Why employee digital contact trace could play a key role in retail’s reopening

To keep their customers and employees safe, U.S. retailers have placed safety first during the pandemic. Employers are reluctant to ask their employees to be vaccinated because of the potential negative consequences and resistance from employees who cannot or won’t get vaccines.

Looking further down the road, it seems impossible to imagine a world without COVID-19. Some have called this “COVID Zero”. Retailers are trying to motivate employees to get vaccinated as a way to jump-start the economy and increase productivity. While many are still unsure whether or not to mandate vaccinations, there is more that they can and should do to ensure their employees’ safety over the long-term.

Retailers’ Investing in Contact Tracing, Despite Limitations

Retailers are increasingly turning to contact tracing technology to increase customer and worker confidence during a reopening.

It is not easy to implement digital contact tracing in a retail environment. Although it might seem like a great solution to trace both in-store shoppers and employees, it is not possible due to tech limitations. One, contact tracing has not been able to take root since the pandemic. Secondly, public tracing attempts have failed because most public health programs rely on at least 60% of citizens opting into them.

For widespread contact tracing, there are many privacy concerns. For a successful customer trace in a retail environment, store owners will need to have the contact and health information of shoppers at the minimum — something many consumers won’t want to share.

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Employee-Focused Solutions Still One of the Few Realistic and Realistic Contact Tracing Apps

Retailers need to be realistic about the contact tracing solutions that they can implement effectively and efficiently this far into the pandemic. An employee-focused digital contact trace program is one option.

This is what you should consider: An average number of 41 employees works in one grocery store. There are many more at larger chains. Part-time workers are also available with flexible, four-to six-hour shifts. They can move around the store in different departments. This results in a lot of overlap and touchpoints among different employee groups, which puts the entire staff at risk. Some retailers were forced to close down their stores after one of their employees tested positive for COVID. This is a devastating blow to retailers who are already struggling to make ends meet in the midst of a pandemic.

Digital contact tracing can help retailers reduce the risk of COVID-19. It is similar to masks, social distancing and good hygiene practices. This solution allows you to quickly determine who was exposed, without having to remove large numbers of people from the schedule or shut down all operations. Managers can determine who and how long they need to quarantine.

Employers can quickly trace employees using digital contact tracing tools, while keeping their anonymity. These tools are designed with privacy in mind.

Contract Tracing is More Than Just an Investment in Safety. It’s also a way to foster corporate culture

According to the most recent Pulse Survey by PwC, 43% of chief human resources officers are ready to work in a post COVID-19 world. They place a high priority on corporate values that help to maintain or improve their culture.

Although contract tracing may be seen by many retailers as an investment in employee safety and a way to show that a company is living its values, it can also serve to demonstrate how a company cares about its workers. A company’s investment in contract tracing along with other safety and health measures sends a clear message that it stands behind its workers, which can help to strengthen its corporate culture.

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Looking Forward

The future is uncertain. Retailers can either expect COVID to magically disappear or make investments in employee safety using tools such as digital contact tracing to protect their workers and keep their doors open.

Source; https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/why-employee-digital-contact-tracing-could-play-a-key-role-in-retails-reopening/

What COVID-19 Means for Brands: How COVID-19 Accelerates Retail’s Transformation

It’s not surprising that people yearn for physical contact after a year of social isolation, Zoom calls, and quarantines. According to Kantar’s COVID-19 barometer, 25% of online shoppers feel that shopping online is less rewarding than going to a brick-and mortar store.

The brands that succeed will offer a new type of retail experience than those we experienced before COVID. They will understand that e-commerce isn’t going away, even though there is a lot of demand for in-person shopping. Here are some things we can expect.

Intentional “Reopening” Strategies

Many are excited about the new year 2021. The country is seeing a surge in vaccine distribution, states are easing COVID-related restrictions and people are eager to start living again. This is a good time for retailers to take stock, make changes, and launch “reopening” strategies. Even if they were closed during the pandemic, this will signal to customers and employees that they are committed to safe and engaging experiences and are eager to see what’s ahead. This could include using purposeful messaging, introducing new capabilities and digital interfaces in-store and training employees to provide exceptional service and personal support to customers so they feel valued and energized.

Take Advantage of the Unique Advantages Of Brick-and-Mortar

The pandemic has made online shopping more accessible for people. McKinsey Research found that 60% of pandemic shoppers tried new behaviors during the period. They plan to continue doing so after the crisis. Why would someone leave their home to shop in person when they can do it from the comfort of their couch? Brands that did well in the last year’s pandemic were those that addressed that question before it was too late. Glossier opened its very first retail location back in 2016. This allowed shoppers to try and purchase products online, and take photos against the “Instagrammable” backdrop. (Glossier closed its retail locations in response to the pandemic. However, it’s ” currently reimagining the future for in-person experiences.“) Levi’s opened its first NextGen store in 2016, allowing customers to take selfies against the “Instagrammable” background. You should try on a pair of jeans before you make a custom order. Levi’s created an incentive for customers to visit the store.

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Data-Driven Decision Making, Digital Everything

Although category leaders had already developed data-driven strategies, the pandemic prompted retailers to implement systems for understanding, collecting and activating customer data. Brands will become more deliberate about how they market, using data to identify where and how they connect with customers and what they should promote. They will connect customers’ offline and online behavior, and provide store representatives with easy access to customer profiles. They will also be using digital signage to allow retailers to update local messaging. For example, Levi’s NextGen stores use digital signage to inform customers about available sizes and fits. There are also more “phygital” experiences that combine digital and physical elements such as Love Bonito’s AR-enabled walkway in its Singapore store and Nike activation inside-store activation , which simulates an outdoor expedition with guests’ smartphones, AR, and QR codes.

Channel is the Customer

We saw how rapidly shopping habits can change after the pandemic. Retailers must be flexible and put the customer first in everything they do. Because they are convenient and safe, curbside pickup or buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS), options will not be discontinued. Customers expect retailers to seamlessly transition from the online to the offline world, just as they expect them to. Look out for an increase in flexibility and a greater emphasis on omnichannel, cohesive strategies.

Spring is a time for new beginnings and new possibilities. This is an opportunity for brands to connect with customers in new and innovative ways.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/how-covid-19-is-accelerating-retails-transformation-and-what-that-means-for-brands/

Avoid Sticker shock: The true cost of running an Ecommerce website

You have two options to create an online store: either hire a web developer or an ecommerce site builder. Your online store’s cost will depend on the method you choose.

If you use a web developer company, however, adding photos or videos to your store is free.

Ecommerce website builders are often the cheapest way to create an online store. Although free and open-source platforms can be attractive, you will need to pay for hosting, themes, plugins, as well as support from a developer in case you have special needs. This could increase your overall cost.

The best ecommerce website builders for:

Ecommerce website builders cost between $29 and $299 per month depending on whether you have retail stores.

For new stores, however, the average monthly price for an ecommerce website will be $29, plus any sweat equity.

Factors that impact the cost of an ecommerce website


Prices for website hosting can vary. Prices start at $2.49 per monthly and go up to $1,000. Cost depends on many factors such as the traffic to your store and additional services such as backups.

Hosting is essential for any website to be able to store its files. domain is also required. This is your digital home for your online store.

