If you carry a lot of similar products with different options, inventory can be hard to manage. We’re excited to announce that TAKU now has the ability for you to create products with variants to group similar goods that are sold with different options such as color or size.
Product with variants, sometimes known as matrix products, allow retail stores to manage every unique combination of options as its own “variant product.”
Every variant product has its own “child SKU,” with its own inventory and price, while sharing attributes with an associated “parent SKU.” Variant products help stores track inventory more accurately. But they are most important for e-commerce or self-check kiosks as they allow shoppers to select different options from the same product page.
While it’s common for cloud-based retail systems to have many limitations on how product variants can be created, we’ve built TAKU to be super flexible and easy to use. Compared to other platforms, TAKU lets you:
Create new matrix products with up to 4 options (e.g. size, color, etc.) with unlimited unique “variants” or combinations
Add or combine existing single products into new parent SKUs while keeping past sales history
Unlink “child” products from an existing “parent” SKU and continue to sell them as single products, again while keeping past sales history
Easily make “parent” or “child” products inactive when options are discontinued
What makes it even easier? While product details of parent SKUs are automatically applied to child products when adding new options. Certain details, such as stock quantities, price and images of child products, can be adjusted for each SKU as well.
Learn more about how you can start using our flexible product matrix feature by checking out our TAKU help articles here.
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the most festive time of year for retailers. Halloween merchandising, if done well, can help get your store ready for this fun, spooky holiday. Whether you still need to decorate or just want to add a little something to improve your existing decor, we’re here to share 8 Halloween merchandising idea that are fun, creative, and easy for busy stores to set up.
1. Pumpkin in-store displays
Starting off with this classic Halloween display, you probably already have them in your displays or have used them before. Whether they’re real or fake, they make great displays because they’re automatically associated with Autumn. This means you can keep them past Halloween since they perfect for Thanksgiving too. Placing pumpkins around product displays just adds that little bit of color to give your display that Halloween/Autumn spirit.
If you already own mannequins in your store, this is a great way to utilize them for the fall season. Mannequins are extremely versatile for Halloween merchandising ideas. You can either decorate it to show off fall outfits ideas using items from your store if you sell clothing.
If you don’t sell clothing but still want to use mannequins in your display, you can make it look like a scene from a scary movie, make it funny and lighthearted, or even put a pumpkin head on the mannequins.
3. Use products to create Halloween art pieces
If you don’t have a large budget, but still want to decorate your product displays, you can instead use those products to create a fun display such as the soda wall below. But there’s no need to do anything as large as the example below. You can do a smaller design with whatever you have in stock and getcreative!
4. Using shadows in Halloween merchandising
This is one of the more ingenious Halloween merchandising ideas – using shadows and silhouettes as decorations. This is definitely a great alternative to buying large and expensive Halloween pieces. They can add dimension and detail to your displays, and as long as you have a light source and a suitable shape to help create the silhouette with. Get as creative as you want and try adjusting the sizing and look of the shadow easily by moving the light source around to get different angles.
5. Bat walls on store displays
A bat wall can serve as a perfect background for your product displays since it can take up a large space while adding a halloween look to your store. You can hang bat cutouts from the ceiling using fishing string or other alternatives, put them on some sort of board like the example below, or stick them on display items. Do whatever looks and feels best for your store!
6. Halloween Banners
Halloween banners are a simple, festive type of decoration that are easy to set up.
Look for simple banners that say ‘Happy Halloween” or a strand of small ghosts like the example below. Just hang them next to product displays to ensure that they are visible!
7. Candy displays
Halloween isn’t all just about the spooky stuff, especially when trick-or-treating is such a big part of the holiday. If you sell candy, a Halloween-themed sweets section is the best way to sell as much product as possible.
If you’re looking for a scarier display for your store, try using some creepy crawlies to spice things up. A classic Halloween decoration that will effectively make passersby look and possibly post about your store on social media. Big spiders, small spiders, a lot of them or just a couple, adjust it to your own liking. Spiders just have a way of adding that Halloween feel to any Halloween merchandising display.
To add more to the spider theme, you should consider adding spider webs as well! Spiderwebs themselves still have a very creepy look to them. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different looks such as cobwebs like the one in the example below. The best part of this Halloween merchandising idea is that you can add webs to any display and instantly add a bit of a Halloween flair to it.
We hope you’re ready to get into the spooky spirit this Halloween season. With these Halloween merchandising ideas, we are sure your store will be spooktacular! Don’t forget to check out our previous blog posts such as our Halloween Marketing Resources for free images for your social media posts. Happy Halloween!
Social media is all around us these days. Everyone from kids to grandparents are on at least one social media platform. So it is important to learn how to use this modern tool to boost your brand both online and in person. In fact, there are strategies for retailers focused around social media. Yes, there is such a thing as a social retail strategy. Today we will take you through what such a strategy is, and why it is important for you to have one in place.
