Small and boutique retailers have their work cut out for them when it comes to staying in business. There's a lot they need to know, and a lot that they need to take action on. Whether it's the latest trends in omni-channel retail, engaging their most loyal customers over social media, or understanding the way technology and mobile are revolutionizing how they accept payments.
Which is why I've taken the liberty of assembling the top 25 blogs that every small retailer needs to read and subscribe to if they want to stay ahead of the curve and thrive when it comes to selling in person. Whether you prefer to add these to your feedly account or just do it the good old fashion way and bookmark them for future reading, I hope you find them to be an invaluable resource for helping you stay in touch with what's happening and what you need to know to successfully target, acquire, and convert customers for your store.
Here we go:
This site is home to the "Smart Retail" web series hosted by Scott Kreisberg featuring interviews with retail stores all across L.A. The episodes take an in-depth look at how independent or speciality retailers are running their businesses while sharing their lessons learned from both their successes and failures.
Featuring the latest and greatest insights from Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, this blog offers readers their unique perspectives as speakers, authors, consumer anthropologists, and consultants to some of the world's biggest retailers. On the blog you'll find tips on everything from customer service, merchandising, and everything in between that's relevant to you successfully running your retail store.
Founded and edited by Glynn Davis, a business writer who specializes in retail and the food and drinks industry and has seen his work appear in the likes of The Financial Times. Retail Insider is meant to give readers a "behind-the-scenes" look of the UK's small business retailers, intermixed with interviews from Q&A posts with CEO's, and the best places to get drinks around town.
Reading this blog will allow you to peer into the brain of Bob Phibbs, a nationally recognized retail expert with over 30 years of experience under his belt, with each post having a great deal of insight to offer you and your small business. He provides a wealth of information on everything from employee training and retention, making your store events a success, and lessons retailers can learn from the success and failures of other businesses. In addition to his blog, be sure to check out his latest book The Retail Doctor's Guide to growing Your Business.
Recognized as one of the most trusted resources for independent retailers focused on both the work and life aspects of being a small business retailer, Retail Minded (RM) has been a go to blog for retail advice since being founded 2007 by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle. In addition to the blog, Nicole is also the founder of the Independent Retailer Conference , and the company also puts out a Retail Minded magazine, which it sells through the blog.
If you're looking for the latest consumer behaviour trends, retail trends, and marketing advice, then you don't have to go much past Retail Touch Point's Tumblr blog. Though focused on serving up content primarily for retail executives in big box chains, the content is still invaluable for the mom and pop store with big aspirations for their own brand. They also have a number of resources available on their website, including webinars, infographics, and research reports if you're really keen on gaining a better understanding a given demographic or trend.
Ever wanted expert and hands on advice from a wide array of trusted sources? Then this should be your go to source. With more than 50+ retail experts sharing their insights and domain knowledge for the everyday retailer, it doesn't get much better if you're looking to change the way you operate your business or are looking to turn it around for increased sales and growth.
As one the world's largest and most reliable source of research, data, and consultation services, the Forrester blog's retail category is a goldmine of useful information and trends. Though far more high-level and targeted at bigger retail chains, it never hurts to have a glimpse of some of the consumer and technological trends that impact and shape the way consumers behave in a smaller retailer's store.
Geared primarily towards the topic and subject matter of "retail marketing," the Shelf-Edge blog is run by Arkansas-based Vestcom International, which provides their leading communication services to top tier retailers around the US.
As a division of the National Retail Federation, Shop.org's mandate is to provide its valued membership community a premier destination for a slew of topics including but not limited to omnichannel strategy, emerging retail technology, and a great deal more.
The Retail Design Blog is one of the premier destinations for retail designers and visual merchandisers looking for the latest trends, insights, and inspiration in their fields. It's a place where designers upload, share, and comment on everything from furniture, lighting, materials, branding and using eco materials just to name a few categories. Join in on the fun by contributing to the community, or just browse and gleam over all the incredible imagery showcasing the best of boutique retail design from around the world.
Dubbed as a blog exclusively dedicated to retail marketing technologies, the blog belongs to a company that has worked with several Fortune 1000 retailers with the planning, execution, and analysis of their omni-channel marketing plans. With retailers having to focus their attention on so many different channels when it comes to getting the word out, a good place to start learning how to do it right, would be CrossCap's blog.