Two types of hosting are commonly used by ecommerce companies:

Hosting SaaS ecommerce platform

Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify don’t require you to manage or install a domain. All you need is included with your monthly subscription fee.

Shopify plans include secure hosting.

  • Unlimited bandwidth so you don’t have to pay more if your traffic grows
  • Level 1 PCI compliance to keep customer data safe
  • Get the most recent features from with lightning fast servers and immediate updates
  • SSL certificate is required to protect customers from fraud and build trust.
  • Unlimited email forwarding

Only one thing you will need to do is purchase and register a domain. You can quickly start your ecommerce store by searching for available domains using Shopify’s domain name generator.


Prices start at $11 per annum, but can go up to $81 per annum depending on which top level domain is chosen.

Ecommerce website that you can self-host

WooCommerce, a plugin for WordPress, and Magento are both free ecommerce site builders. To manage your files and buy a domain, you will need to create an account with a hosting company.

There are some costs involved in self-hosting your site.

  • Hosting accounts start at $7.99 per Month
  • Domain names can be as low as $14.99 per annum
  • A SSL certificate costs $69 per annum

Bluehost, one of the most popular web hosts, offers a $2.75 per-month service that includes a domain name and an SSL certificate.

One drawback to this is the fact that your ecommerce store will grow and you will need to upgrade your hosting plan in order to manage increased traffic.

Self-hosting is a good option if you have a large website. It can run you anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 per monthly.

Hosting cost estimates:

  • Hosting as a SaaS: Starting at $29 per Month with Unlimited Hosting
  • Self-hosted Between $2.75 and 2K per month with incremental improvements


Payment processing

A payment processor is a company responsible for managing transactions so that shoppers can purchase your products. A payment processor is required for every ecommerce shop to accept payments via credit cards, debit cards, or other smart pay options.

The plan you choose for your ecommerce platform will determine the payment processing cost. The Shopify Basic plan charges 2.9% + $.30 per transaction for online credit card payments. Advanced Shopify plans have a 2.4% fee. The fee for payments made in person is lower due to lower fraud risk.


Shopify Payments is included with every Shopify plan. This allows you to start selling immediately. Shopify Payments is enabled once you accept credit cards as well as other payment options like Shop Pay and Apple Pay.


Customers can use ShopPay to make it simple to shop with a saved payment and shipping information. Shop Pay is used by more than 20% of shoppers.

Shop Pay checkouts have an average checkout-to order rate of 1.72x, according to our data.


LIVELY, a women’s lingerie brand, saw its average order value (AOV), increase by 6 after adding Shop Pay to their checkout options. This was compared with customers who used other payment methods. Shop Pay customers bought 35% more than customers who did not use Shop Pay.

Costs for web and brand design

Did you know it takes only 50 milliseconds (0.05 second) for someone’s opinion to form about your website? Shoppers buy based upon trust. Your branding can help to build that trust immediately.

Shopify and other ecommerce platforms offer templates that you can easily apply to your website. These templates are quick and easy to set up. Shopify Themes include tools that allow you to modify the layout, color, and style.

These templates include everything you need for starting your store.

  • Homepage
  • Product pages
  • Shopping cart
  • Visit the checkout page
  • FAQ
  • About pages

Shopify themes provide over 100 themes for free and paid to help you choose the right theme for your store. Themes can be based on large inventory, video and 3D products as well as minimalist styles, lively and fun.


The cost of themes can range from $180 to zero depending on which one you choose.

Shopify allows you to personalize your checkout. This gives you the ability to create an experience that customers will love and feel confident about keeping their payment and personal information safe. Customers feel that the site will take care of them.

John Hart, Ecommerce Manager at Peepers

Prices will vary depending on the services you require. For a custom job, OuterBox can charge up to $100,000. Depending on the scope of work, other Shopify agencies may charge between $5,000 and $20,000.

Your best bet? Shopify’s Experts Marketplace is a great place to start if you are looking for custom development or design work. There are agencies and freelancers that offer custom theme development. Prices start at $550.

Learn more:

Add-ons and extensions

It is almost impossible to have one software that meets all the requirements of every ecommerce company. You will likely want to add some features to your website.

To extend your store’s ecommerce functionality, the best eCommerce software allows you to add applications. You can choose to pay for some or all of them, which may increase the cost of setting up your online store.

The Shopify App store has over 3200 apps, plus many free Shopify app. There’s an app to help you add email marketing, social proof to your store or improve search engine optimization (SEO).


Paid apps come at a different price. Many apps are available as a monthly subscription. Private apps can be added to your store. These apps are stored on another server. However, you can generate Shopify API keys that will grant the app access permissions.

It is possible to spend upwards of $5,000 on custom apps depending on the experience and rates of your developer.


Costs for businesses

Budget is an important consideration. Although you can launch an ecommerce site for as low as $100, it’s likely that you will need to spend more to get your business going.

Our latest research shows that small business owners spend an average of $40,000 their first year. 9% of this is spent on online business needs. Shopify merchants spend on average $38,000 while non-Shopify merchants are at $41,000.


Online businesses can take time to make a profit. You need an ecommerce platform that doesn’t cost too much and provides the tools to help you succeed.

Be present in your business and then think about the future. Find an ecommerce platform to help you get there.

Get started building your ecommerce website today

The cost of an ecommerce site is not too expensive, as you can see. You’ll only need $29 per month to open an online shop with Shopify after you have purchased a domain. You can increase the cost if you add extra features or pay for apps.

Shopify allows you to choose how much money you wish to spend upfront. This will allow you to build a successful and profitable ecommerce website.

Macy’s Restores Associates’ Commission for In-Store Sales of Mobile Apps

Macy’s can’t offer its Scan and Pay app to purchase from departments where employees earn commissions. Instead, Macy’s must reimburse such commissions. According to the ruling, this determination applies to three collective bargaining arrangements between Macy’s employees and Macy’s at stores in Boston and other New England areas. Macy’s was found guilty of violating the rights and obligations of New England workers. The company was ordered by the ruling to pay back all employees who were unable to earn commissions through Macy’s App. Macy’s must also exclude all commissioned departments from its app. This means that any products purchased from these departments must be rung-up by an employee at a register.

In September 2018, just a few months after Macy’s launched the “Scan andPay” app, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union filed a complaint against Macy’s. Sixty-six employees from six stores in Boston and Rhode Island filed the grievance. The case was then heard by an independent arbitrator in Dec 2020. Arbitrator determined that Macy’s Scan & Pay did not require customers to pay cash at the register. This allowed the arbitrator to bypass the traditional method of identifying employees eligible for commissions. The arbitrator concluded that workers were not entitled to the commissions they would have earned if the transaction had been made at a cash register by using the Macy’s Scan and Pay app.

Total Retail’s View: As retailers offer more shopping options and payment channels, customers and associates have become more confused about online and in-person shopping. These new payment options are starting to have an impact on retail employees who earn commission. What happens if a customer uses the retailer’s app for payment? If so, does the worker receive the commission according to rules that apply to checkouts in commissioned and non-commissioned areas of a store? Macy’s and UFCW answered this differently, with Macy’s coming out on top.

