Compiled by Sarah Hoban

Consumers: Make It Easy

Make no mistake: Convenience has become an essential element in the retail experience. The National Retail Federation’s Winter 2020 Consumer View focused on shopping convenience, and the report noted that 83% of the nearly 3,000 consumers responding said that convenience while shopping is more important now compared with five years ago, and 52% said that half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience.

More than 90% said they were more likely to choose a retailer based on convenience; 33% said they were significantly more likely; 39% said they were much more likely, and 21% said they were somewhat more likely. BOPIS is, in fact, a significant element of shopping; 70% of those surveyed said it had improved their shopping experience.

Where would in-store shoppers like to see more convenience? Simplifying checkout and processing a return led the list, although checking inventory and finding deals and promotions had strong showings as well. You can see other findings from the report at

What People Are Pinning

Looking for a quick and inexpensive way to spot trends? Pinterest has identified a collection of rising trends, based on its users’ search and usage and has collated them into the Pinterest 100. The list breaks down into 10 main categories, ranging from “Internationally Inspired” to “Home Hub” to “Pampered Pets” to “Conscious Consumption” (which focuses on sustainable products and topics). Each category leads into subcategories (“Cat bday party ideas,” “French antiques,” “Hiking fashion”) and there’s even a series of business tips to help you make use of the information. Dig in at

Little Books, Big Sales

If your store includes kids’ items, consider adding some board books to the mix. Publishers Weekly notes that market research group NPD has reported year-over-year increases in the sale of board books over the last five years. The sturdy little books are popular even among non-bookstore retailers, thanks to their small size and lower price point, said PW. Said one shop owner: “As I watch adult customers browse in board books, there is less ‘risk’ in the purchase of these titles as gifts. They are short, can be perused easily, and the lower price point allows customers to group items to just the amount they want to spend.”