How to Build Resilience In Your Retail Business

How to Build Resilience In Your Retail Business

Originally published on August 18th, 2021.

Every so often, retailers are affected by things out of their control such as recession, inflation, seasonal natural disasters and pandemics (just to name a few). One of our customers had a huge setback when a large truck crashed into their storefront because of black ice. Bottom line is, you always have to be ready for surprises. Without the right precautions in place, this could put a huge strain on your businesses and could lead to closure. In an uncertain world, we want to make sure you have the right tools to manage your store so we have put together a few tips below to help you stay resilient through any unforeseeable events.

retail visibility

Inventory

  • Conduct a physical inventory count to verify inventory amounts. Record any losses of inventory that are damaged, or expired, or spoiled. You’ll want to make sure that the inventory you have counted matches stock levels in your POS or inventory management system.
  • Review your inventory to decide what needs to be discounted and promoted immediately to bring in cash flow and to minimize the losses from your most outdated stock.
  • Contact your suppliers and vendors to get an update on order lead times and ensure accurate delivery schedules. You don’t want to sell what you can’t fulfill.

Staff

  • Use new hiring tactics. Write engaging job descriptions, promise of more hours, and offer a rewards-based incentive program so that your staff can stay invested with the success of your store.
  • Review loss prevention and security policies with employees. Don’t forget to review your POS access rights to make sure the staff permissions are still accurate.
  • Staffing alternatives with technology. Labor is hard to come by these days, modern omnichannel systems like TAKU Retail (with features like our self-checkout kiosk, and automatic inventory sync) can reduce the amount of hours needed to run your business.

Retail Store Exterior and Interior 

  • Regularly make sure that the storefront is clean by washing windows and doors, and cleaning high-traffic areas thoroughly.
  • Have the store’s new merchandising plan and products tags ready for staff. Ensure that all of your staff are informed of any new changes and are scheduled to help display stock before you open. 
  • Place promotional signage around the store. 

Retail Operations Management

  • Organize back office tasks: Review your fulfillment processes as cashiers need to have easy access to product or curbside orders at the front of the store to minimize their walking around the store.
  • Review receipt management procedures and train staff to put receipts directly into shopping bags instead of handing them to customers or ask customers if they want an email receipt instead. Remember that privacy regulations require that you get positive customer consent to save their emails for future use so an email marketing tool to capture consent that will allow customers to unsubscribe themselves. 
  • Enable staggered pickup times. Requiring customers to make an appointment to pick up their purchases to avoid huge lineups outside of your store. E-commerce providers such as TAKU eCommerce allow customers to choose a pickup time and date at checkout. Alternatively, you can use apps such as Eventbrite, Calendly or Acuity Scheduling, many of which are free for a single store account.

cloud pos

Security, Technology, and Utilities 

  • Ensure that your utilities are working properly: This includes heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), phone, internet,  electricity, and plumbing etc. If any of your utilities were disconnected while you were closed, it’s a good idea to call the utility companies to make sure they are working before you re-open. 
  • Check all surveillance and security cameras to make sure they are working properly.
  • Ensure alarm systems are working and consider updating alarm codes if needed. 
  • Verify that your retail POS system, credit card terminals, and scanners are ready to process sales. Before opening, ring in a test sale to make sure your POS is good to go.
  • Make sure that your payment terminal (PIN pad) is capable of accepting contactless payments. Know what your contactless limits are and increase them if you are comfortable with the higher risk (contactless “tap” payments are subject to chargebacks).
  • If things are a bit dated, consider updating your security system. You can look at online reviews comparing different systems to get a better idea.
retail incentives

Retail Marketing

  • Run promotions to give shoppers incentives to shop and highlighting relevant seasonal products. Remember to add this information to your online store, Google My Business, and all of your other social media channels. Read more about how to use Google My Business to attract local shoppers in your area here.
  • Let people know that you take orders online – TAKU helps retailers showcase their products 24/7 online and accepts payments easily and quickly (read more here). Fulfill orders in-store and allow customers to schedule a pickup time so that customers can pop in to pick up their items without the stress of long wait times or lineups.
  • Update Google My Business. Update your Google My Business listing and let customers know you are open for curbside pickup or delivery. Remember to adjust your hours of operation on your listing if you decide to shorten your store hours! 
  • Get added to local directories. Add your business to local directory listings (Bing, Yahoo etc.) to make it easier for shoppers to find you online. Support Retail is one of our favorite directories and was created during the COVID-19 pandemic as a free tool to help connect local businesses to shoppers in the area. Being featured on local directories with links to your website improves SEO which also means that you are able to have your website appear ahead of your competitors on search engines such as Google.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to add a few relevant tips for retailers that have reopened or planning to reopen soon. We understand that it might be a little overwhelming, but completing this list can help your employees and staff feel safer, and create more trust.

