Many U.S. stores will close forever. That’s a good thing

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The U.S. has way more retail space than it needs—an estimated 23 square feet per person, compared to the U.K.’s 5. COVID-19 could accelerate development of the types of spaces Americans actually need. In a global ranking of real estate per person, the United States is No. 1, and not in a good way. The consultancy PwC did an analysis last year of per capita leasable shopping center space in countries around the world. For places like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan, average retail space was less than 5 square feet per person. In the U.S., that number is more than 23. Read Full Story

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How a nature documentary inspired a cutting-edge design that shrinks massive warehouses into the space of an office building

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Attabotics uses robots to fetch products quicker, and in smaller spaces. Automation company Attabotics shrinks the typical sprawling warehouse into compact, vertical units, using robots to ferry items from shelves to box packers. “I asked myself, What [layout] would be ideal for a robot, not a person?” says cofounder and CEO Scott Gravelle. Attabotics’s system is in six locations across North America, including food and beverage and medical supply facilities; in 2019, the company announced a partnership with Nordstrom to build a 340,000-square-foot warehouse, down from the company’s typical 1.5 million (or more) square feet. The intent, Gravelle says, is to put fulfillment centers in smaller spaces, closer to customers, while easing the burden on workers and reducing commerce’s carbon footprint. Read Full Story

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Best Free Web Hosting

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. You want a quick and easy way to start a website yet have no clue how web hosting works. Or perhaps you know how it works but don’t have the budget or urgency to invest in one. The good news is you can get a website up and running without spending a dime. The bad news is also the fact that it’s free. Free web hosting enables you to set up a website with a few clicks, but don’t expect anything fancy. Ads, a cap on how much traffic you can get, sudden downtimes, and little to no customer support are just some of the trade-offs that come with using a free host. However, free web hosting does have the same security, bandwidth, and port speed as most paid …

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How to Make ‘Buy Online, Pick Up in Store’ (BOPUS) Work for Your Digital Brand

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The BOPUS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) has been attracting hype for both retailers and customers, and this trend is expected to stay. BOPUS lets retailers leverage omnichannel experiences to boost online and in-store profits when done well. However, it requires synergy between online commerce channels and physical retail to succeed. What are the advantages of the buy online, pick up in-store strategy, and how can retailers deliver? Here are some tips to consider. What Is Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPUS)? BOPUS stands for Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store. It is sometimes also shortened to BOPIS. True to its name, it gives shoppers the option to order items online and pick them up in-store. Here’s how the process works: Customers place the order: Shoppers purchase goods online through the retailer’s mobile app or website. On the checkout landing page, customers can choose the date, time, and pickup location. Retailer …

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What the holiday shopping season will look like in 2020

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30-second summary: Shoppers aren’t planning to significantly change how much they spend this holiday season compared with 2019. Many more people are planning to make their holiday purchases online versus in stores, where the fear of catching COVID-19 is still keeping shoppers away. While saving money remains a top priority for consumers, the contraction in consumer spending that occurred in April rebounded in May and June. Black Friday is moving online, converging with Cyber Monday to make the overall holiday shopping season for 2020 a very virtual one. Retailers can prepare for holiday shoppers by looking at behavior from the recent back-to-school shopping season. Sprout Social found that consumers and brands interacted much more on social media than pre-pandemic, dominated by social conversations focused on COVID-19. Retailers can prepare for the upcoming influx of virtual shoppers by focusing on personalization, polishing their messaging, understanding what platforms consumers use to communicate …

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Best POS Systems

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Some years ago, POS systems were a luxury reserved for only big enterprise businesses. Thankfully, not anymore. Today, there’s an abundance of options to go round for companies of all sizes. But, with too many options came a new challenge: Choosing the best POS system that’s right for your business is now an uphill battle. It’s why we created this guide to help you make a better and more effective decision. Our team has done the heavy lifting of reviewing dozens of POS systems in the market. We’ve also done the pricing, features, and critical support comparisons to determine what POS system is best for what. So, irrespective of your small business type – retail, restaurant, franchise, online store, etc., you’ll find the best POS system that’s right for your company below. The Top 5 POS Systems For Small Business Owners Square POS (our overall best) Shopify POS (best for …

