Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

Retailing in the Palm of Your Hand Bookmark

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Here's a revealing factoid from Bloomberg News: "Of the people who use social media, one in three makes a purchase every month through a platform such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Snapchat."

That's right; transactions initiated and completed all via smartphone. At least once a month. One out of three "social media users" (or, 33% of almost everybody?!) 

It's what some are calling "handheld retailing." 


It's a trend you may not like, but heads up, folks. It's a tsunami!

Here's why it matters. Since that is where the customers are going, so too are savvy retailers. 

• Some retailers are adding this channel to their existing operation; 

• Other retailers – aka, "disruptors" – are using it to launch and rapidly grow their low-overhead retail operations

Consider Anissa Kheloufi, a 21 year old who founded an apparel company (after tiring of law school). Now with a web store as well as boutiques in Casablanca and Paris, she reports revenues for her startup of nearly $40,000 a month. 

And note this: 90% of those revenues flow through Instagram!

How does this happen? Online marketplaces are hustling to make their platforms smartphone-friendly. 

Have you checked out these social media-friendly marketplaces recently? It's definitely worth it to spend some time on sites such as Shopify or Tictail. See how easy they make it appear to launch your own shop.

As Bloomberg News notes, "Ultimately, social shopping platforms are bulldozing yet another of retail’s barriers to entry."

And they don't stop there. "We knew there were several platforms out there already, but our idea is an evolution of the e-commerce concept," says  Carl Waldekranz, co-founder of Tictail. "We don't focus on just starting a store, but on its first six months -- how to get traffic, follow up with old customers and give out deals."

Here's What This Really Means

"Handheld retail" meets "handholding of retailers." 

Pretty remarkable. One more example of our oft-stated view: "Retail is a mirror of society."

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About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"