5 Key Soft Skills for New Business Owners

When knowledgeable professionals decide to start a business venture, they’re sometimes unaware of all the challenges they’ll be facing. In simple terms, business management differs from sheer employment. In more complex terms, running a business can be completely different from being an employee in a company.

Therefore, everybody who is planning to take the road of entrepreneurship should tweak both their soft and hard skills. In this article, you can find out more about some general soft skills that every new business owner should possess or develop.

1.Consistency without double standards

Managing a company includes dealing with employees, clients, and projects. As a business owner, you need to show consistency and patience as much as possible.

For starters, it’s vital to establish a bonus structure for your employees. If the rewards you give to your employees are based on your subjective evaluations, it will affect the climate among your staff members. Some employees are extroverts or more talkative and they tend to brag about their results. But there are also shy or more reserved but hard-working people who don’t talk about their achievements.

Since business owners have a lot on their plates, so it’s not easy to make objective conclusions if you don’t possess the right facts.

Therefore, your internal rulebook on bonuses and rewards will help you share profits with your employees in an honest and transparent way. Also, make sure that all your workers get familiar with those rules and requirements.

2.Clear communication

Polite and clear communication is one of the pillars of adequate business management.

In theory, we all know that we need to be respectful and informative when we talk or write to our employees/clients.

However, in practice, there are many different variables that may affect such communication.

As business owners, we need to anticipate those moments and do everything we can to prevent any inconvenient or inappropriate communication.

For starters, effective workplace communication requires peace and calm. If you’re trying to hold a business meeting or briefing while other employees are having a coffee or discussing other business things, you’ll keep losing focus. This can lead to frustration and negative reactions that you’ll later regret. Also, some information might slip under the radar if the communication channel is not clear.

That’s why every SMB needs a separate space for business meetings. Be it a special conference room or an improvised, closed balcony, this dedicated space is a must.

As for online communication for remote teams, it’s important that all the participants in the meeting are given a chance to speak. More often than not, online business meetings unfold in the way that business owners and/or team leaders speak most of the meeting. This might be effective for some meetings, but you should moderate most meetings so that each employee taking part in it has an opportunity to ask or answer some questions. This is both a polite and efficient manner of online business communication.

Last, but not least: avoid making jokes based on gender, race, ethnicity, medical issues, and similar politically incorrect elements. You can never tell what might offend whom so stick with respectful and cosmopolitan communication.

3.Transparent business goals

Just like with the aforementioned reward and bonus system, you should be straightforward with your employees in terms of your business goals. If they don’t know what you’re planning to achieve, they won’t have the big picture.

What’s more, when employees are explained what we expect from them, they’re more likely to get down to work with more dedication and effort. Metaphorically speaking, sailors are more determined to get to the shore when they see the land on the horizon. The same goes for employees: when you set clear goals and deadlines, distribute tasks, and determine milestones, you’ve laid down the entire organizational structure of your business.

Now everybody needs to do their share of work to get things going and share the loot at the end.

In that light, think about drawing up a business plan – version for your employees – and give it to them. Highlight the deadlines and milestones, together with the rewards at the end of the process (if feasible).

Of course, you shouldn’t reveal any confidential data about business finances, especially the ones considered trade secrets.

4.Open your mind for new ideas

Running a business today means being exposed to innovations and changes 24/7. Even if you’re not a digital business, you probably collaborate with employees or clients from other countries or regions. The world is changing so fast that every SMB-owner feels those changes.

If you close yourself within your business like a seashell, you won’t last for too long. It’s hard, if not impossible, to be a hermetic entrepreneur in such a connected world.

As opposed to that, business owners who open their minds to new ideas have better chances to succeed.

If you want to shape yourself that way, apply this open-mind strategy in everything you do.

For starters, introduce an open-door policy towards your employees. In other words, let them ask you whatever they might want to know about their role and business tasks. In such situations, treat them with respect and care, like a general practitioner who wants to keep their patients healthy.

Even if they come with ideas that you find silly or inappropriate, try not to ditch them but give them a polite explanation of why something can’t be implemented.

Apart from that, rely on your team leaders as much as possible. They’re the connective tissue between the management (or business owners) and the workforce. Those people also need to be open-minded and proactive to have the patience for their team members.

5.Understanding digital marketing

As the power of the Internet is rapidly growing, business owners need to follow suit and understand the possibilities of digital marketing.

