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Do You Really Owe Sales Tax There?
August 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm

With the Supreme Court's recent decision on Wayfair, more and more states are putting economic nexus laws in place. If you are uncertain of your sales tax obligations and want to be sure your business is compliant, consider a nexus analysis study.

VF Corporation to Spin Off $2.5B Denim Division
August 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

VF Corporation announced on Monday that it planned to spin out its denim brands — Lee, Wrangler — into a separate publicly traded business, enabling it to better focus on its faster-growing activewear and lifestyle clothing lines like The North Face and Vans. VF has spent much of the past two decades diversifying away from…

Consumers Choose (and Spend More With) Merchants That Offer Instant Financing. Are Online Retailers Listening?
August 14, 2018 at 12:33 pm

In e-commerce, there's a new payment method in town — instant financing. The practice enables merchants to offer consumers the ability to spread payments over time with low or no APR financing offers, and represents an attractive alternative to credit and debit cards when paying for online purchases. Instant financing is particularly appealing to millennials,…

8 Packaging Design Ideas That Retailers Can Incorporate
August 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

The number of people buying from e-commerce small business owners is increasing with each passing hour. Despite surpassing expectations, customer feedback indicates there's room for improvement, especially in packaging design. Some common customer complaints include "visible damage or loss," "unsealed package" or "concealed or invisible damage to product," all of which indicate a failure in…

3 Ways to Maximize Your Gross Profit Margins
August 14, 2018 at 9:40 am

Gross profit margin is — and will always be — a key metric in retail, as it enables you to make critical decisions around your assortment, inventory orders, pricing and promotions. For this reason, it’s important to not only measure your gross profit margins, but to continuously optimize them. Here are three tips to help…

2018 Thales Data Threat Report, Trends in Encryption and Data Security — Retail Edition
August 13, 2018 at 4:56 pm

U.S. retail faces daunting digital challenges, and IT security is among the biggest. Traditional retailers are struggling to balance brick-and-mortar businesses with emerging online retail trends, while at the same time battling digital natives like and Wayfair. With ultra-high volumes of personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card information changing hands with every transaction, the retail industry is one of the most, if not the most, vulnerable targets for cyberattacks. Not surprisingly the question on the minds of IT and business leaders in U.S. retail is, “What will it take to stop the breaches?” The data in this report are derived from detailed input from 100 senior retail IT security managers in the U.S. and 96 IT security managers from retailers in other countries, and is part of the Global Thales 2018 Global Data Threat Report. The report polled 1,200 IT security managers in eight countries and across four major vertical markets.

Reach MORE Customers This Holiday Season
August 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm

To make the most out of this holiday season, Alliance Data’s 2018 Holiday Retail Outlook report suggests retailers need to leverage loyalty during the holidays and beyond, understand that the customer is the only channel that matters, and must maximize mobile micro-shopping moments. The report also reveals that shoppers expect in-the-moment customer service, therefore retailers must optimize the in-store experience to take advantage of this trend.

2 Ex-Employees Sue Nike, Alleging Gender Discrimination
August 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Two women have filed a class-action lawsuit against Nike Inc., alleging it discriminated against them in pay and career advancement, according to a report in Friday's Wall Street Journal. The suit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., by two former employees, Kelly Cahill and Sara Johnston, who said that they endured a…

eTail East Arms Online Retailers for the Coming Holiday Shopping Battle
August 13, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Attendees to the eTail East Conference in Boston last week may have suffered from a heat wave, but it didn’t stop them from thinking about the holiday season a few months away. The agenda for this year’s conference featured insightful and useful content focused on helping retailers make the most of the upcoming 2018 holiday shopping…

Returns in the Supply Chain: Completing the Circular Lifecycle of Inventory
August 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Try this on for size: In 2017, there were $351 billion worth of returns in the United States retail market. Putting this figure in perspective, were that dollar value the revenue of a retailer, it would be the second largest behind Walmart (Walmart is at $363 billion, with the second-place retailer, Kroger, at $110 billion…

Agents or Automation: Here’s What Your Customers Told Us
August 13, 2018 at 11:50 am

Customer service has become a key component of the overall customer journey, and more critically, customer lifetime value. As a result, retailers need to invest in service options to provide choice and convenience to customers. Radial and CFI Group recently surveyed 500 online shoppers to better understand their experiences throughout the customer service journey.

Dads in Search: How Char-Broil Boosted Organic Traffic 110% in 2 Years
August 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

Sales cycles for B-to-C retailers are short, but long for B-to-B — or so the common thinking goes. But some B-to-C sales cycles take time; grills, for instance. Consumers replace their grills every four years or so, giving merchants just two chances per decade to make a sale. Those are rough odds, especially when you…

Managing Chargebacks to Boost Profits
August 13, 2018 at 11:36 am

Chargebacks are an unfortunate reality of a retail business and can be devastating to your bottom line. When you consider that over 84 percent of chargebacks are now due to fraud, developing a comprehensive strategy for managing them is critical for success.

Unlocking the Potential of the FP3 Experience
August 13, 2018 at 11:26 am

In the age of the consumer, customers expect an FP3 experience throughout the buyer journey – one that’s (Frictionless, Personalized, Predictive, Proactive). While delivering an FP3 experience can be challenging, it is possible, and can benefit your company in many ways.

Order Management's True Value: Winning Where the Customer Is
August 13, 2018 at 11:12 am

Retailers are scrambling to adapt to expectations of today’s customers and must be enabled by modern order management systems (OMS). Today's OMS have become the hub of a retailer's omnichannel technology stack. But, can retailers deliver on such an experience with their legacy OMS?

Starbucks Uses its App to Generate Customer Loyalty
August 13, 2018 at 10:59 am

In episode 158 of Total Retail Talks, Total Retail Executive Editor Joe Keenan interviews Shawn Sweeney, vice president of digital experience at Starbucks, during the Customer Relationship Management Conference (CRMC) in Chicago earlier this summer. Sweeney discusses how the coffee brand is using its popular mobile application to bridge customers’ online and offline experiences, creating stronger relationships…

J.C. Penney to Open Baby Shops in 500 Stores
August 10, 2018 at 11:17 am

J.C. Penney is expanding the baby products it sells at stores beyond clothing as the department store joins the many other chains trying to claim some of the Babies"R"Us sales up for grabs. The Plano, Texas-based chain is opening baby shops in 500 stores that are near now-shuttered Babies"R"Us locations. That brand closed the rest of…

NRF Forms a Package Coalition, and Shipping Tips for Retailers
August 10, 2018 at 10:27 am

In this episode of Retail Right Now, Total Retail's Caitlin Sullivan and Joe Keenan discuss the National Retail Federation's (NRF) new Package Coalition, a lobbying group in support of the U.S. Postal Service. The coalition is being led by and other retail businesses, including QVC and Columbia Sportswear. In addition to analyzing the merits…

Is Hiring a Data Analyst Right for Your Business?
August 10, 2018 at 9:49 am

The retail industry is a growing part of the big data revolution, but exactly how should retail organizations start integrating data analytics into their business models? The question doesn’t have a straightforward answer, but it helps to understand the role of data for modern retail companies. You might be tempted to hire your own data analyst…