Synchrony | November 08, 2023
Synchrony introduces the Small Business Learning Center, aiding small businesses with credit and financing knowledge.
The Learning Center offers flexible courses, expert content, and user-friendly features for effective learning.
Synchrony is committed to helping small businesses and has already benefited hundreds of thousands of businesses.
Synchrony, a prominent consumer financing company, has recently introduced the Synchrony Small Business Learning Center—a new digital learning platform designed to empower Synchrony's small business partners in optimizing their operations and fostering more efficient and effective growth. This platform will assist Synchrony's small merchants, dealers, and wellness providers in comprehending the intricacies of credit and financing, integrating these concepts into their business models, harnessing their potential to elevate customer experiences, and ultimately driving increased sales.
The Small Business Learning Center features an array of offerings:
A diverse range of industry-specific courses encompassing videos, games, interactive experiences, and various contemporary learning modalities, facilitating small business owners and their teams to acquire knowledge at their preferred pace and in their preferred style.
Topics encompassing sales techniques, compliance, employee motivation, cash flow management, vendor management, and customer service.
The content is thoughtfully crafted by Synchrony's learning experts, drawing upon the insights of Synchrony's professionals and leaders. The platform consistently introduces fresh content, courses, and tools to keep the learning experience engaging and captivating. Synchrony regularly collaborates with leading learning technology companies to ensure that Synchrony's small businesses have access to the latest learning resources.
The user-friendly dashboard highlights essential content and provides curated content recommendations.
A new countdown clock feature has been integrated, designed specifically for merchants and dealers, to serve as a visual reminder of impending deadlines for priority or mandatory courses.
Simple links to a comprehensive content library, enabling learners to explore all available courses and select their preferred topics and pace for completion.
Furthermore, small merchants and dealers can conveniently access the Learning Center through Business Center, Synchrony's robust online business platform. By consolidating all Synchrony partner financing activities, from application processing to sales transactions, into a single location, this enhancement streamlines operations and saves merchants valuable time. Synchrony's health and wellness partners will continue to access the Learning Center via the Provider Center.
Synchrony's Learning Center represents an expansion of the company's extensive portfolio of innovative, turnkey business tools, which have already empowered hundreds of thousands of small businesses in managing, marketing, and expanding their operations, including:
Synchrony Business Solutions
Synchrony's Pillars Project
Roadmap to Diversity Toolkit
Across the United States, small businesses are already experiencing the benefits of Synchrony's offerings. For instance, Day's Jewelers, an employee-owned company with locations in Maine and New Hampshire, has successfully leveraged the Learning Center.
Synchrony has been a trusted provider of financing options to retailers for over 90 years. With a network of more than 460,000 merchant and provider locations and 70 million active accounts, Synchrony's innovative shopping and payment solutions enable businesses to boost sales, foster customer loyalty and offer secure, convenient, and personalized shopping experiences.
FINANCE, BUSINESS STRATEGY
Software Advice | November 07, 2023
Small and midsize retail businesses (SMBs) are grappling with a challenging confluence of factors: a rise in product returns and escalating consumer demands for eco-friendly practices. Establishing a sustainable returns process has become paramount for recouping expenses and retaining customers. According to Software Advice's 2023 Retail Returns and Sustainability Strategies Survey, a remarkable 93% of SMB retailers place sustainability at the forefront of their approach to managing customer returns, with 58% identifying inventory cost optimization as a tangible advantage of their existing returns procedures.
To enhance their returns strategies, SMBs have adopted a diverse set of tactics, including logistics and packaging:
A noteworthy 59% of SMB retailers are now utilizing environmentally friendly logistics, up from 43% in the previous year.
The percentage of SMB retailers collaborating with third-party specialists to handle product returns has surged to 49%, a substantial increase from the 31% reported in 2022.
Right-sized packaging is embraced by 63% of these businesses, and 55% opt for recyclable or reusable shipping containers.
Smaller retailers are increasingly acknowledging the potential of returned products, if properly assessed, can be resold or recycled, thus reducing waste and recuperating some of the lost sales. In fact, recycling is deemed a top action in managing returned items by 51% of retail SMBs, followed closely by repackaging and refurbishing. Thanks to these measures, 35% state that they can recover over half of the cost of a returned product.
