Friday, March 30, 2012

Retail Marketing Tips

Hi guys! I just attended a very well received social media
webinar hosted by Mari Smith and Guy Kawasaki. Both
are not only experts in social media but have a serious
knack for creating and building relationships. I found
some of their tips to be particularly useful to retailers so
am pleased to be able to share them with you. The full
webinar can be watched here:

Point #1: Listening to your customers.
Going out of your way once can result in a repeat
customer for years to come. Imagine a customer of
yours posts on Twitter “I am in serious need of a (insert
a product of yours here)” and you catch that post. You
then message them or, even better, reach out to them
by phone – VOILA very happy customer and you can
bet they will mention that to at least a few friends.

Morton’s Steakhouse took this concept to a new level
and became one of the top 5 Tweets of the year. For
the Morton’s Steakhouse story -

Point #2: Not allowing pictures in your store.
Many retailers do not allow photos in store or of the
merchandise. While this makes sense if that person was
going to go off to replicate the item or purchase a similar
style at another store, in the age of social media, the odds
of one posting this image up onto their own sites
(Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter) is quite high.
Girls are forever trying on hats, sunglasses and bling and
posting these pictures for their friends to see, many will
even ask opinions on if to buy or not from their friends.

Allowing photography can open you up to free promotion.

Point #3: Spam vs promotion
Many are concerned about “spamming” their followers. One
point is that that individual did elect to hear about you, your
offers and what you are up to. If you keep your content
relevant, helpful and fun, you are actively promoting, NOT

Point #4: Pinterest
Further confirmation that this is a force to be reckoned with.
Please see One Step’s earlier blog for tips on its use.

Point #5: What to do if you get a complaint or goof up.
There is a new coined word going around, “flawsome” which
is flawed and awesome smooshed into one word Lewis
Carroll style.
The concept behind this is to not aim for perfection but
staying “real”. How you handle goofs and negative reviews
means more to a customer than being flawless. Per a study
noted in the webinar, many actually prefer to know that there
are some flaws or they feel that the company or service is not
real. Aim for your best but don’t automatically delete all
negativity on your sites. The webinar goes into some tips for
handling negative reviews or comments on social media sites.

Point #6: Pictures are like eye candy.
Keep the pictures coming. You can even have fun with the
different apps (Instagram is increasingly popular for retailers)
or just grab an image from istockphoto to go with your posts.
Pictures will increase interaction and familiarity.

I hope that this helps you!
Amy Hanson
Me trying on wraps at a vintage store for my best friend
(just a few weeks ago) to wear over her wedding dress.
I needed to get pictures to send up to her in Portland but
due to a no photo rule I was cut short. I explained the
situation to the sales clerk but she was adamant,
LOST sale.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Plastic Card Printing in the USA vs. Outsourcing Abroad

Plastic Resource, a Minnesota company, recently
launched a new web site aimed towards worldwide
growth of plastic gift cards, loyalty cards and custom
plastic printing.

Millions of Americans interact with plastic card
products on a daily basis. Your health club membership
card gets swiped, use plastic gift cards to pay for your
coffee, accumulate points at lunch with your loyalty cards,
and stand out from your competition with plastic business
cards. Most of us have come to assume these plastic card
products come from oversees. One Minnesota based
company plans to change the perception of plastic gift
cards, loyalty cards and custom plastic printing by
expanding their influence online with a redesigned and
multi-functional web site.

“It’s really our customer service, attention to detail and
reliability that separates us from our international
competition”, says Steve Chesley principal at Plastic
Resource. “It’s translating those competitive advantages
to the online marketplace that has been a challenge. In
this industry price is king. However, what price do
businesses place on getting things done right, reliable
relationships and time? The actual plastic gift cards or
loyalty cards are not the commodity. Plastic printing is
something easy for us; we’ve been doing it for years. It’s
understanding business owners and connecting with
them on a higher customer service level that
differentiates us from our international competition”,
says Chesley.

