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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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.
04/01/2013 - Sales Sizzle with Cooling Towel
Kool-4-U Towels are made, without chemicals, from a hyper-evaporative material that retains water while feeling dry and cool to the touch. The towels provide relief from a variety of conditions, including summer heat, sports, fever, headaches, hot flashes, sunburn, inflammation and more, and offer consistent sales because of their versatility.
04/01/2013 - Keep Bugs at Bay
No one likes to have their personal space invaded by mosquitos, gnats, flies and no-see-ums, and CONSUMERS are looking for ways to safely protect themselves and their families from these annoying pests without the use of messy, and often toxic, bug sprays. Retailers who incorporate Bandz and Spotz, DEET-free, citronella-infused insect repellent products from Mosquitno, LLC, into their product offerings, can help CONSUMERS keep bugs away as well as enjoy the profits these impulse buys bring to their bottom lines.
04/01/2013 - Start a Business with Drop Shipping
The idea of selling products without having to first buy them and then hold the inventory in a warehouse is attractive to some business owners because it can be a cost-effective way to start selling online. Business logic tells us that the easier it is to start a small business, the more competitors will be in the industry. Drop shipping is no exception, and competition will only grow with the rapid expansion in ecommerce overall.
04/01/2013 - U.S. eCommerce Sales to Hit $370B by 2017
Driven by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, ecommerce sales in the U.S. are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of ten percent in the next five years, according to a new report, "U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017," from Forrester Research. Forrester predicts U.S. online retail sales will reach $262 billion in 2013
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 - Keep Toothbrushes Germfree
Flushing a toilet sends bacteria eight feet into the air before it begins to settle on nearby surfaces, according to research by Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. When Cindy Martin, co-owner of Cynita, Inc., learned of this, her mind raced to the toothbrushes that lay exposed on her bathroom countertop. CONSUMERS are demonstrating an increasing interest in health and disease prevention, and Martin fell in line with the trend. Experienced with custom products, she worked with a designer to develop a lightweight, economical solution to the germy issue, and the Cover Me toothbrush protector is the result.
03/01/2013 - Dive into Sport Optics / Weiita International Corp.
Weiita International Corp. specializes in sporting optics and LED lighting equipment. It recently expanded its offerings by introducing two new products that cater to hunters and diving enthusiasts. "We definitely plan to add new models to both the hunting and diving lines now that we have launched both," says Jane Ji, office manager.
03/01/2013 - Polarview Sunglasses are FAA Approved
The hottest trend in sunglasses is not as much about design as it is about functionality, according to David Zeuner, CEO of Sunglass Manufacturing Group. "Polarview is a new technology for sunglasses that does everything polarized lenses do to block UVA and UVB light as well as reflective glare, but, unlike polarized lenses, they don't block instrumentation. Even in bright light, you can see screens on devices like cell phones, GPS, aviation panels and iPads. All of our sunglasses are Polarview." Notably, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of Polarview glasses, and outlawed the use of polarized glasses, for airline pilots
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 - ASIA AMERICA - Where Smart International Buyers Go in Miami
The Miami wholesale ASIA AMERICA trade show, now in its fourth year, is being held October 1-3, 2013, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The trade show has made history by becoming the "show to go to" for Caribbean, Central and South America buyers as well as for over 6,000 exporters and importers in the Miami area. More than 8,000 buyers who attended the 2012 show have done more than $50 million in business, according to exhibitors' estimates.
03/01/2013 - A Message from the CEO
This year marks our 25th anniversary serving the wholesale and retail merchandise industry, and I want to thank you for choosing us to help you grow your business. It is an honor to bring you the news, business insights and, most importantly, new product information you need to succeed. Throughout the years, our motto has been to under promise and over deliver, and we are dedicated to connecting reputable wholesalers with the most active buying audience across all venues.
