BACKUP YOUR DATA!

March 30, 2016

 

spring-clipart

That means spring forward

change the batteries on the smoke detectors

and

   —   BACKUP YOUR DATA   —

Backing up your data is like flossing your teeth.

You don’t have to floss them all

 just the ones you want to keep.

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Ever Heard of Advocacy Cards?

February 26, 2016

You haven’t, because they don’t yet exist. Read on to find out if the concept is something you should consider for your operation.

Advocacy cards. They don’t have quite the same ring as loyalty cards do, but maybe get used to the idea?

While advocacy cards are not a living, breathing thing, advocating for customers is fast becoming the new way retailers should approach customer relationship-building beyond simple loyalty efforts.

While a loyalty card program rewards consumers for quantity of goods and services bought, advocacy cards could go a step further to inform the qualitative aspect of the retailer-customer bond— rewarding shoppers who buy healthy foods, for example, with points, gift cards or other incentives.

Sounds like a daunting task for a retailer, but it’s one that all retail channels should think about.

Retailer advocacy for customers was discussed during the webinar “Top Food Trends for 2016.” Sponsored by The Food Institute and BMO Harris, the session was comoderated by Phil Lempert, known as the “SupermarketGuru,” and The Food Institute CEO Brian Todd.

In addition to citing consumers’ thirst for additional product information along with coming to grips that the “retail world is in flux,” Lempert said advocacy might be the new loyalty. In that spirit, “focus beyond relationships and think beyond loyalty to advocacy,” he said.

Your consumers are already vigilant when it comes to the food selection process—like vetting a political candidate. They abide by concepts of “free from” and “less is more,” the latter meaning products with five or fewer ingredients and no artificial ingredients. Foods labeled with health attributes saw sales increase 13%, said Lempert, citing the National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru 2015 survey.

The broad picture: A new way of eating will be defined by new proteins, algae, insects, vegetable, yeast, cricket flour and nut powders. Rewarding your customers for participating in the trend could incentivize those higher-margin items, and earn you goodwill and higher sales in the process.

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Benefits of EDI from InsightRS

January 14, 2016

EDI continues to prove its major business value by lowering costs, improving speed, accuracy and business efficiency. The greatest EDI benefits often come at the strategic business level.

According to a recent research study from Forrester, EDI continues to prove its worth as an electronic message data format. This research states that “the annual volume of global EDI transactions exceeds 20 billion per year and is still growing.”1 For buyers that handle numerous transactions, using EDI can result in millions of dollars of annual savings due to early payment discounts. From a financial perspective alone, there are impressive benefits from implementing EDI. Exchanging documents electronically improves transaction speed and visibility while decreasing the amount of money you spend on manual processes. But cost savings is far from the only benefit of using EDI.

 

But let’s start with cost savings anyway:

  • Expenses associated with paper, printing, reproduction, storage, filing, postage and document retrieval are all reduced or eliminated when you switch to EDI transactions, lowering your transaction costs by at least 35%
  • A major electronics manufacturer calculates the cost of processing an order manually at $38 compared to just $1.35 for an order processed using EDI
  • Errors due to illegible faxes, lost orders or incorrectly taken phone orders are eliminated, saving your staff valuable time from handling data disputes

The major benefits of EDI are often stated as speed and accuracy:

  • EDI can speed up your business cycles by 61%. Exchange transactions in minutes instead of the days or weeks of wait time from the postal service
  • Improves data quality, delivering at least a 30—40% reduction in transactions with errors—eliminating errors from illegible handwriting, lost faxes/mail and keying and re-keying errors
  • Using EDI can reduce the order-to-cash cycle time by more than 20%, improving business partner transactions and relationships

However, the increase in business efficiency is also a major factor:

  • Automating paper-based tasks allows your staff to concentrate on higher-value tasks and provides them with the tools to be more productive
  • Quick processing of accurate business documents leads to less re-working of orders, fewer stock outs and fewer cancelled orders
  • Automating the exchange of data between applications across a supply chain can ensure that business-critical data is sent on time and can be tracked in real time. Sellers benefit from improved cash flow and reduced order-to-cash cycles
  • Shortening the order processing and delivery times means that organizations can reduce their inventory levels

