Quoted – Point of Sale – Portfolio.com

NEW YORK - MAY 20:  In this photo illustration...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Many a retailer offer their own credit cards, hoping to lure in shoppers who may not be able to purchase in cash. But do the benefits of offering a dedicated line of credit outweigh the risks?

Go into the fitting room at a major retailer and you’ll see an ad for its own branded credit card touting benefits from cardholder special-savings days (like Tuesdays at the Gap)—promises of exclusive sales and discounts.

But with so many credit delinquencies and defaults hitting lenders, why would retailers want to expose themselves to that kind of risk? “Credit is a source of revenue,” says Scott Testa, a retail consultant and Professor of Business Administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “And most chains outsource the actual processing to larger banks. Home Depot’s consumer card, for example, is managed by Citibank. In terms of exposure, depending on how the retailer structures the deal with the bank, the stores can be minimally exposed to risk.”

“If they’re outsourcing the operation to a bank, the costs are relatively low because a major lending facility will already have financing on a major scale in place,” Testa says. “If they decide to keep it in-house, companies need to account for computers, credit processing, customer-service professionals, mailings, and other miscellaneous office supplies.”

“Since banks have been dealing with so many losses on consumer cards, they might hold stores partially responsible for costs associated with loss, especially in the case of stolen and unauthorized credit use,” says Testa referring to what’s known as “charge backs” in the industry. If a store accepted a stolen card and has a signature on file for the transactions, the credit issuer can—and usually does—share the burden with the retailer.

The other elusive element is customer service. “Since this is a service that has to be managed, it’s important that the retailer aligns with a bank or credit agency that it trusts to accurately portray the store and its values in a positive way,” Testa adds. Agents must be knowledgeable about the products sold, reflect the service standard of the company they represent, and embody its core culture, experts say.

http://www.portfolio.com/resources/2010/04/08/the-value-of-store-branded-credit-cards

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Quoted – Retailers add tweets, pals to advertising – Houston Chronicle

A Twitter profile
Image via Wikipedia

“Hey. You there,” the message on Facebook begins.

The casual style might make it seem like something written by the pal of a Facebook user, but it’s from Staples advertising a sale.

About two weeks ago, Staples sent its Facebook fans and Twitter followers a sneak peak at some of its Black Friday deals.

This is the first year the office supply superstore has used social media to advertise during the holidays and not the last, Staples spokeswoman Amy Shandler said.

“This is where people live and spend their free time, and it’s a more conversational medium. It’s a two-way dialogue,” she said, noting that Facebook and other social media users often give their feedback on the ads.

Other chains, including J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Home Depot, Toys R Us and Sears, are embracing social media during the holidays.

Advertising on social media during the holidays — or at any time — “is very cost-effective,” said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia, whose research includes retail and social networking. It is also a way to differentiate yourself, especially for the early adopters — those retailers that are among the first to have a presence on social media, he said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6739734.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Quoted – How to Get the Biggest Savings this Holiday Season – Denver Post

A typical Best Buy store at the Ravenswood 101...
Image via Wikipedia

Stores are stocking less inventory this holiday season, so Traci Lunsford decided to start her shopping last month.

“I will receive the bill in November and have it paid off by December,” says the Thornton resident, who has been using coupons and daily deals from Upromise.com to help curtail her holiday spending.

Marketing experts say zealous coupon clippers and tenacious bargain hunters such as Lunsford will reap the greatest savings this holiday season.

But they also warn that shoppers are unlikely to find the usual last-minute price cuts in the days before Christmas.

Why? To compensate for soft sales throughout the past year, retailers are keeping inventories low to prevent stock from languishing on shelves. Black Friday and Cyber Monday — the weekdays immediately after Thanksgiving — promise shoppers the deepest discounts.

“The more expensive the item . . . the more open the store will be to negotiating,”says Scott Testa, a business-administration professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

“Consumers have nothing to lose,” he adds. “If you have money to spend, you will get as good a deal as you will ever see.”

Wal-Mart and Best Buy both advertise price-matching. To take advantage of it, shoppers should arm themselves with mailers and inserts before hitting the stores.

“Bring your laptop into the store,” Testa says. “Show them the ad you found on Amazon with a $999 price compared to their $1,050 and ask them if there is something they can do for you.”

http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_13835889

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20091125/ARTICLES/911209864/1008?Title=How-to-get-the-biggest-savings-this-holiday-shopping-season

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091127/LIFE/911270302

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]