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 - Pain Relieving Massagers Provide Soothing Profits
Healthmate International recently introduced updated models of its Plus-6IS, Plus-6AB, Pro-8IS and Pro-8AB HealthmateForever portable, hands-free massagers. The HealthmateForever units combine Chinese acupuncture with deep tissue massage sensations to effectively relieve tension and severe discomfort without drugs or side effects.
02/01/2013 - mCommerce: Adapt or Die
Shoppers are quickly moving to mobile commerce, or mcommerce, with more than 50 percent of U.S. CONSUMERS saying they plan to use smartphones or tablets to make purchases over the Internet, according to research giant Nielsen. In addition, research firm Canalys notes that, in 2011, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones (487.7 million) exceeded shipments of personal computers (414.6 million).
01/16/2013 - GoliathFalls.com Launches, Supercharges the Buy Local Movement
New site is dedicated to promoting locally owned independent businesses nationwide.
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 - Facebook Offers Viral Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, using text ads and banners to engage social media fans on Facebook, has been losing its luster in recent years. Advertising to these fans may be great for building brand awareness, but it is not doing much for the immediate bottom line. The low returns businesses see from PPC methods may be because people that typically use social media sites, like Facebook, do not necessarily want to be sold to directly.
01/01/2013 - Ecommerce in 2015
yStats.com and MarketLine, two data collection firms, have released their preliminary predictions, based on figures gathered from studies conducted from 2010 to the present, for ecommerce earnings through 2015. The world business-to-CONSUMER ecommerce industry generated between $400 and $600 billion in 2010, according to the report. Based on the growth involved in reaching those numbers, the market is expected to generate between $700 and $950 billion in 2015.
01/01/2013 - Strength in eCommerce Sector
Retail ecommerce spending for the first 32 days of the November-December 2012 holiday shopping season reached $21.4 billion, marking a 14 percent increase versus the corresponding period last year, according to Internet analytics company comScore.
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 - 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 - 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.
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 - 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 - Retail ECommerce to Grow Significantly
For retailers today, it is an exciting but challenging time. The ecommerce revolution has created a newly empowered CONSUMER, the "always-on" CONSUMER, who has higher expectations for the retail shopping experience than ever before. But how should retailers transform their business and their supply chains to support the omni channel delivery of products to these new CONSUMERS?
10/01/2012 - Asia America Trade Show Booms
Dubbed "The Show of the Future," the Asia America Trade Show, held September 11-13 in Miami Beach, FL, was a huge success, with 240 exhibitors and more than 8,000 buyers from 34 countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S. Florida alone has more than 6,000 exporters who seek out new technology and general merchandise to offer to their clients.
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.
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 - 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 - Tablets Trump Smartphones
Retailers tend to lump tablets and smartphones into the same category called "mobile," but that might not be wise, according to the results of a new study by online marketing technology company Monetate.
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 - The Green Revolution
Cloud computing, data and applications housed in a centralized data center rather than various offices maintaining their own server farm, offers significant benefits to companies and to employees. Tele-working is on the rise, as it helps employees balance work-life demands and it offers true cost savings to both employee and employer.
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.
07/01/2012 - Online Sales Continue to Climb
Since 2009 the average amount U.S. Internet users spent annually shopping online increased roughly $100 per year. This year, GroupM projects the average U.S. Internet user will spend $1,042 on ecommerce, with Canada trailing slightly, at $1,009 on average.
07/01/2012 - Free Shipping Worth Waiting For
Online shoppers want free shipping, even if it means their packages take longer to arrive, and are less concerned about sales tax, according to a recent study by research and consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.
06/01/2012 - Walmart Dives Into Social ECommerce
Walmart recently launched its first social gifting platform, Shopycat, a Facebook application that suggests gifts for friends based on their Facebook use.
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?
05/01/2012 - Six Secrets of Successful eCommerce
Web companies need to stay on top of the constantly evolving methods of advertising on the web.
05/01/2012 - Kole's Wholesale Buying Tips
With over 25 years' experience, Kole Imports knows the preferences of today's frugal retailers, and their equally cost-conscious customers.