Top Stories: Online Sellers Turn to Physical Retail, More e-Tailers Now Offer Free Returns

It’s the height of the holiday shopping season. And admit it, you’re probably doing a lot of online shopping. You may be doing it now.

But what about offline shopping? That’s still a thing and according to a report this week on Small Business Trends, a number of online retailers are trying to attract customers offline, too.

To crack this open a little more, I asked John “Colderice” Lawson to join me for the first This Week in Small Business after a short hiatus.

“You’re seeing a lot of pop-up strategies,” he says on this week’s episode. “The pop-up strategy works for a particular retailer and they’re like, ‘Hey … why not open a local store?’

“The retail locations are cheap now. They’re on sale,” John adds.

This is a strategy being adopted by online retailers big and small. But what I wanted to know from John is simple. Why?

“Most e-tailers want to grow up and be a physical retail store. It’s very tactile. To be able to say we have 30 stores across the country … that’s a whole other level,” John says.

Check out the full article on e-tailers becoming retailers, by Rob Starr.

To see what else John and I are discussing this week — ripped from the headlines of Small Business Trends — check out the video above. And be sure not to miss future episodes of This Week in Small Business and other small business videos:

Subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube Channel

And for the rest of the week in headlines, here’s the weekly news and information roundup below:

Retail Trends

10% More Online Retailers Offer Free Returns in 2018, Report Says

eCommerce shipping has become an integral part of businesses large and small and competing in this environment means offering incentives such as free returns to ensure customer loyalty. According to the 2018 State of Shipping report from Shippo, businesses are having to do more in order to keep up with the juggernaut that is Amazon in eCommerce.

Printful Aims to Help Small Businesses Create Custom Branded Items Painlessly

Finally! You’ve made the choice to put your company’s name on physical items. Great idea, but how will you get it done when you’re unsure how to even begin? You could ask your cool entrepreneur friend who’s done it. Her T-shirts rock and her startup is new. But having gotten no email reply in weeks, you guess she was just too polite to tell you to Google it.


Will Tariffs Proposed on Foreign Cars Impact Your Business?

President Donald Trump revealed that he will study putting tariffs on imported cars in order to give U.S. companies an advantage in light of large job cuts announced by General Motors in a series of Wednesday tweets: The reason that the small truck business in the U.S. is such a go to favorite is that, for many years, Tariffs of 25% have been put on small trucks coming into our country.

Marketing Tips

Market Your Business More Effectively in 2019 with These Guides, Resources and Expert Tips

If your resolution for 2019 is to improve your marketing, you need to find the right guides, resources, and experts to help you shape a plan. There are plenty of options out there to help with everything from content creation to social media. Here are some insights from members of the online small business community that include guides and resources for all areas of marketing a business.

Promote Your Business on These Weird December Holidays

If you thought the only holidays in December were Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, then think again! The festive month is brimming with wonderfully weird and obscure holidays and national days, which the savviest of businesses are not only aware of but use to as a promotional tool for competitive gain.

Product Lists

25 Places to Buy Business Christmas Cards

Tis’ the season to be jolly and is the time to share your appreciation for hardworking members of staff and loyal customers by sending out business Christmas cards. If you’re wondering where to head to in order to purchase quality business holiday cards, here’s 25 places to buy business Christmas cards to send to those who matter the most at your business.


Opportunity Drives Nearly 28% of Millennial Women to Start a Business, Report Says

The 2018 Megaphone of Main Street: Women’s Entrepreneurship Report from SCORE reveals women in different demographics start businesses for a variety of reasons. When it comes to millennial women, the report says 27.8% of them do so because they see an opportunity. An almost identical number of baby boomers, 28.2% said they started a business out of necessity. For 25.

Small Business Operations

Business Accounts Payable Fraud On the Rise Nationwide, Study Shows

Business payments fraud is showing no signs of abating. A Surge in Accounts Payable Fraud In fact, according to a recent study cited by AccuImage, a provider of software solutions and services that help businesses automate their document flow, B2B payment fraud has increased nationwide.

Social Media

LinkedIn Pages Relaunched with New Features for Businesses

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) recently introduced the “next generation” of LinkedIn Company Pages, a marketing solution freshly re-launched as LinkedIn Pages to spotlight a brand, business unit or initiative.


Best Business Idea Articles for Entrepreneurs

There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S., with more popping up daily. If you’re interested in joining this club, you need to start with a great idea. No matter what your interest, skills, budget, and circumstances, there’s a perfect business out there for you.

Technology Trends

Business Intelligence Helps This Sustainable Energy Company Take on Industry Giants — and Win

The energy industry has been dominated by a handful of big companies for a long time now who’ve long been dominant in their markets. Small, new players need more than great ideas to compete in the space. They need to offer better, faster, and more personalized service as their key differentiator.

Flickr Updates to Pro and Free Accounts May Simplify Business Use

Changes to the iconic Flickr photo sharing community make the site more functional to businesses using it as a resource for images in marketing and communication. Flickr Account Changes The change getting the biggest reaction is the elimination of the one free terabyte of space originally offered to all free Flickr users. Instead, they will be limited to 1,000 photos or videos.

Final Cut Pro Integrates Third Party Apps Perfect for Small Business Use

The 28th update to Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) since 2011 was announced as the FCPX Creative Summit was being held. Upgrades also include upgrades to Motion 5.4.2 and Compressor 4.4.2 perfect for small businesses. The new functionalities in FCPX 10.4.4 will give video editors more tools for workflow extensions with third-party apps along with better integration.

6 Ways to Keep Your Company and Employees Cyber Secure This Holiday Season

According to recent numbers from Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, there has been a 4,671% increase in gift card related email scams this year. These fraudulent emails have even caught the  FBI’s eye and they peg losses to small businesses and customers at $1,021,919 since January of 2017.

Small Businesses Lose $80K on Average to Cybercrime Annually, Better Business Bureau Says

The growth of cybercrime will cost the global economy more than $2 trillion by 2019, according to the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Among Small Businesses in North America report. Cost of a Cyber Attack When it comes to small businesses, the report said the overall annual loss was estimated at almost $80K or $79,841 on average.

Photo via Shutterstock

Brent Leary Brent Leary is the host of the Small Business Trends One-on-One interview series and co-founder of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta-based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. Brent is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award-winning blogger.