In addition to cost recovery, an efficient and eco-conscious returns process can boost a retailer's market standing. This year, 41% of retail SMBs report that their current returns process has heightened their competitiveness in the marketplace. An impressive 64% note a substantial increase in customer satisfaction stemming from their current returns process, a significant uptick from the 35% reported in 2022.
However, while sustainability endeavors are closely linked to customer satisfaction, 63% of SMB retailers concede that their company's actions do not align with their public messaging—a notable increase from the 46% recorded in 2022. To avert the disparity between actual efforts and messaging, it is crucial to effectively monitor the reverse logistics process. Leveraging technology such as point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, and business intelligence tools can furnish the transparency necessary to ensure alignment.
About Software Advice
Software Advice, established in 2005, simplifies the software procurement process by providing personalized guidance and industry-specific insights to help buyers identify the most suitable software solutions in as little as 15 minutes, all at no cost. The company has assisted over 950,000 businesses in finding the right software to meet their unique needs. With a repository of over 2 million verified user reviews, Software Advice empowers individuals to make confident technology decisions.
Business Wire | October 30, 2023
New research conducted by HerMoney Media and Principal Financial Group reveals a difference in confidence levels between women and men small and midsized business owners (SMBs) when it comes to their outlook for the overall economy, confidence in money management, and attitude toward risk. The research also revealed that women business owners are more focused on driving good employee experiences and outcomes than men.
The 2023 State of Women survey from HerMoney, which included more than 500 owners of SMBs, found that nearly half (46%) of women SMB owners are feeling cautious about the U.S. economy over the next year, compared to just a third of men SMB owners (35%). However, this difference isn’t translating to how they feel about their own financial situations. For example, 42% of women SMB owners and 48% of men SMB owners feel optimistic about their personal economies over the next 12 months.
Gaps in Financial Confidence
When it comes to assessing their own knowledge and confidence about money management and investing, men SMB owners feel much better than women SMB owners. In fact, when examining this trend with an earlier HerMoney survey of employees, for all measures on levels of financial knowledge and confidence, the ranks are as follows: men SMB owners, men employees, women SMB owners, and women employees.
“You need a certain amount of knowledge about basic money management in order to successfully run a business day-to-day,” says HerMoney.com CEO Jean Chatzky. “Yet, the fact that women business owners rank their own financial knowledge and confidence at or below the level of men employees is just another piece of evidence showing that women are not giving ourselves credit for the work we're doing on an ongoing basis.”
Taking Risks And Navigating The Future
Men SMB owners are also much more likely to take risks with their money compared to women. In the event of an economic downturn, nearly half (49%) of women SMB owners would hold tight, but only a third of men (36%) said they would do the same. Moreover, men SMB owners are much more likely to double down on their investments than women (25% vs. 9%).
“Access to capital is important, especially during times of increased market volatility. The good news, and something we continue to hear from businesses, is that they’ve built up cash reserves,” says Amy Friedrich, president of benefits and protection at Principal®. “Another trend we’re seeing is the move to cultivate connections within their local business communities. It’s important for small and midsized business leaders to find peers and trusted professionals who can help them navigate the road ahead. As they take care of their finances and employees, if a downturn does occur, they will benefit from the support in an established network.”
Women Business Owners Focus on Culture
Employees value workplace flexibility1 and purpose-driven work2. The State of Women 2023 survey found that women SMB owners are more cognizant of this trend, rating higher than men the importance of a positive work environment (75% vs. 62%), focus on mental health and well-being (52% vs. 42%), and opportunities for advancement (50% vs. 41%) to employees.
However, when it comes to supporting employee financial wellness, women SMB owners are less likely to offer a financial wellness program (56% vs 36%), the most likely reason being they believe they have too few employees to justify a program (66% vs 55%). Men are more likely to cite cost (25% vs 12%). The majority — 77% — of employees surveyed feel it’s important to focus on financial health and well-being in the workplace, compared to 69% of SMBs.
“When times get tough, the businesses that I see perform the best are the ones that have the greatest sense of purpose and a clear mission,” says Friedrich. “During a crisis, employees can feel reassured that you and your business stand up for something. Given the economic pressures and financial stress affecting Americans, employees are saying they expect their companies to empower them in all aspects of their lives — emotionally, mentally, and financially.”