Marc Perrone, UFCW International President, stated that today’s win for Macy’s workers sends a strong message to CEOs in the industry that companies can’t use mobile apps to force a backdoor cut on workers. The decision found that Macy’s department store chain had violated all UFCW 1445 Macy’s collective bargaining agreements by adopting a new payment model in-store that changed the parties’ practices in accounting for and tracking in-store sales, as well earning commission credit. Perrone also demanded that the company ensure that all stores in Massachusetts and nationwide comply with this ruling and stop using its Scan and Pay app as a way to deny workers the compensation they are entitled to for the service provided.

Macy’s legal and digital teams didn’t consider this aspect before implementation. However, unionized workers were not going to let their in-store sales efforts go unpaid. This is a warning to other retailers that they should evaluate their mobile app payment methods in-store if associates are paid commission.

See also:







Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/macys-ordered-to-restore-associates-commission-for-in-store-mobile-app-sales/

J.C. Penney Reduces 650 Jobs and Reducing Associate Count to About 50,000.

Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group, J.C. Penney’s new owners, announced last week that they had reduced the corporate staff of over 3,500 by approximately 100 people. Field operations were also reduced by 550 employees. J.C. Penney had 84,000 employees when it filed for bankruptcy protection May 2020. At that time, 846 stores were in operation. Since then, 156 stores were closed and another 18 are scheduled to close on May 16. Numerous distribution centers have also been shuttered. Around 34,000 employees have lost their jobs. According to the new management, the company is now smaller and better structured to meet strategic priorities.

Total Retail’s View: It will be fascinating to see how J.C. Penney, and other department stores, such as Macy’s or Kohl’s, recover from the COVID-19 outbreak and the disruptions it has caused their businesses. J.C. Penney, like others, is trying to position its businesses for the “new normal” in retail. J.C. Penney has had to tighten its belt by closing down underperforming stores and cutting back on employee headcount. The iconic retailer will continue to make changes such as strengthening its digital presence and equipping its stores for curbside pickup and increased BOPIS. Will it also provide a variety of brands that will attract customers back into its stores? These questions will have a major impact on J.C. Penney’s future viability.

Learn more:

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/j-c-penney-cuts-650-jobs-reducing-associate-count-to-about-50000/

Target will add more than 100 Disney Shops in Stores

Target stated it will nearly triple the number Disney shops in its stores by the end-of-2019 to increase foot traffic during the holiday season. The 1,900-store national retailer opened select Disney shops in selected locations in 2019. Target will now have more than 160 Target locations selling Disney-themed merchandise in its mini Disney shops. Target stated that it will expand its dedicated online Disney experience to fans who are looking for toys and games from the most popular properties.

Target announced that it will partner with FAO Schwarz, a well-known toy retailer, for the second consecutive year. It will feature a 70-piece exclusive toy collection from FAO Schwarz, which includes Paw Patrol and Barbie items. The shop will have a pop up shop in the FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York City.

Total Retail’s View:Target expands its Disney shops ahead of the holiday season which is a crucial time for toys sales. Target is investing more in the product vertical, which is not surprising. Target has seen Toys grow in the last quarter. Target’s second quarter ended July 31. Target is not the only retailer anticipating a surge in toy shoppers over the holiday season. Macy’s announced last Wednesday that it signed a deal to open stores inside more than 400 locations of the department store chain and online. Macy’s now offers a wider selection of Toys R Us merchandise.

Learn more:

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/target-to-add-more-than-100-disney-shops-to-stores/

Is it possible to think smaller when it comes to big-box retail CX?

Big-box stores have been a magnet for foot traffic for decades. They offer convenience, selection, and savings. The shelves were stocked with trusted brands at a low price that only large-scale chains could offer. The stores provided a convenient retail environment that was not limited to urban areas. Shoppers would visit these stores weekly for groceries, household supplies, and other necessities. They also made it possible to browse the beauty, apparel, and home decor aisles.

Target is one of my clients. It’s a huge inventory allows for better cross-category marketing and customer experiences. The Target effect is a story about a man going into a store to buy deodorant and walking out with $200 in goods. It is almost impossible to not come across a new product while you are in a store.

This business model is extremely successful, but the past year has also provided opportunities for small and mid-sized stores. In rapidly changing environments, flexibility and adaptability are essential. Not all stores can handle the trial-and-error of new floor formats such as Target. Retailers can be unable to adapt and be flexible due to the high costs of staffing and lengthy lease agreements. Many big-box retailers are currently reassessing their retail formats. This could lead to a 20% decrease in retail real property inventory in the next five years.

The question is: Is retail becoming less big-box? Are there any opportunities for big-box retailers to embrace new trends and adapt to changing customer expectations (CX).






Rethinking Big-Box Retail Format

Although large-box retailers were essential during the pandemic, they remained open (leading to record profits but a distorted vision of brick-and mortar trends). But something else happened: Shoppers who had been reluctant to order online began to love it. In 2020, consumers spent $861.12 trillion on e-commerce in the United States. This was an increase of 44% year-over-year.

What does this all mean for big-box retail? Let’s get back to basics. Convenience was the first tentpole. This aspect of customer experience should not be lost if it doesn’t get too far. It’s about redefining what convenience means today. With so much consumer data available, you already have the answer. It is possible to see which products are being bought, their purchase dates, and the most frequently purchased items together.

Amazon.com is an e-commerce giant that leverages brick-and-mortar trends with its assortment of physical stores (Amazon 4 star, Amazon Go and Presented By Amazon). It was able to use the data to create new retail concepts that were convenient and attracted consumers to smaller stores. Lowe’s is also looking at smaller retail formats. It has Pro shops within its larger-footprint locations where professionals can shop for home improvements or order items online for pickup. It’s all about convenience and improving customer experience.

Big-box retailers will continue to develop their capabilities for key demographics. Understanding how to operate in a smaller footprint can open up new opportunities to bring smaller retail formats to urban locations (suburban locations if necessary). You can also be smaller in terms of your retail format and product offerings. This will allow you to quickly learn and fail fast to meet customer changing needs.

Although the future of retail is still uncertain, it will include large-box retailers. These stores may look slightly different. It is all about evaluating — or reconsidering — the potential benefits of the space for the customer and business. Are smaller front-of house spaces the future for retail stores? Or are there more back-of-house areas that can be used for fulfillment and delivery? Are 24-hour pickup points available in stores that don’t draw the same foot traffic? Ask questions, examine the data and consider all possibilities.






Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/is-thinking-smaller-the-answer-to-big-box-retail-cx/

How Retailers Can Blowout Back to School

It has been almost a year and a half since schools were closed across the country. Although there are many unknowns regarding the pandemic, families are trying to return to school in a way that is normal. Retailers are always busy at the beginning of school year.

We surveyed more than 23,000 students about their back-to school shopping plans as they prepare to return to the classroom. This was done to assist retailers and brands in navigating months of pandemic-related difficulties.

Omnichannel is here to stay

Online shopping has changed the way Americans shop for goods since the pandemic. While 92 percent of back-to school shoppers plan to shop in physical retail, 85 per cent will use their mobile devices to complement these shopping trips. They can compare prices and make purchases in the aisle. Retailers need to make sure that shoppers have access to mobile content, which is interactive and relevant. You can use QR codes to provide additional information such as size guides, lookbooks and nutritional facts. It is possible to make purchases and build loyalty by making content that can be accessed quickly at the point-of-discovery.

