This Week in Retail: Improving your mobile strategy, conducting market research on a budget and more.

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How can you conduct market research on a small (biz) budget? What trends should you look out for in 2015? What’s EMV and why should you care? Our latest This Week in Retail roundup answers all these questions and more. Have a look at our picks below:

1. The makings of a mobile holiday – “Mobile’s influence on shopping is growing fast,” writes Jennifer Overstreet. Studies have shown that retailers saw an average of 135% and 86% year-over-year growth in sales from smartphones and tablets respectively. If you’re looking to improve your mobile strategy in the coming year, be sure to check out the NRF’s Q&A with Forrester Research’s Julie Ask. They discuss a lot of worthwhile topics, including what’s driving mobile’s growth, how to best make use of beacons, what retailers are doing interesting things with mobile, and more.

2. Survey shows lack of SMB preparedness for EMV credit card transition – EMV—one of the most important things to ever happen in the payments industry—is hitting the States next year. Unfortunately, it looks like most SMBs aren’t ready for the technology. As this piece cites, “only 11 percent of SMBs are prepared to meet the EMV deadline and have the appropriate payment technology in place for customer use by October 2015.” Don’t be part of this statistic. If you haven’t done so yet, start prepping for the upcoming transition and get your store up to speed with the technology. Check out our primer on EMV to learn more.

3. Engaging the connected consumer: reviewing the top trends of 2014 – Here’s an excellent piece rounding up the top 10 most viewed articles on Retail TouchPoints. It’s packed with insightful posts on topics ranging from flash sales and loyalty to social media and technology. Check it out and get a glimpse of what people have been reading and talking about the most this past year.

4. 8 trends retailers can’t ignore in 2015 – Apple Pay. Pop-ups. Minimum wage increases. What do these things have in common? They’re all part of RetailDive’s list of trends that merchants can’t ignore in 2015. If you’re gearing up for retail success in the coming year, be sure to give this one a read. It has some interesting nuggets on which issues will make waves in the coming months. (Also, if you like reading about retail trends, take a look at our list of 12 retail trends and predictions for 2015.)

5. How to conduct market research for a new business – “Good market research is at the core of any successful business, but, unfortunately, many small-business owners are either intimidated by the process or believe it’s too expensive,” writes Suzanne Kearns on the QuickBooks Small Business Center blog. Fortunately, there are ways to conduct market research without breaking the bank. Read this post to learn more.




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+.