Are you wondering what “BOPIS” or “clicks to bricks” mean? Are you looking for a reliable list of the top 100 retail terms?🤔
Success in retail today involves an increasing number of technologies and concepts. But who has the time to keep up with new terms when you’re busy running retail stores?
Don’t worry, TAKU Retail has got you covered. Whether you’re a long-time retailer or a new merchant, we’re here to make things easier for you. Don’t waste time looking at questionable resources online.
As former retailers themselves, our founders have prepared a list of the most used retail terms in a searchable, sortable retail glossary. Click below for the only retail dictionary you’ll ever need.
TAKU Retail continues to be the best go-to tool for your retail needs. Besides our retail glossary, check out our free blog resources to find other ways to improve your business. All of our blog posts are written for retail owners.
Marketing is built on human relationships. Social media marketing can help improve and grow these relationships. Businesses have been using social media marketing to grow these relationships for several years. This became even more important during the pandemic. Without access to in-person events and limited access to in-person shopping, it became more important than ever to connect with customers through social media marketing. This blog will help you decide why and when to post on social media as a retailer to get more clicks and make more sales.
1. What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing uses social media platforms to connect with your customers. It can build your brand, drive website traffic, and increase your sales. There are many different channels in social media and each has its own part to play in a marketing strategy.
LinkedIn is the top-rated organic social media platform for B2B users, responsible for 80% of the B2B leads for social media.
TikTok’s growth over the last year has been huge. In January 2021, there were 689 million users. In September 2021, it surpassed the 1 billion user mark. That translates to a 45% increase in less than a year. It is now the 7th most popular social network in the world.
3. Why is social media marketing important for retail businesses?
As more and more people connect with others and shop on social media, social media marketing is more important than ever for retail businesses. A HubSpot Marketing Trends survey showed that “social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.” Social commerce is selling products directly from your social media platform and social media marketing helps to drive more sales. According to an Accenture report, social commerce will reach $1.2 trillion by 2025, up from $492 billion in 2021.
This is good news for small businesses. As the report also indicates, instead of favoring big retailers, there will be a power shift towards small businesses in the next few years. That means there will be millions of individuals and small businesses selling to one another in a large social commerce network. Big brands will continue to face increasing competition from these smaller businesses. Since 62% of consumers say that they trust small and local businesses more than major retailers, now is a great opportunity to use social media marketing to expand your customer base and increase sales.
3. Why social media marketing vs. traditional marketing?
When discussing this topic, many people fall into the trap of thinking that you can only do one of these. Social media marketing provides many benefits over traditional – it is still important to use both!
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful avenues for marketing in the information era. You and most of the people around you are most likely already using social media. In fact, 57.6% of the world’s population uses social media. If you have a target audience, chances are they are already using social media. So what are the benefits of social media?
Measuring and analytics
Tracking the performance of marketing campaigns has never been easier. With social media marketing, you can view how well your strategies are performing. Metrics like the following give you a good idea on the efficacy of your campaign:
Reach (the number of people who have seen your content)
The demographics and geographical location of people reached
Conversion rates (how many people are actually doing something from your ad, like claiming a promotional code from your post) and exit rate (number of people leaving after seeing your content)
Bounce rate (% of people who left after visiting one page of your website)
Number of likes/favorites/shares on your post
These are jus a few metrics you could look at. The rise of digital marketing has made marketing a much more understandable process.
Each social media offers various methods for targeting audiences. Targeting features include location, age, interests/likes, age and more. This lets you find your specific audience and market directly to them. Targeting on traditional marketing (like newspaper ads) was always very general.
You can get more bang for your buck with social media marketing. Traditional marketing methods can be expensive. Social media can help you reach a bigger audience at a cheaper price!
Traditional methods like flyers have this bogus feeling to them. When consumers look at them they feel like they are being sold something. With social media you can make content which feels organic. This keeps your audience have more trust in your brand.
Old school advertisements were a one way conversation. It would be the brand communicating to a consumer, and not the other way around. With social media you can have many ways of communication. Brands can connect with customers, customers can engage back with them. On top of that, customer can even interact with other customers!
These are just some of the benefits social media provides over traditional marketing.
4. How do I create a social media strategy?
It’s important to remember that content quality is more important than content quantity. In other words, what you post is more important than how much you post. Posting consistency is also more important than posting frequency.