In many cases, the greatest EDI benefits come at the strategic business level:

  • Enables real-time visibility into transaction status. This in turn enables faster decision-making and improved responsiveness to changing customer and market demands, and allows businesses to adopt a demand-driven business model rather than a supply-driven one
  • Shortens the lead times for product enhancements and new product delivery
  • Streamlines your ability to enter new territories and markets. EDI provides a common business language that facilitates business partner onboarding anywhere in the world
  • Promotes corporate social responsibility and sustainability by replacing paper-based processes with electronic alternatives. This will both save you money and reduce your CO2 emissions

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Source credit: http://www.edibasics.com/benefits-of-edi/

 


What is Instagram and how can it help my business?

June 18, 2014

instagramInstagram has been around since 2011 and started as a way to quickly snap a photo, use their cool editing filters and put those pics out in the unfiltered world.  Instagram allowed its users to post photos without having to send friend requests or worry about much of anything.  But then in 2012 Instagram was purchased by Facebook and the bar started to rise.  Suddenly there were more cool filters, video capabilities and sharing between Facebook and other Social Media sites became easier and people started to jump on the bandwagon.  The users grew from teenage girls and college kids to movie stars, sports teams, TV Shows and businesses.   On March 25, 2014 Instagram announced having more than 200 million active monthly users beating out Twitter in terms of number of mobile customers in the US.  They also shared the fact that Instagram had already surpassed the ’20 billion photos shared’ mark.  Instagram became a household name.

So what is Instagram?  Here’s what google says:

  • Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr

With 200 million users out there, how can it help my business?  Good question!

  1. Showcase your business, showcase your merchandise

Facebook has friends, groups and pages.  Instagram’s feed is unfiltered and can be seen by anyone.  People (or let’s say ‘Shoppers)’  have a plethora of content available from friends and businesses they follow, and chances are – they want to see what you have available for sale!   So, keep your smartphone close and snap often!  Remember this, snap now, edit later if you need to.  You would be amazed at how wonderful a quick photo can look on Instagram!  A great way to advertise a new product, a new shelf placement or just something fun.  Once you become a pro, you’ll be snapping and posting with no real interruption to your day.

2.  Showcase yourself!

Everyday photos are a huge hit on Instagram.  Snap a photo of an employee with a new or fun product.  Better yet, have your employees post a photo on their Instagram showing the store, various products  or a special event.  Use the many cool filter effects to turn a quick snap into something that looks professional.

3.  Take Instagram behind the scenes

Shoppers get a warm and fuzzy connection when they get a taste of what everyday life is for store owners and store employees.  Share a few photos of trade shows, your participation in charity events,  trips to market, a video of food parings, etc.  Do whatever is relative to your business.  Let the customer know who you are [with limits of course].

#4.  # Hashtags !

What are they and what is their purpose?  I’ll let Wikipedia have the honors:

A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the number sign (“#”). It is a form of metadata tag. Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram may be tagged by putting “#” before them,[1] either as they appear in a sentence, (e.g., “New artists announced for #SXSW2014MusicFestival”)[2] or appended to it.

Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.

#anyquestions #thatWASlong #annoyed #didNOTreadthat

Create your own hashtags to interact with your customers using your store name, a catch phrase, a charity event or a product name.  Make it fun and take advantage of this opportunity to reach new customers while staying connected to your current customers.  A great way to promote sales, events, products.

Take advantage of the CAPTION section by directing shoppers to your website or Facebook page where more information can be found. Don’t forget the videos!  A quick video from a customer or a video walk around the store or product demonstration videos are all great marketing tools.  With one click your photo or video capture can be pushed to your Company Facebook Page.  This gives you double coverage for the same effort.

Instagram is a fun and easy way to promote your business!  Get started today!

Good luck!

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Do Better with backOffice™ Software from Insight Retail Software

January 28, 2013

A new customer to Insight reported that backOffice™ just saved him $280 because as he was adding in a purchase order from Lay’s he realized they were not giving him the items at the agreed upon sale price so he was actually selling the items below his cost.

Want your business to DO BETTER? Visit http://insightrs.com for more information and give us a call at 518.633.4111

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