First and foremost, as suggested by a web design company in Houston, every business needs some sort of a website. Be it a one-page, brochure-like website or a full-scale online portal, you’ll look more professional when you launch it.

Likewise, SMB-owners need to promote their ventures via social media. Several posts a week on major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – will meet the needs of most entrepreneurs.

Moreover, you can use the web to hire your employees or outsource some of your services. Platforms such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour or specialized freelance websites may help you land the right people for your current and long-term business needs.

Developing managerial skills is a must for every new business owner. What’s more, it’s necessary to build some of them even before you sit in the armchair of a business owner. If you’re still a company employee, take part in as many activities as possible to understand how management works. Attend both online and offline courses that will improve your soft skills, as well. While you won’t learn everything that way, at least you’ll prepare yourself for the forthcoming entrepreneurial challenges.

Canadian Stock Market

Finding the best Canadian stocks to buy is a very important part of investing in the Canadian stock market. For a beginner, it can be a very challenging endeavour but with our help (and your dedication), you should be able to navigate through it with ease.

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has been known for its lackluster returns when compared to the high performing stock exchanges of the American market such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. In order to get a good amount of returns on your investment in the Canadian stock market, you need to look for the best Canadian stocks across a number of industries. The downturn in the stock market because of COVID-19 has changed the definition of what qualifies as a top stock in the Canadian stock market. When all is going well and the market has been bullish for a decade, it’s easy to have a risk appetite but the moment we hit the quickest stock market crash in history and your investment account is suddenly down 40% in a matter of weeks, your risk appetite might suddenly become very less. Stocks that have outperformed by a large margin during the bull run, have suffered massively. These stocks are also known as growth stocks. The stocks which paid lesser, but a reliable number of dividends have performed relatively better. Therefore, if you want to invest in the Canadian stock market, you must have a mixture of both in your portfolio.

How to Buy Stocks in Canada?

Choose where to buy stocks from

A lot of stock market investors prefer working with a full-service stockbroker or buy stocks directly from a public company. However, the easiest way to buy and trade stocks is online. It can be carried out through the investment account at an online stockbroker. but the easiest way to buy stocks is online, through an investment account at an online stockbroker. Once your account is funded, you can buy the stock on the online broker’s website in a matter of minutes.

Choose the right stocks

This isn’t as simple as just buying the stocks that seem to be the most profitable. Warren Buffett famously said, “Buy into a company because you want to own it, not because you want the stock to go up.” If Warren Buffet gives some investment advice, you better listen to it.

Start with the company’s annual report — specifically management’s annual letter to shareholders. This will give you a better insight into what’s happening with the business and provide context for the numbers in the report.

Consider starting small by purchasing just a single share to get a feel for what it’s like to own individual stocks and whether you have the courage to see some difficult and volatile stock market periods through without going on anti-depressants. You can add to your position over time as you become braver, bolder, and wiser

Think long term

If you want to succeed in the long run, always maintain your perspective and don’t get perturbed by things beyond your control. What you can do instead is:

  • Get the best tools for the job.
  • Be mindful of brokerage fees. These can significantly eat into your returns.

High-Visibility Workwear: How We Got from There to Here

The summer road construction season is now in full swing. We all know what that means. In addition to bright orange cones and plenty of traffic delays, the daily commute will include an army of workers dressed in high-visibility workwear. We will see them in bright green, yellow, and orange with an occasional magenta thrown in.

Have you ever wondered where high-visibility clothing came from? Have you ever thought about how we got from there to here, in terms of how such clothing has evolved over time? Truth be told, it is actually quite fascinating. Also known as high-viz, high-visibility clothing traces its roots back to the 1930s.

A Florescent Fabric Paint

A number of sources, including the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), contend that the origins of high-viz workwear can be traced back to the 1930s. As the story goes, a man by the name of Bob Switzer was injured in a factory accident when he tripped, fell, and knocked his head.

Upon emerging from a coma, Switzer was told that his vision would never be what it once was. This apparently dashed his hopes of becoming a doctor. During his recovery, Switzer and his brother, Joe, began experimenting with chemicals that could be used to enhance Joe’s magic shows. The pair eventually invented florescent paint, which Bob tested by putting it on his wife’s wedding dress.

The ISEA says that the Switzer brothers were responsible for developing the Day-Glo paint brand. From their business venture came efforts by the U.S. government to come up with its own luminescent paints for use during World War II.

