43 articles

Sustainability: A Brand’s Secret Weapon

Learn how a sustainable approach can unleash other pro-growth strategies.

Business leaders possess a singularly powerful tool to build the world we all want to live in: their corporate brands. We witnessed this recently through a handful of remarkable Super Bowl 50 commercials. Brands such as Airbnb, Budweiser and Coca-Cola aired politically charged commercials celebrating multiculturalism. It’s well-researched that brands capture consumers’ hearts and minds […]

Winning With Shoppers in China

Earning trust in the Chinese e-commerce market could help businesses climb the ladder to success.

With a population of roughly 1.3 billion people, China offers unprecedented growth opportunities for retailers looking to conduct business internationally. China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported last month that online retail sales in China grew 26 percent in 2016 to $752 billion. That’s more than 40 percent of all online sales around the world. The […]

Move Over Millennials: Generation Z is Retail’s Next Big Buying Group

Generation Z will be the key to the next e-commerce boom.
Matthew Shay | National Retail Federation

Millennials are currently retailers’ largest demographic, with a massive consumer base dwarfing the size of their once-dominant Generation X predecessors. And they love to shop online — during the 2016 holiday season, more than one-third of online shoppers were Millennials. But just as Millennials overtook Gen X, there’s another big buying group retailers and consumer […]

How to Win With Online Shoppers in Canada

90 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border – but retailers must better understand them.

How much time do you spend online in a given month? The average American spends 35.2 hours per month online, according to comScore market research. Canadians spend 36.7 hours per month, the most time online of several major economies that comScore studied in late 2014. The country is also one of the most “connected” in […]

How to Click with High-Tech Online Shoppers

Here’s what we can learn from how people shopped in 2016.
Dave Roegge | UPS

It’s clear that holiday shoppers were driven by two main factors this gift-buying season: technology and convenience. According to Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 68 percent of shoppers – about 170 million people – purchased technology this year. And most of those people bought what they wanted, when and how they wanted it. In our 2016 UPS […]

How 2017 Will Challenge and Reward Retailers

Here are five steps to get ahead for the New Year.

Cooler temperatures, seasonal hiring and final preparations for the holiday shopping season are upon us.  Before we know it, the headlines and water cooler conversations will evolve from this year’s holiday sales to what the New Year will bring. The major storylines shouldn’t be too hard to predict. Online shopping projections, especially mobile, continue to […]

Why This Holiday Season Points to Small Retailer Success

Mobile and local shopping trends level the retail playing field.
Udayan Bose | NetElixir

Retail giants dominate the holiday sales season. In fact, a mere 10 companies are predicted to account for more than 66 percent of all retail revenue in the final quarter of 2016. But two of this season’s biggest shopping trends — mobile growth and local searches — are creating more opportunities for small retailers to […]

Busting 5 Holiday Shopping Myths That Come Up Every Year

Don't believe everything you read this holiday season.
Andrew Lipsman | comScore

We are now several weeks into the holiday shopping season, one in which many fascinating storylines have emerged. During the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, online buying from desktop computers totaled $8.41 billion, up 17 percent versus last year. Consumers have shifted their online shopping habits, and retailers have changed their marketing strategies […]

Navigating the New World of Industrial Buying

Caught in a digital tsunami? Here are five ways industrial manufacturers and distributors can ride the wave.

The landscape of industrial manufacturing retail is changing. New market forces are at play, nudging buyers to move away from traditional, channel-centered sales and venture into a world where multiple complementary sales channels operate in tandem – the omni-channel arena. So what’s going on? The rise of online sales has fostered an ever more exacting […]

Back to the Future in e-Commerce

Looking five years back – and forward.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

In the iconic Back to the Future film trilogy, high-schooler Marty McFly and eccentric scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown travel back and forth in time 30 years or more using a tricked-out silver DeLorean fueled by a plutonium-powered “flux capacitor” that generates the 1.21 gigawatts needed for time travel.  When it comes to e-commerce and retailing, […]

