When I attend industry conferences, I do quite a lot of cherry-picking. After all, there’s quite a lot of information spread around, but not a lot of it’s relevant to catalogers and multichannel marketers.
So for this week’s edition of The Corner View, I took it upon myself to attend many sessions from the eTail Conference, held Feb. 11-14 in Palm Desert, Calif., and whittle down these experiences into the top 10 ideas, tips, points and company activities I took in during the event.
I only attended sessions with panels that included catalog/multichannel marketers. The most noteworthy subjects they discussed included exploring the commerce opportunities for online social networks, upgrading e-commerce platforms, customer retention and matchback refinements.
Below are the top 10 tips I gleaned from these panels listed by subject matter, with speaker attribution in italics below.
1. Expand E-Mail’s Potential
E-mail marketing is still nowhere near its full potential for catalogers. You can take e-mail and do a lot more recency/frequency/monetary modeling and segmentation, using some traditional direct marketing tactics to drive increased response. Norm Thompson Outfitters has been testing this and believes that e-mail “will be the holy grail to building very loyal customers.” — Shelley Nandkeolyar, CEO, Norm Thompson
2. Handle Orders Consistently
Offer the same customer experience whether you’re handling 1,000 orders per hour on Thanksgiving Day or more than 13,000 orders per hour on Black Friday, as Staples.com did. Staples.com has experienced double-digit growth for its direct/catalog/online unit and increased visitor-to-buyer conversion rates by nearly 60 percent since redesigning its Web site a couple of years ago.
The office-supplies marketer incorporates deep site analytics to know what its customers are doing. The company collects many customer satisfaction surveys, but the timing is key: “Make sure you’re doing them at the right point and through the right medium.” —Kenneth Moore, director of Staples Business Delivery Information Technology, Staples