pcAmerica Newsletter #381 September 21, 2010

 

 

 

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What Do Shoppers Want?

Good News. Sales are Up.

Shoplifting Up by 15%

HP's 4 Myths About Remanufactured Toner and Printer Cartridges

Norton Internet Security 2011

Contacting pcAmerica

 


 

  • What Do Shoppers Want?

(Source Retail Info Systems News)

 

What do shoppers dislike the most in stores?

 

Out-of-stock items.

 

Your customers do not like coming into your store and finding an out-of-stock item. That's why you have a point-of-sale system that tracks inventory. You want to make sure that you have a minimum number of out-of-stock items. It's the biggest annoyance to your valuable customers.

 

How should a retailer remedy an out of stock item? You can order the product and have it shipped directly to your customer (free of any delivery charge) or give your customer a 10% discount on any other item purchased in your store.

 

The next customer dislike is having a store associate with poor product knowledge.

 

It's pretty simple. Your customers can easily purchase many of your products online. Being out of stock or having a poor experience just reinforces a customer's belief related to the benefits of online purchasing.

 

It is interesting that price is a less important factor related to a customers store experience. Sure, price is important, but customers are walking into your store because they can immediately walk out with a product of their choice and have any questions that they need answered by a well-trained sales associate.

 

How do you give customers information about your products? According to the study, customers go to the internet to find product information. You don't need to have them complete the purchase of your products over the internet if that is not your objective. However, it is important to provide your customers with as much information as possible about the products you sell on your website.

 

Customers are not quite ready to pay for their purchases using mobile devices. However, customers feel that receiving coupons via mobile devices is very important.

 

To read and download the complete study, go to Retail Info Systems News at:

 

http://risnews.edgl.com/retail-research

 

What Customers Want

 

  • Good News. Sales Are Up.

In general, sales are up for retail stores (August of this year to August of last year comparison).

 

Limited Brands sales were up by 10% (mostly due to great sales in their Victoria's Secret stores). Costco sales were up by 7% and Nordstrom sales were up by 6.3%.

 

On the bottom side, Bon Ton sales were down 4.6%, Aeropostale sales were down by 1% and Rite Aide sales were down by 1%.

 

The good news is that retail sales are up. Everyone understands the economy is stagnant and sales growth is tough. But the struggle is about to get tougher as August marks the last month retailers benefit by going up against soft year-over-year comparisons. Starting in September retailers will begin comparing against stronger figures during months when the 2009 recession was loosening its hold.

 

To read more about retail sales, go to RIS (Retail Info Systems News) at:

 

http://risnews.edgl.com/Home

 

RIS (Retail Info Systems News)

 

  • Shoplifting Up by 15%

Shoplifting is up by 15% in the past year.

 

About 48% of all shoplifting is related to employee theft.

 

One in every 28.4 employees was apprehended for theft.

 

On a per case average, employees steal 6.6 times the amount stolen by customer  shoplifters.

 

My suggestion has always been to train your employees to constantly check out your inventory (a perpetual inventory). Have employees frequently compare the number of items on your shelf compared to the number of items listed on your computerized inventory listing. Both Cash Register Express and Restaurant Pro Express will assist you in doing this. Rotate your employees and have different employees checking different areas of your inventory.

 

Add more cameras to your store (even if they are "dummy" cameras). Make your employees part of the theft reduction process.

 

Read more about Shoplifting and Employee Theft at:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/business/30theft.html

 

Read the latest theft statistics at:

 

http://www.hayesinternational.com/thft_srvys.html

 

Theft

 

  • HP's 4 Myths About Printer Remanufactured Toner and Printer Cartridges

I recently received an Hewlett Package (HP) newsletter warning about purchasing remanufactured toner and printer cartridges.

 

Why pay $25 or more for a new printer cartridge when you can buy a refilled or remanufactured cartridge for half the price?

 

Can you trust HP to tell you the truth about remanufactured cartridges? After all, that's where they make their money.

 

According to the HP article, refilled or remanufactured cartridges will not save you money. They claim that a remanufactured cartridge will wind up costing you twice as much money as buying a new cartridge when you take the decreased reliability and quality into consideration. More than 40% of all remanufactured cartridges fail. The quality of these cartridges are not up to acceptable standards and the companies who sell such cartridges are not environmentally friendly.

 

Personally, I have several HP and Dell printers. I never buy remanufactured cartridges. I know that ink is pretty expensive. However, you can save 50% by buying the right printer. If you purchase an under $100 inkjet printer, the cost of ink is likely to be twice the price of a more expensive printer. Check the cost of ink per page of printing before you make your purchase.

 

HP and Dell sell millions of cartridges and have the quality raised to high standards. The ink cartridges may be overly expensive, but you normally get what you pay for.

 

...but getting past the rhetoric, I have to admit that I don't mind saving money. I saw some ads from Walgreens (the drug store chain). They are selling cartridge refills in the photo section of their store. If Walgreens is selling cartridge refills, then it must be good.

 

Take a look at the Walgreens website advertising cartridge refills. The site has user reviews. The reviews are not so hot. Just as HP claims, many of the cartridges don't work.

  

I've also heard from similar stores from some of my business friends who have tried refilled print cartridges. Personally, I don't think it is worth the risk nor the grief that comes along with refills that don't work, spew excess ink all over your office, reduce the quality of the  copy, and/or add stress to the actual printer .

 

Decide for yourself.

 

Read the HP Cartridge Myth article at:

 

http://h30458.www3.hp.com/us/us/smb/996747.html?jumpid=em_taw_US_aug10_ipg-ijs-ips_918646_hpgl_us_1000933_9701&DIMID=1019508824&DICID=taw_Sep10&mrm=1-4BVUP

 

Printer Cartridge Refill Myths

 

Read about Walgreens printer cartridge refills at:

 

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/business_frugal_force/2008/08/walgreens-print.html

 

  • Norton Internet Security 2011

PC Magazine just reviewed the newest version of Norton Internet Security. According to PC Magazine, it is the best (Editor's Choice).

The 2011 edition of Norton Internet Security fine-tunes its already excellent protection. In addition, a new interactive panel makes the suite a clearinghouse for information from Norton's web-based services. Norton remains our Editors' Choice for security suite.

If you have been reading our newsletters, you know that I believe that Norton Internet Security is the best, but I don't want to debate it with any of our really smart geeks out there that have other opinions.

You need to make sure that each of your computers has up to date Internet Security software. Internet Security Suites include antivirus software, antispyware software, firewall protection as well as various other protections.

You should be using up to date software (2010 or 2011). Your virus definitions need to be up to date. PC Magazine and others believe that Norton is the best. However, if you feel something else is better, then use it. If you don't know what to pick, I would suggest Norton over one of its competitors.

You can read the PC Magazine review of Norton Internet Security 2011 at:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368876,00.asp

Norton Internet Secuirty 2011

How much does it cost? The price is all over the place. You can get a 3 user version of the product for $69.95. I have found 3 user versions on EBay for just $20. If you purchase it from EBay, you just download it. The seller gives you the unlocking codes and serial numbers. As far as I know, this is legal and the sellers are legit...but buy it for that price at your own risk. Staples, Office Depot, and other similar stores periodically sell Norton for under $20 (after upgrades and rebates).

 


 

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