It’s tough to scroll through dozens of blogs or read an ever-increasing collection of newly printed books on industry best practices. Who has that kind of time, particularly when you're running your own business?
But there’s a growing medium that allows stretched-thin retailers and entrepreneurs to catch up on industry news and gossip on the go.
Podcasts, or digital broadcasts split into episodes, are quickly gaining traction with listeners hungry for info and entertainment across the globe. According to a recent study from Edison Research, the U.S. population aged 12 and up listening to podcasts grew 23% between 2015 and 2016.
Just how many folks are tuning in? The same research estimates that 21% of the American population — that’s 57 million, give or take — listens to podcasts. That’s a sizeable audience, and it’s only increasing.
Much of the appeal of podcasts is the ability to catch the latest episode when running errands, or while performing tedious work tasks (like monthly inventory or accounting). Essentially, podcasts are highly mobile, with 64% being listened to on tablets or smartphones.
So, if you’re ready to tune into some of the most helpful and highest-rated podcasts on issues affecting retail, read on.
Total Retail Talks
If you’re particularly interested in trends, issues, and analysis for multi-channel retail, Total Retail Talks is a solid place to start. This weekly podcast expertly tailors its advice and tips to those retailers with both a brick-and-mortar storefront as well as an ecommerce presence.
Total Retail Talks is the podcast extension of the Total Retail website and online community, and primarily caters to entrepreneurs and retail executives who are more advanced in their knowledge and skill sets. Every episode profiles one issue or retailer each week, offering thoroughly engaging talks and interviews. Listeners take away a bevy of useful information and practical advice from a full roster of retail experts, influencers, and leaders.
One of the most daunting parts of building your own business is getting started. That’s where weekly radio show “From Scratch” comes in. Host Jessica Harris highlights a variety of issues around launching an entrepreneurial enterprise through her interviews with successful leaders and influencers from the business world.
Guests speak openly about their sources of inspiration, setbacks, helpful allies, and breakthrough moments to offer listeners thoroughly helpful firsthand insights on the launch process.
The Jason & Scot Show
For another meaty podcast on pertinent industry issues in a digestible format, give “The Jason & Scot Show” a listen. While this retail-focused podcast is the baby of the bunch (it initially launched in November 2015), the weekly show covers highly relevant subjects and pulls in heavy hitters from the industry for in-depth interviews, like senior executives from Abercrombie & Fitch, Under Armour, and Sur La Table
The creative hosts both have extensive backgrounds in retail, ecommerce, and marketing. Jason Goldberg currently serves as senior vice president of Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and is the founder of RetailGeek, a popular blog on shopper marketing and cross-channel commerce. Scot Wingo is the founder and executive chairman at Channel Advisor, a software solutions company catering to retailers. The duo discuss the latest news and trends in the world of ecommerce and digital shopper marketing, speaking on subjects like the growing on demand economy, virtual reality in retail, and forward-looking industry predictions.
Innovative Retail Technologies
Innovative Retail Technologies is a full-blown online publication and magazine that offers analysis of trends and news on the intersection of retail and tech. The brand’s primary aim is to “help retail executives make informed decisions about technology and operations solutions for every sales channel.”
The podcast extension of their site offers dozens of hyper-specific episodes on new tech that could benefit retailers of all shapes and sizes. Covering a broad array of tech topics, including the benefits of mobile SaaS, commerce as a service, and machine learning in retail, IRT provides listeners a glimpse into a future-focused vision of multi-channel retail and how technology can help drive innovation in the industry.
Need something on the lighter side to help you get through your day? For those merchants who are looking for a break from the challenges of retail, the “Retail Nightmares” podcast offers some much-needed comic relief.
Hosts Alicia Tobin and Jessica Delisle discuss some of the more hilarious (and often unbelievable) aspects of working in the retail industry. The two often interview well-known and upstart comedians, retailers, and other entrepreneurs of all stripes to vent about a diverse range of subjects on life and retail.
For In-Person Sellers:
The Side Hustle Show: Business Ideas for Part-Time Entrepreneurs
Whether you sell your products primarily online and just hawk your wares at fairs on weekends, host a pop-up shop on occasion, or have a standing booth at your local flea market, this podcast is a great resource for market merchants and part-time, in-person sellers. Host Nick Loper, an author and entrepreneur himself, walks listeners through various aspects of building a successful side hustle.
He covers a broad array of topics relevant to anyone who is looking to create a stream of side income, no matter your market niche. Nick and his guests discuss side business issues including small business marketing, sales, time management, and many others.
As the official podcast for Shopify, Shopify Masters profiles a string of successful entrepreneurs and highlights how they achieved big milestones in their business. Host Felix Thea interviews two new entrepreneurs each week, and probes the guests to examine their business, their products, and how the came upon their unique formula for success. If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for a new source of inspiration, then Shopify Masters might be the right fit for you.
TGIM: The Essential Podcast for Ambitious Entrepreneurs
The second of Shopify’s podcasts specifically for entrepreneurs, Thank God It’s Monday (TGIM) is an ideal listen for those who can’t wait for every week to start (or who want to get there). Every other Monday, the TGIM crew brings listeners inspirational stories of people who are harnessing their passion and creativity to build incredible businesses. Plus, you’ll hear from some of the world’s top entrepreneurs as they offer high-impact advice to help you get your business up and running. With wisdom from big names like Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk, as well as a bevy of small business owners with big ambitions, this is a must-listen for entrepreneurs with grand aspirations.
Have any other podcasts on your subscription list? Share your must-listen list of podcasts with us in the comments below.