28 search results for “Lauren Ufford”

5 Successful Retail Businesses That Started Off as Side Hustles

5 Successful Retail Businesses That Started Off as Side Hustles

Retail side hustles | Shopify Retail blogMany retailers don’t have the luxury of devoting all of their time and money to their new business from day one. As is the case with many entrepreneurs, they have limited time because of commitments (like full-time jobs and families) and finite financial resources to sink into a retail venture.

The solution? Many entrepreneurs start their businesses as a side project while they still hold down a full-time job. This way you can grow your business in your spare time while still paying the bills with your full-time income. Once that retail side hustle starts to take off, you can take a plunge and make your passion project your full-time gig.

Yes, working one-and-a-half jobs can be a real grind at times. But as with many entrepreneurs that came before you, it is possible to start a side business from scratch and turn it into a full-time venture.

So, if you’re looking for inspiration to start up or grow your side hustle, there are plenty of examples of businesses that started out the same way. Let’s take a look at some successful businesses that grew out of side hustles to help inspire you to take your next step into retail entrepreneurship.

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Surplus Inventory: 6 Surefire Ways to Liquidate it to Improve Your Bottom Line

Surplus Inventory: 6 Surefire Ways to Liquidate it to Improve Your Bottom Line

How to liquidate extra inventory | Shopify Retail blogIs extra inventory weighing you down? Especially in the wake of the bustling holiday shopping season, you may have a surplus of items piled on store shelves or in storage. Excess product is bad for business — it ties up cash flow, takes up valuable space in store and in storage, and stale product could negatively affect conversion in store.

Customers wants to see a fresh selection in store and online on a regular basis — especially your loyal customers who check back often. Not to mention the degrading value and quality of inventory that expires or is perishable. With that in mind, you can see the value in having strategies on hand to liquidate that inventory.

Getting rid of your excess inventory is a necessary part of any retail business. But it’s also an opportunity to improve your bottom line. So let’s take a look at six ways to get rid of your surplus inventory.

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The Competitive Edge: How to Battle Retail Stores Selling Similar Products for Cheaper

The Competitive Edge: How to Battle Retail Stores Selling Similar Products for Cheaper

Competitive retail store | Shopify Retail blogYour retail store is making sales and things are going along smoothly. Then someone else releases a similar product and undercuts your prices. What do you do?

This retail store grievance is becoming more common as retailers are able to sell all over the world through the Internet. Brands are no longer just competing with the retail store that opened down the street, but also the one across the globe offering customers similar items.

Thankfully, there are ways to maintain your market share and compete with brands that are offering comparable products for cheaper.

While dealing with competitors that have ripped off your designs or are trying to encroach on your market share is frustrating, all is not lost — there is some recourse for retail store owners. Before acting, take a deep breath, and review the following tactics to deal with this specific sit

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6 Examples of Retail Gamification to Boost Engagement and Sales

6 Examples of Retail Gamification to Boost Engagement and Sales

Gamification examples | Shopify Retail blogYou’ve carefully curated your product offerings, you’ve built your brand, and now you’re working to grow your business. If you’re looking to increase your sales, build your brand awareness, and increase your customer loyalty, then consider introducing some gamification into your retail business strategy.

So, what is retail gamification exactly? RetailDive defines the practice as combining “elements of play and common game mechanics such as points, badges, and other incentives in nontraditional contexts in order to affect behavior. Done right, gamification is a subtle but fun way to get people engaged.”

Retailers can reward participation in these “games” with discounts, promotions, free, merchandise, or other prizes. Although it takes some time and effort to set up and execute a game, the benefits can certainly outweigh the cost.

And more retailers are paying close attention to this marketing tactic. According to one survey from Boston Retail Partners, almost nine out of 10 retailers (87%) will use gamification methods in the next five years. And nearly half of those (46%) pointed out that a loyalty program incorporating these elements is one of their top priorities.

Retail gamification can be used both online and at brick-and-mortar locations to drive customer engagement. Now, let’s take a look at some brands that have used retail gamification successfully to drive traffic, bolster engagement, and increase sales.

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6 Ways Retailers Can Leverage Email Receipts

6 Ways Retailers Can Leverage Email Receipts

Email receipts for retailers | Shopify Retail blogEmail receipts were once only utilized by ecommerce stores to send online shoppers a record of the transaction and way to track their package. What was originally just a necessity for ecommerce merchants has now spread to offline sales channels as well. Recently there’s been a movement for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers to send email receipts to their customers.

While digital receipts are undeniably better for the environment (helping retailers go paperless and saving some trees in the process), they also make it easier for customers to keep track of their purchases. Who hasn’t lost an important paper receipt before?

However, digital receipts can help retail businesses with more than saving on paper costs and helping customers track their transactions — they also offer a number of benefits and opportunities to retail merchants. And it’s easier than ever to send email receipts with simple-to-use tools like Shopify POS.

When sending a digital receipt, retailers collect their customer's email address, which is a valuable piece of customer info that — with the right permissions — can be used for future retargeting and email marketing campaigns.

Aside from the potential to communicate with your audience in the future via email, the email receipts themselves can be an opportunity to speak with your customer about more than just their recent purchase. You can turn that simple proof of transaction into another communication and engagement channel.