So, what is social retail?
Social retail is an essential part of a modern omnichannel retail strategy. Social retail is using social media to communicate and engage with customers while also selling to them in-store and online. In a nutshell, the strategy succeeds by rewarding customers for sharing products they love. After all, many customers love to share their new purchases and favorite brands on social media. This is especially so when that product or brand aligns with their personality. The idea of social retail is to incentivize your customers to continue doing this – hopefully making it a habit.
For those who are familiar with word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing, social retail is just a modern, digital version. You want customers to be so happy sharing your products that their friends and followers begin to try them out as well.
It’s important to remember that it isn’t only about sharing your brand and products on traditional websites or social media channels. Some of the top performing brands in social retail feature their products on virtual platforms as well, in other words, metaverse retailing. A great example of this are some brands releasing their collections on Bitmoji. Even though they are not yet making money off of Bitmoji users wearing their brands, they are generating a lot of brand awareness.
You should keep in mind that a social retail strategy is not ideal for every type of retailer. Are you selling the type of items people would like to share? Are your customers the type of people to even want to share their purchases? These are some of the questions you should consider before investing in a social retail strategy.
Why you should do it
Whether or not your business has a large social media presence, it’s still common for customers to post about their experience online. If you provide a good experience, customers will advocate for your business and products online. It was found that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. So maximize this free promotion by having a social retail strategy that includes referrals.
Since social media is a place for people to connect and communicate online, it’s the best place to start or continue building a loyal community for your store. Once a community is established, your community members will be some of the most frequent buyers. They will even act as ambassadors for your store by promoting it to their friends and families. The beauty of the community is that users will inevitably end up building connections and bonds through shared experiences and values. This will boost the positive feelings associated with your brand – reinforcing your brand’s loyal community. Through a brand community paired with the right customer management tools, you’ll get to know your audience more and have better data and understanding on their expectations, wants, and needs.
How to do a social retail strategy
The first step is to decide which social media platforms you will use. It’s always better to use more than one, but take some time to consider which ones your customers are more likely to be active on. When setting up business profiles on each of them, make sure you are tagging your page with common keywords associated with your business. For example if you have a grocery store, you will want to use tags or hashtags such as: grocers, produce, food, etc. On top of that, you want to make sure your profile pictures are consistent across the board. These two steps will really help customers to find your profiles on social platforms.
The next step is to start creating content and posting! Make sure that your posts aren’t just random. Schedule them out and organize what type of posts you want and how often you want them uploaded. Create a good mix of promotional content, fun content for engagement, and content that speaks about the values of your brand.
Try to encourage customers to post or tag about your products! You can do this by showcasing their posts on the company account, having photo opportunities in-store for them to post about, hosting small giveaways or events for them to take part in, etc.
Just a reminder, not all of these examples work for all business types! Pick methods you think would work best for your own business. As long as the end goal is to encourage customers to share. Finally start adjusting your accounts and what you post based on feedback & data from your customers.
A social retail strategy is almost a given in 2022. If you haven’t started one yet, now you know why and how you should start. With 59% of the world on social media – you should be investing time and energy into boosting your brand on social and digital channels.
TAKU Retail has all of the tools needed to start selling on social media, and collect data on your customers. These essential tools will help you engage in the ultimate social retail strategy. Start today!
Accessibility is an important feature to have in any business. Around 15% of people around the world live with a disability of some sort. In the US alone, this statistic is 26% of the population – about 61 million adults with a disability. Given the numbers involved, it’s important for retailers to consider whether their operations and products appeal to disabled people’s needs.
Besides automatic doors and wheelchair ramps, there is still a lot that retailers can do when it comes to accommodating disabled people.
Why is accessibility important
As we’ve mentioned, a good portion of the world lives with some form of disability. And as a retailer you want to make it as easy as possible for all potential customers to shop with you. A survey conducted in the UK reported that 78% of disabled people found it difficult or impossible to access most shops and malls. Making stores more accessible to 78% of disabled people is an easy way to increase your customer base and improve sales.
Access for people with disabilities improves access for everyone.
At its core, accessibility in retail is ensuring as many people as possible can easily shop with you. When most people think of making a store more accessible, they often think about making it easier for people who use wheelchairs or canes to access the store. But accessibility can include more than that. It is also about making sure anyone can read the signs in your store, or that anyone can feel comfortable in your store.
The types of accessibility issues
There are a few types of potential accessibility issues your shoppers could have. The common barriers to accessibility are:
Visual: This is for people who have a hard time seeing things, or even those who cannot see at all.
Mobility: This is for people who have difficulty moving around, such as people in wheelchairs or people with crutches.
Auditory: This is for people who have a hard time hearing or cannot hear at all.