The world can be a shaky place right now, and there may be some rough times ahead. You can rest assured by following the tips outlined in this post. When you build resilience in your retail business, you can handle uncertain times with the utmost confidence and certainty.


Want to learn more about how to be seen as the top result on Google (or other search engines)?

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How Can I Make My Business Accessible

How Can I Make My Business Accessible

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

Icons of people with different accessibility needs
(Source)

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.

Community Tool Box

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

The types of accessibility issues
(Source)

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.

Boy in wheelchair looking at stairs
(Source)

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:

  • Injuries
  • Exclusion
  • 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.

Drawing of a checklist
(Source)

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

Accessible parking
(Source)

Here are some common solutions to accessibility issues. Keep in mind, these are just a few examples.

  • Ramps and automatic doors
  • Accessible parking
  • 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

Take action!

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:

Shopping cart with magnifying glass attached
This store has magnifying glasses on shopping carts to make reading fine print easier (Source).
  • 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

Accessibility training
(Source)

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

Web accessibility illustration
(Source)

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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Post-Pandemic Retail Trends

Post-Pandemic Retail Trends

A lot has changed over the last two years. When the pandemic started in 2020, retail was heavily affected. Now that we are in a post-pandemic world, retail has once again changed. Some trends from the pandemic are sticking around, and some are not. In today’s blog we are going to go over several post-pandemic retail trends.

Post-pandemic inflation affects spending

We’ve touched on inflation affecting consumer spending. The early months of the pandemic saw an increase in spending by consumers. However as interest rates and inflation continue to increase, consumers are making mindful decisions to cut back on spending. Although the lipstick effect continues to explain why small luxury items are continuing to sell, discretionary spending is decreasing overall. Consumers are spending less and less on things such as clothing and meal kits.

Brand loyalty is shifting post-pandemic

Brand loyalty in post-pandemic retail
(Source)

Younger consumers are leaving brands they were once loyal to. 39% of consumers (mostly Gen Z and Millennials) have left behind trusted brands to try new ones. At the same time, older shoppers are prioritizing convenience and supporting more local businesses. The bar is higher than ever to earn brand loyalty today but it’s still important to retailers everywhere.

One of the most powerful tools for earning brand loyalty is a loyalty program. These programs actually make 60% of global consumers into brand loyalists. But instead of simply discounts, consumers are increasingly saying that loyalty is about ‘exceptional experiences’ or a ‘sense of trust.’

Store-ception (stores within stores)

Apple store within Target
(Source)

Another trend which is gaining more traction are stores within stores. Now that people are physically shopping in stores after the pandemic, this trend is big! A common example of this is the beauty counter within a pharmacy. Usually these spaces have lighting catered to beauty products and special signage.

Since stores have reopened, this trend is skyrocketing. Brands such as Target now have small Apple stores within their stores at multiple locations. This gives retailers the boost of “subletting” floor space to an aspirational brand with it’s own established customer base. This attracts more foot traffic and gives shoppers a better in-store experience.

Home investments are slowing down post-pandemic

A couple taking a home improvement project
(Source)

Traditionally during a recession, people are more likely to “nest” and spend more time at home to save money. This recession will be different though as shoppers everywhere are tired of isolating at home after several years of lockdowns. The traditional boom in home products happened early on during the pandemic. As as result, shoppers have already invested in their homes and the demand for products and brands related to nesting has been on the decline as consumers return to stores, restaurants and travel.

As shoppers have less disposable income and have already spent money on home improvements – the nesting boom is coming to a halt. Although there are less people willing to spend on home improvement now, the people who are able to spend are going to spend more.

A focus on healthy living

Unsurprisingly, there is increased interest in personal wellness post-pandemic. During the pandemic, products related to outdoor fitness and healthy living were in high demand. Luckily for retailers in health and wellness, this trend is still strong amongst shoppers as the pandemic has reminded everybody about the benefits of healthy living.