Modern High-Visibility Clothing

Fast forward to the 1960s and a small group of railway workers in Glasgow, Scotland. They were issued high-visibility vests to keep them safer at night. It worked so well that government officials in both Britain and the U.S. started working on official safety standards. Meanwhile, the vests were issued to all workers on the West Coast Main Line in 1965. British legislation drafted in 1974 and 1992 made high-visibility clothing mandatory for certain professions.

High-visibility standards were enacted in the U.S. in 1999. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) created multiple scenarios, divided into three classes, for which workers should be required to wear high-viz workwear.

The standards have been in place ever since, with addendum’s made in 2006 and 2007. Our standards in the U.S. are not all that different from those in the UK and the EU.

Who Wears High-Viz Clothing

According to Salt Lake City-based Alsco, quite a few professions use high-visibility uniforms. Road construction and railway workers have already been discussed but stop and think about all of the others you have seen over the years. Building construction workers immediately come to mind. They wear high-viz clothing so that equipment operators can see them.

Police officers wear high-viz vests when they are out directing traffic. Firefighters wear coats and pants either made with high-viz fabrics or equipped with high-viz tape so that they can be seen inside buildings even when the power has been cut.

Others include:

  • utility workers
  • airport workers
  • heavy equipment operators
  • oil rig workers
  • military personnel
  • refuse collectors

The list goes on and on. Anywhere workers are at risk of accidents involving vehicles or other workers, you will find high-visibility clothing. From factories to industrial warehouses, high-viz workwear keeps workers safe by making them easier to see. And to think, it all started with two brothers who wanted to make magic shows more exciting. One man’s excitement is another man’s safety.

The Scoop on SEO Resellers

If you have tried working on your company’s website to improve its SEO, you know that this can be a difficult task. It can be difficult to get backlinks and organic traffic. If this is not something you have extensive experience in, you can quickly get frustrated. This happens in a lot of companies when their teams do not understand SEO. Thankfully, businesses can hire an SEO reseller to help them with this problem.

What Are They?

Resellers are agencies that specialize in SEO and sell their services to other companies. Think of them as SEO experts who have perfected a process that delivers better search results. They have many relationships and can get high-quality backlinks easily. Resellers may also have teams of writers to help you create content for your website that boosts your SEO. With top resellers, you will be able to easily order backlinks or content and track the results of your purchase.

Why Outsource SEO?

Outsourcing your SEO could save your business money and give you the results you are looking for. While SEO is costly, it is necessary. If you hire a consultant, you may have to pay hundreds of dollars an hour. Having an in-house SEO team does not make economic sense either since these specialists do not come cheap. However, SEO is vital for marketing success. Because of this, many businesses are continuing to invest in their SEO campaigns. As SEO continues to become more complicated, it has become more than simply buying some backlinks and stuffing your webpage with keywords. Now, it is intertwined with Google’s algorithm. This makes an SEO manager’s job more complicated than ever. Fortunately, resellers understand this algorithm and can use it to boost your website.

Hiring a reseller can take some of the marketing burdens off of you, giving you more time to focus on building your company and pleasing clients. Finding the right reseller can save your company money, give you marketing success, and help you navigate the complex world of SEO.

Stop COVID-19 spreading within your home

You can do your bit to stop the spread of Coronavirus by keeping your client’s house clean and pathogen-free. Take a look some effective cleaning tips and tricks that you can implement into your daily duties:

Social distancing, self-quarantine and frequent handwashing are crucial to stopping the spread of Coronavirus. So is keeping a clean home. Dirty surfaces can harbour bacteria, mould and mites that can weaken your immune system. Even worse, they may harbour the Coronavirus itself. Because of this, many people choose to engage professional cleaners.

Before you start cleaning and protecting your client’s home during the pandemic, make sure you have the appropriate levels of business insurance. Public Liability Australia specialises in getting you a range of quotes online from multiple insurers so you can find the best mix of cover and price. Check out Public Liability Australia Here to generate hassle free quote for your business. All you have to do is answer a few short questions and they’ll have your policies delivered to your inbox in minutes.