Plastic Resource recently launched their newly designed
web site to address the growing US and international
markets. The site focuses on their core offerings; Plastic Gift
Cards, Plastic Loyalty Cards and Custom Plastic Printing
(business cards, luggage tags, etc.). “Ease of use, instant
response and clear product offerings were our focus”, says
Chesley. “Considering the process involved with printing
on plastic, customers will still most likely pick up the phone
and call but, like with so many industries these days, the
amount of online research conducted before that call is ever
growing. Developing a comfort level and providing a price
point baseline before the customer calls is paramount to the
beginning of a positive relationship”.

About Plastic Resource Plastic Resource is a custom
plastic printing company based in Cottage Grove,
Minnesota. Plastic Resource serves the custom plastic
printing needs of businesses around the world and delivers
technical expertise in all aspects of UV printing including
graphic design, printing, laminating, die cutting, data
application and fulfillment.
Contact Steve Chesley at 651.702.9243 or
Media contact:
Brad McDowell
Plastic Resource
P: 651.702.9243
F: 651-702-9257
Plastic Resources is a member of the One Step Retail
Solutions, Retail Professional Association:

RSPA Connect Features One Step Retail Article

Our CEO and Founder, Scott Kreisberg's recent article on Retail Loss Prevention was recently included in the Retail Solutions Provider Association's monthly publication Connect.
We are proud to be affiliated with this upstanding retail association.

For more information on One Step Retail Solutions visit our website:

Friday, March 23, 2012

5 Customer Service No-Nos

Customer service is a function that every member of every group handles in one capacity or another. From reception to security and on over to your sales clerks, this is helpful information for all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Budgeting Tips for Point of Sale

Many retailers shake their heads in wonder over what to budget for retail technology. Imagine going to a car dealership and thinking that car payments would be comparable to your mortgage or rent, you would be pleasantly surprised. Now imagine you thought that your car payments should be the equivalent of a pint of ice cream - not such a pleasant surprise.

Surprisingly, there is a lack of data on what to budget for
point of sale. The concept of a budget is frequently glossed over in manuals, books and ebooks - sometimes limited to only a token mention "create a business plan".

Ideally, an experienced retail consultant can be brought in
as you are starting up your shop to really help you cover all bases, greatly increasing your chances of success in the long haul. If this isn't possible, we recommend speaking with successful shops who can help you determine what retail technology you may need to guaranty success in the long run, what features help them, what they wish they had, etc.

A solid rule of thumb is as follows: 2% of your yearly gross
sales for the initial purchase of software, hardware, installation and training for a point of sale system. Retailers should ALSO be sure to budget 1% of their yearly sales towards maintenance, upgrades and the like.

Note that this is the GROSS profit, defined as - "total income
from sales, salary, etc., BEFORE any deductions". Deductions would include inventory, payroll, rent and taxes.
For a list of our recommended retail consultants, listed by state. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Teamwork Retail Website is Now Live! - The POS of Your Dreams

The One Step Team is very excited and proud to announce
the launch of our dedicated Teamwork Retail website.
Teamwork Retail is a Cloud-based Retail Management

Teamwork is poised to become the top point of sale for
retailers across the US. Top of the line mobile POS, cloud
based, Software as a Service, iPad compatible, subscription
based, franchise management, customizable reporting and
much more, this product has it all.

This site is fully set up to answer your questions and give
you a firm feel for it’s capabilities and features.

How to put your POS to work - POS Features and Integration Study #1 – Marketing

We just recently surveyed the action sports industry and
found that 48% had either no system for customer
management or have not put their existing system to use.

A few years ago we surveyed our retail clients and asked
them what their plans were to market to their existing
customers for the holidays. We were shocked to find that
almost 40% had no plans to do special holiday marketing
to their existing customers and 64% had no customer
loyalty program of any kind. Almost 60% said they had
no idea how to market to their customers using their POS
system. This was something that we set about rectifying
quickly for our clients and we want to share our tips for
success with you.

