SMB Retail's Top 10 Most-Read Of 2016SMB Retail by Angela Diffly
When looking at our top 10 most-read articles for 2016, the following topics rise to the top:
- Ecommerce / Omnichannel
- Point-of-Sale / On-The-Go Applications
- Payments, Mobile Wallet / NFC, Security / EMV
- Location-Based Marketing / Beacons
- Data Analytics / Foot Traffic Sensor Tech
- Digital Signage / In-Store Kiosks
- Custom Apps / Personalization
- Delivery / Marketplace Selling
The big picture tells us that SMB retailers want more information about technologies that help them grow and compete, without breaking the bank. Here’s our roundup of the top 10 most-read articles for 2016, starting with the most-read article of the year.
1) Shark Tank Bites Bantam Bagels
Nick and Elyse Oleksak, co-owners of Bantam Bagels, are on a “roll,” spreading mini-bagel ball love throughout the country. At a time when everyone is looking for smaller portion sizes, they won over Americans and secured a $275K investment from Lori Greiner in exchange for 25 percent of their company after appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank with their 100-calorie cream-cheese stuffed delights. NY Daily News voted the company “The #3 Best Bagel In NYC”, no easy feat in the bagel Holy Land. Then they achieved every small business owner’s dream: their mini-stuffed bagel balls became one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2014. Full Article
2) Eight Must-Haves For Food Truck POS
According to Mobile-Cuisine.com, an online resource for the food truck industry, in 2015, annual food truck revenues hit $1.2B, with over 4,000 food tuck businesses in the U.S. generating just under $300K each. If you’re a food truck business owner, or if you’re thinking about becoming one, you’ll need to support some pretty unique demands. Not only is the physical environment a factor, but daily workflows must also be factored into the technology equation. We reached out to some of the top technology vendors* and a few of their food truck customers to find out which technologies are most relevant to this unique business model, and how each technology benefit translates to real-world success. Full Article
3) Retail Payments 101: Expert Advice For SMBs
When it comes to in-store technology, today’s retailers have it made. Tangible, cool (and affordable!) solutions like digital signage and location-based marketing allow SMBs to compete with big-box stores and online retailers to elevate their customer experience. Everyone agrees that the checkout process should integrate seamlessly into the shopping experience, creating a smooth, convenient transaction so the customer can pay without thinking about paying. But in-store payment technologies are shattering every notion of what payments used to be, and are transforming the way we transact. When it comes to getting paid, retailers just want technology to work the way it should, safely and securely, without costing them an arm and a leg in transaction fees. Full Article
4) Opening Doors With Beacons
Technology is getting smarter. And that’s a good thing for consumers and retailers, alike. But it only works if we embrace it. Take the big smiley-faced elephant in the room as an example. Amazon has one-click buys on its website, as we all know. But now the behemoth e-tailer has one-click buy-me buttons. So how can SMBs compete when Amazon is everywhere? Beacons may be a smart start. Full Article
5) Not Standing Still: Foot Traffic Analytics Heat Up
Matt McCoy and Joe Scanlin have known each other since they were eight years old, but the real fun began when they dove into entrepreneurship at the ripe age of 15, knocking on doors to sell landscaping services to neighbors. This wasn’t your average lemonade-stand operation; they ran the business for seven years. “I like to say we were entrepreneurs and didn’t know it, but my co-founder did,” McCoy told us. They learned a lot about sustaining a business in those early years, and it paid off when they teamed up again to form one of today’s top 10 fastest growing Internet of Things (IoT) technology companies. Scanalytics measures human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors, and they’re on a roll. Full Article
In its State of the Custom App 2016 Report, FileMaker, Inc., an Apple subsidiary that delivers software for creating custom apps across iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web, found that businesses offering custom apps can boost ROI by 60 percent, reduce inefficiencies by 81 percent and increase productivity by 74 percent—largely because custom apps are specifically built for their unique operations and workflow. “Custom apps are definitely tangible for SMB retailers,” commented Ann Monroe, VP of marketing at FileMaker. “Consider that 82 percent of our survey participants built their apps internally, and 52 percent built them in less than three months.” We decided to go straight to the source, to a FileMaker customer who uses the platform to deliver on the promise of organic, sustainable meat and dairy products. Full Article
7) Charming Charlie Boosts Online Customer Experience, And Revenues
Launched in Houston in 2004 by 38-year old founder and CEO Charlie Chanaratsopon, Charming Charlie is known for merchandising products by color. In 2015, the chain looked to expand revenue growth through its burgeoning online business. Charming Charlie’s e-commerce site was built on the robust Magento Enterprise digital commerce platform to support the high transaction growth and scalability needed during its rapid expansion in online infrastructure. Charming Charlie turned to Magento solution partner Yottaa, a cloud platform for optimizing web and mobile applications, to optimize web experiences for its growing online shoppers. Full Article
8) Retailers Are Talking About Shoptalk
This year marks the first for a new ecommerce and retail event called Shoptalk, and it’s already generating plenty of buzz. Taking place May 15-18, 2016 in Las Vegas, Shoptalk has sparked the industry’s attention, mainly because of its founder and the event’s fresh format. Anil Aggarwal is a venture-backed tech veteran with five successful exits, including the 2012 sale of payments platform TxVia to Google (to fuel Google Wallet). The powerhouse behind Shoptalk, Aggarwal also founded Money20/20 just four short years ago, which has become the world’s largest payments event with over 10,000 attendees. Full Article
9) Endless Aisle Kiosks Skyrocket Sales
Endless aisle solutions can be tremendously effective in small-footprint stores in urban areas where floor space is at a premium. In its Manhattan location, Lowe’s installed a 32-inch HD interactive table allowing customers to browse inventory options not on the floor. “We wanted to show what we would have put in if we had one more aisle,” commented Jonathan Luster, VP, Lowe’s market concept and development. According to Tech.Co, savvy retailers are increasingly investing in “crossover content strategies” using in-store touchscreens, immersive POS displays, interactive help desks and other visually-engaging technologies to draw people in, merging the best of online and in-store experiences. Full Article
10) Delivering On Delivery
There are countless technology companies spending millions to help SMB retailers compete with the big guys. Even big-fish stores are treading water when it comes to apex predator Amazon circling below the surface of the retail sea. From the biggest whale to the smallest minnow, everyone is struggling with the “last mile” ecommerce dilemma—delivery—with Amazon being a thorn in the side of nearly every retailer on the planet. No matter the size or scale of delivery needed, one company has invested in an on-demand technology model that truly delivers on delivery. In my opinion, Deliv is one of the most significant disrupters in retail technology to date. Here’s why. Full Article
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