar stores, it’s imperative that retailers cater promotions and marketing to individual customers to boost foot traffic and maximize marketing spend.

 

How Back to School is Bigger than Ever for Retail

Back to School Marketing Tips for SMBs

By Michael Spencer

 

This year it seems like Amazon’s Prime Day sent parents and kids back to school with early special back-to-school deals. According to Deloitte, parents are set to spend $510 per household during back-to-school shopping and most will be in stores, reports CNBC.

How big is the retail season now? Bigger than you might think. The back-to-school season now runs between July and September, during which time American households are projected to spend $27.6 billion. This means it ranks second only to holiday shopping.

According to Daphne Howland of Retail Dive, it turns out most parents and kids dread this kind of shopping. Most American parents (75%) and teens (73%) say back-to-school shopping causes tension, including which brands to buy. Predictably, fully half of parents find shopping for clothing and shoes a particular problem, while 30% of teens most dread shopping for school supplies.

Here is where brick-and-mortar shopping really shines, where over 50% of the money will be spent at malls and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, more than double the amount parents expect to spend online. In on the fun are many local SMB retailers as well.

Back to School Marketing Tips for SMBs

As for marketing tips for small businesses, the likes of POS leader Vend and Shopify have some great suggestions. The bulk of this will be spent on clothing, electronics, shoes and school supplies in that order.

The National Retail Federation was bull in their analysis of this seasonal sale, where total back-to-school spending has grown 55% over the past 10 years. For GenZ college students, the amount spent moves up to an average of $942.17 each.

So what can SMBs do to compete in this incredible opportunity to increase retail sales? Clothing and apparel, as well as footwear, are good verticals that could show growth here.

Weirdly, the fastest growing retail chain in America is actually an Irish discount retailer you’ve never heard of, called Primemark. The low-cost European apparel chain is making its mark on American soil and plans to quickly expand. It took first overall as the fastest-growing retailer in the United States, according to a report from the National Retail Federation’s Stores magazine, which used sales data from Kantar Consulting.

According to Francesca Nicasio, Vend’s content marketing lead writer, here are some ways retailers can keep up:

1. Make Marketing Promotion Sync with the Hottest Trends

  • Hone in on GenZ trends to build opt-in and increase demand.
  • Start with the right products that are most likely to sell during this season.
  • Showcase merchandise in school scenarios to increase the first impression

2. Make Campaigns More Kids & College Student Friendly

  • Base promotions on surveys of kids and teens in your local area.
  • Get kids and GenZ to be as involved as possible with UGC campaigns and contests.
  • Create promotions that are made by GenZ for GenZ. Target even got kids to write and produce promos and it turned out well for them.

Shopify also identifies apparel as the key vertical SMBs can get in on. According to the NRF survey, back-to-school shoppers heading to elementary and high school plan to spend the most on clothing ($236.90). That’s a good range of clothing items.

3. Leverage Social Media Differently to Target GenZ as Compared to Millennials

Retail brands and marketers must understand GenZ are more video native and have a lower attention span as compared to Millennials. Shopify, therefore, recommends the following strategies:

  • Generate buzz through giveaways
  • Partner with GenZ influencers
  • Retailers need to leverage mobile to better reach GenZ
  • Focus on trending verticals of apparel such as Athletic Wear & footwear

4. Leverage Niche Items to Can’t-Miss Products

With consumer sentiment high, SMBs can also leverage niche items that GenZ might not need but instead want. Shopify suggests for college-age GenZ, these could be:

  • Multifunctional pieces for dorm rooms
  • Personal care and grooming items
  • The “Marble Theme” on dorm furnishings like pillows and throw blankets.
  • Fancy water bottles and pencil case supplies

Whatever your strategy has been since June, you have just a few days left to make sure 2018 is your best back-to-school season ever. It’s a big year for retail sales in this segment.

With the economy doing well, this year back to school means back to shopping and that “old school” trend coincides with the reputation of GenZ as loving physical shopping. There are more GenZ than there are Millennials and their impact on family spending is considerable. As more of them enter their 20s, the apparel sector is a good opportunity in good hands.

 

The Future of Blockchain in Retail

Written by: Michael K. Spencer

According to leading retail news publication, Retail Dive, blockchain will drive $164 billion in efficiencies for retail by 2030. The press release by IHS Markit defines business value as the cost savings and efficiencies resulting from incorporating blockchain into business strategies.

