76 episodes

Running a store can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be lonely! Rooted in Retail is a show dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive in today's ever-evolving retail landscape. This show is made for Main Street retailers like gift shops, jewelers, pet stores, boutiques, florists, home decor and furnitures stores, hardware stores, toy stores, craft, quilting and sewing shops; tea and coffee shops, specialty retailers and more. Join your host Crystal Vilkaitis weekly, as she explores topics that are vital to the success of your store. From marketing to mindset, money to merchandising, sales to leadership, she'll cover it all. Each episode features interviews with industry experts and accomplished retailers who share their real-life insights and actionable advice. Get ready for a great conversation on how to build your dream business with Rooted in Retail. This show is produced by Crystal Media, a company that helps indie retailers shine online through social media. Visit www.rootedinretail.com to learn more.

Rooted in Retail Crystal Vilkaitis

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 37 Ratings

Running a store can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be lonely! Rooted in Retail is a show dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive in today's ever-evolving retail landscape. This show is made for Main Street retailers like gift shops, jewelers, pet stores, boutiques, florists, home decor and furnitures stores, hardware stores, toy stores, craft, quilting and sewing shops; tea and coffee shops, specialty retailers and more. Join your host Crystal Vilkaitis weekly, as she explores topics that are vital to the success of your store. From marketing to mindset, money to merchandising, sales to leadership, she'll cover it all. Each episode features interviews with industry experts and accomplished retailers who share their real-life insights and actionable advice. Get ready for a great conversation on how to build your dream business with Rooted in Retail. This show is produced by Crystal Media, a company that helps indie retailers shine online through social media. Visit www.rootedinretail.com to learn more.

    Affiliate Marketing Secrets for Independent Retailers with Wade Tonkin

    Affiliate Marketing Secrets for Independent Retailers with Wade Tonkin

    Affiliate marketing isn't just for the big players. It's a powerful tool that can help grow your e-commerce business and open doors to new revenue streams without the hassle of more inventory. But if you're new to the concept or unsure if it's right for you, don't worry. 


    Today, I'm joined by Wade Tonkin, a seasoned expert with over 25 years in the affiliate marketing world. As the Director of Global Affiliate Marketing at Fanatics, he's been at the forefront of managing affiliate programs for some of the biggest brands in sports. 


    His wealth of knowledge makes him the perfect guide for our journey into the world of affiliate marketing. Throughout this episode, we'll explore the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, its benefits for your business, and practical steps you can take to integrate it into your operations. 


    From building relationships with content creators to navigating regulatory requirements, Wade guides us through this channel to make more money and expand your brand. I'm truly excited about this conversation because it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for independent retailers like yourself.


    [0:00]: Welcoming Wade Tonkin
    [03:46] Wade's journey into affiliate marketing 26 years ago
    [07:29] What affiliate marketing is and how it works for indie retailers
    [07:54] How can independent retailers effectively tap into affiliate marketing to drive traffic and sales?
    [16:18] What's the best way for retailers to get others to sell their products through an affiliate program?
    [19:27] Why there is crossover in the influencer and affiliate spaces
    [21:25] What are the core principles for a successful affiliate program that independent retailers can implement, even without the resources of larger corporations?
    [27:15] How does Fanatics establish and nurture relationships with affiliates, and how can independent retailers replicate this strategy at a suitable scale for their business?
    [37:45] How has affiliate marketing changed as online retail has evolved, and what trends should independent retailers get ready for?
    [43:50] How a diverse affiliate marketing strategy can empower independent retailers to thrive in a market dominated by giants like Amazon
    [46:14] Wade's resilience round

    Links:
    Join the Rooted in Retail Facebook Group to join the conversation - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1554376645049921

    Get access to all the amazing resources mentioned in this episode in our show notes - https://www.crystalmediaco.com/episodes/affiliate-marketing-secrets-for-independent-retailers-with-wade-tonkin/

    • 53 min
    Social Media Strategies to Drive More Foot Traffic with Steph Bechard

    Social Media Strategies to Drive More Foot Traffic with Steph Bechard

    Today, we're diving deep into social media and how it can drive meaningful foot traffic to your store. I'm thrilled to be joined by our digital strategist at Crystal Media, Steph Bechard. 


    With over six years of experience in building online communities and skyrocketing engagement for retailers, Steph brings a ton of knowledge to the table. As the driving force behind our insider membership program at Crystal Media and the go-to expert for social media audits, Steph is immersed in social media every day.


    In this episode, we're tackling three key areas of social media. First, we'll explore what's currently working to deliver results in the ever-evolving world of social media. Next, we'll discuss actionable techniques for driving foot traffic into your brick-and-mortar store. Even if you primarily operate online, these strategies will still benefit you!