Are You Ready to Buy?

Back-to-school shopping is being undertaken by consumers with strong budgets. 42 percent of respondents reported that they planned to spend between $101 and $300 on items. These budgets will allow them to replenish supplies, as more than half (53%) of respondents) reported that they plan to spend between $101 and $300 on items this year. One-third of respondents increased their budgets because they needed new supplies (30%) and another third because they are returning to pre-pandemic buying habits (30%). They don’t know where they will spend this extra cash. Again, big-box retail wins. Nearly all (92%) of the 92 per cent of shoppers who intend to shop in-store for back-to school supplies will do so at big box stores. This surge in foot traffic should be anticipated by big-box retailers as well as their competitors.

Learn more:

Shoppers Still Need Safety Supplies

More than 60% of consumers plan to spend their back-to school budgets on apparel. This will be followed by technology (10%) and dorm furniture (4%) in order to make up the year that was spent in pajamas. Consumers will be looking for safety and health materials as well as necessities. Nearly all shoppers plan to include COVID-19 safety supplies in their shopping carts (90%) – whether they are hand sanitizer (79%), cleaning wipes (71%), masks (61%), paper products (55%%) or disposable cutlery (21%) Retailers can reduce stress and increase brand loyalty by making sure that the products they need to return to school are easily accessible.

Americans are preparing for whatever the new school year brings. Retailers must maintain their omnichannel efforts to best support customers during this crucial shopping season. They should also keep shelves stocked to accommodate larger budgets and pay close attention to what the consumers want in this back-to school season.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/what-retailers-need-to-know-to-blowout-back-to-school/

Saks Fifth Avenue Partner, WeWork Partner for Co-Working Spaces at Saks Stores

Hudson’s Bay Co. is the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue. It will convert portions of certain department stores into coworking spaces. The companies announced that this will happen at a time in which many employees are looking for remote work options. Hudson’s Bay Co. will open five co-working spaces, called SaksWorks, in the New York Tri-State region, which includes the Saks Fifth Avenue Flagship. To target remote workers, the luxury retailer will open additional office spaces. The first locations will open in September.

Total Retail’s Turn: This merger brings together two parties who have had better days. Saks has faced difficulties with closing stores and lower foot traffic due to the pandemic. WeWork has struggled with an increase in work-from-home, which has adversely affected its occupancy rates. Saks is happy with the deal, as it can use space it doesn’t currently use in its stores to generate additional revenue. This is especially important as its traditional business moves online.

HBC announced SaksWorks as the new business. HBC noted that SaksWorks “represents HBC’s next step in its renowned track record in unlocking value across its real property portfolio with its first foray in to incubated ventures.” Richard Baker, HBC Executive Chairman, noted that HBC was not a retailer, but a forward-thinking holding company at “the intersection of technology and real estate.”

Read more :






Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/saks-fifth-avenue-owner-wework-partner-for-co-working-spaces-in-saks-stores/

NRF: Record-breaking Back-to-School Shopping in 2021

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey, consumers plan to spend record amounts on school and college supplies. Students and their families will also return to classrooms this fall according to Prosper Insights & Analytics.

According to the NRF, families with children in elementary and high school will spend on average $848.90 for school supplies, $59 more than last school year. The record $37.1 billion in back-to school spending is expected, an increase of $33.9 billion from last year and a new high in the survey’s historical history. The average college student and their families will spend $1,200.32 per year, an increase of $141 compared to last year. More than half (80%) of this increase can be attributed to higher spending on electronics and dorm furniture. The record-breaking $71 billion is expected to be spent on back-to-college, an increase of $67.7 million in 2020.

About 43% of shoppers indicated that they would use stimulus money from the government to buy school supplies.

The survey found that more than half of college and K-12 shoppers had started shopping for items by early July. However, 76 percent of K-12 shoppers remained on waiting lists for school supplies earlier in the month.

Total Retail’s View: Another good news is that the NRF reported last week that retail sales experienced solid growth in June. They increased across all categories on a monthly and yearly basis, as the recovery from coronavirus continued. The NRF calculated retail sales, which excludes gasoline stations, automobile dealers and restaurants to concentrate on core retail, and showed that June’s retail sales were up 0.8 percent year-over-year and 12.1 percent unadjusted from May. This compares to a decrease of 1.9% month-overmonth and an increase of 16.5% year-overyear in May. Although the June increase was higher than economists expected, it followed a smaller than originally estimated May decline. After a surge in spending earlier in the year, spending slowed in spring. The June increase was a sign of an upturn in spending.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/nrf-back-to-school-shopping-to-reach-record-levels-in-2021/

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Prime Day: What it Taught Us About Supply Chain, Back to school, and Holidays

Managers of merchandise facilities are struggling to make ends meet this year due to labor shortages, a lack of shipping containers and low air freight capacity. This has resulted in major inventory backlogs at brick-and-mortar stores. These ripple effects are due to the pandemic that temporarily shut down factories around the globe.

This reality was a stark reminder of the U.S.’s biggest e-commerce platform. It was also supported by major retailers like Walmart, Kohl’s and Best Buy. Global shipping issues impacted small and medium-sized Amazon sellers who depend on international imports. Additionally, shipping costs rose and there was less product inventory, making deals less appealing than Prime Days in recent years.

All retailers should take the lessons from these early summer issues to be ready for Back to School season and holiday shopping season. This will maximize return on investment when vaccinated customers go back to stores. These are some lessons learned from Amazon Prime Day.

Data should be brought to the attention of the C-Suite

Retail executives should be interested in data about store operations if they haven’t. They must be focused on the use of data to predict and manage costs to maximize profits over the coming months. Data should be the key to in-store management, regardless of whether it’s maximising contractor value or documenting sanitation compliance.

Data intelligence can also help the C-suite make more money by making their stores more efficient. Multilocation brands can take this situation, where everything is more costly due to a blocked supply chain, as an opportunity to increase their ability to discover operational costs through digitized, precise, and data-driven systems.

Retail executives often ask their store managers for cost savings by reducing costs like returned products. Executives should be more attentive to back-office costs than treating them as an afterthought. Is it possible that we are overpaying the contractor who repairs our homes? Are there ways to cut down on energy consumption by avoiding wasteful practices? Is it really necessary to service our HVAC four times per year? These questions can be answered by retail executives using data and technology to uncover hidden costs that will help them make a bigger profit with their multilocation brands in the months ahead.

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Managers Need to Plan

We can see from this summer’s deals days that prices are rising, products are scarce, and help is difficult to find. Multilocation retailers must secure labor, parts and contractors as soon as possible.

Retailers need to plan ahead rather than being caught up in the eight ball. The skilled contractor they require right now is booked up for three weeks. Executives should send a memo containing this call to action, which will be seen by the head of realty, procurement director, and CFO.

Prime Day revealed that the global supply chain has not recovered from COVID-19’s reverberations. For the moment, retailers will be hurt by price increases and product shortages. Consumers will also likely spend less because everything, from chocolate boxes to bicycles, is more expensive this year.