The focus on healthy living extends to food and drinks. While normally alcohol consumption increases during a recession, over-indulgence during the pandemic has lead to an overall decrease in alcohol consumption, particularly amongst high-income or young consumers.

The changing role of e-commerce

E-commerce was all the rage during the pandemic. With stores closed everywhere, shoppers had no choice but to shop online. But e-commerce is more than just another sales channel. These days, it is also a key marketing tool.

As shoppers have returned to stores, retailers have downplayed e-commerce sales as they tend to have lower margins. According to Google, 46% of consumers will check online for product availability before purchasing anything in-store. While in-store, these customers are also more likely to make impulse purchases which are often higher in margin.

Another growing trend, is the use of physical stores to showcase products for online purchase. Similar to traditional “showrooms,” guideshops or showroom-like stores cater to consumers who prefer to visit a store before purchasing a product online.

Omnichannel is becoming the standard

Throughout 2022 we’ve been emphasizing that customers want convenience. The flexibility that omnichannel delivers is a powerful way to offer convenience to consumers. Buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) is being used more and more every day. In post-pandemic retail, stores with true omnichannel operations are the most successful as retailers today need to sell wherever shoppers want to buy. Omnichannel strategies lead to 80% higher rates of store visits. People want to be able to start their purchasing journey online and finish it in-person (or vice versa).

Post-pandemic omnichannel retail
(Source)

Better customer relations via technology

Omnichannel retail platforms allow store owners to save data about their customers. This data can then be used for personalized marketing materials which is more effective at driving sales.

Take a look at this article on some top omnichannel trends to look out for this year. If you are interested in implementing an omnichannel strategy for your store, the best place to start is with an omnichannel retail management system.


Join the omnichannel revolution today. Share your products online, sell online, nurture customer relationships, and drive more visitors in-store with TAKU Retail. Learn more today by clicking below.

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Recession-Proofing Your Business: What Sells During A Recession?

Recession-Proofing Your Business: What Sells During A Recession?

Welcome to part 2 of our Recession-Proofing Your Business series. In the first part of this series we went over strategies that retailers can use to handle the recession. Some of these strategies included:

  • How to use software automation to reduce operational costs
  • How to reduce inventory based on changing customer needs
  • How to improve your relationship with customers.

In this blog, we will explain why consumers needs recession-proof products.

What are recession-proof products?

As the name suggests, recession-proof products are items that traditionally sell well during a recession. These are the type of products that people will keep purchasing even when money is tight. Here are 4 ways to tell if a product is recession-proof.

1. Inelastic demand

Elasticity with products or services is a way of explaining how shopper behavior changes when retail prices and household finances change.

When something has elastic demand, it means that any small change in price or the economy will have a big impact on whether customers will change the way they shop. The best examples of this are discretionary products. This is products that are not essential such as clothing or vacations. When the price of these items increase or people are short on money, more people will buy less clothes or take less vacations.

In comparison, products with inelastic demand are things shoppers will keep buying, even when retail prices increase or they are short on money. These products are usually seen as ‘essential‘, without any good substitutes. Products such as prescription drugs, tobacco, salt or mobile phone plans are good examples.

Maselow's hierarchy of needs
Maselow’s hierarchy of needs (Source)

Remember that essential products aren’t always things needed for survival, but they are products that shoppers feel they cannot stop buying. This can include products that comfort people during difficult economic times such as recreational products which satisfy certain emotional needs. Maselow’s hierarchy of needs above is a good way to think about whether a product you sell is inelastic. Products that satisfy needs higher up in the pyramid are more likely to be inelastic and harder to substitute.

2. A easy way to escape

Escapism art
(Source)

Uncertainty during a recession can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety. People will be looking for ways to escape from these tensions. So products that entertain people and help them keep their mind off of things often sell well during a recession. TV streaming, video games, junk food, alcohol, and similar products are examples of this. In the last part of our Recession-Proofing Your Business series, we touched upon the idea of the lipstick effect. This is a great example of how people shop based on the need for escapism and comfort during a recession.

3. Whether a product can be stocked in bulk

Canned food stockpile
(Source)

Whenever there is inflation, people want to stock up on certain products to avoid paying a higher price in the future. As a result, every day essential products with long shelf life will do well in a recession. As long as supply is reliable, essential products such as canned foods, rice, toilet paper, dish soap or instant ramen noodles that can be sold in bulk will continue to sell.

Encouraging shoppers to stock up on shelf stable products is known as stocking the pantry. By selling products in bulk, even at a lower price, retailers make marginal profit on the same sale and limit the space available in a household for shoppers to stock competitive products.