  1. Clean the house as thoroughly as your equipment and time constraints allow. Clients are often on a budget nowadays, so it’s important to assess the right amount of time a house will take to clean before quoting. Some larger tasks like vacuuming or cleaning the entire bathroom can be done on a weekly basis. Make sure to have a balance of time to scrub their house as thoroughly as they desire versus what the property requires. For example, large cleaning tasks such as cleaning the bathroom completely may only need to happen on a fortnightly basis. Professional cleaners can be engaged on a regular basis, perhaps weekly, to clean surfaces, disinfect and deep clean the most touched parts of the property.
  2. Focus your attention on surfaces that are touched regularly. Disinfect germ hotspots like the bathroom sink, light switches, doorknobs and drawer handles. You can use bleach or alcohol-based cleaning products. Both are harsher cleaners that are effective disinfectants but are suited for different surfaces. Bleach should not be used anywhere where food is prepared as it is toxic, make sure all the bleach has been wiped away before moving on. Bleach can also stain certain surfaces so make sure to research which surfaces are appropriate for bleach.
  3. Once you’ve cleaned an area such as your kitchen, bathroom or floor, you will also need to dry it. A wet counter-top can harbour germs and provide them with an ideal breeding ground and undo all of your hard work. Paper towels are a good option and should be thrown in the bin after a few wipes. You can use a clean hand towel for kitchen and bathroom surfaces, or a bath towel for hard floors. However, these reusable items require laundering, which may be too time intensive for cleaning professionals who have time constraints.
  4. Be sure to stock up on these invaluable products:
  • Disposable towels and cloths: If you can get your hands on Chux cloths, paper towels, or similar disposable cleaning aids, use them whenever possible. You can even use clean rags and throw them out or launder them afterwards with a hot wash.
  • Industrial/Hospital grade disinfectants: These are essential in the current times where clients are looking to protect their homes from COVID as well as get a good clean.
  • Steam cleaning tools: These can come in large and portable sizes for couches, furniture or carpets. These are time consuming to use but provide the deepest clean for porous surfaces.
  • Buckets and mops: Try to use two buckets when you mop the floor. One bucket for detergent and another one for rinsing down the floor.
  1. Bathrooms are notorious for harbouring germs. Clean the toilet with a bleach-based product every two days (or however often the client allows), and make sure that taps and buttons are cleaned. Disinfect surfaces that are touched regularly like your toilet’s flush button, tap handles, the doorknob, the light switch and the power point. Just be careful not to introduce liquid into the socket.

To reiterate, even though these cleaning routines are best practice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they are sound practice regardless. Be sure to encourage your clients to maintain and book in regular cleaning routines. This will ensure that their property never reaches that too messy point. A house that is in disarray can provoke poor health outcomes, hinder productivity and generally put you in a bad mood.

4 Scenarios for Which Hard Money Makes Sense

Banks and credit unions are the first places many people go when they need to borrow. Business owners go to banks as well, but they also go to private lenders. They sometimes find that private lenders are more amenable to meeting their funding needs. Take hard money, for example.

Hard money lending is a form of private lending that focuses on hard assets rather than the typical lending criteria. Hard money lenders are more interested in the value of collateral than credit scores, cash flow, etc. And even though hard money is not the right option for every funding need, it is the perfect solution for many.

Here are four scenarios for which hard money makes sense:

1. Limited Time for Closing

There are times when a borrower needs to close on a loan quickly. For example, consider the real estate developer with an offer in on a very lucrative property. The owner is expecting to close very quickly. With so many other buyers waiting in the wings, the buyer with the offer on the table needs to get a deal done fast.

Banks could take weeks to approve a loan for this type of thing. On the other hand, a hard money lender like Actium Partners in Salt Lake City can get the deal done in days. Less complex deals have been known to be completed in under 24 hours. When you have limited time for closing, hard money beats bank lending any day.

2. When Bridge Funding is the Goal

Property investors of all stripes turn a hard money when bridge funding is what they are really after. A bridge loan is a short-term loan intended to provide funding while waiting on revenue or income from other sources. Perhaps an investor wants to purchase a property today, while he also has another property up for sale.

The revenues from the sale will cover the purchase of the new property, so a bridge loan makes sense. It provides the needed funding that will be repaid once the second property is sold.

3. Borrowing to Flip Houses

Hard money can be the funding option of choice for house flippers for whom timing is everything. Making money in this market requires flexibility and speed. As such, house flippers do not have the time or ability to go through traditional banks. They need access to fast funding that allows them to purchase and renovate homes rather quickly.

4. Borrowing with Poor Credit

A fourth scenario for which hard money lending makes sense is attempting to borrow with poor credit. As you might expect, banks care as much about credit ratings when loaning to businesses as they do when loaning to individuals. Poor credit could be enough to kill a business owner’s expansion plans by preventing him/her from obtaining bank loans.

