Running an imaging business today has become increasingly complex. Technology has exploded and the cost of buying and re-selling it has risen dramatically. Keeping up with new products has created a greater need to ensure that all store managers and sales reps are well-trained on the latest technology and its applications.
Consumer options are much different than they were 10 years ago; especially imaging consumers. Not only have their product options increased, but their purchasing personality has changed as well. When they walk into your store, 70% of them have researched products online and already have a good idea of what they want. And for many, they come into your stores in order to see, touch and try the product that they are interested in. Your job is to make their in-store experience so attractive that they purchase from you rather than going back online. The new Apple stores and Nokia Experience Centers are setting the standard for enhancing the retail customer experience.
Customers expect more from the retail buying experience. They want to know how to wirelessly share images, prints, etc.
Thanks to camera phones and mobile messaging services (MMS), they have a better understanding of the relationship between imaging and wireless and they want you to show it to them. The 5 megapixel camera phone is here and customers are ready to embrace it. They have warmed up on a 1.3 or 2.0 megapixel phone and a 3 megapixel digital camera and now want a high-quality, multi-functional picture/video-taking device with them at all times. One YouTube junkie estimated that as many as 1/3 of the online videos come from cellular devices.
As Mike McEnaney, Editor of Picture Business, explains, “The state of the industry is such that consumers are letting go of the 4×6 holy grail and understand that they can now put photos anywhere and everywhere they are interested in”. For example, the photo gifting market is exploding right now. Companies are capitalizing on it and offering consumers a plethora of choices. For instance, MobileLifePhoto gives retailers the ability to set up a free, personal gallery where customers can upload and store images and turn them into greeting cards, calendars, playing cards, coffee table books, etc. And, MLP sweetens the deal by offering retailers a monthly commission on customer purchases.
Given that the state of the imaging industry is changing rapidly, retail store managers have to be more astute in their decision making, more creative in their approach, and more disciplined in their execution to remain profitable. More than ever, managers running store operations need to be on top of their game. Business as usual can mean losing money on multiple fronts. The cost of doing business has risen, but in many cases, business acumen for front line store management has not. The Wireless Business Owners Consortium has found that a highly competent Retail Store Manager can impact store profitability by more than $100,000/year over an “average” store manager.
Training your retail managers on what they can do to boost store profitability by up to $100,000 per store is the focus of the Retail Store Manager MBA Program™. Picture Business, together with WiBOC, has teamed up to bring this exciting, Web-based educational program to imaging and wireless retailers. The Retail Store Manager MBA equips owners and store managers with the strategies and tools they need to drive sales and profitability – whether they manage 1 store or 10.
Each course is administered via Webinar which provides the opportunity to train a group of managers for minimal expense and great return. Managers simply log on to one of the monthly Web-based seminars and follow the Action Strategies for the next 30 days. The key to this program is that each manager devises a 30-day Action Plan based on best practices that align with company goals and objectives. Each Action Plan must be signed-off on and measured for results by the owner or GM. Course topics include:
• Driving Sales Performance
• Low Cost/No Cost Marketing
• Merchandising Tricks of the Trade
• Holiday Sales Strategies
• Finding & Keeping High-Performance Employees
• And 7 more months of retailer-specific instruction!
Each course will be tailored to the needs of Imaging Retailers and provide owners and managers with a detailed action-plan to be completed and reviewed prior to the next monthly course.
For more information regarding the Wireless MBA or WiBOC, please contact Danyl Porter at Danyl@WiBOC.org or call (630)778-9914. To find out more or register today for the Wireless MBA, visit the “Training & Events” page on www.WiBOC.org or call (630) 778-9914. yy
Danyl Porter is Communications Manager, Wireless Business Owners Consortium