Friday, December 28, 2012

Visit from our Mayfair Friends

A couple weeks ago our good friends at Mayfair Games came by the Alliance East office in Baltimore to educate our staff about upcoming products they are developing. We also had the pleasure of having group game demos, where a couple of the members of the sales team sat with Mayfair to review and play their newly released games.

Alliance loves when Mayfair Games comes to visit! Our relationship with them has been a long one, but it has grown stronger this year. We want to share with our readers a couple images from their visit to our East office.

The sales team dove right in and began learning the ins and outs of Urbania [MFG 4124]. 
 In Urbania the city center has seen glory in its past. But the future calls to you for renewal! Build the new city upon the old, and forge ahead with progress, hammering new profits from those old foundations! Plan a new landscape and garner power and prestige to yourself!
They took a step by step technique to break down the rules of the game. In a matter of minutes the guys were working together (or plotting demise) and the game kicked off!

In the next round of gaming, our sales staff was able to preview Road Rally US. Road Rally USA is still in production, but Mayfair was generous enough to bring their prototype to allow our sales representatives to get a feel for their upcoming release.

*The image provided of Road Rally USA is a prototype of the game, and is not the final production of the product from Mayfair Games.*

We thought it would also be cool to share with our readers a picture of the candies we got from Mayfair Games this holiday season. We think you will appreciate them as much as we did!

Catan Resources! 

Thanks for letting us share our visit with Mayfair Games this December.

- Emily

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Thank you for everything you do! We would like to celebrate the partnership we have developed with each and every one of you. May everyone have a healthy and peaceful holiday Season.

From Everyone at Alliance!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Placing Those Preorders!

Hello Blog Followers!

Alliance is happy to announce the installation of preorder functions on the Retailer Services Website! Last week the Alliance Blog discussed how to set up a new account on the Retailer Services website, but now we want to show you how to do the really cool stuff!

Previously, our retailers were asked to continue to contact their Alliance sales representative when placing preorders. At the launch of the new Alliance website (Retailer Services), customers were not able to edit their own preorder numbers. They were however, able to view their preorder numbers through the website. With the help of our technical team, feedback from our customers, and a little patience and hard work, we are finally proud to show off the preorder functions in all their glory!

We have made the preordering function as user-friendly as possible. Placing preorders is just as easy, and very similar to, ordering any other item. One thing we want to make you aware of; if you have set up multiple user accounts, only those that you (the admin) granted the ability to create/update preorders can perform these preordering steps. If you need to change this function, go to ‘My Account Details’ tab and modify the sub login permissions at the bottom.

Let’s get to preordering some goodies!

1) Use item search to pull up the item you wish to preorder (if you like, you can set the ‘Item Order Type’ filter to ‘Preordarable Items Only’ to restrict the results)

2) Select which “ship to address” you wish to send the order to, in the section marked ‘Processing Preorders for’ (please be sure to click ‘Save Changes’ after selecting your ship to address).

3) Enter the amount you would like to preorder in the preorder qty column.  You may see numbers already populated in this column; this indicates that this amount has already been placed on preorder for the selected ship to.  Any quantity you change will be highlighted yellow, until you click on ‘Save Changes’.

Customers now also have the ability to further manage their preorders on the Alliance Games website.  Under ‘My Preorders’ you can view all items you have on preorder (this is broken down by “ship to address” if you have more than 1 location). In this screen, you can change the preordered quantity for an item, as long as the item is still taking preorders.  There may be some items you are unable to change the quantity for; these items will have an indicator next to the item code. The indicator meanings can be found at the bottom of the page. (Example: It will display a ‘C’ when a preorder is closed).

If you have questions about preorders, please visit the site manual located at the top of the homescreen.

Give us your feedback below, and let us know how the preorder function is helping you!

- Emily

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Set Up a New Account on the Retailer Services Website!

Hey there Retailers – if you haven’t signed up for an account on our newest website, you are missing out on so many great features. Before we can even discuss how amazing the website is in comparison to the old, we must get you signed up!

The username and password from your former Alliance web account is no longer active. This time around, Retailers have the ability to set up their own account username! Make sure to have the email address associated with the account, and the Alliance account number handy the day the account is created.

Throw on some of your favorite tunes, and let’s set you up!
  1. Jump over to the new Retailer Services website:
  2. Since you haven’t made your new account yet, click “Get a password” at the bottom of the screen. (Be sure not to confuse it with “Forgot your password?” – this option is for members who already have a new account on Retailer Services)
  3. Told you to keep it handy! Type in your Alliance Account number and email address associated with the Alliance Account.
  4. On the next screen, we need your important information. Make sure your username contains ONLY letters, numbers, underscores “_”, and dashes “-“.  (Please make the username is at least 5 characters long, and no spaces are permitted)
  5.  After this step, wander over to your email inbox. An email will be sent to you with your initial password. This password consists of random characters, and will be changes as soon as you have logged in.
  6.  Return to the login screen of Retailer Services, and paste the temporary password you were emailed. You will then be prompted to change the password to something of your choosing.
  7. The site was designed to allow you to create additional usernames for your staff. We’ve also allowed you to choose their permission levels.  This can be done through the ‘My Account Details’ section in the left set of tabs.
  8. Hooray! You did it! Now play around and check out the features! The Site Manual is in the top right hand corner, along with your sales rep’s contact information. EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE!
Can't wait to see you place your orders more easily this fourth quarter!

- Emily

Friday, December 7, 2012

Good News for the Fourth Quarter

Economists and Marketers have estimated that in 2012, retail will see a significant fluctuation in sales during the holiday season. Make sure to consider planning ahead!

Start by poking around, and ask your customers questions. (Engage - hint hint!) Talk to the customers when they walk in the door of your retail store, and ask what they'd like to get this holiday season. Like many companies in retail, hobby stores will see an influx of spending this holiday season.  

Will your retail store be offering any holiday deals?

What about a holiday themed organized play event or open gaming night?

Maybe with each purchase during December, customers get a 15% off (or your choosing) coupon for their next purchase in January!

Check out the graphics below to learn more about the prediction of 2012 holiday spending!

Click me!
VerticalResponse 2012 Holiday Spending & Promotion Infographic

Happy Selling!

- Emily
(Image Source 1, Source 2.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December to Remember!

Engagement and content are the top two topics all professionals in marketing are talking about this year. Our last post touched on engagement and the importance of being relatable and real with your customers. The most common way to increase engagement is through contests and polls on social media and company websites.

Consider picking 4-5 of these easy ways to improve your engagement online. Most of them are pretty simple, fairly-easy, and do not take much of your time. I especially think they are good to implement now because of the holiday season. Sales will be increasing their most this quarter and it's always good to be prepared. Think about the ways you can improve your engagement with customers online, and see if it generates more sales and foot traffic in your retail store. Connecting with them online, will usually draw them in to connect in store!

Here are my favorites from the article by Jim Belosic on Social Media Today entitled, 22 Easy-to-Implement Social Media Tactics for December

  1. Create a fun holiday poll for your online fans and followers to take and share with friends
  2. Update your Facebook cover photo to a festive or winter-themed image
  3. Tweet out holiday song lyrics
  4. Host Facebook contests
  5. Create a holiday gift guide featuring your business' products

Click the link below to read 20 more ways to engage with your customers! Share your ideas below by clommenting on this post.

Article Source

- Emily