If you haven’t built an audience yet, don’t worry. There are still some universal things to consider with your social media strategy. In general, there are 4 things involved when posting on social channels:
a) Having a clear objective in mind
When creating a social media strategy, it’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve. If you don’t have a goal, you won’t know if your marketing strategy is working. This means knowing if your intention is to drive more foot traffic to your store, increase online sales, improve customer service, promote new products to existing customers, etc.
b) Determine the best channel(s) for your business
There are a lot of social media channels and new ones are starting all the time. Most businesses don’t have a dedicated team or the resources to promote their business on every channel. The best way to get better engagement on social media is to start by focusing on the social media channels your customers are most likely to use or be active on.
c) Determine the best time to post on social media
You will need to manage your audience’s expectations. If you decide that your customers respond best to Facebook posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example, you should post on those days. Your customers will know that they can visit your Facebook page on Tuesdays and Thursdays and find new content.
When developing your social media strategy, look at your past engagement to see which customers responded most at certain times. Use this information to test posting dates and times and then analyze the results. You will need to figure out the best times to post on social media so you can engage the right customers at the right time.
d) Consider using social media scheduling tools
Instead of rushing to post on each social media channel individually, it’s a lot easier to schedule social media posts in advance. This will give you time to focus on other aspects of your business. To make it easier, many of the social media scheduling tools will let you create templates of the types of posts that get the most engagement and sales conversions.
5. When are the best times for retailers to post to social media?
Besides your own understanding of your customers, you can also refer to the best practices of other retailers. In general, the best times for retailers to post on social media are 10:00 am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to get the most likes or engagement.
Facebook: The best time to post on Facebook is 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Instagram: The best time to post on Instagram is 11:00 am on Wednesdays
Twitter: The best time to post on Twitter is 8:00 AM on Mondays and Thursdays.
LinkedIn: The best time to post on LinkedIn is 9:00 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
TikTok: The best times to post on TikTok are 7:00 am PST on Tuesdays, 10:00 am PST on Thursdays, and 5:00 am PST on Fridays.
More and more shoppers are using live chat for product information and pricing. When you use our built-in Facebook Messenger feature you can respond to shoppers, right when they’re checking out your online store.
With TAKU, you can reach local shoppers, wherever they are. Attract more local shoppers, right when they are searching for what you sell. Run high-performing Google Shopping ads that can be activated and managed directly from TAKU for as little as $5/day.
One of the most common methods of payment in both traditional and online retail is payment by credit or debit cards. This is particularly true since the pandemic started as more and more shoppers are looking to avoid touching cash and prefer to pay with contactless payment options. After all, card-based payments are reliable and trustworthy ways to accept payments easily. But there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a new payment processor. Here’s what retailers should consider to minimize their costs when signing up with a new card processor:
Type of Payment Options
The type of retail business you have determines the way in which you take payment. There are 3 general types of payment options:
Card Terminals (EMV PIN Pads) for merchants to accept in-person payments
Virtual Terminals for merchants to manually accept payments with the card payer present (e.g. phone or fax payments)
Payment Gateways for customers to make payments themselves in the shopping cart of an online store (e.g. PayPal, Bambora, Stripe, etc.)
Each of these types of payments can be supplied by the same or differing payment processors but they each have different rates. Generally speaking, card terminals have the lowest rates and are considered the most secure because the card holder must be present and / or provide verification with a PIN code. Remember that magnetic stripe readers are not EMV compliant and only chip-and-PIN terminals protect the merchant against chargebacks.
Expert Tip: While card terminals are EMV compliant and do protect merchants against chargebacks, this is usually only for in-person payments made using chip-and-PIN. Since the pandemic started, more and more retailers are offering contactless (tap) payments. But if you do accept contactless payment as a merchant, you should always check your payment processing policy to see if tap payments have chargeback liability. Many processors do not cover tap payments and so merchants may be on the hook for any chargebacks on such payments. This is why many merchants have a tap limit and it is definitely something a merchant should check if they’re thinking of increasing their tap limit.
Virtual terminals have higher card rates than card terminals but they are still generally lower than payment gateways. Merchants should keep in mind that virtual terminals still open the merchant to chargeback liability. The best way for retailers to minimize the liability exposure is to make sure that there is a customer-signed order agreement and for the merchant to collect as much verification information as possible such as billing address, etc.
Finally, there are payment gateways. This is the payment option for e-commerce which generally has the highest fees as it’s considered the highest risk of the 3 options. Similar to virtual terminals, online payments are liable to chargebacks. Merchants selling online should always check with their gateway payment provider for their chargeback policies and how they can best protect themselves from them.
