In The News

How Experience is Reshaping the Retail World

Posted: January 22, 2019 

"According to Theodore Levitt, Harvard marketing manager, “you sell the hole instead of the drill.”

Retail is no longer defined by storefronts on Main Street. It straddles the physical and online world with online shopping and physical stores.

They can find the information with a click of a button online so retailers need to think about guiding customers through an experience. Customers are much smarter and more informed about which products to buy today because they often rely on a strangers review or a friend’s recommendation before even visiting a store. Given the revved-up research and purchasing power that online reviews help propel consumers to faster buying decisions, it’s crucial that retailers also leverage other important avenues that help influence and drive consumer’s.

Because we rely on others influence, even if they’re strangers, it’s important to figure out your narrative and how it fits into an ever-changing experiential world. Creating an immersive experience with your audience using your brand is one way to tip the scales in your favor.  Here’s some ideas on how you can create a successful brand experiences:

Sell convenience

It’s not enough to have a killer product in hand. There are different variables that contribute to products resulting in sales. Is it easy to order from your online store? Do you have a physical store where people can just pick up their purchases instead of waiting for their orders to arrive in the mail? Do you have a committed customer support team to help people answer questions about your store?

A great example of selling a convenient experience is 7-Eleven. Their earliest leaders praised customer service because they understood the value of attracting customers and doing whatever they could to keep them coming back. The founder Joe consistently preached “Give the customers what they want, when and where they want it.” — Joe C. Thompson, Jr., 7-Eleven founder.

Messaging Everywhere?

Therefore, your stores should make potential customers feel comfortable and convenient with your product and brand. For instance, even with e-commerce sites that are initially impersonal are now driving more engagement and conversions with customers through the use of chatbotsThis is being done by companies like Staples, and Pizza Hut to quicken the response time when addressing inquiries from customers. One other company that stood out is Sephora, their chatbot actually allows for customers to talk and help each other!"

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Did You Know That You Get FREE Advertising As An NCA Member?

Posted: January 22, 2019

Make sure you are taking full advantage of all of your NCA member benefits! As a part of your Buyer Membership, you receive FREE advertising. 

NCA will post your store on our social media channels. Simply send [email protected] a video, photo(s), or a short blurb about your company and we will post it to our social media channels! 

Another benefit of membership is being listed in the Locate A Shop search on our website. People will call in asking where they can find costumes near them and we refer them to this link! NOTE: When you join the NCA you are automatically added to this. Make sure your information is up-to-date by logging into your profile

Not a member? Please join us! 



How a Costume Designer Brightened M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’

Posted: January 17, 2019

"Paco Delgado’s costumes are as varied as his films. Contrast the drama “The Danish Girl,” the futuristic fantasy “A Wrinkle in Time” and the period musical “Les Misérables.” Now he’s in comic-book territory with M. Night Shyamalan’s newest superhero/supervillain thriller, “Glass,” which Universal releases Jan. 17.

The costume designer’s career began in Barcelona and London, and he attributes his eclectic design range to projects he worked on in those markets. “There were many opportunities [back then]. You’d do a contemporary film, then a comedy, then a drama,” he tells Variety on a call from London, where he’s working on an adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s “Cats,” his latest venture with Tom Hooper (director of “The Danish Girl” and “Les Misérables,” both films for which Delgado received Oscar nominations.) 

At first, though, Delgado wasn’t enamored of the moving picture medium. He studied theater design at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona and then at Motley Theatre Design in London and began working on fringe shows. In the late 1990s, an old theater-school friend, Sonia Grande, was costume designer on “La Celestina,” shooting in Spain, and she asked him to assist her. “I didn’t really like [working on a film set],” he admits. “I thought it was too hectic, too frantic; I saw myself with a career in the theater.” But a few months later, he reflected on what an interesting experience it had been: “Cinema hooks you; it has an amazing way of bringing people into it.”


Read the full story online here


4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Automating Your Retail Business

Posted: January 9, 2019

"Automation. It sounds very futuristic…and a little scary. In fact, the word might intimidate you so much that you run far from it in your retail business. But by doing so — avoiding really useful automation tools — you’re barring yourself from helping your business truly thrive.

Here are some reasons why you should embrace, not fear, automation. 

1. It Helps You Understand Your Business

Because there is such fierce competition in retail, both online and off, you need to be in complete control of your marketing and sales efforts. Using a business intelligence dashboard, you can gain great insights into how every campaign you launch does, and you can use that information to shape future campaigns for even more success.

This information is gleaned — you guessed it: automatically — and can help you understand where traffic to your site is coming from, at what point in the shopping process people are leaving your site, and which marketing channels are driving traffic and sales. 

2. You Cut Down on Rote Tasks

How many times have you answered your store’s phone only to answer the same questions?

We close at 9.

We’re on the corner of Myrtle and Central.

9!! We close at 9!

Here’s another way automation will make your life easier: an auto attendant phone system can prevent your sales clerks from interrupting a transaction with a customer to answer the same old questions. The recorded message can provide answers to those common questions. If the caller still needs to speak with someone, she can select the number for the department or person she’s looking for. The number of calls your staff actually has to answer is greatly reduced through technology. You can’t beat that.

Another option is the chatbot. These digital virtual assistants use artificial intelligence to interact with customers through messaging apps. A shopper is on your site and looking for a pair of size 6 cargo pants and doesn’t have time to sift through search results. She opens the messenger and types in “size 6 green cargo pants” and the chatbot finds exactly what she wants. It can even offer her a discount to get her to buy. No humans needed.

3. You Keep Your Marketing Going Strong

What business owner has time to constantly send tweets, Facebook updates, and emails? While you will have to put in some initial legwork to automate social media, once you do, it’s like you’re constantly updating your marketing channels…while in reality, you’re doing something else.

Tools like SproutSocial and SocialJukebox let you create social shares that will then be automatically shared on the schedule you set. You can also automate your newest blog posts to be published to your social channels.

Email, too, can be automated. Create a drip campaign so that any time someone subscribes to your emails, they’ll be put in the funnel and start receiving your emails.

The key for marketing automation is to still check in and measure results. If you see a high number of email unsubscribes after Email 4, look at the copy to see if you can understand what’s turning people off. Recalibrate your efforts and measure again later. 

4. Your Shipping is Less of a Headache

Particularly for e-commerce sites, shipping eats up a lot of time…or at least can unless you automate the process. Using shipping automation software like ShipStation, you can start the order fulfillment and shipping process as soon as an order is placed.  Your team spends less time packing boxes and printing shipping labels.

Automation isn’t so scary after all, is it? It can, in fact, streamline your retail business and make your life a lot easier!"

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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Is Your Membership Up To Date?

Posted: January 1, 2019 

NCA Buyer Members - if your membership is set to expire in January or February, it is time to renew! You have received an email from the National Costumers Association that is titled 'Membership Renewal Notice'. At the bottom of this email, there is a link that says 'Click here to pay this invoice'. Upon clicking this link, you will login and be able to pay your invoice online. 

You can check to see when your membership will expire by logging into 'My Profile'. If you need help accessing your username and password, contact [email protected] or 303-339-0750

Not an NCA member? Consider joining us! Learn more about NCA membership by clicking here

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