According to a Spring 2018 report by Deloitte, blockchain’s adoption in retail will also be at a tipping-point in the next five years. Deloitte sees this occurring especially in three main pillars of adoption:

  • Consumer — Improving and protecting the consumer experience
  • Supply chain — Improving process efficiencies across the supply chain
  • Payments and contracts — Improving transaction processes and ensuring the validity and implementation of contracts

While this provides a nice overview of mainstream adoption, it doesn’t take into consideration all the specialized blockchain startups that are seeking to impact a particular niche.

Recently, a corporate startup called Bakkt was announced where the likes of even Starbucks is a major partner. This has the retail and crypto community buzzing over if we’ll be able to pay for a Starbucks drink with cryptocurrencies such as ETH (Ethereum), XLM (Stellar), XRP (Ripple) or another crypto.

What makes this news noteworthy is since Bakkt is being formed by Intercontinental Exchange — the trading colossus that owns the New York Stock Exchange and other global marketplaces, namely Jeffrey Sprecher and his partner Kelly Loeffler. With the likes of Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group involved, the retail applications here could be enormous.

This could be a “Bakkt to the future” story for crypto in retail, where Starbucks on ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) combine forces. However, for blockchain in retail, the patents are where the real action is occurring, where the likes of Alibaba (the e-commerce giant) is a leader for blockchain patents with long-term implications in retail.

Deloitte’s report suggests that for blockchain’s future in retail, before 2020 many large retailers and businesses are quickly determining what value blockchain might hold for them, and have —or will begin—testing it soon, to benefit greatly while others will surely miss out and fall behind. Major retail chains now need not only to think about e-commerce, but the next layer of the internet, blockchain.

According to the forecast by IHS Markit, in the worst “downside” case scenario for the future of blockchain in retail, still sees this value increasing to $49 billion by 2030. To put this figure in perspective, the business value of blockchain in 2017 for retail and e-commerce was only $38 million.

Bakkt’s CEO describes it as the following:

“Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility.”

Merchant and consumer participation definitely sounds like retail. Many analysts believe Bakkt is an example of—and which the ICE can offer— something the crypto world currently lacks and that many crypto enthusiasts steadfastly reject: a trusted third party. How cryptocurrencies might integrate into retail will require these trusted and centralized businesses to get involved to help spur innovation in the space.

This signals Wall St. and larger investors that are starting to enter the cryptocurrency and blockchain landscape and while retail has been slow to follow; in the 2020s this movement could accelerate considerably as more use cases come into being including IBM’s private blockchain consortium. In 2018 a rapid rise of crypto funds and Wall St.’s more active involvement means it will spur on the retail sector to integrate with blockchain solutions that ultimately won’t just decrease costs and improve efficiencies, but improve customer experiences.

 

 

RetailNOW 2018 Recap

This year, RetailNOW 2018 ran from August 5th to 8th at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention center in Nashville, Tennessee. In this post, we’ll do a short recap of some of the trends and our own experience of it at Star Micronics and our growing ecosystem of partners.

RetailNOW was buzzing this year on Twitter under the hashtag #RetailNOW2018. It’s held by RSPA, a trade association comprised of resellers, ISVs, manufacturers, payment processors, distributors, and other POS and tech ecosystem participants.

Star Micronics had some exciting new products to showcase such as our mCollection including new printers and scales, which got a fair amount of attention at RSPA.

RetailNOW is an important event for POS tech since it combines resellers with both hardware and software ecosystems. The point of sale industry is being challenged right now with channel sustainability and thus the role RSPA plays is crucial.

Star Micronics’ booth was #803 and our set-up looked like this:

 

We held a contest where those who entered could win an Amazon Echo Spot. Our new mCollection series was well received, especially our scales.

With over 160 exhibitors and a packed agenda, RetailNOW 2018 was the ideal event for us to showcase our mCollection series that has been designed with the latest tech to deliver products that are especially compact in size, sleek, and offer the easiest setup in the industry with a reliable and remarkable user experience. Where our mCollection truly shines is in connectivity–each printer has multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth, CloudPRNT, Ethernet, and of course, lightning USB and traditional USB options.

 

RSPA speakers had warm receptions that looked like this:

                          Image credit: RSPA Twitter.

The inaugural RSPA women of the year in 2018 was Abby Sorensen. On the ISV insights panel, the importance of finding partners who need your software but who also have the same DNA was mentioned. The RetailNOW 2018 event also included golf, free head-shots at the photo booth on the show floor, and many other perks. Many speakers added value around the best practices for ISVs, VARs, and Vendors.

 

Tips for Value Added Resellers (VARs)

POS VARs are evolving how they see the emerging ecosystem:

                       Image credit: Jim Roddy on Twitter

RSPA is really committed to providing year-round education on topics relevant to its community with everything from tech boot camps to regional events and global expansion. VARs are also increasingly relying on automation tools to streamline their business.