Your investment in your existing POS system can only
show a return if you learn and utilize the things it can do
for you. So we ask, what tools do you ALREADY have in
place that can help you effectively market? One Step
Retail Solutions, VP Sales, Kevin McAdam has some
tips and information for retailers everywhere.

“Of all the retailers I have talked to over the last couple
of years, ignoring the marketing potential of your
customer base is among the most dangerous decision
you can make in your retail business. Capturing it and
leveraging it is among the best.’

“Many retailers I talk to do virtually zero marketing
because it’s so expensive and because they see so little
measurable return from it. That’s often because it’s
shotgun marketing.”

So how do you AVOID shotgun marketing, how do
you make your efforts pay off?

“Marketing today is getting more and more precise
and as an independent retailer you need to be riding
that cutting edge to stand out. Let’s take a look at
Facebook and how they market to their members.
They know your profile (likes, dislikes, where you go,
what your hobbies are) and so they put advertising
on your sidebar that they know will have the highest
probability of catching your attention.” You could say
that the key to effective marketing is knowing your
client base and their needs.

So how does one find out their needs? How does one
leverage that information in a small to medium size
retail shop without spending thousands of dollars in
research and marketing campaigns?

“First of all, hopefully you have a robust POS system
that can hold large amounts of information about your
customers, because this is literally your gold mine.
Studies have shown over and over again that it costs 5
times as much in marketing dollars to get a new
customer as it does to re-sell to an existing customer.
It’s easy to understand: someone who has already
bought from you knows where you are and what inventory
you carry and, given good customer service, would buy
from you again. You just need to stay in touch with them
and offer them things you know they will buy. (This is why
Customer Loyalty programs work and yours should
definitely marry up with your POS system.)”

Please note that this is as vital for small and medium size
retailers as is it for the big box stores. “Now you need to
collect the information. Usually it’s as easy as telling the
customer that you make special offers to your regular
customers and then offer to put them on that list. Get as
much information as you can, street address, email (assure
them you don’t let anyone else use their email address),
home phone, cell phone (ask if they would like to be text-
messaged if there’s a really hot sale on something you know
they might like) birthday, sizes, color preferences, family
members….anything that you think might help you
promote to them. It might not make sense to try to get all
this information at one time, but sales clerks should try to
help build their ‘profile’ within your POS system” As a side
note, you can also create a sign that has “Follow us on
Facebook and Twitter” and “Check in on Yelp”. Facebook
contact data has become as relevant as an email address or
mailing address.

Marketing ideas made available by having a solid directory
of clientele in your POS system:

- Hopefully your POS system will not only keep a record of
that customer but also the record will show everything they
ever bought from you. This should be an available
customization in your POS. This way, the next time you get
a new item from the designer they have purchased before,
you can easily pull up the list of all customers that buy that
designer and email them that there’s a new shipment in
the store.

- You might even want to have a wine and cheese party to
kick off a new line and invite all the customers that have
bought similar categories in the past, let them know they
can bring along a friend as long as they are added to the
guest list (with their contact data of course).

- For a men’s store, make sure you have their wife’s
contact information so that just before the customer’s
birthday you can email their wife alerting her to the fact
that you have all his sizes and favorite designers.

- For a jewelry store, make sure that you have the
husband’s contact information so that before major
holidays and birthdays you can alert him to an
exclusive sale or offer.

- Reward customer loyalty. You can rank your customers
using the information in your POS system. You should
know which customers bring you the most margin, who
are the ones that buy the most at regular prices, who are
the ones that only buy when things are on sale, and who
are the ones that you make the most money from. Offer
exclusive deals, first pick or even host a invitation only
preview of your new season.

Don’t let it just be an expensive cash register! Learn it
yourself or have one of your employees learn at least the
marketing functions of the software and then put them
to work to increase your profitability.

