Seven tips for retailers wanting to survive a tough spring

11 tips for surviving a tough Q1

It's not just the athletes in Sochi who are suffering a chilly time of it; worldwide retail's undergoing a serious cold snap following icy sales and frosty forecasts. So, what are you going to do to survive what's set to be a pretty brutal Q1?

Well, as the St. Bernard dogs of retail, we've pulled together seven easy-to-implement tips and strategies to keep the wolves from your door and the icicles off your nose. All of these activities can be implemented within weeks, not months, and if you follow our advice we'll guarantee you a positive outcome.

There. That's better already, isn't it?

1. Experiment, experiment, experiment

Same-old-same-old just doesn't cut it anymore. Just look at the retailers who had a bad Christmas this year - they all relied on tedious old tactics like generic across-the-board discounting thinking that what worked in the past would work in the present. The ones who thrived (John Lewis, Next, Ted Baker, Ryman) were the ones who didn't even discount at all but, instead, tried new, engaging tactics to capture the public's imagination. The trick is not to spend months and months over-thinking your experimetns but just to start doing and learning_. _As Dell's


▸ Continue reading

Analysis: How Amazon’s App Store Can Use Co-Buying To Overtake Google & Apple

Analysis: Amazon’s App Store Is On The Cusp Of Overtaking Google & Apple

If phones were cars, the screen would be the dashboard, the CPU would be the engine, the battery would be the gas tank. And the apps? The apps would be the wheels. Without apps, you’re going nowhere. With them, the world’s your oyster.

That’s why the global app market is already worth $27 billion – a massive figure that’s set to grow by 30% within the year. That’s why the world’s most popular app, Facebook Messenger, has over 700 million users. And that’s why each and every one of us has about 22 apps on our phones (in fact, if you’re an Apple muncher, that’s likely to be more like 37).

You’ll know Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, but our own favourite is Amazon’s Appstore for Android – a modest player comparatively, but one with massive potential and some genuinely innovative advantages over its behemoth rivals. From its Test Drive feature (where, thanks to Amazon’s cloud computing grunt, you can try an app out on your PC before you buy it on your phone) to that 1-click checkout with 14 years’ worth of ready-to-roll customers. Plus,


▸ Continue reading

'Customer' reviews are often fake. Social advocacy NEVER is.

Online reviews mean nothing. Social advocacy is everything.

Never move house. Just don't do it. You pay a fortune to own the same old stuff in a different place. And then, to cap it off, your better half decides that you need a new washing machine when everyone knows it's perfectly adequate just to take your smalls down to a riverbank and whack them with a stick.

Yeah, I'm feeling the pinch.

Anyway... buying a washing machine. With a million online shops and a trillion online 'customer' reviews, you'd have thought picking a brand, model and retailer would be a doddle. Well, guess what? It ain't. And that's mainly because you just can't trust what you read in online reviews anymore - why else would one retailer have 59 negative reviews on ciao.co.uk with barely any positives, but almost exactly the opposite on Google seller reviews?

The problem is: online reviews are so scammed by businesses hyping themselves and slating their rivals that it's next to impossible to figure out what's a genuine, balanced perspective from a real consumer and what's 'seed content' or 'tactical interference'.

Everyone really is a critic... including the shops themselves.

Luckily, the one thing you just can't fix is social advocacy


▸ Continue reading