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4 Key Trends for Retail Entrepreneurs in 2021

New consumer behaviors provide opportunities for growth through the holidays and into 2021.

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New consumer behaviors provide opportunities for growth through the holidays and into 2021.

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December 9, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The current global health crisis has fundamentally changed the retail world. Businesses of all sizes are struggling to keep up with dramatic changes in day-to-day operations and to anticipate what is next. Consumer spending has rebounded to more than 90% of pre-pandemic levels in the US, according to Opportunity Insights, but it is being directed to different areas. Outlays for restaurants, hotels and transportation are way down, while grocery and home entertainment are up. Total retail spending for the week ending November 1 was about 8% higher than in January.

In this disruption, opportunities exist for entrepreneurs. Consumers are behaving differently and retailers are racing to adapt through digital transformation and by diversifying their partners in order to satisfy new consumer demands. Four trends have emerged that are important for businesses who want to succeed in retail now and beyond Covid-19’s driving influence.

1. Decreasing physical space, increasing product assortment

Over the past year, retail’s physical presence has morphed into new shapes, sizes and experiences. More stores have become fulfillment centers, investments in large physical formats have decreased, and retailers have become more focused on niche products and local suppliers that shorten their supply chains. Many retailers are looking for new partners to increase product assortment or fill a demand exposed by the pandemic, such as masks, partitions and other items that consumers now can’t live without.

Manufacturers and suppliers who want to partner successfully with retailers should be aware of retailer requirements for detailed and accurate product information. This data plays a key role in ensuring the right product is available at precisely the time the consumer needs it. Nearly 70% of consumers said a lack of product information is the top reason they’ve abandoned a product page, according to research from Salsify.

Related: 7 Low-Cost Design Ideas for Small Retail Spaces

2. More urgency for consumer insights

The current state of flux in retail is also an opportunity for technology startups that support access to shopper insights and analytics. There is a greater sense of urgency to understand and anticipate consumer interactions with products. Every in-person interaction, because there may be fewer of them, needs to count and serve the purpose of engaging the consumer long term.

Startups like Adrich, which provides real-time product use analytics, are helping retailers and brands strengthen relationships with consumers. It developed a thin, flexible sensor that is attached behind a product’s regular label, creating a feedback loop for brands and retailers to track consumer interactions with the product via the cloud and Bluetooth. Retailers will know when and how consumers use various products, which can help with inventory planning, merchandising and localized promotions.

3. New ways to try products

Augmented reality (AR) technology can support “try-before-you-buy” experiences, which will become more commonplace. Right now, consumers prefer less contact with people, and products that others may have touched. While there is no doubt more consumers will return to stores as health protocols relax, there will also be a lasting increase in online shopping. A Salesforce survey in May found that a majority of people across income brackets expect to do more online shopping in the future, including 71% of high-income earners.

AR was already showing signs of growth prior to the pandemic, and it offers solutions to today’s retail challenges. According to a 2019 Nielsen survey, about half of consumers are willing to use AR to assess products. As a result of the pandemic, brands in jewelry, designer fashion and footwear are offering new virtual try-ons or seeing growth in existing apps that help customers shop from home or more safely in store. Ulta’s GLAMlab launched in 2016, but usage quadrupled in recent months as the virtual try-on app became an important part of re-opening stores, where customers could no longer test makeup before purchase.

What could make or break the maturation of AR is the still-rampant occurrence of incomplete and inaccurate data that filters through retailer systems. For a virtual product experience to yield successful results for retailers, product information must be standardized to ensure it smoothly flows between physical to digital worlds. Not only will retailers lose time and resources trying to track down the information during the setup phase, consumer trust will break down if key product attributes are missing or unavailable when they test out new technology offerings. Entrepreneurs can expect continued demand for solutions that address these data challenges and help retailers create digital product experiences for customers who cannot sample physical products.

Related: Why Warren Buffet Might be Wrong About Retail

4. Growth in sustainability and transparency

Shoppers around the world feel more connected to one another as a result of the pandemic’s shared experience, and there has been a rise in conscious consumption and a desire to buy more locally, according to Accenture. Many retailers are launching sustainability initiatives and taking another look at the environmental impact of their supply chains. In May, Walmart announced a partnership with clothing re-seller ThredUP, which combines Walmart’s interest in sustainability with the need to address tightening budgets among consumers hit hard by the pandemic recession.

Along with the increased interest in reuse, more consumers want to understand the origins of products and how they were made. This kind of transparency requires brands, retailers and online marketplaces to align their requirements for unique product identification. For example, obtaining authentic barcodes and identification numbers should be considered an essential part of the product launch for small brands that have a viable chance to reach a wider audience.

COVID-19 has created an inflection point in consumer behavior. Despite the difficulties they face today, small brands and entrepreneurs can view this as an opportunity. Their courage in navigating uncharted territory is more vital than ever for the retail sector. Successful collaborations will need to innovate at speed while keeping in mind the immovable rules of engagement for retail around data standardization, completeness and accuracy.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/NHil4OX2LWs/359860

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How Success Happened for Josh Harris, Co-Founder of Apollo Global Management and Co-Founder of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Harris has a knack for building and growing forward-thinking ventures.