4. Seen as a lower-cost option

If you sell elastic products (non-essential products), it’s always a good idea to offer lower-cost options during a recession. This can be something as simple as smaller sizes or features. Making a smaller sale is still better than losing a sale completely. As long as you are clearly communicating how features vary between differently priced options, you will still be able to offer higher value products for those who can afford it.

You can also use the Apple’s Goldilocks strategy. Placing an expensive option next to a decently-priced option makes the cheaper one seem like better value.

Here are a few examples of how smart retailers are offering wallet-friendly versions of popular products during these inflationary times.

Flonase - the lower cost option
Retailers sell two versions of the Flonase nose spray. One with 72 sprays and one with 144 sprays. Giving consumers a choice between spending more to get more uses, or spending less. (Source)
Sales prices to illustrate anchoring
Uniqlo uses the idea of the Apple’s Goldilocks strategy here. Where you show an item at a higher price right next to a cheaper item. The more expensive product doesn’t look much better than the sale item, so consumers feel as if they are getting a great deal. (Source)

This is the same, even if you sell services or subscriptions. For example, it’s a good idea to offer lower cost subscription plans to avoid cancellations. The best example of this is what Netflix has done recently with their new ad-supported tier. By offering a downgradable plan, more shoppers will keep Netflix versus cancelling their subscription.

Tiered pricing for Netflix
Netflix Canada’s pricing table for the different tiers of membership (Source)

Recession-proof product categories

Now that you understand some of the reasons that drive shoppers to buy during a recession, let’s take a look at some examples of product categories that sell well when times are bad.

Food

This one is obvious since people need food to survive. As we said earlier, food that has a long shelf life will perform better when times are tough. The demand for cheaper food will always increase when shoppers are looking to save money. Of course a recession won’t stop consumers from purchasing food, but you can expect shifts in the type of food they will choose to spend on. If you’re a grocer or you sell food at your store, take the time to consider how to change your product line to meet these new shopper needs.

Self-care products

Collage of various self-care products
(Source)

Products for personal hygiene, self-care, and beauty have historically done well during recessions. This is thanks to the lipstick effect. However some of these products are also necessities, such as: toiler paper, soap, towels, etc. These products are needed by consumers and demand will generally remain stable.

DIY products

DIY lifestyle products also do well during recessions. This includes products that help improve your home (e.g. gardening tools, drills, hammers, nails, lawnmowers, etc.). Other examples include DIY products that give people an affordable creative outlet such as home decor projects or hobbies. It also allows consumers to save money as they will not want to pay a service for things like home maintenance during a recession. After all, DIY is a form of escapism and helps people de-stress.

Pet products

Pet food next to a dog and cat
(Source)

Pet products are strong recession-proof items as people consider their pets as members of their family. So they are not going to be forgotten during a recession. Especially essential products for those special family members. These include: food, litter, treats, and waste removal bags. Pet products will remain inelastic in demand throughout a recession.

Recreational products

A physical film collection in a store
(Source)

Once again people’s need for escapism helps another product category remain recession-proof. Recreational products are a staple during a recession. Lower-cost recreational products perform even better. A deck of cards, board games, cheaper video games, and cost-effective movie streaming are all examples of great recreational products. However these recreational products don’t only have to be in-home options. People will look for way to escape outdoors as well, sports equipment and camping gear are other great recession-proof products.

Off-price products

A discount tag on clothing
(Source)

Off-price retailing is the strategy of buying out-of-season or overstocked branded products and selling them at heavily discounted prices. Off-price shopping increases during recessions so if you have any distributors or suppliers willing to sell you their extra stock at a lower cost, you can also look at offering branded products at prices below MSRP.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve gone over product categories which have historically done well during a recession, you should review your own product mix to determine if you’re selling the right things during these tough times. If you are seeing success with other categories, please feel free to share your thoughts with us below in the comments.


To deal with a recession, investing in tools that optimize your operations is key. TAKU Retail is helps you manage your entire store and ecommerce operations, all under a single login. At the same time, we’re constantly adding new features to help our merchants deal with labor shortages. Click below to learn more about our new self-checkout feature to sell more with less staff.