    And finally, we'll uncover the secrets to creating engaging content that sparks genuine connections with your audience. Get ready for some valuable tips that are effective and incredibly easy to implement. Grab your notepad because you’re going to want to take notes!


    [0:00]: Welcoming Steph Bechard 
    [04:44] The number one strategy that is working right now on social media to see real results for your store
    [06:12] One trending tool across social media platforms that can help retailers get more views
    [07:44] What are engagement stickers and where can you find them on each social media platform?
    [11:51] How independent retailers can use AI to create unique and interesting content
    [16:04] What makes someone interested in following your store on social media?
    [22:49] Steph's tips on how to use social media to drive foot traffic to your store
    [28:55] How to use location stickers in your social media strategy to bring more customers into your store
    [32:34] Why creating this type of content builds a connection unmatched by big box stores
    [35:43] The fast-track method for bringing more foot traffic to your store with social media
    [39:07] Steph's formula for crafting irresistibly engaging content that sparks conversations online
    [49:50] What are the top-performing content types to get the most out of your time on social media?

    Join us in the Rooted in Retail Facebook Group to continue the conversation! https://www.facebook.com/groups/rootedinretail/

    Get all of the notes and resources on the show page at: https://www.crystalmediaco.com/episodes/social-media-strategies-to-drive-more-foot-traffic-with-steph-bechard/

    • 55 min
    The Art of Delegating: Finding the Who, Not How, to Grow Your Business (After the Show)

    The Art of Delegating: Finding the Who, Not How, to Grow Your Business (After the Show)

    In this episode of 'After the Show,' host Crystal Vilkaitis discusses key takeaways from a previous episode featuring guest Miranda Heslip, co-owner of Cloud Nine Pajamas. The conversation touches on the importance of social media, email marketing, and ways to earn money passively. Despite the interest in passive income strategies, Crystal shifts the focus to the power of determining 'Who, Not How' in business, emphasizing delegation, strategic outsourcing, and utilizing resources like the book by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. She shares personal experiences and insights on how letting go of specific tasks can fuel business growth and personal satisfaction, citing examples of eCommerce management and social media planning. Crystal urges retailers to assess tasks that drain their energy and consider outsourcing or delegating these to focus on areas that matter most. The episode closes with a reminder to understand enough about outsourced tasks to ensure quality control.
     
    00:00 Welcome to Rooted in Retail After the Show
    00:29 About this week's episode with Miranda Heslip of Cloud Nine Pajamas
    01:23 Finding the who (not how) to grow your business
    11:46 You don't need to know it all you just need to know enough
    15:31 My ask of you
    16:11 Coming Up Next Week

    Join us in the Rooted in Retail Facebook Group to continue the conversation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rootedinretail

    Get all of the resources for this episode here: https://www.crystalmediaco.com/episodes/the-art-of-delegating-finding-the-who-not-how-to-grow-your-business-after-the-show/

    • 16 min
    The Secret to Making Money In Your Sleep with Miranda Heslip

    The Secret to Making Money In Your Sleep with Miranda Heslip

    If you've ever dreamt of making money while you sleep, then you're in for a treat. In this episode, we're diving into the secrets of passive income with a special guest who knows a thing or two about it.


    I'm thrilled to introduce Miranda Heslip, co-owner of Cloud Nine Pajamas. Miranda, along with her sisters, has mastered the art of bringing in revenue around the clock through their successful e-commerce venture. 


    Today, Miranda pulls back the curtain and shares how Cloud Nine Pajamas leverages social media and email marketing to drive traffic and sales to their online store. She reveals the data-driven strategies they use to understand their inventory better and snyc it with their marketing campaigns for maximum impact.


    Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, Miranda's advice could change the trajectory of your store. She offers helpful tips for hiring staff and building a reliable team to support your business growth. Get ready to be motivated and empowered!

    [02:49] Introducing Miranda and her thriving Cloud Nine Pajamas brand 
    [03:55] Which social media platforms are creating meaningful engagements and driving tangible results for Cloud Nine Pajamas today?
    [06:24] Miranda's advice for indie retailers who are hesitant to show up on social media in photos and videos 
    [08:44] How each social media platform brings its own special touch to building better customer relationships at Cloud Nine Pajamas
    [12:26] What is the number one marketing strategy driving results at Cloud Nine Pajamas right now?
    [17:07] How important is email marketing to your overall bottom line?
    [19:16] How indie retailers can collect better data to personalize their email marketing efforts
    [21:54] Where does Miranda think retailers are missing the mark when it comes to marketing?
    [23:41] How Cloud Nine Pajamas is driving traffic and sales to their e-commerce website
    [27:45] Miranda shares her best tips for finding the right talent to support your e-commerce store
    [33:16 What emerging digital marketing trends could really shake things up for independent retailers?
    [35:39] Miranda's resilience round


