It’s interesting how phrases from the pioneering days of the retail industry have stayed with us. Well over a century ago, Marshall Field said: “Right or wrong, the customer is always right.” R.H. Macy added: “Be everywhere. Do everything. And never fail to astonish the customer.”
Neither could we have known how literally those statements apply today, how powerfully they have been enabled by a revolution in technology, or how fundamentally they are changing the face of retail around the world.
It’s Day 1 of Small Business Week and we are celebrating by sharing the story of a small business owner each day! Meet Siri, an inspiring young entrepreneur from the San Francisco Bay Area.
At 23 years old, Siri Casper couldn’t imagine working as hard as she could for someone else’s dream. If Siri was going to give 100% of her time, energy and passion, it was going to be for a legacy she would create.
For me, retail therapy comes in many forms. I love trying on shoes but I also love shopping online – and so do 85 million other people (it was 75 million just last year).
UPS worked with comScore on the second edition of a unique customer experience study that shows online shoppers want more choices and convenience from their favorite retailers. They also want to use their smartphones and tablets to be able to shop anywhere at any time.
Two years ago, I was one of those people that only ordered online occasionally and when I did, it was only for those hard-to-find items. Now there is very little I won’t order online. The convenience of not having to deal with long lines, being able to shop whenever I want to, and being able to find the best deals has made online shopping my preferred method.
Halloween is right around the corner and I still have no idea what costume I will wear.
I’ve traditionally stayed clear of ghost and goblins, last year rallying with friends as a battalion of Spartan characters re-enacting the Battle of Thermopylae from the action film 300. We were met by costumed foes as we trekked the Waikiki strip in Honolulu, Hawaii, but ended the night victorious, chanting one of the film’s most remembered lines: “This … is … Sparta!”
It was a lot of fun, but it was so much easier 24 years ago when my mother selected my costumes and I’d venture out in the neighborhood dressed as my favorite cartoon character or sports figure.
Customers can buy from ANYwhere, and want their products shipped to EVERYwhere. Shipping Business-to-Consumer (B2C) no longer just means residential delivery. It’s the ability to go beyond their home, and include locations more closely aligned with how they spend their time – at work, at school, and in their neighborhood. To remain competitive, businesses must offer delivery options that sync-up with customer’s lifestyle.
That’s where Business-to-Retail (B2R) comes in. B2R allows customers the option to have a package delivered to a retail location rather than their home. How does this help me, you ask? Let’s say you order that electronic device for your daughter that she’s been bugging you to get for the longest time. But you don’t want the item shipped to your home because no one will be there during typical delivery times and you definitely don’t want the package left outside your door. So to avoid the frustration of a missed delivery, you choose to have the package delivered to a retail store near where you live. When the store receives your package, you are notified and you pick it up. Simply said, B2R gives you more control over how your purchase reaches you allowing greater flexibility for deliveries.
The leaves are changing and the weather is cooler which could only mean one thing, Halloween is here. It’s the time of year when children and adults dress up as their favorite superhero, movie character, politician or the latest celebrity in the news. This year, “The Charlie” (as in Sheen) is one of the most popular – Winning! My 11-year-old son will dress as the Green Lantern and my 5-year-old daughter as Hello Kitty.
At this week’s Internet Retailer Conference, UPS is hosting a Technology Theater on one of the hottest topics our retail customers are talking about: free shipping. Sucharita Mulpuru, one of the retail industry’s leading research analysts in eCommerce, will provide key insights on when and how to best execute profitable shipping promotions.
Free shipping is widely used by e-retailers and can be effective as a marketing and promotional tool to increase sales. According to a recent study by the National Retail Federation, consumers’ number one purchase incentive is free shipping and it’s a motivating factor in where they shop. UPS customer L.L. Bean recently made headlines when it dropped most of its shipping fees for orders in the U.S. and Canada. The outdoor clothing and catalog retailer joins Zappos in offering no-strings-attached free shipping both ways.
With nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States, chances are that you have a personal connection to a small business owner. My connection is with my father. As a serial entrepreneur, he rarely has met a business opportunity he didn’t like.
Over the years as I’ve watched him start one business after another and have been a part of each and every one, I’ve been inspired and come to understand the risks and the hard work – as well as the big rewards. Maybe that’s part of why I do what I do now in UPS’s Small Business Marketing group. My job is to help small businesses by understanding their needs, and keeping those needs in the forefront of UPS’s product development and marketing activities.
The craziness continues weeks after the holidays as people return gifts and retailers are busy processing them. But this craziness doesn’t have to be so crazy because a well-managed returns program can actually benefit a retailer.