As an independent retailer, keeping up with shifting consumer habits, emerging trends, and new technologies is challenging. When you operate a business and manage employees, staying current with best practices can feel almost impossible.
Today, extensive online resources are available to help retailers expand their reach, increase customer engagement, and drive sales. From blogs to social media to podcasts, these online resources can help independent retailers better compete and scale their businesses.
But finding helpful and relevant resources for your business can be challenging. In this article, we’ve compiled 23 of our favorite online resources to help boutiques and other independent retailers scale their businesses in 2023.
Retail blogs are one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on industry trends and consumer insights. Here are nine of our favorites.
1. Retail Dive
Retail Dive is an online publication that covers news and trends in the retail industry.
Why we love it: With deep dives into retail technology, marketing, store operations, and logistics, this free online publication is an excellent resource for retailers of all sizes.
- 9 retail trends to watch in 2023
- Is Amazon done disrupting retail?
- Lululemon didn’t change activewear, it changed apparel
2. CO— by U.S. Chamber of Commerce
CO— is an online publication “designed for business owners.” Run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, CO shares articles about starting, running, and growing your own business.
Why we love it: CO— is filled with actionable tips and advice for small business owners. And its Good Company section features inspiration and advice from entrepreneurs and industry experts.
- 10 Social Media Trends Small Businesses Should Know in 2023
- 9 Small Business Growth Strategies for 2023
- Teen Founder of Beaux & Paws: ‘You Will Learn Something New Every Day’
3. Faire Learning Hub
Faire Learning Hub is the blog run by Faire, the wholesale marketplace. They share articles for wholesalers and retailers, as well as industry insights.
Why we love it: Faire Learning Hub has some great stories from forward-thinking retailers. But it’s also interesting to hear from wholesalers, including trends and industry news.
- From selling sustainably to virtual window-shopping: Growth tips from a retail pro
- Honoring independent retailer month with the Faire community
- Faire Winter Market 2023 insights and trends
4. Banknotes by #Paid
#Paid is a creator marketing platform. Its blog—Banknotes minted by #Paid—provides insights into brands, ecommerce, and the creator economy.
Why we love it: The online publication offers inspiration and actionable tips for growing brand awareness and increasing sales using social media. Its articles are both educational and entertaining.
- Direct mail: A trend that will never die
- Tuft and Paw’s Jackson Cunningham on developing thoughtful furniture for cats
- What’s your sign? How brands are using astrology to start a conversation
5. National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association. While some resources require an NRF membership, its blog offers articles on industry news and consumer insights.
Why we love it: With an impressive network, NRF’s resources offer a wide range of expertise. And its interactive tools—such as the Holiday Data and Trends dashboard—provide real-time data to help retailers benchmark their performance.
- Sustainability on the store shelf
- 10 retail industry predictions for 2023
- Social commerce will have a big moment in 2023
Glossy provides news and analysis about fashion, beauty, and culture. Readers can access up to five articles per month for free. (A Glossy+ membership starts at $27/month.)
Why we love it: Whether it’s gift guides, reports on the shopping habits of Gen Z, or highlighting brand collaborations, Glossy makes it easy to stay ahead of trends.
- How Benefit Cosmetics UK generated 40% more revenue with blush email campaign
- In-store experiences are driving luxury sneaker customer loyalty
7. Business of Fashion
Business of Fashion (BOF) shares breaking news and analysis of retail and fashion. Membership starts at $19.50/month.
Why we love it: With its focus on retail, entrepreneurship, and marketing, BOF is a valuable resource for independent retailers.
- How Brands Can Create Retail Jobs People Actually Want
- How Emerging Consumer Sentiment Should Inform Your Returns Process
- Why Gen-Z Yellow Will Never Be Millenial Pink
8. A Better Lemonade Stand
A Better Lemonade Stand is a free online resource to help inspire and educate entrepreneurs.
Why we love it: Its blog provides advice, resources, and a supportive community for those starting their own ecommerce business.
- How to Increase Average Order Value: 20 Ways to Make More Sales
- Product Photography: The Ultimate DIY Guide in 2022
- Conversion Quick Wins: 8 Ways to Boost Sales with (Relatively) Little Effort
9. Material Blog
We couldn’t do a 2023 roundup without mentioning Material’s new blog. The blog includes industry news, stories from independent retailers, product updates, and tips for running a retail store.
Why we think you’ll love it: Designed specifically for independent retailers, the Material blog shares all the resources you need to grow your business.
- Learn how Material’s Retail Toolkit Changed the Game for a Community-Oriented Boutique in Arkansas
- How Independent Retailers Need to Think About Zero and First Party Data
- Why Retailers See Success with Commerce Platforms (+ 7 Key Features to Look For)
Podcasts are free audio resources that make learning easy while on the go. Often, podcasts feature interviews with entrepreneurs and industry experts who can offer tips and inspiration for growing your business.
10. Retail Gets Real
Retail Gets Real is a weekly 25-minute show hosted by the National Retail Federation.
Why we love it: The podcast features interviews with industry experts, retail executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights and learnings about the retail industry.
Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify
Check out these episodes:
- Episode #293: The state of the retail industry in 2023
- Episode #292: How weather affects shopping and retail
- Episode #284: Grooming and wellness go hand in hand for this entrepreneur
11. The Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast
Hosted by Kathy Cruz—a retail store owner and business coach—The Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast discusses the challenges and rewards of running a small business.