Retail’s Virtual Reality Check

Connecting with customers in the physical and virtual worlds requires tools your mom-and-pop shop never imagined.
Paul Butcher | Intel

At its root, connected retail is about one thing: Creating amazing and friction-less customer experiences.  That’s where Intel technology-based unified commerce solutions come into the picture, connecting with customers every time, everywhere and in every way they choose to engage. Getting there is not without its challenges. It means providing a seamless flow among multiple […]

The Social Media Game is Changing for Retailers and Everyone Else

Social media is changing the way companies advertise in a bid to win the internet retail game.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

The raging battle for Internet supremacy — to keep eyeballs and content in one place — is changing the way social media and advertising are implemented in every industry.  And retail is no exception. Historically, the aspiration for content publishers has been to achieve a “walled garden” with a controlled environment offering a wide variety […]

Experience vs. Vision: Finding Retail’s Sweet Spot

A retailer’s three-step process to better managing fulfillment

The term “legacy company” may call to mind an institution with a proud tradition, grounded and established, with experience burnished over time. Or, it could conjure the image of a stodgy, slow-moving enterprise, too steeped in its old practices to meet new and rapidly changing consumer demands.  That’s not a company primed to compete with […]

Ensuring Global E-commerce Success During the Holidays

What can companies do to win the global e-commerce race?

U.S. retailers gearing up for the holidays could be overlooking a key source of sales: international shoppers. To win in the global e-commerce race, companies can’t rely on the same approach they use domestically.  Featured products, marketing content and promotions targeting U.S. consumers may not resonate in all markets. For example, as U.S. retailers promote […]

Your Business Without Boundaries

Cross-border e-commerce is a trillion dollar opportunity. Are you making the most of it?

Plunging into global e-commerce can feel overwhelming. If you’ve ever wondered how you could easily manage the intricacies of duties and taxes, currency conversion, customs processes and the constantly changing regulations – in addition to your current responsibilities – take notice. On the surface, cross-border e-commerce can appear intimidating to even the savviest of retailers. But embracing […]

Retail Steamrollers: Power Shoppers and Millennials

Don't get flattened by the competition.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you are not part of the steamroller, you are part of the road,” says author Stewart Brand, editor of The Whole Earth Catalog and founder of the Global Business Network. Retailers who do not stay ahead of the technology curve are likely to get flattened.  Consumers are adopting new technologies more quickly than ever […]

The Smartphone Is Changing Retailing for Good

Nearly half of mobile users are using smartphones or tablets to make online purchases. Is your retail company ready for the small screen?
Bala Ganesh | UPS

Pocket-sized communication devices seem to be taking over our lives — and exercising our thumbs — more than many retailers realize. “The smartphone revolution is under-hyped…more people have access to phones than access to running water,” says Marc Andreessen, entrepreneur, investor and cofounder of Netscape. In terms of time spent, mobile (i.e. smartphone and tablet) […]

Get Ahead Of Shifting Customer Loyalties

The UPS Industrial Buying Dynamics study provides new insight for reaching today’s customer.

Industrial distributors, take note: Customers have formed new allegiances. The customer loyalty of years past was built on a personal relationship, one that was mutually viewed by distributors and buyers as an ironclad agreement. The comfort of familiarity doesn’t carry the same currency anymore. Instead, customers are motivated by lower prices, how quickly a particular […]

Leveraging a Small-Business Mindset for Long-Term Success

Why smaller companies are ready to thrive in the age of disruption.
Ellen Ewing | UPS

We hear a lot these days about disruption. Hardly a day goes by without the announcement of a new disruptive technology. Talk of well-established companies being overtaken by new and nimble startups is commonplace. Large multinational corporations worry if they can move fast enough to respond to the next big thing. But the threat of […]

5 Ways Technology Will Disrupt Commerce

The mobile phenomenon demonstrates how interwoven technology and commerce have become.
Devin Wenig | eBay

In the final flurry of Christmas shopping last year, a buyer in Miami snapped up a new, 18-carat rose-gold men’s Rolex watch for $29,000 on the eBay iPhone app. The watch, which sold at 9.30pm on Christmas Eve and came with free one-day shipping, may have made a welcome last-minute gift for someone. It was […]

