INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors.
Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and
business strategies to help you succeed.
See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.
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10/14/2016 - Southern Hospitality at its Best: Smoky Mountain Gift Show
For fifty-one years the Smoky Mountain Gift Show has served the souvenir and gift market. On November 2-5, 2016 it will be returning to the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, TN.
02/05/2015 - Make Your Business Unique with Just Simply Uniques Fashion
The new line includes a variety of sizes and colors for all of their Popcorn, Crush, Ponchos, Dresses, Blouses and Micro Pleat Fashion pieces.
04/01/2013 - Order Fulfillment
In a retail environment where CUSTOMER loyalty is increasingly rare and CUSTOMER expectations are higher than ever, merchants should be constantly searching for ways to improve the way they do business. For a retailer or wholesaler who sells online, the struggle to provide excellent value and an ideal CUSTOMER experience without a physical presence can be difficult. The key to a successful ecommerce channel ultimately hinges on one important area-the warehouse.
03/01/2013 - Increasing Sales with CRM
CUSTOMER relationship management (CRM) is a top priority for many e-tailers this year, as CUSTOMER expectations regarding the online experience are at an all time high. In order to contend in the ecommerce arena, some e-tailers are turning to SERVICE providers to gain an edge on the competition. Below is an overview of four providers and the products and SERVICEs they offer to support online sellers.
03/01/2013 - SEO: Make Your Website Work
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important, and elusive, elements of an ecommerce website. It is important because of the impact organic search traffic can have on ROI, and it is elusive because search engines are always changing the rules. Still, there are a few core SEO principles that Google and other search engines recommend which should play an integral part in your online strategy.
03/01/2013 - Google Feeds Your Appetite for Success
When it comes to the recipe for Internet sales success, brand and product exposure are key ingredients, and organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) are just two ways of gaining publicity. A third, often overlooked, option for product awareness is the use of shopping comparison sites, such as Google Shopping, which is fed through the Google Merchant Center.
02/01/2013 - Video For Your Website - Tactics to Build Online Sales
Ten years ago, it was rare for online wholesalers and retailers to have video on their websites, and those that did incorporate it into their online marketing plans were considered innovative. Now, if you ask a room full of business owners if they have video on their websites, at least half will say yes, as it is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Today, it is how, not if, you use video that makes you stand out from the competition.
02/01/2013 - A Taste of Milk and Honey
Success as a vendor in the gift and jewelry business, to a large degree, depends on offering buyers fresh, fashionable products, as well as being able to shift and adapt your product line to the times. Glen Miller, president of Milk and Honey, Inc., has perfected a balance of those strategies, and offers classic products that are continually popular, as well as trending jewelry, accessories and giftware
02/01/2013 - Smart Surplus Goods for the Environment
Smart Surplus, Inc., launched in 2003, is a full SERVICE, worldwide liquidation and inventory management firm that provides a variety of strategic solutions to help CUSTOMERs with their inventory and warehousing needs. SERVICEs include remarketing and purchasing of excess inventory, refurbishing and disposal solutions, returns management, warehouse space consulting and customized reverse logistics programs.
01/01/2013 - Mobile Sales Drive Profits
Mobile payment apps are fast becoming a popular mode for web wholesalers and online retailers to generate more sales at offline venues, such as tradeshows and conventions. Various mobile payment platforms enable merchants to accept PayPal, cash, credit cards, invoice or checks, wherever they are, on the phone they already carry.
01/01/2013 - Transform Viewers into Buyers
Shoppable videos, those enhanced with attached or embedded links for direct-from-video purchase opportunities, is fast becoming popular with online sellers. This medium, the strength of which lies in telling stories, gets consumers excited by engaging multiple senses simultaneously, and turns this excitement into action by giving consumers the means to make a purchase on the spot. Video viewers simply point, click and buy, and then return to view their video.
01/01/2013 - New Year, New eCommerce System
Many online retailers just completed a "hair on fire" end to the 2012 holiday shopping season. Now that you can rest and take a four-hour vacation, it is time to start planning for 2013, and ensure that you have built your store on an ecommerce system worthy of your business. To see if your ecommerce platform passes the test, ask yourself the following questions:
12/01/2012 - Product Showcase - Hot Shades
Predicting the next hot look in sunglasses sometimes requires paying attention to celebrities, as consumers are influenced by the styles Hollywood starlets and heartthrobs sport in fashion magazines. As online wholesalers seek out the next big trend in eyewear, there are a few key themes that are expected to carry over from 2012 to 2013.
12/01/2012 - Gifts with Presence
Kheops International is a business propelled by genuine passion for the company's products. Nestled in the rural North Country of New Hampshire, the company dedicates itself to meaningful items that are off the beaten path in terms of design and function, and are intended to inspire end CUSTOMERs with their high quality and unusual characteristics.