Types of Payment Processing Fees
Even when you know what payment options work for a retail business, various processors will have offer different types of processing fees:
Flat % Fee + ¢ per transaction
Interchange Plus % + monthly fees
CAD vs. Foreign Currency
Credit card processing fees often range between 1.55%-4% with variable rates from Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express. Some credit card processors charge more for particular credits cards (eg. American Express) because American Express relies more heavily on merchant swipe fees and annual fees rather than interest rates (that most other processors make money on).
Everything else being equal, merchants should compare different processing fees based on three factors:
The average number of transactions per month
The average dollar value of every transaction
The total value of all sales processed per month
Here’s an example of how processing fees can be dramatically different based on variations in the 3 factors above. Merchants should always compare the rates between processors before signing a new processing agreement.
Expert Tip: While Interchange Plus rates often work best for retailers with fairly high processing volume (e.g. $1M+ annually), it’s important to consider the type of clientele a merchant has. This is because Interchange Plus processing fees charge different rates based on the type of cards used (e.g. gold cards cost merchants more than standard credit cards). As such retailers who sell luxury or high-end products may be better off with a flat % monthly fee if the majority of their clients are customers with premium or foreign currency cards.
POS Payment Integration
Traditionally, merchant processing is handled separately for in-store and online payments. While this is changing now with a few all-in-one payment solutions coming out, besides the overall cost of the processing fees, the biggest cost to managing retail payments is the amount of resources required to track payments against sales.
After all, reconciling payments received is key to making sure that all funds are received and to quickly find out when there are any operational issues that need to be addressed immediately (e.g. suspicious employee behavior, high refunds, etc.)
This is why more and more retailers are looking for POS that can handle their preferred payment processor whether for online or in-store payments. Having payments automatically recorded in the POS minimizes human error and increases checkout speed which is important for stores with higher traffic.
Individual merchants will value different features but, generally speaking, the more established the retailer, the more important it is for the merchant to minimize sales-based fees that take a percentage of sales. While some software solutions have low (or even no) monthly costs, it’s usually because they charge higher than average % fees and / or restrict you from choosing other payment options by charging additional transaction fees on top of the regular payment fees. Others like TAKU Retail charge a flat monthly software fee with no additional sales-based % fees.
Other things to look out for in a retail POS is whether it allows refunds in-store regardless of where a payment is received. Many systems were designed to accept sales separately from different sales channels. As such, it can be a hassle to manage returns and accept refunds in separate systems. Systems like TAKU Retail allow merchants to manage even online returns with store-based refunds or exchanges. This allows merchants to not only encourage exchanges instead of refunds to avoid losing the entire sale, but it allows merchants to refund with lower cost payments options such as cash or debit as many payment processors charge the same rate for refunds as for sales.
Other Things to Consider
Retailers also need to be wary of other a few other factors when choosing their credit card processors to ensure that they are well-protected and aware of the real cost:
The amount of time required (withholding period) for funds to be deposited into the company bank account.
Whether processing fees are deducted upfront (Net Deposits) or at the end of every month (Gross Deposits) – net deposits can be harder for bank reconciliations as the original sales amounts won’t be on monthly statements.
Whether payment processing statements are all-in-one or separate for different sales channels.
Whether there are additional monthly fees and minimums.
Want to read more articles? You can find our latest article on retail shrinkage here
Multi-location retailers have more issues managing multiple stores because no one can be at more than one place at a time. In order to run a multi-location business, even when you are not always there, you should look at processes that have an impact on productivity and customer satisfaction. We have put together a list of things to help retailers manage their multi-location retail businesses, so that their business can run smoothly no matter where they are.
Multi-location means that you will have different people working in stores that may not interact with each other on a day-to-day basis. Managing each store effectively means standardizing and automating processes so that they all run with the same efficiency. These processes can range from onboarding new employees, delivering product knowledge, processing returns, to updating inventory.
While it’s not easy finding the resources and time to document processes, having something written down will significant speed up future training and make it much easier for staff to understand your policies and procedures. The most successful retailers are those who can a provide consistent experience to customers across all locations. After all, the experience a customer has in a store is a significant part of the brand image of a retailer.
2. Use cloud technology to centralize and streamline your business processes
Cloud technology helps sync up and organize inventory, customer history, employee performance, sales, and cashflow. This means that you can manage your entire business from a single system. Having a centralized location for all business data allows retailers to get accurate, real-time feedback into how their business is running and identify any gaps in their workflows.
One of the best parts about using cloud technology is that it gives you mobile accessibility. You’re no longer tied to a single computer and can have access to your business data on-the-go to see changes in your store as they happen. While some solutions will give you access to your sales data from anywhere, a lot of the modern, new cloud retail management systems will let you access and manage all of your business data so that you can run your store from anywhere.
