This Week in Retail: How to be more customer-centric, 5 critical questions to ask every shopper, and more

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Welcome to another issue of This Week in Retail! Today our roundup includes an article on being more customer-centric, a report on US retail fraud, a post that can help you get actionable customer feedback, and more.

Check ’em out below:

1. Five customer-centric marketing lessons from Apple to Zappos – “Brands need to find ways to leverage their most important asset: current customers,” writes Stan Phelps in Forbes. In this piece, he shares some great tips on how businesses can be more customer-centric, so they can increase loyalty and convert more shoppers. He even provides real-life examples of brands that are doing it right. Read his post to learn more.

2. 5 questions you should ask every customer – Customer feedback can be invaluable to retail success, which is why it’s important that you constantly seek out shopper concerns, opinions and advice. In this post, small biz expert John Jantsch shares five important questions you should ask your customers. These questions will enable you to go beyond generic answers like “great service!” and instead allow you to find deeper and actionable comments that will help you to improve your business.

3. Half of Americans plan to start their online holiday shopping earlier this year– Are you gearing up for the holidays yet? If not, it’s high time that you did. A recent Pitney Bowes study found that 49% of US consumers are planning to shop online earlier this year to make sure they receive their orders in time. If you’re running an online store, take note and see to it that you have the merchandise and shipping capabilities to keep up with holiday shoppers.

4. Inventory and time tracking: a must for SMBs – In this article, Shirley Ben-Dak writes about the importance of tracking your inventory and time. Doing so will help you answer critical questions like “How many items have we sold this week?” and will allow you to understand your business better. Read her post to learn about the tips and tools you can use to stay on top of your time and inventory data.

5. Diving into the details of US retail fraud – The NRF reports that a recent study of US retail fraud found that theft of cash “has soared a staggering 20 percent from last year”. That’s a lot of dough, and with the holidays coming up, retailers have to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to preventing theft. Click the link above to learn more about the study. (And if you need tips on reducing shrinkage, read our post here.)


About Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.