Product Data Feed Standards Sought
March 1, 2006

While comparison shopping sites such as Froogle, and Shopzilla can provide an opportunity for multichannel marketers to reach new customer universes, they also present a unique set of challenges. Because there are myriad formats of product data feeds (the information you provide to the sites), this creates problems if you want to sell products on more than one site, says Alan Rimm-Kaufman, CEO of interactive marketing firm The Rimm-Kaufman Group. In a move to combat these dilemmas, merchants, search agencies and search engines met at’s FirstLook 2006 in Atlanta in January to discuss the need for a common standard for describing

Get All Your Customers' Eggs in Your Basket
August 8, 2005

Aggregate. In other words, cross-sell other products and services. It's easy since you already have a relationship with your customers. Offer one-stop shopping, consolidated billing, free shipping and other benefits for giving you more of their business. Everyone's busy, and consumers are looking for service providers who can make their lives easier. It's what they want, so why not give it to them? Case in point: What started as the "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" in 1995 is now an online powerhouse, offering everything from toys to travel and Target merchandise. took a winning formula and added new product categories and partners. And

A Chat With Dyan Eagles, founder and president, DharmaCrafts
August 1, 2005

© Profile of Success, Catalog Success magazine, August 2005 Catalog Success: When was the catalog established? Dyan Eagles: 1979, but it didn’t turn into a catalog until 1981. It started out as a little 5 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch black and white book. I started it with $10. After a meditation retreat, I came back and decided to start a business selling meditation supplies. I started out by making drawstring pants for my friends and hanging up fliers in Harvard Square. I was living in a meditation center and studying Zen with a Korean Zen Master; it just grew out of my interest in that. CS:

Customer Acquisition: Feed Your Need to Sell
May 1, 2005

The rise of the search engine as a marketing tool has brought with it a bevy of other online-selling opportunities. Not least among these are the shopping feeds, Web sites that act as online aggregators of merchandise and that allow consumers to compare similar products online, then choose merchants to supply the items. Often shopping feeds are referred to as comparison shopping engines or Web co-ops. Notable examples include Google’s Froogle and Amazon (see “Five Feeds Examined,” below). While few catalogers are claiming that shopping feeds are bringing in huge amounts of money, many in the e-commerce world do admit that they’re

E-commerce: Lessons Learned From Being an Amazon Partner
March 15, 2005

Becoming an Merchant is a tremendous way to supercharge your Internet exposure, said Sally Rue, former director of consumer business at Caswell-Massey, a soap and toiletries multichannel merchant, during her talk at the conference of the eCommerce and Catalog Systems Forum, held March 3 and 4 in New Orleans. Caswell-Massey’s foray into the Amazon world boosted the merchant’s incremental sales and enabled it to achieve better prospecting. “No question, it was 100 percent worth it,” said Rue, now an e-business consultant who retains her ties with Caswell-Massey. Indeed, in December, Caswell-Massey, a tiny firm by most measures, had three of the top 10 selling

The Secret to a Successful Web Site
November 26, 2003

It should have such incredible perceived value that your visitors want to bookmark it By Denny Hatch When I travel, I like to bring my laptop so I can check e-mail and read English-language newspapers online. To do that, of course, I need the right phone jack for the country I'm visiting. Recently I went to Spain. Before I left, I visited the Web site for the Magellan's catalog, clicked on "Info Center," scrolled down the country guides list to Spain and found that Spanish telephones are accessible with the RJ-11 adapter used in the United States. Terrific! No order needed from

Amazon Helps British Merchant Unveil Its Brand in the U.S.
October 1, 2003

By Lisa Yorgey Lester The launch of a new sports bra ordinarily doesn't attract a great deal of press. Then again, a tennis match at Grand Central Terminal between CEO Jeff Bezos and tennis siren Anna Kournikova is no ordinary event. Bezos and Kournikova recently teamed up to promote the U.S. debut of the Anna Kournikova Multiway sports bra available to U.S. consumers through Figleaves, a London-based intimate apparel retailer that recently joined Amazon's Apparel & Accessories store. Exclusivity and variety are Figleaves' unique selling proposition. The retailer sells leading swimwear, nightwear and hosiery brands for men and women in all

Holiday Hunting, Part 2
January 1, 2003

In last month’s column, I recounted my holiday-shopping experiences with The Sharper Image, Amazon and Barnes & This month I offer more catalog-shopping tales in case they’re helpful or instructive to other catalogers. I requested a copy of the Wisconsin Cheeseman catalog, because a recent vacation in Wisconsin convinced me of that state’s supremacy in cheese-making. The catalog, which arrived about a week after I requested it online, offers various cheeses, meats, sweets and other delectables. It’s a terrific marriage of photography and copy. And the color quality and merchandise selection is exceptional. So with the catalog, a credit card

Early Holiday Hunting
December 1, 2002

This past month I did a bit of holiday shopping online and by catalog. On the whole, my experiences were enjoyable, although I did encounter a few snags. I offer them here in case they’re instructive for other catalogers. I’d been looking in The Sharper Image catalog at a foot massager as a holiday gift for my husband’s two hard-working aunts, but I was unsure about buying it. One day I got an e-mailed offer from The Sharper Image: Get $20 off an order of $60 or more. “Ah!” I thought. “A perfect time to buy.” So I clicked on

Amazon Tests Catalog Search Service
July 1, 2002

By Gabrielle Mosquera Seeking to further its mission of enabling consumers to buy anything online, Internet behemoth in May began testing its own catalog search service. "It's similar to our 'Look Inside the Book' feature," explains Amazon spokesperson Carrie Peters. "It's an easy way for catalogers to have exposure to Amazon's customers. The nice thing is that it's in a format that a lot of our customers are familiar with." The search allows catalogers access to Amazon's 26 million active customer base, and offers catalogs in eight categories: scientific supplies, medical supplies, industrial supplies, car parts, home furnishings, lifestyle, pet toys,