Another benefit to using cloud technology is that it automatically helps you backup your business data in the cloud. Unlike older store systems which require manual backups or expose you to hardware failure, even if you lose power during a storm, all of your business information will be safely stored in the cloud. And as long as you have smartphones, you can continue to sell using mobile devices.
3. Improve retail business inventory control
It is crucial to have accurate inventory and stock data at all times. One of the major problems with running a multi-location business is that it is much harder to keep your product information in sync. This has only gotten worse since the pandemic started since more retailers are also selling online. The best retail companies are those that use technology that gives them visibility into their inventory and stock levels at every point of storage. Having products available exactly when customers want to buy them is best in an ideal world but helping customers (e.g. shipping to their home or directing them to another location) even when a product is not in stock is key to customer service and closing every sale.
Other ways to control your inventory include keeping an eye on your re-stocking schedule (which requires knowledge of lead times and seasonal availability) as well as your minimum stock levels. This is so that stores are able to re-fill stock before selling out.
4. Use a single commerce system
To make sure that store data and reports are all in-sync, retailers need a single, smart commerce system that can handle both store sales and online orders. Combining your POS and e-commerce processes into a single system helps you determine what products should be carried, which items are bestsellers across different locations or online sales channels, and which products need to be discounted or discontinued across your entire business. Using a single system also helps employees deliver the same experience to customers wherever they shop.
5. Secure your data
In order to comply with local and national privacy laws, retailers need to do their best to protect the privacy of both customers and employees. Finding the right software and hardware to manage sensitive information is key to building customer trust and keeping retail businesses healthy.
TAKU Retail stores customers data on separate databases to minimize the risk of privacy breaches. Read more about our security features here.
Want to know more about our multi-location capabilities? Read more.
Once you have successfully built your digital storefront and your physical store and products can be found online, the next step will be taking payment for orders online. This is when you will want to focus your efforts on setting up your e-commerce site.
In this blog post, we’ll go over how you can quickly set up your online product catalog for customers to see on your website and to order from.
The importance of selling online post-COVID-19
Brick and mortar retailers who are looking to sell online usually face the same set of challenges including missing product descriptions and images, incorrectly setup products or a lack of funds, resources, or skills to manage an e-commerce store.
While these challenges often prevent traditional retailers from setting up an online store, the opportunities you miss by only selling in-store and not investing in an e-commerce site are far greater. As an increasing number of consumers shop online post-COVID-19, failing to provide an online checkout experience means you are missing out on potential customers and sales
The good news is, modern day e-commerce providers have made it easy to set up an online store as they simply re-use your existing POS products. In fact, retail platforms such as TAKU eCommerce are even able to enhance product data to make your product details more e-commerce ready and more searchable on Google. By re-using existing product details, merchants using TAKU, for example, have the ability to showcase their products and take payments online in just a few steps.
To show you what this looks like, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of re-using your existing product catalog with TAKU eCommerce so you can quickly start taking payments online.
How to start selling online with TAKU eCommerce
Many traditional retailers become discouraged at the thought of setting up an online store. However, depending on the platform, it is actually quite simple to get started.
Let’s see an example of how this works with TAKU eCommerce:
1. Decide where to add your shopping cart
As long as you are using TAKU, you have two options to quickly start selling online:
Automatically create an instant store which is a clean, easy-to-use, single page webstore that works in every screen size. This option is usually best for retailers who don’t have an existing website, need to replace an older looking site or want to just add a new Shop option linked to their store products.
Or alternatively, if you already have a WordPress informational website, you can add the TAKU eCommerce shopping cart as a WordPress plugin. This option is super fast and preferred for retailers that want their online store to automatically match the style of their existing WordPress site.
2. Add your products
Adding your products to your online store in TAKU is as easy as enabling them with a few clicks. But even if your product details are not complete (e.g. your products are very unique or require custom product descriptions or images) traditional brick and mortar retailers should not be held back from launching their online store. In fact, retailers should expect to launch an e-commerce site without their full product catalog in the beginning. As long as a retailer has, for example, 100 products with images and descriptions, she or he can still launch and add new products overtime, eventually building their full online product catalog. In comparison to a physical store, it’s perfectly reasonable to launch with several hundred products and add new ones every day. In fact, highlighting that “NEW items are being added daily” on your homepage is a great way to keep customers coming back.
3. Add business information
In general settings, make sure that your business information such as your store name, store address, phone number, work email address, currency, and language are all correct. With TAKU, some of this information is automatically available but you may want to customize it for your online store. For example, you may want to use your trade name vs. your legal business name.
