Digital Magazine for B2B CE Retail Products & Strategy News


Jessica Guyon

Harnessing the Power of Google for Retail Success

By Jessica GuyonMarch 31, 2021

On a special episode of the Independent Thinking Podcast hosted live from Nationwide’s Virtual PrimeTime, Patrick Tam, Strategic Partner Manager at Google, discussed digital trends as they relate to retail and the ways retailers can use Google’s suite of tools to stay ahead of them.

During the discussion led by Rob Stott, Corporate Communications Manager of Nationwide Marketing Group, Tam described how this past year forced retailers to rethink their business models and how they engage with their customers. Tam referenced an Enders Analysis study that showed online retail has been accelerated four years as a result of the pandemic. Businesses were quick to adapt and embrace this innovation, and Google played a big part in it all.

As retailers navigate this new digital landscape, the Google Partners Program offers reliable insights on companies that can help them reach their goals. The whole idea of the program is to offer some “structure” to the marketplace and highlight those companies that are truly delivering the best services.

Nationwide Marketing Group is one of those companies.

They have actually been named a Google Premier Partner, which requires an even higher level of professionalism. In order to be granted a Premier Partner status, a company must be able to reach a large number of small businesses across the U.S. Additionally, this partner must encompass a high level of excellence and expertise. Google has a set of measures in place to gauge performance that all partners in this rank are held accountable to. They also require Premier Partners to undergo specific certifications and trainings to ensure they are well versed in the entire Google Suite.

PrimeTime Zoom Session

All of these tools have proven to be of vital importance during the acceleration to e-commerce. Tam feels strongly that the changes we’ve experienced in retail as a result of the pandemic will have a lasting impact. One of those is the importance of a retailer’s online presence.

“Your website is your best employee,” says Tam.

A company’s website has become the entry-point for customers, and a positive experience there will leave a lasting impression and get them to the next stop: visiting your storefront. Once they’re in, utilizing Google Trends or Merchant Reports can provide insight into what products people are looking to buy and the brands that they trust. Leveraging this data can help retailers optimize merchandising and ordering decisions so that their shelves are always stocked with the most popular products and brands at the right quantities.

One thing Tam says he would like to see utilized more on the retail front is augmented reality. This tool provides customers with a wealth of information on a product right at their fingertips. The more information someone can learn about a product from videos, reviews, ratings, etc. will help them to feel more confident in their buying decisions.

As Stott explains, it doesn’t take becoming an expert in the entire Google Suite in order to succeed, but retailers can have faith that, when partnering with a Google Premier Partner like Nationwide, they will be backed by a team of experts who can help them reach their goals.

When Phones Become Organ Donors

By Jessica GuyonMarch 31, 2021

Here’s how phone recycling works

Not all phones get to experience the same happy ending with a new owner. Those phones get recycled. First off, smelters and refiners separate all of its parts into three primary material streams: plastic or aluminum housing, internal circuit cards, and batteries.

Materials like glass and other cosmetic components are easily removed and reused depending on their viability and demand. The battery gets shipped off to cobalt recovery and the internal circuit cards, where all of the precious metals are usually found, are shredded to destroy any leftover data. Then, the remaining gold, silver, and copper, among other metals used to conduct electricity on phones, head to the smelting stage.

Cell Phone Parts
Disassembled Smartphone

Here, the precious metals are heated at preset temperatures and skimmed from the vat as they rise to the top as liquid. Continued temperature increases slowly repeat this process until all metals are extracted.

The smelter either refines the resulting metals or sells them in bulk to metal refineries that remove any impurities from the base metals using various substances. The refined metals are then sold in bulk for use in things like medical equipment, jewelry, and ironically, new cell phone components.

Recycling phones is important for myriad reasons. First off, there’s the sheer quantity of precious metals recovered from the process. For instance, 300 times more gold is contained in one ton of iPhones than in a ton of gold ore, according to a 2013 estimate, not to mention the infinitely greater costs of mining the ore out of the ground versus through recycling. But there is also the financial argument: Sourcing precious metals from e-waste costs 13 percent less versus the mining of ore, according to research published by the American Chemical Society.

Think of it this way. The more phones that get recycled instead of thrown away or left in a drawer, the less expensive everything from iPhones to gold rings will be in the future.