The pandemic caused last year’s holiday and back-to school seasons to be unusual. The rest of 2021 is much more promising due to the return of normal activity by vaccinated people, but Prime Day taught us that retail executives must use data to help them plan ahead and to mitigate the impact of any lingering supply chain issues.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/what-prime-day-taught-us-about-the-supply-chain-back-to-school-and-the-holidays/

The Metaverse and Evolving User + Business Behaviours

The biggest behavioral shift in the last year has been the increase in time spent online and in virtual realms. This time is more important than ever. Since the 1980s, “gamers,” or “gamers,” have been creating “fake avatars” and spending their time in digital worlds. They also pursue miscellaneous tasks and accomplish non-game-like goals like designing a room in 2L (versus killing terrorists in Counter Strike). If they didn’t see it as a problem, a large portion of society considered such efforts strange, wasteful, or anti-social. Others saw it as an adult building a train set from their basement.

It is hard to imagine what could have done more to change this perception than COVID-19. Many of these skeptics have participated in and enjoyed virtual worlds and activities like Animal Crossing or Fortnite. They searched for things to do, attended events previously planned for the real-world, or spent time indoors with their children. This has not only de-stigmatized virtual life and “the Metaverse,” but may even lead to an additional generation participating in it.

It’s almost like ordering online groceries. Millions of people have been aware of this service for years, but they refused to use it because they believed that if they did not pick their groceries, they would be damaged, spoiled, or otherwise unacceptable. These customers believed that even if the apples were not bruised, it would be wrong. And there was no marketing or Net Promoters to change this. Many of these people have been forced to order grocery delivery since the Coronavirus. These customers are now finding that their groceries are good quality and easy to use. Some customers will return to shopping in person, but not always.

Developers will see higher revenues and more engagement, which in turn will lead to better products and investment. Two other important injections of “Metaverse revenue” have occurred in the last year. The first is rapid legitimization, and investment into pure virtual assets, mainly via cryptocurrencies or NFTs. The second is the investment of major talent and brands that are not gaming, such as Prada, Ford and Gucci, to cryptocurrencies and NFTs. This investment helps virtual platforms move away from the traditional focus on win, shoot kill, defeat and score. Instead, it allows them to diversify away form their historic focus on “game-like”, objective like win, kill, defeat and score, and instead towards more appealing activities like create, explore and identify, express themselves, collaborate, and socialize.

Learn more:

Many companies are shifting their technology pipelines and investments in support of the Metaverse. Hollywood is one example. They are shifting productions to real-time rendering solutions like Unity and Unreal, or creating their own engines, such as Disney’s Helios. This allows Hollywood to have greater creative flexibility, more efficient shooting times, and it also allows them to create “virtual backlots.” The House of Mouse has a virtual archive of digital assets, from Ancient Mandalore to Baby Yoda, Din Djarin’s Razor Crest to the city of Nevarro. While AutoCAD and other vertically-specific solutions are being replaced by Unreal and Unity, building operators, architects, and car companies are switching to Unity.

These shifts allow anything that was originally designed for the real-world, such as a Ford F150 or a vehicle used for one purpose like Moff Gideon’s light cruiser can be easily, cheaply, and seamlessly “to the Metaverse”, and can be infinitely reused and iterated upon. It is hard to underestimate the impact of this. Virtual content must be created for the Metaverse. However, this content can be expensive to produce and often does not have a short-term business case. It is possible for many of us to ride the Endor planet on Zwift. However, it is very expensive. It is possible to tailor it if Disney has made it. A further benefit is that Disney’s virtual Endor can be leveraged to increase quality.

The ongoing March of Open Asset Economies, and Sharing

Section VIII – I discussed the economic significance of being in a position to transfer assets, currencies, and items between virtual experiences. To this end, the entertainment industry continues to be driven by “economic gravity” towards greater openness.

This trend started with Fortnite. It was the first game where players could access, collect and use their in-game assets (e.g. Items, currencies, achievements, and progression data can be accessed on almost every computing platform worldwide, as well as through the respective online accounts/services. This privilege is available to all players without the need to pay.

Epic is able to do this, at least conceptually. The company’s lawsuit with Apple revealed that in order to launch cross-play/purchase/progression on PlayStation, Epic agreed to pay a sort of micro-transaction “true up” to the company in order to ensure that interconnection didn’t come at the expense of player spending.

While cross-play/purchase/progression is obviously good for the player and should therefore result in greater engagement and greater spending, it opens up the opportunity for revenue leakage for all participating platforms (in addition to weaker network effects, as discussed earlier). Most platforms’ business models are heavily dependent on a 25-30% fee to transact in-game. Sony appears to be concerned that users might use PlayStation more often than they purchase through PlayStation. Players would then have to compensate a competitor platform for goods they use on Sony’s. A player might play on their PlayStation 4 25% of the day and their Nintendo Switch 25%. However, 40% of their purchases are made on the Nintendo Switch, which would result in a loss of 15% of PlayStation’s gross revenues. Epic doubles the amount for “underlapped” transactions to avoid this. It would then pay 25% to both Sony and Nintendo for this 15%.

It’s not clear whether this payment structure is still in place today — close to three years after Sony embraced cross-play/purchase/progression for Fortnite. Fortnite is still cross-platform compatible with PlayStation. Epic must therefore find that cross-platform functionality results in greater spending to compensate for margin compression. Sony has since unlocked this functionality in many other titles, and there have been no reports of comparable “true ups”. Sony believes that the structure has been removed and that cross-platform play leads to an increase in per-player spending that significantly exceeds any revenue leakage. Regardless, cross-play/purchase/progression is now a table stakes capability and any platform that revoked it would doubtlessly suffer user loss.

Cross-play and purchase are not the only options. This is also cross-IP interoperation. It is, however, philosophically crucial.

Virtual platforms such as Fortnite and Minecraft, and Roblox have become culture-driving social places. They’re now an integral part of consumer marketing, brand building, multi-media franchise experiences, and consumer marketing. Fortnite has produced experiences with the NFL and FIFA as well as Disney’s Marvel Comics and Star Wars and Alien, Warner Bros. DC Comics, Legendary’s John Wick, Microsoft’s Halo and Sony’s God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. Capcom’s Street Fighter and Hasbro’s G.I. Joe, Nike, Michael Jordan, Travis Scott and many more.

Brand owners have to accept something that they rarely allow in a marketing partnership or activation: unlimited-term licenses (players keep in-game outfits forever), overlapping marketing windows (some brand events occur days apart, or completely over), and no control over editorial. This means that you can now dress up as Neymar, while carrying a Baby Yoda backpack or Air Jordan backpack, Aquaman’s Trident in your hand, and exploring Stark Industries. These franchise owners want it to happen.

Source: https://www.matthewball.vc/all/userbehaviorsmetaverse

Solving the Apple Problem

Source: https://www.matthewball.vc/all/applemetaverse

Apple will likely make significant concessions over the next few years due to a combination of growing legal pressure and policy contradictions. Every single opening will result in new products, new companies, and possibly even a new main platform.

We must also acknowledge that the design principles that underpin iOS/App store platform are almost twenty years old. They were developed from a store selling songs and later simple apps. Despite the vast changes in the digital landscape over the past 20 years, including billions of Internet users, millions more digital-only businesses, and scores of new technologies and innovations, Apple’s principles have not been completely rewritten. The company’s concessions will be too complex, burdensome, and inadequate. We shouldn’t rely on voluntary concessions or slow-to-cook pressures, given the influence and importance of the iOS economy.