Hard money lenders are not as constrained by credit ratings. They base loan decisions primarily on hard assets offered as collateral. Thus, a borrower with poor credit still has a realistic chance of getting a loan if the offered collateral carries a high enough value and has reasonable sale potential.

Contrary to popular opinion, hard money lending is not a means of last resort. Unfortunately, it is often characterized as such. The truth is that hard money lending is an alternative to traditional bank lending that is appropriate for a lot of different applications. Hard money lenders can do things that banks cannot. They can offer deals you will never find at a bank. As such, hard money lending is a legitimate option a business borrower should be looking at.

Kratom Storage Tips to Ensure Long-Term Potency

Once you’ve purchased kratom in any form, it’s up to you to figure out how to store it to ensure it remains potent and fresh. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of kratom storage will prevent degradation of the product.

Cool Temperatures Are Best

Kratom grows in tropical climates, but after harvesting, keeping it cool is best. Cooler temperatures prevent the alkaloids (active ingredient) from breaking down. If they break down completely, it renders the powder useless. Some options for cool storage include a refrigerator with an intact seal and no condensation, a cool drawer, closet, or cupboard, or a room with no windows.

Shade Is Suggested

Kratom doesn’t like sunlight. If the substance is exposed to UV rays, the potency will weaken. The more it is exposed to UV rays, the faster it will break down.

Don’t Expose to Oxygen

After finding where to buy kratom, you will notice the powder, leaves, or capsules are in a sealed, airtight container. This is because exposure to oxygen results in a stale product. Keeping it in an airtight container reduces this and also prevents it from spilling, which can be a huge mess.

Avoid Strong Smelling Scents

Kratom doesn’t have a powerful odor, but make sure not to store it near strong smelling items such as onions, certain cheeses, garlic, or something similar. These odors can be absorbed, which can affect your experience with the product. After all, who wants onion-smelling kratom?

Steer Clear of Moisture

When you purchase kratom, it’s dry. Keep it this way to maintain the potency. This is true for all versions of the product, including leaves, capsules, or powder.

Keeping Kratom Long Term

When stored properly, kratom lasts approximately a year. After that, even if the storage suggestions are followed, it may begin to degrade. Remember this to have the best possible experience with your kratom.

Why Is It Good to Invest in Real Estate?

Have you ever wondered why some people choose to invest in real estate? You may have an interest in doing the same after seeing how much success other people have experienced. If you think it is impossible, you should know that real estate investing is something you can do. You simply need to know how to go about it the right way to have the most success with it.

You Can Make a Living From It

When people want to build their wealth, they often look into the possibility of investing in real estate. While there is a lot to learn, you absolutely can make a living from it. You need to start by gathering information on how to invest in real estate and how to make right decisions when buying different properties. The goal is to find properties in local hot spots for lower prices and then fix them up before doing whatever you want with them. You might want to sell the properties or rent them. It is entirely up to you, but these are some of the decisions you should make before you even begin investing any money.

There Is Plenty of Help Available

There are many resources available for those who do want to get started with investing in real estate. You can take advantage of different programs and loans that are available, along with professional advice and tips from skilled investors who have managed to build their wealth over the years by investing. Some of the best investors have millions of dollars, but they got their start with one property, and it eventually led to them buying and selling dozens of other properties.

It is a great idea to invest in real estate because you can make a living from it. You may not want to have a traditional job, or you may just want to invest in real estate on the side. Regardless of what you choose, help is available to make it easier for you to get your start.

Pressing Carbon Fiber Parts Dramatically Reduces Production Time

Imagine building the entire body of a sports car by fabricating individual carbon fiber panels via a manual layup process. Each panel would have its own tool that would be covered in carbon fiber prepregs before being cured in an autoclave. A team of workers could spend several days fabricating a single body.

This sort of fabrication is not at all uncommon. Manual layups are the normal way to fabricate such large parts. It may not be so normal in the future. Thanks to a company with a long history in Formula One racing, it might soon be possible to press carbon fiber body panels in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee.

Fast, Easy, and Repeatable

New Atlas reports that Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), having said goodbye to F1 racing in late 2019, is now working on its own commercial products involving both lightweight batteries and new carbon fiber technologies for the automotive industry. Their idea for pressing carbon fiber parts is not new, but their results are some of the most impressive the industry has seen.

Details of the pressing process are understandably scarce. WAE has no intention of giving away the store. Yet what they described to New Atlas is quite elementary in theory.

