Web Design

Just When You Thought You Knew It All About E-commerce …
August 24, 2007

Well into the second decade of the Internet, many of you reading this — if not all of you — have a pretty good recollection of the “Wild Wild West” days of the Internet early on. It actually still is the Wild West, but in a much different way. And, having sat in on a number of sessions at the e-Tail conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, I noticed the breadth of knowledge that’s permeated the catalog/multichannel community and helped give it an entirely different character than it had 10 years ago. For one, consider how the language has changed. In the mid-’90s, I

Web 2.0: What it Means to You
July 1, 2007

If you’re confused about what exactly Web 2.0 is, you’re in good company. This often-repeated buzzword has many Web site owners — not just catalogers — scratching their heads and wondering what the heck Web 2.0 is and whether their sites need it. Fear not. Web 2.0 actually is a broad term, closer to a concept encompassing a whole cluster of new tools and techniques used on Web sites. You didn’t see them three to five years ago. It’s not a software package you can buy from Microsoft or build yourself, but rather a catchphrase that denotes your Web site is keeping current with the

E-commerce Insights: The (Free) Benefits of Google’s Webmaster Central
July 1, 2007

If you’re not using Google’s Webmaster Central, you should start. Google Webmaster Central is a great bundle of free Google tools to help you understand how Google indexes your site. It’s essential to ranking well in Google’s natural rankings. And as a bonus of sorts, by fixing problems revealed by Webmaster Central, you often can improve your positioning on secondary engines, too. For starters, you need a Google account. Go to: https://www.google.com/accounts/newaccount. Next, go to (and bookmark) the Google Webmaster Central homepage: www.google.com/webmasters. The Help Center, blog and forums are worth monitoring. These resources provide valuable advice from Google and outsiders for successful

E-commerce Insights: Speed Up Your Site to Sell More
June 1, 2007

Speed is an often-overlooked component of Web site usability. Users perceive faster sites as more functional. Usable Web sites sell more. If a site responds quickly, users are less likely to abandon ship if they get confused. Case closed. Read on! Best-of-class organizations, such as Google, Craigslist and Amazon.com, deliberately strive for site speed. Regardless of your size, your Web team can and should do the same. There’s no “magic bullet” to speed up your site, however. Speed comes from implementing many simple changes. Here are four broad strategies and 24 tactics to speed up your site. Strategy 1: Manage for Speed

Make Blogging and RSS Pay Off by Driving Traffic and Sales Through Optimized Blogs and Feeds
May 22, 2007

In the intensive session I led during the ACCM in Boston on May 21, the overriding theme was that search engines judge a site’s worth on its inbound links. Translation: No links = no rankings. Blogs, meanwhile, are great at attracting links from the blogosphere, because bloggers are rather cliquish and mostly tend to link to each other. So you’ll earn links as a blog that you wouldn’t normally earn otherwise. Nonetheless, intentionally work to boost your link popularity; don’t just expect links to your blog to come on their own. One of the best ways to do this is by building relationships with

Who Are You Anyway?
April 6, 2007

For this edition, I perused several catalog Web sites to see how good a job catalogers do in explaining who they are. Naturally, many consumers want to get a good idea of who they’re doing business with. If your company comes off in something of a faceless manner, some might be put off. On the other hand, consumers take heart in knowing where you’re located, what you’re all about, where you’re coming from and in some cases, who founded you. It’s a fairly easy thing to do, especially on the Web. By in large, I found that most handle their “about this company”

Multichannel Brand Management: Refine Your Message
April 1, 2007

* This article is very image-heavy. For optimized Web viewing and readability, the images do not appear here. To see the print version, plus images, click on “Refine Your Multichannel Message” PDF under Related Content in the upper-right corner of this page. You must have Adobe Reader 6.0 or above to view this document. As the online channel has settled into the mainstream in recent years, multichannel integration has become more crucial for catalogers. Still, there are plenty of marketers out there who neglect, or simply fail, to maintain one voice and a cohesive visual treatment across the three key channels: catalog, Web

Be a NEMOA Person
March 22, 2007

Writing this issue of The Corner View from Cambridge, Mass., during the Spring NEMOA conference this week, I found myself reflecting on the types of people who attend this conference, as well as the types of people in this industry today. Although the catalog business has undergone much consolidation over the years, which has stripped some companies of their entrepreneurial spirit, when you come to a NEMOA, it reinforces the industry’s ages-old character. NEMOA people are warm, caring, entrepreneurial and very social. They share a unique passion for the catalog business. In many respects, they’re indicative of the traditional cataloger. But guess what? They’re

Case Study: Site Search Solution Spikes Sales by 60 Percent
February 1, 2007

Problem: Organize.com sought to merchandise its site search results. Solution: It employed a site search software platform. Results: Online orders increased 60 percent in the first month. When Organize.com first employed an onsite search program in 1999, officials at the company believed the Yahoo! solution they implemented was state-of-the-art. Fast forward to the middle of 2005, and what was once a top-of-the-line technological breakthrough had become obsolete. Search results often were randomly displayed, and Organize.com was unable to track whether customers were using search to purchase. Organize.com wanted a solution that allowed its merchandisers to be able to decide which products were most relevant to customers’ searches,