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Harris has a knack for building and growing forward-thinking ventures.

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July 13, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Josh Harris has a short resume. For nearly his entire professional career, he has held only one job, sitting at the helm of Apollo Global Management.

Since co-founding Apollo in 1990, Harris has spent the last 31 years building and shaping what has become a leading alternatives asset manager. But even with 15 offices globally and over $460 billion in assets under management, Harris has found time to pursue passions outside of the financial industry. With an eye for uncovering potential value, the investor maintains a robust family investment office, is an active philanthropist through family foundation Harris Philanthropies, and has successfully launched a premier sports and entertainment platform, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which has grown to include the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey.

Related: Check out recent guests Josh Harris and Thomas Tull on the How Success Happens podcast

Harris credits wrestling for unlocking his internal drive. After participating in wrestling at summer camp at a young age, he was hooked. The intensity of the sport and raw physical strength it demanded was motivating and compelling to his innate competitive spirit. But he quickly learned that without preparation — a healthy diet, cross-training and time on the mat — you get physically dominated. Once a struggling student, wrestling helped Harris turn his academics around and earned him acceptance to the University of Pennsylvania — and a coveted spot on the wrestling team there.

It was at Penn where Harris first got a taste of finance. An introductory economics class ignited a similar spark within him, compelling him to go to the fast-paced world of Wall Street. He transferred to Wharton and dove headfirst into finance.

“I was allured by [the idea of] helping companies grow,” Harris says. “I was a sponge for knowledge and wanted to learn everything I could … from the best people.”

The decision was made. He bought his first suit and headed to Wall Street.

“This is what I would recommend to [anyone just starting their career]: Treat your life like an investment,” Harris says. “Do something you are passionate about … look at the upsides, the downsides. What is your competitive advantage? … Really look at it analytically.”

Harris used that same lens when faced with an even bigger decision, several years into his career. After cutting his teeth at Drexel Burnham Lambert and attending Harvard Business School, Harris accepted a position at Blackstone. A few weeks in, he got a call from former colleagues Marc Rowan and Leon Black, asking him to join a new firm, the fledgling Apollo. Harris had worked only weeks at Blackstone — and used his signing bonus to pay off his student loans — but he was enticed by an opportunity to build with people whom he knew.

Fast forward thirty years, Apollo has become the second-largest alternatives and largest alternative credit manager in the world. Harris has been the architect of some of the firm’s most successful deals, including the historic LyondellBasell transaction, one of the most profitable deals in PE history.

In 2011, Harris applied skills from his day job to a new venture — joining forces with David Blitzer to purchase the Philadelphia 76ers from Comcast in a corporate carveout. One of the most rewarding aspects of owning sports teams, Harris says, has been serving as a steward of the city.

“[Sports teams] are public assets…you take on a real obligation to help the communities where you are playing,” he adds.

Related: Check Out These Top Sports Podcasts

Giving back to the communities where HBSE operates — namely Philadelphia, Camden and Newark — is of top priority for Harris. In our conversation, it was clear how deeply he believes in the power of sports to change lives, just as wrestling had changed the trajectory of his life. Through his many charitable endeavors with HBSE and Harris Philanthropies, Harris is focused on creating opportunities for kids to experience sports who might not otherwise be able to, providing access to sports programming and pairing it with academic resources and other support. More broadly, Harris Philanthropies is focused on catalytic giving and creating equitable opportunities in the communities where the Foundation has a deep connection.

In the past year, however, Covid-19 was front and center, requiring the Foundation to adjust their strategy to address needs brought on by the pandemic. We [immediately] had to pivot [our strategy] and lead,” says Harris, who through HBSE and Harris Philanthropies, set to work distributing food, medical supplies, frontline equipment, laptops and other resources to local communities.

Now Harris is starting a new chapter, returning to his entrepreneurial roots. Having recently announced that he’ll be stepping back from his day-to-day role at Apollo, Harris is excited about continuing to expand HBSE, as well as his multi-asset class investing business and diving deeper into social impact. But he hasn’t lost touch of what has driven him throughout his career — building and investing in success.

Related: Let us Help Your Brand Create Its Own Podcast

Related: Check out recent guests Josh Harris and Thomas Tull on the How Success Happens podcast

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/j7fh3NY-vQE/374991

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Virgin Galactic Cleared by FAA For Passenger Space Travel

Will billionaire and founder Richard Branson beat Jeff Bezos to space?

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June 25, 2021 2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, in a statement, announced the FAA has upgraded its existing license to include passenger flights.

The company also says the approval is the first of its kind. Shares jumped 12% in premarket trading.

The journey, however, has been somewhat bumpy, Engadget reports. In December 2020, the company’s test flight ended in a motor ignition failure. In February of this year, Virgin Galactic delayed its tourism flights until 2022 saying more “technical checks” were needed.