Apple is free to manage its own stores, set its standards and create services exclusive to its hardware. Apple’s forced bundling hardware, an operating system and distribution system, as well as payment solutions and services, creates problems. Apple’s forced bundling of hardware, an operating system, distribution system, payment solution and services is the problem. There is a simple remedy: Apple must compete in app distribution and payments. Specifically, regulators should demand that Apple:

  1. Allow iOS users to download apps directly from the software maker, as well from any other source.
  2. Third-party apps can be downloaded to iOS devices by iOS users
  3. Developers can use other payment options than those offered by Apple’s App Store whenever they wish and when it is available via Apple’s App Store

Even those who downloaded their apps only from Apple would still benefit from this partial unbundling. They could also continue to pay via Apple’s billing system for the apps whenever they were available. The App Store would have to compete directly for every app developer and user, and not win this business via iOS devices. It could also control the app store via iOS policies.

Learn more:

Apple could charge more to consumers or get higher fees from developers, but this doesn’t make it impossible. The Apple App Store, like all retailers, would have to earn their customers through their brand, curation and ease-of-use. They also need to be able earn suppliers (i.e. Developers) by the ability to increase their net sales net of store fees.

Apple would retain its near-hegemonic advantage, including its pre-installation of iOS devices, 13+ year headstart, world-class catalogue and, most importantly, unrivalled user loyalty. The company will likely follow the same software installation policy that it uses on its Macs, i.e. Users would be informed that it has not signed up for apps downloaded from the Mac App Store. This would allow it to maintain market share, and discourage a large portion of its users by suggesting alternatives.

If given the opportunity, developers could distribute and monetize their apps directly and/or through third-party stores. This would allow consumers to pay lower prices and maintain net revenues for developers, which could lead to higher unit sales. It would also allow developers to increase their gross profits at existing prices. Apple would be under pressure to reduce and standardize its store prices to retain developers and app users.

The ability to opt out of Apple’s App store would, in general, mean that Apple’s control of industry technology and standards would decrease. This would encourage Apple to show which of its limitations are really for “security”. Spotify, Prime Video and Game Pass will also be able match the gross margins for Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. This doesn’t seem to be a bad thing.

Although it may seem unfair, Apple must relax the controls that have allowed it to achieve unprecedented adoption and success. But the company’s unparalleled strength and problems caused by its controls are growing every day. Digital and virtual are the future of the global economy. Platforms that create value for users and developers, and give rise to new platforms, are the key to broad prosperity. Apple is not meeting these needs at the moment. Its defenses for the controls it requires are weak. They do not show that the policies it uses primarily benefit customers or that they outweigh any anti-competitive side effects.


Apple’s closed approach is the reason its products are so popular

Apple’s closed approach is the reason its products are so popular, but the sheer scale of their success makes it so difficult. iOS is the only closed, proprietary system that has a greater impact on daily life than iOS. Apple is now a de facto regulator of the internet, a single, for-profit entity that has enormous soft, hard and accidental power.

A mobile app is essential for large corporations around the globe. Sometimes, employees are restricted to these apps. An iOS app is essential due to iOS’s popularity, time and spend. An iOS app is a way to comply with all Apple policies and requirements.

Apple’s attack on Travis Kalanick-era Uber. Uber used fingerprinting to identify users and prevent fraud even after the app was deleted. A report in The New York Times claims that Kalanick stopped using this technique immediately after being threatened by Apple CEO Tim Cook. This isn’t a bad result. It’s rather remarkable that Apple brought Uber to heel after spending years flouting real-world regulations around the world, often actively campaigning against them, and mobilizing its users in support of them.

Apple’s upcoming changes in the Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA) are another example. This tool allows advertisers and app developers, to track and identify users using a unique device signet. It was created by Apple and allowed them to do so without any account information. Apple unilaterally announced that its IDFA solution would be changed from “opt out” in 2019 to “opt in” by 2021. The policy will have profound effects, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with it. As many as 70% to 90% of users will opt out when asked later in the year. This move is expected to decrease Google and Facebook’s 2021 revenues by $5 billion to $20 million. Importantly, Apple’s policy change was not prompted or influenced by any real-world law. It’s not clear that legislators have the ability or desire to make such a change. It is part of Apple’s new privacy initiatives, and distaste for advertising-targeting. Apple collects 0%, but significant portions of mobile app revenue from advertising.

Apple’s policies govern how apps can be designed and operated from iOS. Although developers may “fork” some of their apps to create an iOS edition and non-iOS editions, this is technically and financially impossible for most developers. The iOS ecosystem has become so successful and profitable that whole markets and technologies (e.g. Apple is the only company that accepts cloud gaming, 5G and AR. This means Apple has to decide how they are deployed.

Apple’s regulatory role often leads to widespread good. Apple’s efforts to stop excessive data collection and tracking are particularly admirable and worthy of praise. There are many secondary markets that can be accessed on top of iOS. These include streaming video and direct to consumer e-commerce.

Apple, however, has a financial interest in its regulation and makes decisions that clearly favor its interests over those of users and the ecosystem as a whole. These decisions are listed in Section 3. They include the technologies and standards that should exist, the monetization models to be used, the profits collected and which businesses will be built and which ones not. This power, often at Apple’s advantage, can limit or prevent the next generation of internet.

Learn more:

Chapter 3: The Harms of Apple’s Regulatory Power and Legislations

Although it is not necessary to see the dropdowns below, I highly recommend them. Click to expand

– A. Apple controls whether certain products/businesses have the ability to use an app

– A: Apple can and does support entire industries and business models

– C. Apple can, does and will destroy existing businesses and technologies with little to no notice

D: Apple’s policies lead to higher consumer prices and/or lower profits for developers

– E : Apple controls the monetization and results of applications unilaterally, and they are inconsistent and problematic

F: Apple’s policies often benefit its own services but harm those of its rivals

Chapter 4: Apple’s Inadequate Monopoly Defenses

Apple usually defends itself against monopoly allegations and its supposed damages using one of the following five arguments. Our standards for such claims must be high given Apple’s unprecedented control and policies. Apple must either show that its rules are consistent and primarily designed to benefit developers and users, or that developers and users can practically evade them. They can’t do both.

A: Developers and users can always leverage the “Open Web”.

Apple is correct in arguing that developers don’t need to create an app to reach iPhone users. They can instead create websites that are accessible through the iPhone’s Apple Safari browser or one created by a third-party like Google Chrome. Apple doesn’t review, approve or deny these websites and does not require payment through the App Store. This argument is misleading.

Websites are severely handicapped by the iPhone. Apps run faster and more efficiently because they use native device drivers. Web pages and web apps are slower and less efficient than apps.

The iPhone UX was designed to be used with apps, not websites. It is much easier to navigate, manage, and sort apps than browsing tabs. Even if you bookmark a site, progressive web app, or website to your homescreen, they will open in your browser and get lost or duplicated within tabs. Clearing your web history and cache, cookies, means that you log out of all browsers, but not your apps. This is a design choice. Other OSes were designed to support Web apps, such as Palm’s WebOS.

These are the two reasons why Netflix users prefer to download apps rather than access it via browser. Apple also tells developers that app-based businesses will be more profitable.