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Best Ecommerce Website Builder

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Every great online store starts from the same place—with an ecommerce website builder. These tools make it easy for anyone to launch an ecommerce business by building a website from scratch. So if you’re interested in selling products or services on the web, you’ll need to find an ecommerce builder to create your online store. But as you’ll soon discover, ecommerce website builders come in all different shapes in sizes. Which one is the best? Continue below to view my buying guide and top recommendations. The Top 7 Options For Ecommerce Website Builders Shopify Wix BigCommerce Squarespace 3DCart Square Online WooCommerce How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Website Builder For You Before you start searching for different ecommerce site builders, you must understand how to evaluate these options. There …

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Best Cloud Storage Services

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. A decade ago, clouds were white puffy things we pointed at in the sky. Today, I suppose that’s still true. But “the cloud” means something completely different. It started as a buzzword, but now, it’s not uncommon to hear it in an afternoon conversation over coffee. In fact, it’s an incredibly common occurrence in our everyday lives. And it’s rise in popularity happened for a good reason—cloud storage is safe, affordable, and undoubtedly easy to use. Plus, it has countless uses, from backups and document archiving to team collaboration and file sharing. But choosing the best cloud storage services isn’t always easy, especially since there are so many options on the market. To make your decision a little easier, I looked at dozens of providers and narrowed it down …

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Key insights: COVID-19 continues to impact consumer behavior, marketing spend and the marketing mix

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30-second summary: According to Amperity COVID-19 Retail Monitor, who tracked consumer behavior across categories and channels from 100 North American retail brands, overall retail demand is down 90%. eMarketer’s data shows the best use of ad spend at the moment is PPC, followed by email marketing and regional advertising. Not surprisingly, a new report from streaming media intelligence provider Conviva – finds that streaming during the pandemic has climbed sharply (26%) in the U.S. Global Web Index found that – while almost 45% of global consumers are devoting more time to social media – over 10% are also creating and uploading videos themselves. 40% of organizations potentially spending more on software can also be an opportunity for ideally placed vendors to solidify themselves within the longer-term business trends caused by the immediate crisis. We have noticed that any of our articles that tackle the topic of coronavirus tend to have …

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The Marketer’s Guide to Gain Brand Mileage on Google Maps

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Are you a local business that serves customers at a physical address? Then you must snatch the golden opportunity to grab consumer attention with the ultimate local guide, on a mobile device including the iPhone and iPad as well as all Android device products. ⅓ of mobile searches are based on location. Overall, local searches are growing 50% faster than overall mobile searches. As of 2013, 70% of searchers used the “ click-to-call ” function directly from the search engine result pages (SERPs). Searches including the phrase “best place to buy” with the applicable product or service keyword grew by 70% between 2015 and 2018. “Near me” searches also rose by 500% in recent years. These include searches like “car dealerships near me” and “wedding dresses near me.” Google also realizes that your business is ‘special.’ And, it released an algorithmic update, in July, 2014, to favor local businesses for …

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What is a Retail Media Network?

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The marketing and advertising industry is a fast-paced industry. With technology evolving rapidly, people have found it more convenient to do their shopping and other transactions online. With digital interactions overtaking in-person activities, this shift in people’s lifestyles means one thing for businesses — they need to pivot fast. Failure to do so can only lead to losing customers. Enter retail media networks. What is a Retail Media Network? With more and more people shopping online, retail media just makes sense. But what exactly is a retail media network? A retail media network is when retailers set up an advertising platform on their website, app, or other digital platforms within their network. This allows the store, and other brands, to advertise to customers on sites like CVS or Walgreens. It’s a form of in-store advertising in a digital format. Here’s an example from CVS’s homepage. Notice the “sponsored” tag in …

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