4. Legal information
5. Customize the look of your store
You can use any of the existing themes as they are or easily personalize your online store using the built-in options. Remember that TAKU eCommerce web stores are built to be completely mobile responsive so you don’t need to worry about how things will look on different screens – they will always look good on any screen size.
6. Check your web address
Every TAKU eCommerce store comes with a free web address in the form of “yourstore12345.company.site”. You can either use this free URL address, buy a new domain from a third party provider, or connect an existing domain that you already own.
7. Enable payments
TAKU eCommerce supports a variety of payment providers meaning that merchants can choose or setup the payment methods that best suit their business needs. This also gives merchants more freedom to negotiate with providers and lower payment processing fees/costs. While we always encourage retailers to take payment online to minimize the risk of losing the sale or shoppers not picking up products, with TAKU eCommerce, you can even include an option for Pay in Store. If this is your preference, you can complete the payment with TAKU when shoppers arrive in the store.
Once the steps above are complete, you’re ready to start selling online!
We hope you are now comfortable with the general steps involved when setting up an online store. In the next two blog posts and videos, we will discuss how you can add fulfillment methods such as contactless curbside pickup and local delivery.
The next step to building your digital storefront is to showcase your products online.
With the flexibility and accessibility of online tools, even if your brick and mortar store is closed, you’ll still be able to serve your customers. The best part is, these tools are easily accessible to retailers who are not selling online through an e-commerce website. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can list your products online.
1. Upload your products to Google
People have become more efficient shoppers in this digital world, especially when it comes to physical retail. As a result, they are now checking in-store stock availability before visiting.
To make things easier for your customers, it’s a good idea to make real-time inventory data available on Google. This can be done manually or you can do so easily by using an integrated retail software such as TAKU Retail.
TAKU’s integration with Google also allows merchants to display their products through Google “See What’s In-Store” (SWIS). With SWIS, product catalogs appear under a merchant’s Google My Business listing. This feature helps retailers attract nearby shoppers by showcasing in-store products with real-time stock updates. The best part is – there is no data entry required when uploading products to Google with an integrated solution since your existing POS data is simply re-used.
2. Free and paid Google Products Listings
Once you’ve uploaded your products to Google and are showcasing your products through SWIS, you also have the option of using Google Product listings to further increase your online visibility to local shoppers.
What are Google Product Listings?
Google Product Listings, otherwise known as Google Shopping campaigns, help retailers put their products in front of shoppers who are looking for what they sell. Retailers can use Google Product Listings to promote their in-store products and boost traffic to their brick and mortar stores.
Below is an example of a Google Product Listing:
These listings showcase your products and store information to nearby shoppers who are searching on Google. Since they appear based on what local shoppers are searching for, Google Product listings attract high value shoppers. In other words, they showcase the right products to the right people in the moments that matter the most.
When shoppers click on a listing, they will land on a Google-hosted page for your store which displays your in-store inventory, store hours, directions, and more.
Google recently announced the launch of free product listings, making it easier for merchants to display their products online. Note: While free listings are only accessible to US merchants, an international rollout is expected by the end of the year. Now, search results in the Google Shopping tab will consist mostly of free listings, helping merchants connect with more shoppers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.
Which means that even if you are not selling online, you can still showcase your in-stock products to potential customers.
TAKU Retail POS has partnered with Google to make it easier for merchants to get started with Google Product listings. By using TAKU, product feeds are automatically optimized and submitted through your POS. To learn more, click here.
3. Adding your products to social media
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms with more than 2.45 billion monthly active users. Now, merchants can give customers an easy way to browse and purchase products with Facebook Shop.
Facebook Shop has expanded a great deal in the last few years and is used in 70 countries by 800 million people monthly, making it the perfect opportunity for retailers to showcase their products to millions of potential customers.
Again, you can upload products manually or with an integrated retail platform such as TAKU eCommerce that will automatically sync your in-store products to Facebook Shop. With an integrated system, your product catalog will sync every 12 hours once you have uploaded your products onto your Facebook page. This will ensure that your product information and stock levels are updated on a regular basis.
Depending on the type of products you sell, Instagram may be another essential platform for retail businesses. With more than 1 billion monthly users, your customers are already on Instagram. So make it easier for them to discover and browse your products with Instagram shopping. Essentially, Instagram Shopping allows merchants to transform their profiles into digital storefronts.
We hope Part 2 was helpful to you. To learn more about the last 3 steps to getting your physical store online, keep an eye out for the rest of our blog and video series.
To learn more about the next steps to getting your physical store online, keep an eye out for the rest of our blog and video series.