Free shipping has become an expectation for most American consumers thanks in large measure to Amazon. Shipping charges are the number one reason why online shoppers abandoned their online carts, according to a 2018 survey by Internet Retailer, further supporting the notion that Americans do not believe they should pay for freight. Other shoppers faced with a minimum for free shipping will make additional purchases, or buy more expensive products, in order to qualify for free freight, claims University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor Roy Berman.
Examples of past projects are the most important factor consumers use to select a showroom or design professional to design their new kitchen or bath, according to the Truth about Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations Survey, conducted by Hausera. Pictures of completed projects were more influential than online ratings and reviews. 38% of respondents reported a professional portfolio that shows examples of past work mattered the most in selecting a company to renovate a kitchen, bath or laundry room. 35% of respondents used recommendations from family or friends as the primary criterion for selecting a remodeler, and 35% said online ratings and reviews mattered the most.
What do companies that are consistently ranked among the best companies to work for do differently? That is a question co-authors Michael O’Malley and Bill Baker of Organizations for People answered in a recent study of 21 businesses that are perennially honored by Inc., Fortune and other publications that compile lists of the best companies to work for. The authors claim there is no one size fits all formula or strategy to make the list, but they did identify the following common themes among the winners.
A lot of businesses either close or slow down during the last week of the year. It's time to spend with family, reflecting on successes and shortcomings and laying plans and goals for the coming year. Matt Plumber writes in an HBR blog post that to make the most of the time off during the last week of the year, it is important to understand your tendencies. Among working professionals, Plumber has found that there are three types of "holiday time misusers."
Affordable luxury is an oxymoron. At least, according to Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, arguably the world's most prestigious luxury brand whose empire includes Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, Hennessy, most recently Tiffany, plus 70 others. Arnault does not believe that LVMH's brands should ever be discounted, ascribing to the notion that luxury brands need to have total control of distribution, pricing and how the brand is portrayed.
Delegation is one of the more difficult tasks for showroom owners and managers. However, when you don't delegate effectively, you send negative messages to your team that you don't trust them to perform to your expectations. You also limit your ability to grow because there is only one of you. To delegate more effectively, change the paradigm of how you interact with the team members who report directly to you. Flip the switch.
Almost every kitchen and bath showroom wants to know the secret sauce of becoming the go-to resource for their local design community. 1stdibs has become the trusted online source for all designers tasked with sourcing furniture, antiques, art, rugs and other furnishings for the home. The company's website has more than 800,000 pieces that are individually vetted by a 1stdibs team member. Why has a website selling luxury products captured the attention and support of the design community? One reason is that 1stdibs makes it easy to search and to buy. As one designer notes, "1stdibs has streamlined our process tremendously."
Pauline Brown, former chairperson of North America for LVMH, claims that luxury brands and their leaders need to develop aesthetic intelligence in addition to traditional, artificial and emotional intelligence.
Do your team members, at every level of your organization, take pride in what they do? Do they achieve a sense of professional and personal satisfaction from the work that they perform daily? In a recent article, Fast Company founder Bill Taylor opines that if you want your team to elevate their performance, you have to build up their pride. In his book Why Pride Matters More Than Money, Jon R. Katzenbach defines pride as "the relentless pursuit of worthwhile endeavors…Intrinsic price is institution-building when it prompts the kind of effective, customer-focused behaviors," which become competitive difference makers.
What’s the key to happiness? If you asked Sigmund Freud, it’s the ability to avoid anxiety and not suffer. That's not very positive, and based on new research conducted by psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman, Freud has it all wrong. Seligman believes that happiness is readily achievable and the natural result of building one’s well-being by focusing on five areas.