The past two years have been filled with challenges ranging from the global pandemic to the container crisis and staff shortages. But as we head into the holiday season, there are points of light that should help keep us hopeful.  Here are a few: In June, the National Retail Federation revised its annual forecast for… Read More

Forbes magazine describes shippageddon as a term from late 2020 “describing a conflation of global supply chain issues that led many brands and retailers to be under-stocked or otherwise unable to fulfill customer demand for purchases last year.” The container crisis, which I wrote about in this blog in early April of this year, is just… Read More

As if it wasn’t enough for small business owners to be dealing with the second year of a pandemic – now shops in many states are being hit by natural disasters ranging from flooding to fire and smoke. These events, caused by environmental factors such as storms, floods, and droughts, are becoming more common thanks to… Read More

“You’ve already paid for the services that the SBDC offers through your taxes,” Michelle Somes-Booher, Director of the Wisconsin SBDC, pointed out during a recent Zoom meeting. “I encourage you to take advantage of them!” The SBDC, or Small Business Development Center, is run in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). America’s SBDC… Read More

The pandemic has brought home a fact that many of us already knew – the majority of independent retailers (employees and owners alike) do not have access to the type of paid family and medical leave common in many European countries. This means that someone with a serious illness may not be able to afford… Read More

I wrote about the idea of Buy Online, Pickup in Store pre-pandemic, when this concept didn’t have much practical appeal for the majority of independent retailers. Brick and mortar stores just weren’t set up to have customers make a purchase on their website and then come in the store to pick it up.  But many… Read More

We are all ready for a return to robust in-person shopping – but the most recent news about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is making it doubtful that we’ve beaten the pandemic yet. According the George Anderson on RetailWire, “while the Delta variant hasn’t resulted in any mass shifts in shopping behavior at… Read More

The TikTok social media platform has been around since 2016, but it really seems to have come into its own during the pandemic. There are now some 800 million users worldwide who spend an average of almost an hour a day creating or watching TikTok’s 15 second self-made music videos (BusinessofApps).  TikTok is now the… Read More

First came SaaS, which stands for software-as-a-service, which allows companies to use software made available by a provider via the cloud. You may have already been using this type of platform for email marketing, bookkeeping, payroll processing, or database management.   The concept of RaaS, or retail-as-a-service, may be a little more challenging to grasp.… Read More

The competition among e-commerce wholesale platforms is heating up – and no wonder, with the growth rate of B2B sales online predicted to reach a double-digit figure in trillions of dollars in 2024.  These sites are changing the way some buying is done in our industry, posing a threat to sales agencies, trade shows, permanent marts and… Read More