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Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle (3 Posts)

Founder & Editorial Director of Retail Minded Magazine. Nicole is an experienced retail and wholesale professional whose experience includes work with Adidas America, Sears Corporation, Franco Sarto Footwear, Nordstrom and many independent retailers and wholesalers nationwide. After holding both regional and national management roles, Reyhle founded Retail Minded in 2007 as an effort to support independent retail focused businesses throughout the United States. Since then, her contribution to the retail community has spiraled into a speaking, writing and consulting career. In 2012, Reyhle debuted the nation’s only retail lifestyle publication, Retail Minded Magazine, which delivers news, education and support to independent retailers the “boutique” way.


Independent Retailer Conference

Independent Retailer Conference

I’ve always been a believer independent retailers and wholesalers need to lean on each other and select industry supporters to really thrive in their unique goals. While it’s easy to think we can individually “do it all”, the reality is that’s nearly impossible. It’s with this in mind that the Independent Retailer Conference came to life.

Founded by myself and Kerry Bannigan of Nolcha Events, the Independent Retailer Conference will take place May 20, 2013 at the gorgeous Scholastic Auditorium in Soho. This one day, action packed, education rich conference will bring together some of the nation’s leading retail experts, supporters and of course, indie retailers and wholesalers. Attendees from all over the United States will join the Independent Retailer Conference to engage, learn and connect on all things indie retailer.

IndieRetailConfLogo

Some of the key presentations include:

- How to Gain Press (Without Hiring Someone To Do It For You)
- Ways to Maximize Your Store Profits
- Tips on Email Marketing Specific to Indie Businesses
- Technology and APP News for Indies
- Marketing on a Dime (Or For Free)
& much more

All registered attendees will receive a free issue of Retail Minded Magazine, free business cards from MOO.com and many other prizes to help retailers and wholesalers thrive. Additionally, one select attendee will win a trip to Las Vegas for the August ASD Trade Show. Finally – all attendees are invited to join us at Anchor Bar following the conference for networking, complimentary drinks and fun.
Seats are limited, so register today.

Thanks to their wonderful sponsors including Moo.com, Snap Retail, Kabbage, ShopKeep POS and the Retail Council of New York State, they can offer you a huge discount on the $79.95 ticket price, making your price only $29.95.

Independent Retailer Conference
Date: May 20, 2013
Location: Scholastic Auditorium
557 Broadway in Soho

Simply register with code OSFASHION HERE.

Hope to see you on May 20th!

Posted in: -OSF & Other Events-

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3 Tips to Maximize Holiday Online Sales

3 Tips to Maximize Holiday Online Sales

Traditional storefronts have a lot to do to prep for the holidays – and we aren’t even talking about inventory planning. Between decorating, hiring seasonal staff, working extra hours and participating in local, community events, their to-do-lists are very long. It (almost) makes exclusive online retailers look like they have it easy. But as any retailer knows, this isn’t the case.

Whether you have a brick and mortar store and also sell online or only have an online presence, be sure to maximize your efforts this holiday season to gain stronger online sales.

1. Provide easy, quick navigation for your users. Create holiday themed navigation areas that highlight your best selling items and seasonal items. Make sure shopping on your website can be done with ease, and help customers navigate easily with a well planned layout of your site. Highlight buttons or banners are a great way to push certain products, announce specials, share shipping rates and more.

2. Incorporate a countdown clock that reminds customers of how many days there are to shop. This doesn’t necessarily mean how many days there are to Christmas or any other holiday, but rather how many days are left for them to buy something AND factor in shipping time. Be sure to identify this clearly during your checkout process, as well,  to avoid any purchases not being delivered in time for a holiday.

3. Know your target search words & metrics. Review analytics from your own site from past holiday seasons, as well as narrow in on popular search terms used in your retail category online. Reflect on trends on your specific retail sector, as well, and be sure to reference these terms, also.

Finally, consider offering some holiday perks, such as free shipping. According to Monetate.com, 55% of online shoppers expect FREE shipping. Considering this is one of every two customers, this is something to consider. If you factor in a deal to get free shipping, such as spend $25 and get free shipping, then this may not be as difficult to incorporate into your holiday plans. Ultimately, do what is best and makes the most sense for your business… But be realistic enough to know you have to compete with the other retailers. The best question to ask yourself, though, is what are your online goals this holiday season? This will help shape your decisions in making your online experience stronger – or simply not as competitive – in the weeks ahead.

 

Original image created by FutUndBeidl.

Batten down the hatches! The holiday rush is coming! Read Elizabeth Canon’s post “Preparing Your Website for Holiday Rush” to learn how to do just that.

Posted in: Retail Education

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Keeping Everyone Happy with Holiday Return Policies

Keeping Everyone Happy with Holiday Return Policies

Many small retailers have very controlled, very time sensitive return policies – and that’s not a bad thing. While this is absolutely the best way to support their business from a day to day basis, unfortunately the holidays bring some exceptions that are worth considering.

The first thing to consider is the timeline of your return policy.
If you have a two week return policy from the date of purchase, this may not allow a gift giver to get the gift for the holiday season under the terms that the gift receiver can return or exchange it after the holidays. The most effective way for small retailers to handle this is to decide from what start date to what end date they will accept returns or exchanges during this time of year. Many business owners consider Thanksgiving as a good start date with shortly after New Year’s as a fair end date. Extending this timeline to just before Thanksgiving, such as mid-November, to mid-January can be even more effective and supportive of your consumers. Whatever timeline you decide is best for your business, make sure to promote this so that your customers are aware of this special holiday return policy for gifts only. Include these details in your store front window, through an email blast and near your check out area leading up to and during the holidays.

The second thing to consider are the terms of your return policy.
Will you accept returns or only exchanges? Are there any products that are not acceptable for returns, such as undergarments or jewelry? Whatever specifics you want to be clear to your customers, let them know. This includes items that may not be gifts but purchases for themselves. Leave no room for exceptions here in an effort to avoid an upset customer later. Include these details on their printed receipt, as well as make a sign that is visible during their check out at the store. In addition, it’s always a good idea to have store associates tell customers about your return policy before or during the check out procedure.

The third thing to consider is making sure your customers are supportive of your extended holiday return policy.
By being supportive, they simply need to be aware so that they can’t claim later they weren’t aware of the return or exchange details. One way to do this is to have any customer who purchases a gift initial the gift receipt so that upon return, you are aware that the gift giver was informed of the policy. This helps avoid extended returns on products they may have purchased for themselves, as well, since you will not have to ask them to initial the receipt. Do make sure that if you offer returns or exchanges, you only do so with the receipt of the product. Make ALL points that you want included in your policy visible to your consumers not only on the receipt, but in a clear posting at your cash wrap station, as well.

Finally, be realistic with the complications this may bring.
While you should do everything in your effort to prepare yourself, your store employees and your customers for this extended policy with new terms included, you need to also be ready for some hiccups along the way. Tis’ the season for customers who want to push the limits! But supporting your store with an extended holiday return policy is likely to open up more opportunity for sales than not extending your policy at all.

Ready for sales? Get ready for returns. It’s all part of the equation… So rather than avoid this, let’s tackle this together. The biggest key here is being prepared. Using the points identified and knowing what your customer expects, create policies that are right for you. Your reward? Clearer solutions, simpler procedures and happier customers. Cheers to that!

Original image created by Damien Ayers.

Posted in: Retail Education

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