Not sure how to accomplish that? We’ve gathered six ways that your retail business can leverage digital receipts.

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7 Reasons Ecommerce Brands Should Consider In-Person Selling

7 Reasons Ecommerce Brands Should Consider In-Person Selling

Ecommerce to in-person sales | Shopify Retail blogBrick-and-mortar stores versus ecommerce — it’s no longer a choice between one or the other. Multichannel sales are here to stay as savvy shoppers engage with brands through multiple touch points, whether it’s in-store, online, through social media, or elsewhere.

While ecommerce stores and sales are growing exponentially, 94% of total retail sales are still generated in physical stores. So, for those merchants waiting to take the leap into in-person sales, there’s no better time than the present.

Are you hesitant to take the next step from selling your products behind a screen to venturing into in-person sales? It can feel overwhelming to make the jump from exclusively selling online to adding face-to-face customer interactions, but there are definite benefits to your business that come with this growth.

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8 Retail Conferences Worth Attending in 2017

8 Retail Conferences Worth Attending in 2017

Retail conferences 2017 | Shopify Retail blogWhen it comes to professional development, there’s rarely a substitute for good, old-fashioned networking events. If a retailer is interested in building new skillsets, making connections in their industry, or need some inspiration or ideas, it’s worth it to invest in your own professional development to help move your business forward.

More businesses are seeing the value in professional development opportunities. According to a report from Bersin by Deloitte, overall spending on learning and development rose 10% in 2014, to more than $1,000 per employee. And one of the crucial ways entrepreneurs can gain new knowledge is to attend industry conferences.

For those looking to broaden their retail business horizons, conferences are a great opportunity to learn from experienced speakers, connect with fellow retail businesspeople, and check out the products and services that could shape the future of your business. Luckily, there are plenty of worthwhile retail conferences in the U.S., Canada, and around the world that are hosted throughout the year.

Not sure what conferences and meetups are worth your time and cash? Here’s our roundup of retail conferences you should consider checking out through the rest of 2017 and heading into 2018.

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Alternative Checkout Methods: How Stores are Experimenting With High-Tech Tills

Alternative Checkout Methods: How Stores are Experimenting With High-Tech Tills

Alternative checkout methods | Shopify Retail blogFrom the days of checks and cash, payment methods have evolved along with technology. Currently payment cards dominate the transaction industry. According to The Statistics Portal, 34.7% of card holders use debit or credit cards for most of their purchases.

The same is true for the checkout experience. Customers no longer need to contend with old-fashioned registers and tills — technology is helping to eliminate long lineups and streamline transactions in the process.

So, what does the future of retail transactions look like for your business? What types of payments should your business accept going forward? And how should your checkout experience look for shoppers?

Tulip Retail states: “With a smartphone in every pocket and the expansion of advanced barcodes and imaging technologies for scanning products, faster alternative checkout methods will continue to grow across the retail sector,” says Tony Rodriguez, CTO of digital identification solutions provider Digimarc.

Here’s what you need to know about alternative checkout methods for your retail business, for now and in the future.

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Black Friday Deals: 10 Tips to Send High-Converting Holiday Sales Emails

Black Friday Deals: 10 Tips to Send High-Converting Holiday Sales Emails

Black Friday Cyber Monday email campaigns | Shopify RetailYear over year, Black Friday Cyber Monday continue to make Thanksgiving one of the biggest shopping events of the year, with 109 million people shopping online and another 99 million shopping in-store in 2016, according to CNN Money

But the tides are changing — more and more Black Friday shoppers are moving from brick and mortar to online. Time reports that in 2015 shoppers spent $10.4 billion in stores, down from $11.6 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, Fortune reports that “Black Friday brought in $2.72 billion in ecommerce sales, up 14% from 2014. Thanksgiving Day saw a higher jump in online spending, with $1.73 billion in sales, up 25% from the previous year.”

‘Tis the season for retail sales — and that means it’s time to prep your holiday sales campaigns. Compelling email campaigns are key to driving sales and building awareness for your holiday promotions, both online and in store.

So, what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of your holiday marketing efforts? We’ve consulted some experts and compiled their advice into 10 tips for sending effective sales emails for Black Friday Cyber Monday and beyond.

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Chatbots for Retail: What Are They and How Retailers Can Use Them to Spark Sales

Chatbots for Retail: What Are They and How Retailers Can Use Them to Spark Sales

Chatbots for retail | Shopify Retail blogTechnology moves so quickly that it’s difficult for businesses to stay on top of tech that could firm up their bottom line. And because there seems to be new technology developed every day, it can be tough to decide what your retail business should embrace and what might just be a fad.

Implementing new tech also requires money and resources, so you need to be sure that it’s worth the investment. And this is the situation retailers may find themselves in when thinking about chatbots. With all the chatter in the industry about conversational commerce, some merchants are wondering if they should invest in these automated bots to take customer queries, provide customer service, and potentially upsell to shoppers.

Yes, there’s a lot of talk recently about chatbots. So, let’s dig deeper into what chatbots are, how they tick, and if they’re right for your business.

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