                  Image credit: Jim Roddy on Twitter

VARs know what works for them in terms of the top lead generation tools. For many of them, product catalogs, software overview videos and educational content such as buyers guides, e-books, lists, and live chats work really nicely. RetailNOW 2018 was full of educational content for VARs, Vendors, and those in related POS tech industries.

 

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.

 

The Future of Cannabis Retail is Looking Good

 

The retail cannabis industry is growing fast, $75 billion by 2030 fast.

But let’s look at the nearer future. According to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, by 2021 the cannabis market is expected to reach $24.5 billion. Currently, cannabis is legal in 9 states for recreational use while 30 states have legalized cannabis for medical usage.

With such a high market growth expectancy, dispensaries sell a variety of cannabis products in the forms of hash, rosin, shatter, and oils which can be smoked or vaped. In addition, as many are aware, cannabis is also sold in the forms of candy and baked goods. As for pharmaceutical use, cannabis contains cannabidiol (CBD) which when used in the form of candy or oil aids in the treatment of pain and epilepsy. Now that sounds pretty good.

Let’s Talk Business

There’s no doubt that cannabis has health benefits that aid in the relief of:

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Arthritis
  • Dravet’s Syndrome
  • Mental health symptoms
  • Etc…

But what about benefits for businesses?

Well, as was mentioned earlier, legal cannabis reached $9.7 billion in sales in 2017.

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But let’s dig a little deeper into the facts and figures…

By 2021, marijuana sales are expected to reach a whopping $24.5 billion. Younger generations are turning to cannabis consumption and slowly turning away from alcohol. This has resulted in a decrease in binge drinking, 9% below the nation’s average, in the states where marijuana is legalized. Funnily enough, the industry’s sales will be led by people 55 and older. With such a diverse market, the cannabis industry is opening up multiple opportunities for businesses to flourish.

The increased popularity, and acceptance, of the cannabis industry is leading to the establishment of more small businesses with an increase in employment opportunities. With cannabis stores becoming more common in legalized states, the industry of creating products to efficiently, and legally, weigh and sell marijuana to meet regulations are necessary for the success of the business. Additionally, with cannabis being legalized all over Canada, there may even be a possibility that the East coast will speed up its state adoption for recreational use.

Regardless, cannabis is creating a diverse industry that includes the need for different markets to ensure its success, thus providing a positive impact on the nation’s economy.

The Cannabis POS Industry

With Cannabis creating such a diverse industry, it only makes sense that businesses will need reliable POS systems…

Keep in mind that the cannabis industry is different than your average retail business.

There are multiple rules and regulations that need to be followed in order to ensure that your business is legal. Here are some key points to remember when choosing your POS system:

  1. Cannabis is a cash business
  2. Sensitive scales are a necessity
  3. Labels are regulated
  4. Receipts are essential

 

For more details about Cannabis Point of Sale,  download our FREE eBook and explore our new Cannabis POS collection   

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.

Star Spotlight with iVend Retail

Star_mPOP_iVend

What does iVend Retail do?

CitiXSys develops technology and omnichannel retail solutions with the iVend Retail suite. The solution consists of about seven modules that has the terminal POS, mobile POS, e-commerice, loyalty, and more, all in one solution that works right out of the box. iVend Retail is designed to address the challenges faced by omnichannel retailers today.

How is iVend Retail working with Star Micronics?

iVend Retail certified Star Micronics’ mPOP™, combination cash drawer and receipt printer peripheral, in order to provide their retailers with a compact, sleek, and attractive contemporary offering. Star’s mPOP has been integrated with iVend Retail’s terminal POS and mPOS solution to deliver their customers an all-in-one, out of the box offering with a hardware component. The mPOP and iVend Retail solution has been hugely popular within the footwear and apparel retail industry due to the mPOP’s sleek look, and it’s ability to compliment the retailer’s image and brand.

What key benefits and features is the mPOP bringing to iVend Retail customers?

CitiXSys has recent released iVend 6.5 with the new POS designer. This solution allows the retailer to take advantage of the slick, mPOP device and tailer the point of sale screen to match. The mPOP and iVend solution also offers a highly functional and reliable solution for the retailer that requires no technical knowledge to operate.

“The main attraction of the mPOP to our customers is that it gives a sleek, compact look in the store,” says Paula DiSilva, VP of Sales for Asia Pacific for CitiXSys. “They’re looking for a larger footprint in brick and mortar stores and need something that will blend in nicely with their brand.”