Web Design

Cataloger-Relevant Cherry-Pickin’s From eTail Conference
February 15, 2008

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

7 Steps to Multichannel Mastery
February 1, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is the first article of a three-part series on becoming more proficient and adapting to the multichannel world. Parts two and three will appear in our June and September issues. Can you imagine a catalog/multichannel company not striving to become more efficient and effective in each selling channel in which it operates? Certainly not. This article focuses on the key issues and trends impacting multichannel selling today. It examines how you can improve your bottom line in each channel, cuts to the chase and identifies seven issues that smart direct sellers need to focus on this year. (You can also

Should You Be In the Web site Software Development Business?
January 22, 2008

One of the recurring questions I ask my clients is, “Should you make that or buy that?” I’m always amazed at how many times I see noncore functions being reinvented by companies with less than $100 million in sales. I often find myself in discussions about what the core competencies of companies are vs. “stuff that has to be done.”
Generally, I find there’s a bias among many who believe that “no one can do it like we can,” when in fact the opposite is true. In particular, I’m seeing this in Web site development, where the old adage is: “A little information

Five Ways to Bring Your Catalog/Multichannel Business in Tune With 2008
January 18, 2008

There’s that old Bob Dylan song about times a-changin’ that I won’t bother to quote further. But it seems to hold true moreso year after year, and 2008 is no exception. So while some of us continue to exchange “happy new year” greetings with one another, I’ll send along one last new year’s greeting with what I believe to be the top five actions you should act on, examine or just ponder to bring your catalog/multichannel business in sync with the times. 1. Get your matchback system working smoothly at once. Assign someone in either your marketing or operations departments to do nothing

Show Me the Numbers; Better Yet, I’ll Show You
January 11, 2008

Over the past few months, we at Catalog Success have been hard at work to further develop a hefty well of research data for our readers. In October we launched the Catalog Success Latest Trends Report, a quarterly series of original benchmarking research we’ve been conducting with the multichannel ad agency Ovation Marketing. In the coming months, we’ll also be running a series of mail volume charts provided by several catalog co-op databases. Like the Latest Trends surveys, these will run in the IndustryEye section of our print magazine. And for the past year or so, we’ve been running a regular reader poll.

Design to Sell
December 4, 2007

As multichannel merchants look to capitalize on the all-important holiday shopping season, particularly online, many are counting on increased Web traffic and the sales that follow. But for many, the sales don’t always follow, due to poor Web design. Jeff Schueler, president of Usability Sciences Corp., a testing and user research solutions provider, has composed a list of his top Web design tips for improving online sales. Listed below are some of his best. 1. Allow ‘guests’ to buy your products. Many customers avoid sites that force them to register to make a purchase. They see the registration process as an invitation to receive

Become a Virtual Spy
December 1, 2007

Your phone buzzes just after lunch. Your boss is shouting, “Some new Web site appeared today out of nowhere and it’s advertising heavily against us! Who is it? Find out everything you can about it and report back by day’s end!” Today’s Web provides easy tools for competitive research. This month’s column provides a road map for sleuthing a competitor in a few of hours, at no cost, using just a Web browser. This is a link-heavy article. Once you finish reading this, you can go to the CatalogSuccess.com Web site and find a sidebar containing all the links mentioned. First, ready your browser.

The 50 Best Tips
November 1, 2007

Say what you will about this wonderful trade we call the catalog/multichannel business, but whichever way you spin it, you can’t go very far if you’re unprofitable. That’s why above all else — the marketing, the merchandising, the creative, the e-commerce, etc. — we’re most interested in helping our readers make more money. So we bring you our annual binge of tactics and tips extracted from all of this year’s issues of Catalog Success, our weekly e-newsletter Idea Factory and our biweekly idea exchange e-newsletter, The Corner View. Our editorial staff went through every article we’ve produced this year to give you a nice,

Maximize Your Web Tools
October 1, 2007

Good news for American multichannel marketers: The growth rate of the Internet continues to make China’s economic expansion seem paltry. After all, China is only growing at a measly 11 percent! But there’s bad news, too: 10 years of uninterrupted, 20-plus percent growth has encouraged software companies to produce a seemingly never-ending flood, or plague, of new site features. Who has the time, energy, money or development staff to try all these new site features? So how do you know which one(s) to work on? And how do you make sure you get the most out of the ones you do invest in?

On the Web, Show Prospects You’re a Real Company; Not Simply a Fly-by-Night
September 7, 2007

These days, if you look hard enough, you can find some catalogers who can offer a nice bargain. But as we all know, by in large, catalogers have a tough time competing with retailers on price. Otherwise, it’s the product and service, stupid! Before you even consider offering top quality service, however, you better put your customers and prospects at ease, particularly when it comes to your Web site. Assure them that they’re dealing with a reputable company they can trust. Historically, the direct marketing business — later, to be joined by the e-commerce business — has always been plagued by fly-by-nights, leaving consumers