Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Beacons in Retail: What You Need to Know

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/23/18 5:30 AM

A customer walks into your store, eyes glued to their phone. Barely acknowledging the employee’s greeting, they wander through the store briefly before leaving without making a purchase. This is common in retail. Consumers are distracted, and it is hard to get their attention. That’s where smart beacons can change the store’s interaction with the customer, making the experience better for both.

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Business Intelligence for a College Store

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/6/18 5:30 AM

In today’s technology-fueled world customer loyalty isn’t a given. If your store doesn’t have what someone is looking for, they can shop somewhere else with just a cell phone and a few taps on the screen. Customers expect stores to meet their needs without expressing what they want. On the surface, the problem looks impossible. You can’t read your customer’s mind—or can you?

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Augmented Reality in Retail

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/23/18 5:30 AM

You walk into a clothing store, but instead of racks of clothing in various sizes, there is only one piece of each product carefully displayed with holographic touchscreens next to each item that allow you to see the shirt, dress, jeans from all angles, in different colors and styles. With a few taps on the screen your selection will be made. Inside the dressing room, you open the wardrobe and your clothing is waiting for you, along with another screen where you can easily change sizes or colors. Again, the clothing you select appears in the closet like magic.

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Is It Time for a New POS System?

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/16/18 5:30 AM

Every store has to make sales. That’s the bottom line. Time is, in fact, money in a retail environment. There is rarely a day that it’s convenient to read an article expatiating about the 54 products your college store has to have to grow in 2017. It’s even less realistic to implement many of those ideas. Not only can they be expensive, but how long would it take to train your employees on a completely new system? In the end, will the costs of the endeavor outweigh the rewards?

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Retail Transformation

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/9/18 5:30 AM

Think about when you go to a store. What do you enjoy? What parts do you dread? What if you could take out the experiences you don’t like — would you shop more or less? For over 20 years, Amazon has bet on the fact that if you can remove the areas that cause friction with consumers, they will shop more in your store. Looking at the current state of the retail market, they are right.

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Spotlight: Patrick Cervenik It’s All Retail

Posted by Liz Schulte on 5/2/18 5:30 AM

MBS Systems Sales Consultant, Patrick Cervenik sat down with us to discuss the changes happening in the retail industry, and how college stores can stay adaptable to the transitioning environment.

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How Can Your College Store Provide Better Customer Service?

Posted by Liz Schulte on 2/21/18 9:30 AM

As a customer, the experience you have in stores, online and on social media reflects on the overall company. The customer experience isn’t about just mastering one of these channels, it is about providing information and support across the board. As a college store, your day-to-day interactions with students are about more than just ensuring they come back through. Positive student interactions reflect well on the entire campus community. Whether you have simplified picking up their textbooks or offer a friendly ear, you are improving the student’s overall college experience. That is what customer service is about.

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Here Comes Disruption: Who Doesn't Want to Shop Amazon Go?

Posted by Lori Reese on 1/29/18 5:30 AM

Admit it: It’s an enticing thought. A visit to the grocery store completely absent of all the usual irritations: customers clogging the Express Lane with — oops! — at least 40 items. Slow-movers fumbling through self-check-out. Grim cashiers shoving your heaviest items into a single bag that splits open before you reach the car. Amazon has nixed nearly all the pain-points we associate with shopping in a single swoop with the opening of its check-out free convenience store. It might seem like another dreaded retail disruptor. But how can it not inspire a shiver of excitement?

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3 Lessons Stores Can Learn From Amazon

Posted by Liz Schulte on 1/24/18 5:30 AM

Amazon is one of the biggest retail innovators of the last two decades, arguably the 21st century. They seemingly dive into markets overnight and change the way things are done along with the public’s expectations. We watched with amazement when Amazon acquired Whole Foods, wondering what, if anything, would change. Now, the famously expensive grocery chain has seen price cuts and Prime members will get perks in the store — a clear sign Amazon is leaving its mark. What wisdom can small stores extrapolate from Amazon’s business practices to carry their college store into the future?

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Marketing in a Snap

Posted by Connor Wiemann on 8/4/17 5:30 AM

Grabbing my attention, or most college students’, isn’t easy because we are bombarded with images and advertisements all day every day. However, catch my eye on Snapchat, and suddenly you have my attention — at least for 10 seconds.

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