12/01/2012 - Free Shipping Builds Profits
With 2012 winding down it is time to finalize plans for next year, and online sellers must not overlook the vital role that shipping plays in driving sales online. At some point during the buying cycle all shoppers ask, "How much does shipping cost?" and "How fast is the item shipped?" The answers to these questions play an important role in buying decisions, especially when all other comparison factors are consistent.
12/01/2012 - USPS Hike in 2013
The U.S. Postal SERVICE has announced it will raise postage rates on January 27, 2013, pending review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Priority Mail SERVICE will increase overall an average of 6.3 percent, and retail prices will increase an average of nine percent.
12/01/2012 - Popular Smartphone Apps
Smartphone users download entertainment and game apps more often than any other applications, with social media, finance and productivity apps also popular mobile downloads, according to a study by CUSTOMER SERVICE technology company Virtual Hold Technology (VHT).
11/01/2012 - Engage CUSTOMERs with Email
Chances are good that you have wondered about your communications strategy as an online wholesaler or retailer, and you may question whether you are communicating enough or too much. Think about how many times during the year, quarter or month a CUSTOMER needs you, or your products or SERVICEs, and let that be your guide to how often to reach out and touch your audience.
11/01/2012 - Inside Quick Response - QR Codes
Quick Response (QR) codes originated in Japan under Denso Corporation, a Toyota Motor Corporation subsidiary, and were intended to hasten the code reading process, while at the same time allowing for more data to be captured in a single scan. Their efficiency was harnessed to help track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process, but has now spread across every industry as a savvy square for sharp consumers.
11/01/2012 - Conquer eCommerce with Drop Shipping
As online shopping figures continue to swell, entrepreneurial opportunities follow suit, and with the help of reliable drop shippers, running a successful ecommerce or mcommerce business is more obtainable than ever.
11/01/2012 - Merling, Inc. / Licensed NFL Products
Merling Wholesale, also known as Merling Sports, is a distributor of licensed products covering the NFL, MLB, NCAA/College, NBA, NHL and other organizations. The company's huge assortment of products includes licensed blankets, wallets, decals, beach towels, candles, flags, umbrellas, banners, gloves, scarves and more.
11/01/2012 - Six Design Tips to Generate Sales
To be successful, ecommerce businesses need to build sites that are able to sell products. Sounds simple enough, yet, too often sites are designed based on improper knowledge of CUSTOMERs' wants and needs. In some cases, companies even let technology drive design efforts, and that is one of the worst things that can happen.
10/01/2012 - The Best Apps for Your Business
The slew of promises that comes with many mobile apps approaches productivity from every angle. As business owners find themselves becoming more and more mobile, the curiosity surrounding these collectible tools makes a visit to an iTunes or Android store feel like the grown up version of a trip to the candy shop. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android, with more being added by the minute.
10/01/2012 - Sterling Reduces B2B Credit Card Processing Fees
Sterling Buying Group (SBG) has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing industry veterans Howard Cooper and Kevin Schifrin, who have grown the company in excess of 40 percent annually. To Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is about taking care of those clients and making sure that CUSTOMER SERVICE is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.
10/01/2012 - FLOMO - New Valentines day product line
Seven is a lucky number at FLOMO, a manufacturer and distributor owned by Nygala Corp., with seven of its own factories in operation around the country. Started as a factory-based supplier in 1956, the company won seven national awards for excellence in 2011 and continues to uphold high quality standards.
10/01/2012 - Ecommerce Holiday Checklist
The holidays are quickly approaching and your business promos should have already begun. Keeping everything in check and making sure you leave no stone unturned can be a difficult task. To help you in that effort, here is a checklist of items you should consider while preparing for the holidays.
09/01/2012 - Ecommerce Essentials to Grow Your Business
Efficient ecommerce platforms are a vital part of Internet wholesalers' and retailers' businesses. They provide a variety of tools that automate web based sales, such as creation and maintenance of product catalogs, shopping cart SERVICEs, payment processing and order tracking.
09/01/2012 - Sterling Helps Reduce Costs
Sterling Buying Group has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing industry veterans who have grown the company in excess of 20 to 40 percent annually. To managing partner Howard Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is taking care of those clients and making sure that CUSTOMER SERVICE is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.
09/01/2012 - The TOPS of the Game
Plush cupcakes, skull shaped coin banks and metallic balls are more than just fun and games at Toy Network LLC. Those products are the latest stock fueling the company's success.
09/01/2012 - Wrap the Holidays in Fun, Flirty Accessories
Colorful, unique accessories make great holiday gifts, especially when they offer retailers outstanding profit margins. Some of the hottest new merchandise this season includes versatile hand cut scarves, shiny hair products and twinkling rhinestone jewelry, and jingle jangle hip scarves, all of which dress up anyone's bottom line.
09/01/2012 - The Sky's the Limit with Cloud Computing
Instagram, Groupon and LinkedIn are amazing success stories that serve different markets yet share a common link. Each was born in "The Cloud," a complex infrastructure that, in real time over the Internet, extends an online business's IT capabilities without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software.
