Editor's Note: Welcome to 2013, Retailers!

Melissa Campanelli

Are you all looking forward to a busy and exciting year? If not, you should be given the past holiday season. Despite a questionable economy, retailers enjoyed a strong holiday season. Consider the following:

  • Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, consumers spent $42.3 billion online, according to market research firm comScore. This is 14 percent more than consumers spent online during the same time period in 2011.
  • There were 10 days in 2012 in which total online sales were more than $1 billion, according to comScore.
  • During November and December, national retail sales and foot traffic in retail stores both increased 2.5 percent, as compared to the same two months in 2011, according to research firm ShopperTrak. Shoppers spent $248.8 billion during this time period.
  • Sixty-nine percent of all consumers shopped at brick-and-mortar stores between Dec. 19 and Dec. 26, according to the NPD Group.
  • On Cyber Monday, more than 18 percent of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s website, an increase of more than 70 percent over 2011. Mobile sales reached close to 13 percent, an increase of more than 96 percent over 2011, according to IBM.

Good news all around in both the online and offline retail worlds. With these kinds of statistics, retailers have a lot to be optimistic about in 2013. To give you a little help to ensure your 2013 is the best it can be, check out our cover story, where you’ll find our second annual how-to guide to being a successful cross-channel retailer. We’ve assembled a top-notch group of cross-channel retail experts to offer you their best advice for the year ahead on a variety of topics, from warehouse labor management to mobile marketing to best practices for integrating social media into your marketing mix.

We’re also optimistic about having a great year here at Retail Online Integration. To help us in our continuing quest to provide you with actionable ideas and tips to help you grow your retail businesses, we’ve enlisted the help of three new editorial advisory board members: Kathy Doyle-Thomas, executive vice president, marketing/development at Half Price Books; Richard Sexton, founder and president of Carolina Rustica; and Howard Wyner, CEO and chief marketing officer of Scentiments. We’re excited to get their sage advice and perspectives this year. In fact, all of our advisory board members contribute to this issue’s cover story; look for their quotes on what cross-channel retailers must focus their attention on in 2013 to make it a success.

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