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Retail Brick And Mortar Stores Are Here To Stay

Retail Brick And Mortar Stores Are Here To Stay

The rise of e-commerce during the pandemic has led many people to believe that that physical retail stores will soon be a thing of the past. After all, e-commerce feels more convenient as you can shop from the comfort of home. Even Google has seen an increase in the number of people wondering whether brick and mortar stores are dying.

Google search showing "are brick and mortar stores dying" as a popular search
Many people are wondering if physical stores are dying

We’re glad to report that, like many future predictions, the reality is a lot less scary. As post-pandemic studies and recent data has shown, physical retail is still thriving and here to stay.

E-commerce is not the only future

eCommerce artwork
(Source)

While e-commerce grew in popularity during the pandemic, post-pandemic statistics show that people are returning to their old ways. E-commerce sales in 2022 have slowed down. Some of this is likely pent up demand for shoppers who missed shopping in person during the pandemic. But according to research, 59% of shoppers do not trust internet-only brands. At the same time, e-commerce only companies continue to struggle to turn a profit. Many companies who bet on an e-commerce only future are now paying the price.

Brick and mortar retail stores are continuing to grow

Brick and mortar stores on a main street
(Source)

Even after all of the COVID-19 lockdowns, brick & mortar retail stores are thriving. In fact, for every brick and mortar business that shut down, two more businesses opened up. On top of that, sales in physical retail have actually gone up post-pandemic. In-store shopping has seen a 13.7% boost compared to pre-pandemic levels. This growth doesn’t just apply to big names like Walmart, but to small independently owned businesses as well! In fact, over 60% of small businesses are expected to grow their revenue over the next year. This is a trend that can be seen from pre-pandemic statistics as well. Reports show that between 2016 – 2021, the revenue of smaller retailers grew at an average of 51.33%.

And certain consumers actually prefer in-store shopping. The majority of Boomers and Gen X customers say that they shop in-store “all the time”. In fact, younger people such as Gen Z (along with Gen X) are two generations that actually shop more in-person than online. For them, their entire lives are already digital and physical retail appeals to them as experiential shopping

The shopping experience is too important

Woman trying on clothes before purchase at a brick and mortar store
(Source)

Another key reason why brick & mortar stores still appeal to shoppers is because it is still by far a better shopping experience. At the beginning we mentioned how e-commerce provides a certain level of convenience that physical retail can’t. Yet when it comes to immediate consumption, this is something that only physical shopping can offer. There is a level of satisfaction one can feel shopping in-store and taking something home right away. This is why the term retail therapy exists.

But beyond immediate satisfaction, shopping at brick and mortar stores allows customers to get an engaged shopping experience that they simply can’t find online. Being able to physically hold a product and sometimes try it out before purchase is a big factor in deciding to buy something. 59% of consumers say that the ability to try, touch and feel a product is key for in-store shopping over online.

Man using TAKU Self checkout

And when shopping in-store, one of the top priorities for shoppers is convenience, especially at checkout. After all, 97% of consumers have backed out of a purchase due to inconvenience. So if you are in or planning to enter the physical retail industry, be sure to offer easy checkout options. Things like self-checkout enhance the shopping experience for customers greatly.

The future is omnichannel

Omnichannel Management Diagram with TAKU Retail

Throughout this post, it may have felt like we are saying that e-commerce is worse than physical retail. However, the future of the retail today is really a combination of physical and digital shopping. As we mentioned before, consumers want convenience. Omnichannel offers the most convenience to consumers as it allows them to shop from anywhere, 24/7. There’s a reason why 58.6% of retailers are heavily investing in omnichannel fulfillment and 70% of small businesses have adopted digital tools over the past year.

The benefits of omnichannel aren’t just for customers either. Retailers are able to have more control over their business and sell more when they offer omnichannel shopping. After all, retailers who don’t sell on multiple channels end up missing out on ~30% of sales.

Being able to serve your customers in a variety of channels will soon be the standard in retail. For e-commerce, store pickup or fulfillment of online orders from local stores support main streets, is better for the environment and get products to customers faster as delivery costs increase. In order to keep up with the future, your retail business needs to be an omnichannel one.


Now, more than ever, is the best time to invest in omnichannel! Make sure your business is future-proof by implementing software that can support your business over time. Check out TAKU Retail and ensure your business is resilient and able to serve customers the way they expect to shop today.