Holiday Returns Are Peaking, Too

Retailers don’t have to scale these growing returns peaks alone.
Jim Brill | UPS

While most of us are busy taking down the Christmas decorations, many others will be returning those wrong-sized or otherwise unwanted gifts. That’s why UPS expects to return more than a million packages to retailers on January 6, 2016. Accordingly, UPS has designated this “National Returns Day,” the year’s busiest day for returns. By the […]

The Power of Visuals in E-Commerce

Visuals stimulate, inspire, motivate and speak volumes to customers — without saying a word.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

An ad in the March 10, 1927 issue of the trade journal Printers Ink — promoting the use of images in advertisements on the side of streetcars — used the phrase “One Picture Worth Ten Thousand Words,” and labelled it a Chinese proverb. The writer, Fred W. Barnard, is quoted as saying he “called it […]

A New Day for Shopping in Canada

Canadian retailers must adapt to take advantage of this moment of opportunity.
Craig Calvert, P.Log. | UPS Canada

The day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday, marks the kick-off to the busy holiday season in which U.S. shoppers race to stores in search of the perfect gift at the lowest price. And while American shoppers typically travel just a few miles down the street to snag door-busting deals, Canadian shoppers have quite […]

A Crystal Ball for Online Shopping

How search engine data is forecasting online retail sales for the 2015 holidays.
Udayan Bose | NetElixir

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if as online retailers we could predict what our next shopper from California is most likely to buy from our website – and when they are most likely to make this purchase? Search queries offer valuable insights into shopper intent. Shoppers search and then buy. At NetElixir, using our proprietary tracking technology, we […]

How to Plan for the Shopper of Tomorrow

Global e-commerce growth presents a wave of new opportunities for logistics companies, opening up emerging markets where online technologies have become a part of everyday life.

It is not just how customers search for products online, but where they live, that can provide valuable information about consumer trends. This is data that logistics companies are mining to provide a clearer blueprint for how to thrive in a world where the line between brick-and-mortar stores and digital is increasingly blurred. The rise […]

This Week: Big Data Magic

James Rowe | UPS Longitudes

Humans have had an affinity for data for some time. We like a good bar graph because it tells a story. Although, in my limited research, I’ve been unable to find evidence that pie charts were being used in humankind’s earliest days, former US Senator, Henry D. Hubbard, said this of data in 1939: There is […]

Why Customer Service Begins with Empathy

How compassion became the secret sauce for my small business.
Mark Murrell |

Five years ago, my business fell into my lap. I was living in Chicago, working as a marketing consultant for a variety of clients. An old friend of mine who owned a fish market in Bath, Maine, said he wanted to sell live Maine lobsters and seafood online. I decided to do some research for […]

Finding a Silver Lining in Online Returns

Whether retailers are gearing up for the upcoming holiday season, or doing business as usual, a well-planned returns strategy pays off.
Jim Brill | UPS

Here’s something flying beneath the radar of the much-publicized growth in e-commerce: Return rates are three times higher for online purchases. And apparel is returned more than 30 percent of the time. The dollars involved are staggering: Of $3.2 trillion in total retail sales for 2014, returns were valued at $284 billion – that’s almost […]

Turning Browsers to Buyers

Using the power of "free" to drive online sales and build loyalty.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

In his book Predictably Irrational, behavioral economist Dan Ariely devotes an entire chapter to the subject of “free,” titled: “The cost of zero cost: Why we often pay too much when we pay nothing.” He makes the point that consumers are often irrational about making decisions when they see the word “free.” “Free gives us […]

The Evolving Role of the Store in e-Commerce

Why integrating the online and store experience is the key to retail success.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

When it comes to retail, silos are a silent killer. In a siloed organization, those loyal to their own group or division may distrust the motives of others. There may be little or no communication between groups, and a tendency to cling to the status quo. That can lead to missing new revenue opportunities, losing […]