Apple’s App Store policy was changed to allow third-party browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox five years after the iPhone launched. Apple doesn’t allow alternative browsers. This was a superficial compromise. John Gruber, Apple expert, said that the iOS Chrome version “doesn’t use the Chrome rendering engine or JavaScript engines. The App Store rules prohibit this.” It’s the iOS version of [Safari] WebKit wrapped with Google’s browser UI.” Chrome on iOS is simply an iOS Safari variant that syncs to non-iOS Chrome accounts. Apple makes third-party browsers use older versions of WebKit, which are slower and less powerful than iOS Safari.

This means that Apple’s technical decisions regarding Safari will have an impact on the open web for iOS users. Safari does not support WebGL, which is a JavaScript API that allows complex browser-based 2D or 3D rendering using local processing. It also doesn’t require plug-ins. Safari doesn’t allow progressive web apps or websites to access background data sync and the camera (so no face-based logins. AR-experiences, light sensors usage, etc.). Access many BlueTooth functions and devices, pay with NFC etc. These capabilities are not available to web-based experiences in Safari, so they are strictly restricted to iPhone developers and owners.

These policies are designed to protect users. For example, allowing browsers unlimited access devices drivers and folders can pose a security risk. Many seem to be specifically designed to protect Apple’s App Store billing and App Store revenue, especially games which account for 75% of App Store revenues.

WebGL is one example. While it might not run as smoothly as device-specific code today’s iPhones are extremely powerful and can run a lot of WebGL games without crashing the user. Although battery life is still difficult, it’s not an issue when playing Call of Duty Mobile or PUBG anyway, both of which Apple promotes frequently in its App Store. Apple does not require developers to use the best tech or the most efficient code for its games. It’s just a policy that Apple enforces in this situation. Even if a user saves PWA to their homescreen manually, these web apps cannot send push notifications or perform background sync. Although this doesn’t protect the user, it does prohibit games that are heavily dependent on friend notifications. Apple’s block of rich WebGL has resulted in the App Store being the only place a developer can distribute premium games on iOS and the only way that an iOS user can access them.

While web-based NFC is being rejected, mobile payments can be made through App Store apps. Its security could be enhanced through secondary requirements (e.g. FaceID or thumbprint verification.

Apple can’t reasonably claim developers and users can use the open web freely. Apple distributes browsers, decides which standards and capabilities they offer, and determines how web apps can interact with the user. It is especially concerning given the restrictions it places on the “open internet”.

Let’s take Steve Jobs’ definition of openness.

Adobe claims Flash is open but the truth is that Flash is closed. Let me explain. Adobe Flash products are 100% proprietary. Adobe is the only company that can offer them. Adobe holds all rights to future enhancements, pricing, and other details. Although Adobe Flash products are widely accessible, it does not mean that they are free. They are managed entirely by Adobe and are only available from Adobe. Flash can be described as a closed system by almost all definitions.

The iPhone web, by almost all definitions, but Jobs’, is a closed system. The vast majority of US mobile internet is therefore “closed” and subject Apple’s decisions. This feels more like an addition to harm (Section 3) than a defense (Section 4).

B: Developers can flee to other devices and consumers can buy additional phones

iOS will continue to be the most dominant access route, passport, monetizer, and platform for digital life. Apple is the market leader in hardware and apps. It also has the largest app store. This is due to Apple’s success in the mobile phone market for over 15 years, and its consistent approach.

While consumers have the ability to buy other phones, it is difficult to envision a significant re-platforming. Android is the number two operating system. Google bought Motorola, one of the top OEMs, to be more competitive with Apple. It continues to produce its proprietary “iPhone killers”, but to limited success. It’s difficult to see what would convince iPhone users to switch to Android, or the mythical runner up to the runner-up.

The problem is in how a competitor smartphone can differentiate itself from the iPhone, given its large customer base. Android, or another mobile OS, could attempt to attract developers by offering better policies and permissions. There are very few companies that would abandon iOS, as it would leave behind almost all their users and 75% revenue. Google is known to prioritize iOS releases and builds of its apps over Android because it does not want to lose users of its iOS-based apps. It’s difficult to imagine developer decampment causing iOS to alter its policies or leading enough iPhone users (which can take hundreds of dollars and years) to switch platforms.

“Just buy an Android, even if you don’t like iOS”

3rd largest Android OEM in the US, LG, to close its loss-making smartphone business worldwide https://t.co/jPOk1W52yW

Source” https://www.matthewball.vc/all/applemetaverse

The Complete Guide to Shopify Thank You Page Optimization

Here’s the truth

You’re not making enough money if you use the Shopify standard thank you page.


Your thank-you page is an important page in your sales funnel. It’s currently converting at 0.

But, fortunately, you are here!

That’s great because you’re about find out how to turn your traditional thank you page into an income-generating, brand-building asset.

You can improve your customer relations, retention rate, and average order value by making a few tweaks.

That’s a promise you won’t get every single day.

Let’s not waste time!

What is a Shopify Thank You Page and how does it work?

Shopify’s thank you page, also known as the order confirmation webpage, is where customers go after they have placed their order.

Customers can view their order summary on the default Shopify thank-you page and check for shipping updates.

This is great, but the order confirmation page is still one of the most overlooked pages in eCommerce.

Why You Should Customize Your Shopify Thank You Pages

Your landing pages and product pages are the real stars when it comes to revenue.

Okay, this is a little harsh.

Their importance cannot be denied.

Despite its power, the humble thank you page is seldom given the credit it deserves.

Your thank you page is, in a nutshell, like the kid on your team who didn’t boast but came up with the idea to win you a championship.

This can be explained by four factors:

Are you looking to customize your Thank You Page?

Shopify’s most powerful and easy-to-use thank you page creator, ReConvert, is available now. ReConvert is helping more than 30,000 merchants make money with their thank-you page. Join them today!

Get a 30-Day Free Trial

1. It’s a Psychologically-Proven Conversion Power-house

Robert Cialdini, a psychologist, points out in his illustrious book “influence” that humans are more likely to act in the same way as our previous actions.

This means that every time you convert a customer in eCommerce, they are more likely to do so again.

This is where you’ll find me.

A customer who hits your thank you page converts on your store.

This means that they are more likely to accept any request you make and convert again.

Learn more:

2. 100% Offered Rate

Many eCommerce merchants offer targeted offers to customers via an email after purchase.

However, email open rate has been decreasing over the past three years.

You don’t have to fight tooth and nail for open rates between 25% and 26%. Why not present your post-purchase offers on your thank you page instead?

It is a simple idea that almost every customer will see.

Customers will often see the item multiple times (on average, 2.6 times) when they return to us for shipping updates.

The old saying is that more impressions equals more conversions.

3. Thank you Page Offers Don’t Distract Customers

Cross-sells are great.

However, introducing them too soon can leave customers feeling confused or like you are trying to fleece them.

This allows you to keep your buyer’s journey clear and minimizes the chance of losing the sale.

4. Massive ROI, Minimum Effort

Increasing revenue requires hours of planning, lots of testing, complicated schemes and a lot of capital.

However, customizing your Shopify thank-you page is easy because the thank you page exists already.

It is not possible to put it to work.

You only need a little bit of knowledge and the right tools to get started.

Let’s get started.

Are you looking to customize your Thank You Page?

