April 14, 2022
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From Physical Stores to the Metaverse - What Retail Execs are Thinking in 2022
Originally published on Retail Dive, April 12, 2022

As states relax COVID-19 restrictions, shoppers are venturing back into stores. While the confluence of bankruptcy, the economy (before and during the pandemic) and government mandates contributed to store closures, brick and mortar is making a rebound.

Even before the pandemic, consumers expressed a desire for a new kind of shopping experience. Experts say the pandemic compounded it. With an uptick in delivery services and curbside pickup, executives and experts said shoppers are expecting stores to serve as both destinations for a unique shopping journey and as fulfillment centers.

Wayfair's Chief Marketing Officer Bob Sherwin said at Shoptalk that with the opening of its three new stores, the DTC home goods retailer is creating a "new kind of omnichannel shopping experience that blurs the line between online and offline." 

"Whether our customers begin their journey in a store and then purchase online, or vice versa, our focus is on creating a seamless shopping experience at every customer touch point. Our physical retail stores will complement all that we are doing in e-commerce, allowing us to engage with our customers and bring our brands to life in a new way," Sherwin said.

Embrace the Random & Real: 20 Ways Your Business Can Celebrate
If this week's snow showers across Western Washington have images of Christmas running through your head, you're not alone! But Mother Nature's recent reminder of the wide variety of weather can prove inspiring for your business.

Read on for Christina Metcalf's tips for celebrating national holidays - real and fake - as a means for engaging with new and returning customers.

Google Retail Search Tool Helps Businesses & Shoppers
From the Washington Retail Association

According to recent reports, Google has developed a new retail search tool that helps shoppers get better results for the items they’re hunting for online. The tool includes advanced query understanding to better match product traits with website content for easier discovery.
Retailers like Lowe’s and others who have tested this tool have seen an uptick in sales, bigger basket sizes, and better customer engagement overall. A representative for Lowe’s said in a statement that since partnering with Google, they have seen an increase in search conversion, a decline in their no results found rate, an uptick in their click-through rate, and improved search results for long-tail searches.
The tool has also helped address the issues of inadequate searches that lead to online cart abandonment and frustrated consumers. Google conducted a Harris Poll survey which indicated that 94% of U.S. consumers quit a shopping session due to inaccurate search results. Retailers were losing about $300 billion in sales annually because of this issue.


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