Related: Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity Completes Human Spaceflight

The company then had to complete dozens of verification and validation requirements to clear the final two steps for the FAA’s approval. CEO Michael Colglazier says the crewed test flight on May 22 was a success:

“We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight… [which] performed flawlessly, and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system. [We’re confident] as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer.”

Related: Elon Musk’s SpaceX signs alliance with Google Cloud to offer satellite internet with Starlink

The company, which began working on its mission to space in 2004, says it’s preparing for the remaining three test flights.

Unconfirmed reports also suggest Virgin Galactic is working to send Branson on a suborbital flight during the July 4 weekend, according to Business Insider. That’s two weeks before Jeff Bezos is scheduled to board his Blue Origin’s New Shepard for space on July 20.

Related: Blue Origin Is Challenging SpaceX’s Artemis Lander Contract From NASA

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/MOGXdxbDu3A/375771

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10 Deals for $20 That You Won’t Find on Amazon

After all, Amazon doesn’t have everything.

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After all, Amazon doesn’t have everything.

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June 21, 2021 4 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Despite diversifying its options over the past few years, Amazon doesn’t have everything. One of its biggest shortcomings is its lack of educational resources. If you’re looking for a more substantive purchase, consider investing in your own professional development. We’ve rounded up a collection of courses you won’t find on Amazon and, for a limited time, they’re all just $20.

The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle

The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle

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Microsoft Excel is the world’s most ubiquitous office software, used in just about every industry. You may think you know Excel, but after this eight-course bundle from Excel Maven, you’ll understand just how little you knew. You’ll cover advanced formulas, data visualization, PivotTables, and much more.

Get The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,600) for a limited time.

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investment Bundle

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investment Bundle

Image credit: StackCommerce

The real estate industry is booming, for both commercial and retail investors alike. In this five-course bundle, you’ll learn how to think like a professional real estate investor. You’ll explore pre-investing practices, wholesale deals, and much more.

Get The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investment Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,000) for a limited time.

The Google Analytics Master Class Bundle

The Google Analytics Master Class Bundle

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Google Analytics is one of the best tools for businesses to understand their web traffic. In this bundle, you’ll learn how to use GA to draw better insights from your traffic data and institute changes to make your webpages as strong as they can be.

Get The Google Analytics Master Class Bundle for $20 (reg. $995) for a limited time.

The Ultimate Financial Accounting & CPA Certification Training Bundle

The Ultimate Financial Accounting & CPA Certification Training Bundle

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Every business owner should have at least a functional financial skill-set. In this bundle, you’ll learn how to be the accountant for your business with the same education a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) would get.

Get The Ultimate Financial Accounting & CPA Certification Training Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,592) for a limited time.

The Ultimate Candlestick Trading & Analysis Masterclass Bundle

The Ultimate Candlestick Trading & Analysis Masterclass Bundle

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Earn some extra money in the stock market by learning the trading techniques employed by the pros. This technical analysis bundle will teach you how to analyze candlestick patterns and use data to make more informed investment decisions.

Get The Ultimate Candlestick Trading & Analysis Masterclass Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,000) for a limited time.

The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle

The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle

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After a lengthy pandemic that hurt many small businesses, it’s important to hit the ground running in this hot economy with more efficient and productive processes in place. This bundle will introduce you to a range of project management methodologies, from Agile to PMP, to help you institute positive changes in your business.

Get The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle for $20 (reg. $4,400) for a limited time.

The 2021 Complete All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Course Bundle

The 2021 Complete All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Course Bundle

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Got a creative streak? Indulge it! This extensive bundle covers the entire Adobe Creative Cloud, teaching you how to edit photos with Photoshop, become a graphic designer with Illustrator and XD, edit videos with Premiere Pro, and much more.

Get The 2021 Complete All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Course Bundle for $20 (reg. $2,400) for a limited time.

The Complete Mobile & App Development Bundle

The Complete Mobile & App Development Bundle

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Got a brilliant app idea? Learn how to bring it to life with this nine-course bundle. You’ll get an introduction to building apps for iOS 14 using Swift 5, learn how to build apps for Android 11, get up to speed on Java programming fundamentals, and more.

Get The Complete Mobile & App Development Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,791) for a limited time.

The Create Your Own T-Shirt Side Business Bundle

The Create Your Own T-Shirt Side Business Bundle

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You know a great T-shirt idea when you see (or say) one. If you have a tendency to say “that should be on a T-shirt” after saying something out loud, you might just want to start a T-shirt side business. This extensive bundle will teach you everything you need to know, from printing shirts to packaging.

Get The Create Your Own T-Shirt Side Business Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,393) for a limited time.

The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum & Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle

The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum & Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle

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Take a deep dive into one of today’s most exciting, innovative technologies. Across six courses, you’ll learn how to build web apps that run on a blockchain using Solidity, launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), and even build a decentralized exchange.

Get The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum & Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,200) for a limited time.

Prices subject to change.

Get The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,600) for a limited time.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/qjaGMTjjFy4/375040

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