09/01/2012 - 9 Lessons For Running an Ecommerce Business
If I have learned anything over the years while running ecommerce businesses, it is to plan for everything, and expect the unexpected. Growth requires adaptation, constant attention and change. "You reap what you sow," "garbage in, garbage out," and the list goes on.
08/01/2012 - Broadcast Your Brand with Video Marketing
Video marketing is a way to promote your products and SERVICEs through the use of video, either online, on DVD, at tradeshows or via other systems. It is an opportunity for you to put your face and voice out there with the rest of your marketing messages.
08/01/2012 - Scents That Sell
Veneto Wholesale Inc. specializes in manufacturing luxury renditions of popular designer fragrances. For those in search of the Chanel impact without the price punch, Veneto Wholesale is a reliable source for discount aromatic products. From its warehouse in downtown Miami, the company keeps a steady finger on the pulse of fragrance trends and constantly seeks out new scents to add to its inventory.
08/01/2012 - Themed Jewelry Goes the Distance
Few professional athletes can deny the glamour or prestige of championship tournament rings. The weight of these glinting pieces stands for every ounce of teamwork that went into the team's victory, and the rings often become heirlooms. Nick DeVito and Company, in Sarasota, FL, has made it part of its mission to bring that feeling of team pride to sports fans as well.
08/01/2012 - Impulse Gifts Grab Sales
It is easier than ever for retailers to stock up on gift and novelty merchandise in preparation for successful holiday sales. This is because online wholesalers not only stay on top of hot trends and have plenty of popular merchandise available, they also continue to invest in website functionality that enables buyers to quickly see what is new, peruse colorful catalogs, avail themselves of web specials, and place and track orders online.
08/01/2012 - Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing
Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing - If you are running any Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, and you should be, you cannot overlook what remarketing can do for your efforts
08/01/2012 - Consumers Demand Simple Site Navigation and Reviews
A report from A.T. Kearney suggests that ecommerce vendors are seeing increased interest from consumers with the web becoming an avenue for
08/01/2012 - Google Search Goes Shopping
Starting this fall, just when the retail holiday shopping season is in full swing, Google will do away with its free Product Search platform in a move to a paid format called Google Shopping.
07/01/2012 - Using Social Media to Grow Business
Most small business owners know that social media is an important part of their online strategy, but may not know where to start or have the time to learn. Others may not believe that social media is important at all. The truth is that social media is critical to the success of any business.
07/01/2012 - There's an App for That
Mobility changed communication. Freedom from wires and landlines, freedom from cables, cords and tangles has spread like wildfire in a culture that prizes speed and efficiency. The demand for mobility has affected the way we live and, in turn, the way CUSTOMERs shop. Text-ready thumbs are now interested in making purchases, placing orders online via cell phones and tablets.
07/01/2012 - The Right Renovations at Accessories Palace
Accessories Palace Inc. has offered many stellar fashion wholesale products for over a decade, enabling independent retailers to acquire stylish items and sell to CUSTOMERs hoping to reinvent their look.
07/01/2012 - Fortune Products Pioneers
Fortune Products has become a trustworthy name in wholesale during the last 27 years by offering numerous events décor items, including LED candles, blacklights, police beacons and signals, fantasia fairy lights, and more. These fun tech items and numerous others can be found at www.fortuneproducts.com, often coming in attractive variations. For instance, the 5" x 5" police beacons can be purchased in green, amber, red, blue and pink, and the blacklights come as light bulbs and fixtures.
07/01/2012 - Innovative Toys Create Sales
Toys are always big sellers for independent retailers, whether for stocking shelves for the holidays or for year-round gifting occasions like birthdays. Marketers tend to agree that the more innovative the product, the greater the sales.
07/01/2012 - Peer-to-Peer Reviews
When it comes to making a buying decision, nothing can be more important in closing the sale than CUSTOMER reviews. A form of social proof, non-biased peer-to-peer reviews are just as good as getting a referral for a product from a friend. "What online tool most influenced your purchase decision?" The number one answer was product ratings and reviews.
07/01/2012 - Social Gifting Trend
The Official Merchant SERVICEs Blog keeps its finger on the pulse of ecommerce, and recognizes the latest hot trends by staying ahead of the technology curve. Trending now is Social Gifting, the activity where consumers on social media channels like Facebook can individually, or in groups, purchase gifts for friends.
06/01/2012 - The Live Chat Choice
The face-to-face SERVICE of brick and mortars has been replaced by an overwhelming favoritism towards digital convenience offered by ecommerce sites.
06/01/2012 - Robert Greenspan: Wholesale Legend
Robert E. Greenspan is one of the great American wholesale success stories of the last 40 years.
06/01/2012 - MoH Innovates Online
Andrew Kitzenberg of Memory on Hand proves there are also fascinating startup stories in more behind-the-scenes venues like wholesale.
06/01/2012 - Wholesalers See Big Holiday Season
It's that important time of year again, when independent retailers begin buying holiday season products for their ecommerce warehouses and store shelves. What is going to be hot among Christmas and Hanukkah shoppers in 2012?