New Strategies Improve Retailers’ Sales
As far as selling online, we’re investing in other directions right now. I think the states need to get control of the revenue being lost through Internet sales. All of our economies—states, cities—are struggling; it’s not fair for companies like us who have invested in their franchise and in all that infrastructure in their marketplace for these Internet companies to be able to ship across state lines and not charge the tax.
Andy Kersey, Vice President & General Manager, Hamlin & Kersey Home Center and A/V Systems, Corbin, Ky.: I’m hiring someone to support all the social media content that we need to drive out there. Being a BrandSource HES member, we will work at doing that with their support. But you do need somebody in your organization to drive it, someone who’s master of that world. If you’re going after the social media customer, your pitch plays in the home of that customer but also in the smartphone and in the iPad of that customer. You have to be there. And those are the hot buttons I’m going after. It’s not as big yet as it could be in rural America but I’m laying the groundwork. You have to find the right partners to put the content out there in the right way. The IT world is a very savvy marketplace and you have to put something out there that meets their standards.
Terry Oates, President, King’s Great Buys Plus, Evansville, Ind.: Social media is increasingly important for us. We’re keeping a keen eye toward internal initiatives to deal with that but, much like advertising, it’s very hard to measure. Yes, we hear the chat about it amongst our customers, but it’s hard to quantify how much it makes the cash register ring. In today’s environment, that has been our mantra for measuring success. If that doesn’t happen, the other things we’re doing are for naught. That being said, I think that for the future it must be an integral part of what we do. We started initiatives this year, and we’re hearing positive comments among our customers and our employees and vendor community.
Right now, we don’t sell online but that is changing as we speak. Our Internet initiative is being formulated and the new site will be an extension of our current online presence. We will approach it differently than maybe some of our competitors, and have hired a team to help us develop the strategy.