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4 Ways QR Codes Can Help Retailers

4 Ways QR Codes Can Help Retailers

Invented in 1994, the QR code was originally made so that Toyota could track car parts in their manufacturing process. 28 years later, QR codes have become so much more. In particular, the COVID pandemic helped popularize the use of QR codes in businesses everywhere. Whether you’ve seen it being used by shoppers adding social media accounts or to view a digital menu, it’s an increasingly common tool that retailers can use to speed up service and improve customer experience. Here are 4 different ways QR codes can help retailers.

1. Attract more shoppers to your website

Drive more website traffic with QR codes
(Source)

QR codes can look like a complicated barcode but they are actually an image of information. For example, you can store everything from phone numbers and documents to website addresses. But sharing websites and social media accounts is definitely the most common use for QR codes. By adding a QR code to any marketing materials or signage, you are giving shoppers the fastest way for them to access your website or social media accounts. Instead of typing addresses or searching for accounts, shoppers can simply scan the QR code with the camera on their phones and access your information in 1-click.

Expert Tip!

QR codes do not need to be limited to physical materials. QR codes can also be placed on things such as email signatures, profile pictures, and social media covers.

By making it easier for shoppers to get access to your online storefront and social feeds, you will attract more shoppers to your business. After all, being found online or having an online storefront will not only increase your online sales, it helps drive foot traffic back to your physical store as shoppers have an easy way to stay up-to-date on new product launches, special offers, etc.

2. Sell from your shopfront window

Barber shop using a QR code on its storefront window
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Another way QR codes help retailers sell is to make it easier for stores to sell things from their physical shopfront window. For example, adding QR codes next to products that are displayed in your shopfront window that link to each specific product in your online catalog. This gives shoppers an easy way to scan a product to find out more or even buy online, even when your store is closed. Doing this makes your storefront window more engaging and informative – both of which are important for good customer experience.

3. Get more social media followers

Gain new followers with QR codes
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Many retailers today use QR codes to make it easier for shoppers to follow their social media accounts. Since QR codes are scanned as website links, shoppers can easily open your social media accounts with 1 click. Making it easier for people to find your accounts will increase the likelihood that they will follow you. Place these QR codes anywhere customers and business partners can see them (email signatures, profile pictures, in-store signs, counter stickers, etc.).

4. Give fast access to free WiFi

Give fast access to free WiFi with QR codes
(Source)

One of the best uses of QR codes is to give shoppers 1-click access to guest WiFi in the store. You can create a QR code that store visitors can scan to be automatically connected to your guest WiFi. This is a special type of QR code that automatically enters the network name and password into an iPhone or Android mobile phone. Shoppers love it as it means no more entering network names or long passwords. It is also better for your network security as you don’t need to disclosing the actual password.

If you want to encourage shoppers to browse, offering free guest WiFi is a great way to get shoppers to stay for a longer time in your store. It doesn’t cost you anything and it’s been shown that shoppers that stay longer in a store buy more things and spend more money.

Scroll down to learn how to create your own WiFi QR code.

How to create QR codes

QR codes are very simple to create. All you need is online QR code generator to make them. When using these platforms, creating your QR code is as simple as pasting the website address you would like customers to open. Then press the generate button, and congratulations you will have just made your first QR code!

A. Standard QR codes

Standard QR codes for retail
Creating a QR code on QR Code Monkey

For standard QR codes, we have two recommendations: QR Code Monkey and QR Code Generator. QR Code Monkey is a great free option. QR Code Generator offers a few more features and even has a premium membership. Both of these tools let you add colors and even a logo to your QR code.

B. WiFi QR codes

WiFi QR codes for retail

The main difference when creating QR codes for WiFi sharing is that the code generator needs to support WiFi information. A good tool for this is QiFi.org which was built specifically for this.

All you need to do is enter the SSID (network name) and password for your guest WiFi network. You may also need to enter the Encryption type, so check your Wi-Fi settings if you don’t already know this. Once all of the information is entered, click Generate to produce the code.

Expert Tips!

1. For better security, always create a separate guest WiFi from your main WiFi network so that you have separate password access.

2. For better security, always make sure that you hide the password so that it cannot be seen in the user’s phone. With QiFi.org, fill the Hidden checkbox before clicking Generate.

3. Always test your QR code on your mobile phone before printing any marketing materials or sharing it to make sure it is working properly!

Now you know some ways QR codes can help retailers. Time to start implementing this popular technology to your business. You can follow one of the tactics we mentioned, or get creative and try your own tactic. If you end up coming up with your own QR tactic, please feel free to share it below in the comments!

Google SWIS integration for Online Catalogs