Learning and/or cognitive: This is for people who may have learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
It is important to consider whether your store is inaccessible to people who fall under one or more of these categories. Are you doing enough to provide a satisfying shopping experience to these people?
The issues that arise from inaccessible retail
Besides just the financial losses a store can get from inaccessibility there is more to consider. At the end of the day, people with disabilities are still people. We must be empathetic to their concerns and needs.
When stores are inaccessible, people with disabilities are further made to feel like they are not a valued member of society. Just imagine if every time you had to go shopping you had to deal with an obstacle course at the same time. It would make you think that the business does not want you there or is making it as hard as possible for you to be there. Unfortunately, this is the reality many disabled people have to live with.
Some other consequences that can arise from your store being inaccessible are:
Stress & anxiety
Problems getting to certain products or services
This surely makes you ask, how can I make my business more accessible?
How can you make your business accessible
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what accessibility is. Now we can move on to the most important part – how to actually make your business accessible to more people!
Evaluate your store
The first step is to take some time to assess your store. Are there places where people may have trouble with accessibility? Perhaps a certain aisle is too tight for people to move through easily if they are using a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair. Or maybe some of your signs are hard to read due to small lettering. Even things such as lighting can affect accessibility. Make a list of all of the potential issues within your store so you have an action plan to start.
Understand your region’s accessibility regulations
Each country, state or province has its own rules and regulations when it comes to accessibility. Make sure you do some research into what your region specifies. This will also help you prioritize tasks within your action plan.
Examples of accessibility features
Here are some common solutions to accessibility issues. Keep in mind, these are just a few examples.
Ramps and automatic doors
Large lettering on signage (72pt font is a standard size for more accessible readability)
Wide doors to allow people in wheelchairs or walkers to pass through
Braille on some signs
Comfortable lighting (not too bright but not too dark either)
Using patterns instead of only colors for differentiation for those with poor color vision
Flexibility at the point-of-sale (portable card processing machines or with long cables, ample room at self-checkout stations, etc.)
If you have TVs or screens, make sure closed-captioning is turned on
Include people with disabilities in your marketing
Be open to suggestions from people with disabilities
Now that you know your region’s regulations, and you know what in your store needs work, you can begin taking action.
Once you have core accessibility issues resolved, you can take extra steps to make your customers with accessibility feel more included. Examples of this include:
Offering products which will appeal to people with various physical needs
Quiet spaces to give consumers a break from all of the hustle and bustle in your store. This is very effective for customers who experience sensory overload.
Have magnifying glasses that allow visually impaired people to read smaller texts and labels
Review websites and online stores for sufficient meta information for user navigation (versus just product information) as those who are visually impaired often use audio tools to read aloud online content
QR codes on product labels which will allow customers to inspect product information from their smartphones which have built-in accessibility modes
Hiring employees who know sign language
These extra steps will really help customers with disabilities feel included and accommodated.
Train your staff
While having accessibility features is a great thing, it is important that your staff, the people who represent your business, are also trained to serve customers with disabilities. Making sure that all of your staff are trained in the basics of accessibility etiquette will result in every customer getting the best customer service. You can find some services and products that help with disability awareness/etiquette training here.
Online accessibility matters too
As mentioned above, accessibility doesn’t just stop at your physical store, but extends to your online sales channels as well. A survey in the UK showed that businesses lose a combined £17 billion due to a lack of online accessibility. This highlights the economic importance of making your digital sales channels accessible, beyond it being the right thing to do.
Make sure it is easy to navigate your website and that you include alt-texts on all images and navigation functions (e.g. buttons). Since people with visual impairments use applications to read aloud website content, alt-texts on images help describe and differentiate them to users.
Ensure readability on your website. Use legible fonts, clear color contrast and appropriate font sizes. This extends to captions on any video that may be on your website. Also make sure that you are using headings to organize text content on your site. Having a structure to your text content allows it to be more understandable to users with cognitive disabilities. For more info on web accessibility check out this Hubspot article.
Accessible businesses thrive
The best type of businesses are able to serve as many customers as possible. And offering access to those with disabilities, improves access for everyone. This makes your business more successful and a stronger member of your community. Please take some time as soon as you can to evaluate where you can improve accessibility in your business.
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With spooky season right around the corner, retailers should be getting ready. Having a head start on marketing for a holiday is essential. The best retailers prepare at least a month in advance for most holidays. We have created a free resource page with Halloween marketing resources that any business can use!
On the page you will find various materials that you can use in your Halloween communications. This includes: Halloween hashtags, retail promotion ideas, over 20 royalty-free Halloween stock images, color schemes, a spooky Halloween font, and some inspiration for your Halloween displays.
Click here to access the TAKU Halloween marketing resources!
Some of the best marketing opportunities come during various holidays. Staying ahead of your holiday calendar and preparing is the key to boosting your sales. Check out our blog on year-round holiday marketing.