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Small Business Education at Retail’s BIG Show

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NRF launched the inaugural Small Business Experience at Retail’s BIG Show in 2016. For the second year in a row, the 2017 program included networking and educational sessions designed to help small business owners and retail entrepreneurs succeed. And best of all, it was free for retailers to attend.

Watch full session videos from 2017 and 2016 programs below. Learn more about NRF’s resources for small businesses, and check out our blog for more stories about startups and Main Street retailers.


See more articles, videos, presentations, photos and podcasts from Retail's BIG Show 2017: Check out the full recap.

How to Turn New Customers into Repeat Consumers

“My father saw all customers as people first and customers second,” said Richard Shapiro, president and founder of The Center for Client Retention, in talking about his experience growing up in a retail environment. The lessons he learned in his father’s family store still hold today in his career teaching businesses how to generate repeat customers. Shapiro described what kind of thinking is ineffective in the retail business — and what strategies and tactics are proven winners, like always welcoming and surprising the customer.

Cybersecurity for the Small Business Experience

Small businesses are easier targets for cyber attacks than large corporations because they usually do not have the resources to invest in a complex defense system. Ethan Steiger, Domino’s vice president of information security, stressed the importance of investing in cybersecurity, since the impact of a breach will be much larger on a small business. Different types of risks need to be addressed differently, and an assessment must be done before purchasing any protection plans. “The companies who think about this before, are the companies who survive,” he said; if it happens, the best mitigation is a “graceful failure.”

Your Secret Weapon to Making Retail with Personality

Researcher and author Pam Danziger explained how the traditional P’s of marketing have evolved to the four E’s: experience, everyplace, exchange and evangelism. Brent Ridge, founder of Beekman 1802, joined her to discuss how his small farm evolved into a large online business with just one flagship store by designing “neighbor memory opportunities,” hundreds of new products a year and double- to triple-digit growth. Danzinger said storytelling is at the the core: “You have to start with your story, what makes your store special … and translate it from the focus on you to the focus on your customer.”

Focusing on the Consumer: Navigating Through Moments of Growth

Jomaree Pinkard (Hella Cocktail Co.), Robin Helfand (Robin’s Candy) and John Cafarelli (Ernest Supplies) all turned personal passions and hobbies into thriving small businesses. A key part of their growth was being able to identify which opportunities were right for the moment, and continuing to learn as much as possible about their customer so they can go above and beyond customer expectations. At Retail’s BIG Show, they discussed why having a digital presence is important, how to initially finance a small business and how to find those first customers.


See more articles, videos, presentations and photos from Retail's BIG Show 2016: Check out the full recap.

Lessons From Retail Titans

As a small, independent retailer on the NRF Board, Dave Ratner has been able to “soak up” pearls of wisdom from fellow board members like Terry Lundgren (Macy’s), Mindy Grossman (HSN), Laura Sen (BJ’s Wholesale Club) and a host of others. These CEOs run huge businesses, but even the smallest retailer can implement much of what makes them successful. Ratner shared what he learned from his fellow board members and how he put into practice some of their game-changing ideas and strategies. FULL TRANSCRIPT.

Punching Above Your Weight: Technology Innovation

No matter what their size, all retailers want the same thing — to anticipate and deliver on consumer needs in a personalized way across every touchpoint. Two trends have tipped the technological playing field in small retail’s favor: cloud computing and digital commerce. This session explored the top technological innovations available to small retailers and saw how they can attain results that would impress even big-chain retailers. FULL TRANSCRIPT.

Big Social/Mobile for Small Retailers

This session presented proven, real-life mobile and social media action plans, exploring how a blend of emails, contests, reviews and videos can boost social/mobile engagement and bring the best ROI. Build confidence in the ever-changing social media landscape with input from a small service retailer and a multiple-store executive. FULL TRANSCRIPT.

Five Key Tools to Grow Your Business Now!

Want to grow your business? Get more customers, increase profits, thrive? This action-oriented session presented five key tools to grow a business, from small business guru Rhonda Abrams. Find and secure customers, pick the right path for growth and new business models, build a winning team and, of course, find the money to fuel your growth. Attendees left with a list of do-it-now action items to help a business grow. Marketing. Money. Management. Mobile. And so much more. FULL TRANSCRIPT.

Retail's Impact
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Find out how the retail industry impacts jobs, income and GDP in your state. View the map and check out the data.

Retail Across America
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We set out on a road trip to find the most powerful retail stories across the United States, showing how retailers large and small are creating jobs, driving innovation and giving back to the communities they serve. This is Retail Across America.