Why we love it: With weekly episodes under 30 minutes, Cruz helps independent retailers save time and grow their businesses.
Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, and Audible
Check out these episodes:
- Episode 153: Why Isn’t (Or Is) Your Retail Store Profitable
- Episode 151: Ten Quick Retail Brick and Mortar Lease Tips
- Episode 149: Lighten Your Mental Load by Making Data-Driven Decisions
12. Retail in America
Retail in America is hosted by Ron Thurston, best-selling author of Retail Pride. The podcast is part of Thurston’s RETAIL in AMERICA tour. Thurston travels in an Airstream trailer and interviews “retail heroes” across the country.
Why we love it: The podcast is educational and inspirational. Thurston interviews independent retailers, store managers, and other retail employees about their experiences and learnings.
Where to listen: Apple Podcasts and Spotify
Check out these episodes:
- LIVE in Napa Valley, CA with Nic Wiessler, Founder of WiesMade
- LIVE in Portland, OR with Josh Hagquist from prAna
- LIVE in Denver, Colorado with April Bibich from Eddie Bauer
13. The Resilient Retail Game Plan
Hosted by Catherine Erdly, The Resilient Retail Game Plan is a podcast for small retail business owners.
Why we love it: A small business and retail expert, Erdly shares actionable tips and trips for anyone interested in starting and growing a retail business.
Where to listen: Spotify
Check out these episodes:
- Episode #128: Four Trends That Will Shape Retail in 2023
- Episode #109: Nine Ways to Create An Extraordinary Customer Experience
- Episode #107: Being Visible, Showing Up and Selling More with Elizabeth Stiles
14. Material Retail Dumps
Material Retail Dumps is a new short-form podcast hosted by yours truly. We offer actionable insights to help you grow your business.
Why we think you’ll love it: We know how valuable your time is as an independent retailer. Each show lasts 5-10 minutes and offers quick tips and tricks to optimize operations and drive your sales.
Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Amazon Music, and more.
Check out these episodes:
- Digital Marketing 101: A quick Q&A with an expert strategist
- Employee #1! Rachael from Wystle explains her unique way of attracting talent
- How to get more local customers with little to no budget
Email newsletters deliver short-form content directly to your inbox. While the format and content vary, email newsletters are valuable for discovering industry news, deep dives, and actionable insights to grow your business.
15. Retail Brew
Retail Brew is a free daily email newsletter that offers news and insights about the retail industry. The newsletter explores physical retail, ecommerce, logistics, labor, and sustainability.
Why we love it: Each day has a different theme and often includes interviews with retail executives or entrepreneurs.
Where to subscribe: https://www.retailbrew.com/
16. Sarah’s Retail Diary
Sarah Shapiro is a retail consultant who shares retail and merchandising tips in her weekly newsletter.
Why we love it: Sarah’s Retail Diary is informative and entertaining. Her roundups include new product launches, exciting brand collaborations, her favorite news articles, and her wardrobe purchases. You can also follow her on Twitter @sarah_shapiro.
Where to subscribe: http://www.sarah-shapiro.com/newsletter-signup
Managing your own business can often be lonely. Social media platforms are not only full of retail industry experts and entrepreneurs sharing their insights. They also enable you to network and exchange ideas with peers.
17. Elyse Breanne
Elyse Breanne is an artist who owns Elyse Breanne Design—a home decor, stationary, and gifts boutique in Durham, North Carolina. With over 500,000 followers on TikTok, Breanne shares lessons learned about starting, growing, and operating a small business.
Platform: Tiktok @elysebreannedesign
18. Natalie Konopka
Natalie Konopka is the founder of Darling Authority, a women’s clothing boutique based in Orlando, Florida. Konopka opened her first storefront in 2022 after starting her business in her college dorm in 2019.
With more than 336,000 followers on TikTok, Konopka shares her day-to-day experiences and learnings running an independent retail business.
Platform: TikTok @darlingauthority
19. Natasha Samuel
Natasha Samuel is a “social media strategist turned video marketing coach” and owner of Shine with Natasha. With over 43,000 followers on Instagram, she provides actionable advice for using social media and video marketing to grow your independent business.
Platform: Instagram @shinewithnatasha
20. Barbara Thau
Barbara Thau is the Senior Features Editor at Co— by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (mentioned above). She previously covered retail and consumer trends at Forbes.
Thau shares resources for starting and growing your own business and news and trends relevant to the retail industry.
Platform: Twitter @bthau
21. Claire Tassin
Claire Tassin is a retail and e-commerce analyst at MorningConsult—a data intelligence company. Tassin shares insights about consumer behavior, retail technology, and the retail industry on Twitter.
Platform: Twitter @RetailClaire
22. Krystina Morgan
Platform: Twitter @RetailMorgan
23. Neil Saunders
Neil Saunders is the Managing Director of GlobalData Retail—a retail research agency and consulting firm. He shares insights into the retail industry and consumer behavior on Twitter.
Platform: Twitter @NeilRetail
Grow your retail business with Material
Material is an all-in-one retail platform designed for independent retailers. Our retail toolkit includes all hardware and software you need to launch and scale your retail business.
Our marketing tools—including social media tools, loyalty program management, and email and SMS marketing—make it easy to drive brand awareness and customer engagement. Our integrated point-of-sale system allows retail owners to streamline the checkout experience and enhance inventory management. And our comprehensive reporting options help you track performance online and offline.
Get started today to see how Material is building a better future for independent retailers.