Back in January, we told you about some retail outlets around the world doing great things that you could totally steal for your store. We're back with more, this time covering everything from flash sales and e-commerce to social marketing.
While we picked our favorites and added a bookstore spin to them, everything in this list comes from Business Insider. Check them out!
GameStop's brilliant strategy is helping it avoid Blockbuster's fate
Headquarters: Grapevine, Texas
Year founded: 1984
Why it's revolutionary: In the age of eCommerce, many people assumed that video game retailer GameStop would go the route of book, music and video stores.
But GameStop has been able to get customers in stores to purchase digital content. It's cultivated retail locations as places where young men can socialize, meaning that online competitors haven't made a dent in business. The company also has trade-in and loyalty programs that are unrivaled by competitors.
No, the secret to more sales isn't necessarily selling video games. But note how GameStop has been able to successfully showroom digital content on their sales floor. While print is still preferred to digital among most college students, the use of digital titles is continuing to increase among students of all ages. Showcasing the unique tools digital titles offer, like note sharing and automatic citation, can go a long way in getting a sale: especially if students can buy them in-store. And note that GameStop serves as a social hub for its customers. There are plenty of ways you can hold events to draw students in your doors, too!
Zulily is applying the TJ Maxx model to eCommerce
Year founded: 2010
Why it's revolutionary: Similar to discount retailer TJ Maxx, Zulily creates a daily treasure hunt for the mothers who shop its site. While TJ Maxx offers close-out discounts on various brands in its stores, Zulily's website offers flash sales on apparel, home goods, toys, and more.
The deals and constantly changing selection keep shoppers coming back, and the eCommerce site, which went public in 2013, has nearly 4 million users.
Flash sales are a big deal, whether in store or online. They can keep sales moving during slower months, get rid of sluggish merchandise and train customers to keep an eye on your store for an opportunity to save big. These are all desirable outcomes for your bottom line. The right POS and omnichannel solution can make holding such a sale a breeze, while a little social media savvy can help spread the word quick among students.
Kroger is writing the playbook for the grocery store industry
Year founded: 1883
Why it's revolutionary: Kroger has reported positive comparable-store sales for 45 straight quarters and is expected to surpass Whole Foods Market within two years to become the nation's top seller of organic and natural food. The chain is renowned for its excellent customer service and extensive selection.
The retailer is a leader in offering private-label products to keep prices low and is well-known for its "Kroger Plus Card" loyalty program, which makes customers eligible for discounts and fuel savings.
As if you needed any more proof that loyalty programs made a big difference. If students get rewards for shopping at your store, they're much more likely to continue to do so. Implement a loyalty program that can track customer types and offer exactly the right incentive!
Brandy Melville built a business catering to teens on Instagram
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California
Year founded: 1994
Why it's revolutionary: Fashion retailer Brandy Melville was founded in Italy more than two decades ago, brought its tiny crop tops, high-waisted bottoms, and slouchy sweaters to the US just five years ago.
Thanks to a brilliant Instagram account, which features a mix of professional models and real customers, the retailer is now ranked in the top 10 teen clothing brands, and has a major e-commerce presence.
The brand is also notable for offering "one size fits all" clothing.
Facebook and Twitter aren't your only options for social sales these days. Instagram is the hot app among Millennials today, and businesses are catching on. The photo-sharing social network makes for a great, visual way to reach customers. Are you using it on your campus?