Looking to help readers navigate the realities of the new retail world, New Retail Blog provides insights on topics like brand strategy, consumer trends and retail marketing just to name a few categories you can expect to stumble upon on the blog. Powered by IdeaWorks, one of Australia's leading retail marketing agencies, you can expect to find real gems of information relevant to your business in addition to the latest retail inspiration around customer activation, direct marketing, and store design.
Touted as the world's largest retail trade association that represents everyone from discount and department stores to wholesalers and chain restaurants to name a few, the NRF is out to advance the retail industry's status quo through advocacy, communication and education. It's "Retail's Big Blog" covers retail trends, interviews with retail executives and data to help small businesses make smarter marketing decisions when it comes to reaching their target consumers.
This is another retail interior and store design blog from a small design consultancy based out of the UK. It features curated content of the latest and greatest retail design inspiration from its own team of design consultants in addition to experts from around the world.
With clients ranging from Adidas, Hillarys and Diesel, this agency-run blog features the best of retail design curated by design specialists that know how to get foot traffic through store layout, point-of-purchase and window displays, and have experience working with the hottest brands. Keep up-to-date with what brands like Anthropologie and Fendi are up to with their displays as a start so you can start thinking about how you can spruce up your retail design skills.
You can probably tell from the blog name alone that Doug Stephens, one of the world's foremost retail industry futurist isn't kidding around when it comes to helping you envision the future of retail. His posts touch upon the latest retail and technological trends that you need to keep on top of to know how your business will shape up over the coming years. He's also the author of The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism.
This blog is brought to you via Dick Seesel, a retail industry veteran who has over 30 years of experience and has been running his consulting practice rightfully called Retailing In Focus, working to provide strategic growth advice to both venders and retailers. With posts featuring his view on the decisions of big and small retailers alike, this blog has a great deal to offer small business retailers when it comes to strategically planning their growth.
On the RetailWire blog you get to peer into the head of Kevin Graff, president of Graff Retail. A retail and training professional with over 20 years of experience, Graff Retail is now one of Canada's leading retail training and consulting firms. Needless to say, his posts on the latest happenings in retail will be useful to any small retailer looking to understand the bigger picture when it comes to the ever growing world of retail.
John Jantsch needs little introduction, but as a leading marketing consultant, speaker, and author of three books, he's been described as the "Peter Drucker of small business marketing tactics," by Seth Godin. Which means, his blog, books, and podcast are all mandatory reading and listening for any small business owner looking to maximize their marketing tactics with a limited budget.
Brought to you by the Customer Insight Group, the Loyalty Blog, offers insights, trends, data, research, and commentary on how the biggest brands are engaging and retaining their customers. As you can probably guess, these tactics and trends apply to small businesses looking to build great customer relationships just the same, so be sure to keep posted.
The Retail Geek is one of the internet's best omni-channel retail blogs where Jason Goldberg, who heads the multi-channel commerce and content group at Razorfish, a top digital marketing firm, helps retailers understand how they can deliver an optimized shopping experience across multiple touch points. With more than 10,000 retail visits under his belt, you can bet he knows a thing or two about what makes for exceptional retail shopping experiences and how you too can start delighting your customers.
Retail Eye is a go-to hub for retailing trends, concepts, and best practices and is operated by the J.C. Williams Group, a global retail consulting practice. The great benefit of keeping up to date with this blog is that they do a fantastic job at providing a global perspective on innovative global trends and with the world getting flatter, that's exactly what small businesses need to have a deeper understanding of.
The blog's name speaks for itself, with the pace of innovation in retail technology growing at an unprecedented rate, Tim Dickey, a retail technology consultant for NCR Canada Corp does an excellent job of making sure his audience has a good grasp on the latest trends.
With the launch of Shopify POS and Shopify Mobile, we've evolved our ecommerce platform to an "everywhere commerce" platform, enabling merchants to sell online, in-store and everywhere in between. With that, we're committed to providing our 95,000+ online merchants growing retail merchants with all the content, tools, and resources they need to be successful when it comes to selling in the retail environment. From DIY window display tips, to the types of signage you need to get started, and how the biggest retailers are succeeding on Instagram, we've got you covered on enabling you to sell anywhere at anytime.
That wraps it up for this post, however, we know there's plenty of other great retail blogs that we may have missed. If you have one you'd like to share, let us know by commenting below.
About The Author
Humayun Khan is a Content Crafter at Shopify. He writes for the Shopify Blog covering social media, retail trends and omni-channel strategy. He is also the author of The Ultimate Guide to Business Plans. Connect with him on Twitter.