“I think one of the most important things you can do as a
retailer in today’s marketplace is stop the old shotgun
wasteful marketing and get on the sophistication band-
wagon to precisely market to precise customers that you
want back in your store and that you know will appreciate
and buy the wonderful merchandise you work so hard to

If you would like more information on our POS solutions
or for a free POS consultation please contact Amy Hanson
at 818.543.4777 ext 4116 or email

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tarantino Makes Downtown LA SPARKLE

Tarina Tarantino is poised to bring her colorful designs to a brand new flagship location and headquarters office on downtown Los Angeles' famous S Broadway. Broadway has a host of new tenants arriving over the next year, exciting for this old Hollywood mainstay.

This beautiful new building will house not only a "workshop" storefront where guests can watch their own one of a kind jewelry come to life but the upper floors will house their factory and headquarters. An intentional nod to the bygone storefront downstairs/management upstairs set up.

The second store will be utilized as a gallery space for artists. A fitting contribution by Tarantino to LA artists, given her self made success and status as an independent and true artist.

This wild haired designer and her Sparkle Factory will hit the Downtown Los Angeles scene in early Fall of 2012.

We look forward to Tarantino's continued success!

For information on mobile point of sale:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How To Get Sales Through Pinterest: For Retailers

Updated February, 2013 to include some recent updates.

With almost 15 million users and reports of retailers getting more sales through Pinterest than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ combined, Pinterest has become a relevant and important resource for retailers.

The question can be raised, HOW could a bunch of pictures result in sales at store level? And, HOW does one control what others will “pin”?

Here is some helpful data:
  1.  Pinterest is a virtual pin board. Shoppers can pin images through their mobile app (snap a photo and then tag) and also pin an image you find online (Facebook images can not be pinned) or "repin" from another person's boards. “Look at these shoes I found from Kate Spade!” or “Idea for upcoming baby shower, vegan vanilla cupcakes from XYZ Bake Shop!” These are typically images of items that the Pinner likes and wants others to know about (free promotion).
  2. In order to pin you will need to install a bookmarklet within your bookmarks bar. Directions are found on the Pinterest GOODIES PAGE
  3. A “Pinner” can then categorize these images by “boards”. Popular boards include fashion (by season or style), wedding ideas, party planning, recipes and interior design.
  4. You may wonder how this all could result in SALES? When one pins from a website the image then becomes an active link to the source of the image. Thus, promoting the actual product AND the origin site. Hopefully, the image of those cute pair of shoes was found on the website where those shoes can then be purchased. That is where the ROI kicks in.
  5. The biggest demographics of “Pinners” are women and many are between the ages of 20-35. Many are noted to be stay-at-home moms. Products that are targeted to that demographic will get the most response.
  6. There are several reports of independent shops, designers, Etsy stores and the like getting more
    traffic from Pinterest than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ combined.
  7. You will find that the noted image source (website) is a blog more often than not. Ideally the blogger notes where the items featured can be found. Thus, it is important that you get the ball rolling by ensuring your products have ample (and appealing) images on your website . Also by posting onto your pinboard the images so that they are getting repined from your site as the source.
  8. Pinterest was initially invitation only but more recently became available openly. 
  9.  It is recommended (as with all social activities) that you not only promote your product and services but be both personal and interactive. You should not only be likinging and repinning but also posting some fun and inspirational boards. The largest chunk of your social activities should be more about building a relationship and driving in additional interest through connections.
  10. Hashtags (#) apply in the same way that they do in Twitter and on Google+. Be sure to label your posts so that they can be easily found. (Example: #socialmedia #pinteresttip)
  11. You may want to include a "pin it" button within your product listings or add it to your blog or website - FIND BUTTONS HERE
  12. Pinterest now has a managing dashboard where you can schedule posts in advance. Known as Pingraphy you now have the ability to view statistics and schedule pins from an external dashboard.