Shopify’s most powerful and easy-to-use thank you page creator, ReConvert, is available now. ReConvert is helping more than 30,000 merchants make money with their thank-you page. Join them today!

Get a 30-Day Free Trial

7 Easy Tricks to Optimize Your Shopify Thank You Page

You have to wonder if you can afford to not customize thank-you pages when eCommerce giants like Amazon or eBay do it.

These are the top 10 best ways to optimize Shopify’s thank you page so that you get more sales.

1. Add Post Purchase Upsells & Cross-sells

It is becoming increasingly difficult to extract profit from every sale, as acquisition costs rise.

To increase your bottom line, encourage customers to spend more money (more frequently).

The best way to make customers spend more is to offer them something extra.

It’s a timely post-purchase offer, you guessed it.

Consider this: When a customer clicks on your Thank-You Page, it means they have just purchased from you.

They are as qualified as possible.

These customers have a 60%-70% higher chance of converting if they are nudged in the right context at the right moment.

Here’s an example:

You can see that they were able to generate nearly 27% of their total revenue through a post-purchase increase.

You’d be amazed at the extra revenue of PS12,700 ($17,000.500) per month for an offer that took only 30 minutes to setup.

The best part?

This is an additional PS12,700 that can be generated without spending any extra money.

It’s profit that is pure and unadulterated, even if you subtract the product cost.

Shopify allows you to add a variety of offers and techniques to your Shopify Thank You Page.

Forever21, for example, shows similar products to lure shoppers into making another purchase.

This tactic is also used by eCom giant Amazon

To increase conversions, add an incentive to your thank you page offer to boost conversions.

These are some ways to increase sales on Shopify’s Thank You Page

  • Discounts Recommendations to Shoppers: Get shoppers to shop again with a cash or % discount
  • Pop Ups: A compelling way to grab customers’ attention and get them to take action
  • Recommend Products: A less pushy way for customers to remind them about items that they haven’t used.
  • Time-sensitive Offers:Banish hesitation, increase conversions and add an element of scarcity

You can combine these strategies to increase your revenue and post-purchase offers.

The key takeaway: You can increase your average order value instantly and make more money by using post-purchase offers.

2. Encourage Social Engagement and Referrals

On average, customers spend 20%-30% more when they are associated with brands on social media.

This makes sense because when your brand appears on customers’ social media feeds repeatedly, it builds indirect rapport with them.

Many brands ask for a follow in post-purchase emails. But why wait?

Your order confirmation page is a great place to ask your customers to follow your social media accounts and keep them connected with your brand.

Check out Gymshark’s social follow widget. This ensures that they convert a percentage of their customers into followers.

You can add social sharing buttons to any order, in addition to building your following base.

This is a powerful strategy because customers are eager to show off their purchase. The more you make it easy for them, the greater your chances of reaching new customers.

Check out Warby Parker’s ease of sharing your order on social media.

Customers are great at sharing social media posts.

  • These people introduce your brand and products to potential customers that may not have otherwise known about you.
  • 92% consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than advertisements.

If you don’t encourage social engagement and sharing on your thank-you page, it is time to reevaluate why.

The key takeaway: Asking for shares and follows on your thank you page is a low commitment conversion request that can pay big rewards.

3. Reaffirm Your Brand Personality

It is said that the first impressions are everything.

Your thank-you page can be your first opportunity to establish a long-lasting relationship with your customer, and turn them into repeat customers.

The problem is that Shopify’s generic thank you page isn’t as memorable as a Tupperware lunch on Tuesday in February.

Shopify is used by so many merchants that your thank-you page may be just one of many customers have seen in the past week.

Don’t follow the crowd. Your thank you page can be customized with original copy, images and videos that appeals to your ideal buyer.

A thank-you page video can be a powerful way to express gratitude to customers for their membership. It will also help you build a relationship with them and bring you closer to them.

The Key Takeaway: Impress customers with a thank you page that’s full of your brand’s personality.

4. Take advantage of Post-Purchase Surveys

Dismally low response rates are a common problem with customer feedback requests.

You’ll find that they often reply within hours, if not days, after visiting your store.

These problems can be solved by a quick survey on your thank-you page.

  • If it is easy for customers to provide feedback, they are more likely to do so.
  • This feedback will likely be more accurate if the experience is still fresh in their mind.

To get more responses, Victoria’s Secret uses a thank-you page survey.

Surveys not only help customers feel heard, but accurate data can also be used to improve your shopping experience and increase conversions.

The Key Takeaway: You can use post-purchase surveys to improve your eCommerce store’s performance on your thank-you page.

5. Additional customer data can be collected

Post-purchase surveys can be used to improve your eCommerce marketing.

You can segment your audience by collecting customer information after purchase to deliver more relevant messages.

Segmentation can increase email open rates by 15%, and your customer return rate by as much as 5%.

Again, many brands deliver post-purchase surveys via email. This is possible.

A survey on the thank-you page will ensure that almost all customers see it. Therefore, you are more likely to get a decent number of responses.

Take Harry’s for example. They use surveys to get more information about customers, which allows them to offer more targeted offers.

A simple task like collecting customer birthdays can be very compelling when combined to an automated email marketing campaign which sends them offers on the special day.

The Key Takeaway: Use surveys to find out more about your customers after they convert.

6. Eliminate Buyers Remorse

Have you ever bought something only to feel guilty about it or regret it later? That’s buyer remorse.

Trust me, you are not the only one. 8 out of 10 respondents admit to feeling buyer’s regrets.

Buyer’s regret is when we subconsciously feel guilty about spending too much or wish we had bought something else.

Good news! Your thank you page can help ease these unpleasant feelings.

How do you do it? There are two ways to do it:

  • Instead of saying “thank you”, reinforce the benefits of your products and remind customers why they made the right choice.
  • To prove the quality of your products, and to dispel any doubts, use customer testimonials.

Social proof is a comforting balm that melts our uncertainties and makes us feel confident about our purchase.

When we feel satisfied with what we have bought, it’s more likely that we will repurchase it.

The Key Takeaway: Show new customers how much they love your products and reduce order cancellations.


7. Add Customer Service and Tracking

Have you ever bought something and your brain starts to produce 100 random questions as soon as the receipt is printed?

You’re so worried that you can’t even remember where it is, and suddenly, your mind races with worries like

  • “What should I do if it doesn’t fit?”
  • “How do I return it?”
  • How long does shipping take?

You need to provide support options for your thank-you page after a purchase frenzy.

Excellent customer service is one way to keep customers coming back.

It only makes sense to provide customer service as soon as the buyer has purchased from you.

Instead of forcing customers to find ways to contact you, provide support options and order tracking on your thank-you page.

Customers will appreciate the ease with which you make their problems solveable.

The Key Takeaway: Link to your contact and help center so customers can quickly get the help they need when an issue arises.

Shopify Thank you Page Final Thoughts

You can now see the benefits of creating a custom thank you page for Shopify.

It is important to be flexible, but not too much.

Your thank you page must be clear. It should include information about the payment success of your customer, their order details and their shipping status.

Do not overwhelm your customer with endless requests for engagement and over-the-top sales pitches.

It is important to strike a balance between converting more customers and not compromising the customer experience.

Focusing on adding value for your customers via your thank-you page, rather than just asking, will result in customers returning time and again.


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