They start by creating a tool for whatever part they want to fabricate. They then align carbon fiber fabric in whatever way makes the most sense for that part. Engineers can utilize different qualities of fabric and different fiber alignments in order to maximize strength in key areas.

Once the fabric is ready to go, they can combine it with a polymer in a heated press that shapes and cures the part in about 90 seconds. The finished part is half the weight of aluminum at about the same production cost.

Working out the Kinks

WAE’s carbon fiber process isn’t yet ready for prime time. It is reasonable to assume that they are still working out the kinks. It is also not clear how the carbon fiber fabrics are arranged before parts are pressed. Undoubtedly, arranging the fabrics adds to processing time.

Still, even if it took 30 to 60 minutes and then just 90 seconds to press a part, the time savings would be drastic. A single part could be completed in about an hour as opposed to several hours with manual layups and autoclave curing. And of course, there is the energy involved in the curing process.

Autoclave curing consumes a tremendous amount of energy to create both heat and pressure. In a pressing process, the pressure is applied by the press itself. It stands to reason that heating the press to the desired temperature should cost less per part than fabricators currently spend keeping autoclaves running.

Driving Electric Cars Forward

WAE has not divulged the totality of its future plans, but few would be surprised if they end up playing a key role in driving electric cars forward. The battery projects they are working on are clearly targeting automotive batteries for full electric vehicles (EVs). Furthermore, car companies in pursuit of the first marketable EV are looking for any way to reduce the amount of aluminum they use without jacking up the price on the car lot.

Pressing parts seems to be a logical direction to pursue. If you can cut weight in half without adding to the cost, you have just what car companies are after. You have a way to produce a lighter EV that the average car buyer can afford.

Will Social Distancing Encourage More In-Store Retail Tracking?

Coronavirus and social distancing have us talking about things that were not on the radar at the start of the year. For example, who would have considered the idea of contact tracing being implemented by default in smartphone operating systems? Likewise, we have some older capabilities that might be given new life in the coming months.

One such capability is in-store retail tracking. Through the use of RFID tags, motion sensors and video cameras, retailers have long had the capacity to track retail customers in brick-and-mortar stores. Such capabilities have not been widely embraced because they have been deemed unnecessary. Social distancing might very well change that.

More Space, Less Contact

Now that states are reopening in phases, we are seeing the retail sector subjected to certain restrictions. Social distancing demands more space between retail patrons as they shop. More space between patrons and staff is also required. Physical contact is being discouraged as well.

As such, touchless payments are on the rise. Retail operations are more reticent than ever to accept cash when doing so is avoidable. Customers are being encouraged to pay with smartphones and smart chip-enabled credit cards compatible with tap-and-go systems.

With so much focus on social distancing now, what happens to the old sales floor model? It is no longer acceptable for sales representatives to directly engage customers on the floor. Without that engagement, it is more difficult to meet customer needs. It becomes more difficult to answer questions, offer advice, and explain features. Enter in-store retail tracking.

Technology Taking Its Place

In-store retail tracking utilizes fairly mature technologies like RFID, barcodes, and motion detectors. By properly outfitting a store and its inventory, it is entirely possible to track customer behavior from the time a person walks in the door until the time he/she leaves.

Such capabilities have many practical implications. For example, California’s Rock West Solutions explains that custom RFID signal tracking makes it possible to know whenever a customer handles a retail item. Motion detectors can tell retailers how long customers spend in a given area of the store or, even better, how much time they spend looking at a particular product.

Bar and QR codes can be deployed as a means of giving customers information about products at a glance. One example would be that of a customer using his/her phone to read a QR code attached to a piece of clothing. After reading the code, the customer’s phone would display pertinent information.

Getting to Know Customers

Rock West also explains that the data gathered through in-store tracking helps retailers get to know their customers better. And the better they know their customers, the more they can meet customer needs. It all leads to a better experience that builds loyalty, solidifies branding, and turns browsing customers into paying customers.

Of course, making all of this work requires a keen understanding of how to use the data gleaned. After all, data is useless if it is not actionable. There is no point in tracking customers in a retail setting if the data gleaned is not used to improve the shopping experience.

Solving the data problem is one of the things companies like Rock West tackle. Data analysis experts are continually developing new ways to analyze and use data. To that end, deep learning and artificial intelligence are seen as the future of big data. Both technologies offer practical applications for retail.

Social distancing is bound to change retail shopping in the coming months. For one thing, it could encourage more in-store tracking in place of direct and personal customer engagement.