Update as of Feb 2013

1. Many retailers and websites are now incorporating a "Pin it" button (or "widget") directly within their websites next to product images or an icon pops up when hovering over the image.
To guarantee pin-ability, include a "Pin it" button directly on your site so that a "pinner" can easily "pin" from anywhere.
This blog has a pink, glitter watermark that fits her branding perfectly.
Get widget codes: HERE

2. Tools to "pin-ify" your website or blog HERE
3. Be sure you make products available if they are becoming popular on Pinterest to avoid this issue.
4.  "Curalate, an amazing tool that (among tons of other features) uses image recognition technology to 'see' which images are being pinned, says that '48 percent of top retailers’ most popular products on Pinterest link back to expired pages.' Their CEO, Apu Gupta, raises a very important question: How much money are these brands leaving on the table?" - Social Media Examiner
5. Center a game or competition around Pinterest.
Click to expand

To learn more!
- Pinterest 101

- Webinar by WhizBang! Training on how to set up and use Pinterest for retailers

- 26 tips to fully utilize Pinterest

- Additional resources to help you manage your social media

This article was brought to you by One Step Retail Solutions a leading retail technology service provider and reseller.
Our Pinterest site includes pinboards with retail tips and important retail trends.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Point-of-Sale Solutions on an iPAD - Welcome to the Future

In the past few years we have seen hardware transform - touch screen phones, lighter than a book personal laptops, virtual changing rooms and cars that look like they belong in a Tom Cruise movie. It is certain that the future is here and it is everything that we imagined but way, way cooler.
POS software has continued to advance through the years and the various capabilities can help
guarantee the success of a store. We now have fat systems that do everything from inventory tracking to customer preferences and integrating with your vendors – a far cry from when you would just ring someone up.

Imagine the Point-of-Sale hardware of the future. You may have already seen handheld devices being used as mobile cashier stations; this is an advance for the retail industry for sure. This new concept not only boosts customer service and sales but will essentially drive customers IN, you are the future and your prospects and clients will want a bite of that.

When designing or redesigning a space you are looking for a complete package, you are upgrading the space AND the overall experience. Since every customer has to go through a checkout line… to get rung up… to get their paper receipt… you are looking at a part of the experience that may not be on par with the overall feel you are trying to create. We have had several clients include their POS upgrade as part of a new store launch or space upgrade with fantastic results.
Now imagine a whole system with futuristic, customizable and fully functional software AND hardware. Teamwork Retail is the future of POS: web-based Headquarters with Inventory Control, Purchasing and Receiving, Analytics, Management Reporting and Multi-Store Management all familiar and easily learned by staff in minutes, plus an in-store local PC or iPad POS that can double as an ad display when docked. … all from the Cloud for a low monthly subscription.
TeamWork Retail was created by the development team that has brought retailers the most innovative and effective Point of Sale systems in the world, having created solutions used in over 100,000 stores world-wide. Available only from One Step Retail Solutions. One Step Retail Solutions has been a leader in the POS solutions industry for the past 25 years, offering 5 unique POS solutions to guarantee the best fit for not only now but for your future expansion.

For more information on our two iPAD Retail Management Systems -
Teamwork Retail -
Lightspeed - 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Global Shop 2012 Rewind - Judge a Shop by it's Cover?

We just returned from Global Shop, a leading store design and at-store marketing convention in Las Vegas. The sheer creativity and resources available to retailers really got my creative juices going.

Retail is a sensory industry, you are selling products that can either be touched, worn, viewed, used, held, smelt, eaten or in some cases… all of the above. Somewhere between the operation and budget, the overall FEEL and IMPRESSION being created IN store can get lost. This is especially true for small to medium sized retail shops that sometimes do not have the wherewithal to pull off something “spectacular”. Regardless, a look and feeling that
represents and welcomes is highly important. MANY retailers nail this but some have a hard time with this.

Pretend like you have never walked into your store before and with fresh eyes start out a few yards away and start observing the space.
Walk in, take in the feel, the smell, do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like the arrangement of the displays is welcoming (slanted towards you), can you comfortably see (not too bright, not too dark), do the basic colors of the room attract you or detract you? Ask some of your frequent shoppers what they like most about the shop experience and find out if they feel physically welcome.

If you think of your shop like an outfit, putting together the right elements to pull everything together, with some strategic (and cost effective) upgrades you can revamp your whole store.