    Join the Rooted in Retail Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rootedinretail

    Get all of the resources mentioned in the show on our website at: https://www.crystalmediaco.com/episodes/the-secret-to-making-money-in-your-sleep-with-miranda-heslip/

    • 39 min
    8 Game-Changing Brand Collaboration Ideas for Your Retail Store: After the Show

    8 Game-Changing Brand Collaboration Ideas for Your Retail Store: After the Show

    Welcome to Rooted in Retail: After the Show. This week I am diving into one of my biggest takeaways from my interview with Alex Back from Couch.com. It was hard to pick just one because I had so many takeaways so be sure to go back and catch that episode. 


    Today I want to focus on the power of brand collaboration and partnership in retail. This episode is packed with tips for starting small with collaborations, aligning with brands that share similar values, and leveraging local opportunities to boost foot traffic and community engagement.


    [00:00] Welcome to After the Show. 
    [03:19] The biggest takeaway from my interview with Alex Back of Couch.com
    [04:00] Idea #1: In-store Pop-ups
    [06:4] Idea #2: Co-branded social media campaigns
    [12:10] Idea #3: Cross promo deals
    [13:28] Idea #4: Brand ambassadors
    [15:13] Ideas #5: Exclusive product launches or custom products
    [16:34] Idea #6:  Integrated loyalty programs
    [18:30] Idea #7: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Experiences
    [21:09] Idea #8: Community Initiatives
    [23:00] Final thoughts on brand collaboration.
    [24:36] Extra: Quiz tool that will integrate with your Shopify Store
    [25:10] Coming up Next Week


    Join the Rooted in Retail Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rootedinretail

    Get all of the resources mentioned on our website at: https://www.crystalmediaco.com/episodes/8-game-changing-brand-collaboration-ideas-for-retail/

    • 25 min
    Using Technology to Redefine the Customer Experience with Alex Back

    Using Technology to Redefine the Customer Experience with Alex Back

    Meet Alex Back, an e-commerce entrepreneur who is shaking up the furniture industry. He’s the founder of Couch.com, a new startup focused on solving one of the biggest issues for consumers in the furniture industry: where the heck to buy a couch? 
     
    Before launching Couch.com, Alex co-founded and ran Apt2B, a popular online furniture brand that he led to a successful exit and transition just last year. In this episode, he shares his favorite tips and tools to help retailers market, evolve, and think outside of the box. 


    Alex also explores how to balance your online and in-store sales, especially for big-ticket items. Plus, we dive into how AI is shaping the future of retail, why personalized customer experiences matter, and how technology can help small retailers thrive.


    With years of experience in retail, Alex brings a wealth of insights to the table. So whether you're a seasoned retailer or just starting, this episode is filled with actionable wisdom to help you succeed in the ever-changing world of retail.



    [00:00] A special offer for EVOLVE attendees and Rooted in Retail Listeners
    [02:12] Alex's journey in furniture retail from selling his first company to starting a new one
    [04:35] How Alex is helping solve the biggest issue that faces furniture customers and retailers
    [06:54] The unique challenges of retailing big ticket items compared to smaller ticket purchases
    [10:09] How should indie retailers adapt their marketing strategies to stay competitive and relevant in today's fast-paced environment?
    [16:19] Alex's advice for retailers who want to start exploring brand partnerships
    [21:15] How Couch.com is addressing the gap between brick and mortar and online search for furniture commerce
    [25:36] The strategy Alex recommends retailers use AI to personalize the customer shopping experience online
    [29:42] What future trends does Alex foresee in retail as AI evolves for big-ticket items?
    [34:03] How Alex believes retailers can adapt to fast-paced technology shifts to maintain or increase their market share
    [36:09] Alex's resilience round

    Join us in the Rooted in Retail Facebook Group to continue the conversation with other retailers just like you! https://www.facebook.com/groups/rootedinretail

    Get all of the resources mentioned in today's episode on the website at: https://www.crystalmediaco.com/episodes/using-technology-to-redefine-the-customer-experience-with-alex-back/

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Athomejenb ,

go-to marketing podcast & more!

I have learned so much about marketing our small indi-retail gift shop in Pittsburgh, PA from Crystal. So much so we are headed to Evolve in April to meet her in person!

Margnman ,

Dig the info

Crystal does a great job asking great questions with polish and passion on the topic of retail. There are so many pitfalls to avoid while running your business- pay attention to Crystal and her guests…. They have a ton of knowledge. Dig in.

MadMooseEP ,

Excellent content!

I wish I would’ve started listening from the beginning, will go back and listen to the replays.
Just the dose of inspiration I am looking for!

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