A Systems Overview
August 1, 2009

Until recently, selecting the optimum e-commerce platform for a multichannel business was a race to keep up with evolving technologies. The applications morphed at such blinding speed that the needs and requirements you defined when selecting your system easily could be obsolete by the time that system was up and running. Today's technology isn't evolving any slower — if anything, the pace of e-commerce change continues to accelerate. But the main differentiators among systems these days are less in the features and functions they support than the services they offer, flexibility, scalability, technical support, and the vendors' approach to charging for licenses or services. In short, your biggest challenge in selecting a platform may be determining which provider will be your best business partner going forward.

The Convergence Question
April 1, 2006

By Bill Spaide Need a seamless interface from e-commerce through order management to physical fulfillment? Here's how to get it. Online retail sales continue their year-over-year surge. Web consumers' expectations for the range of services and ease of online shopping also are increasing. As a result, Web and fulfillment technology solutions available to direct commerce marketers have undergone several changes during the last few years. What's been happening, why, and how can you take advantage of these noted trends to improve your multichannel sales and customer service efforts? In this article, I'll look at how converged software solutions

Serenity now! Nine tips to help improve your Outbound Parcel Shipping
August 1, 2004

By Donna Loyle Shipping and handling (S&H) complaints usually rank pretty high on the list of gripes customers have against merchants. At the same time, consumers rate parcel delivery companies as some of the best in customer service*. Is there a disconnect in the consumer's mind, or is there more to this dichotomy than meets the eye? Catalog Success asked Jeff Kline, a veteran of catalog fulfillment, to share his advice on how you can increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of your outbound parcel shipping services — while at the same time maintaining or even improving your customer service objectives. Kline

Harmonize Your Sales Strategies
May 4, 2004

By Noelle Buoncristiano Four tactics for multichannel success. Today's multichannel merchants continually are searching for viable channel-integration solutions — a seamless blend across the key points of customer interaction, including catalogs, Web sites, retail stores and kiosks. "Providing seamless integration communicates a consistent message to consumers and results in higher transaction values," note the authors of the LakeWest Group's Fifth Annual POS Benchmarking Survey 2004. But as most catalogers will tell you, achieving that seamless blend across all sales channels is more difficult than it appears to be. Following are a few tactics that can help you make the most

Jenson USA: At the Crossroads
June 1, 2003

Jenson USA, a cataloger of premium mountain biking accessories, reached a critical juncture in 2001. Founded a decade ago by President and CEO Mike Cachat, a competitive racer who spent his off hours tuning his bikes and those of his friends, the company grew quickly. Recalls Cachat, “We soon realized our slow catalog software couldn’t handle the large volume of data we were generating.” The cataloger was rapidly adding customers via a media mix of magazine ads, catalog prospecting and, most significantly, the Internet — where it now transacts 65 percent of its orders. Complicating things further, it plans to open its

The Mark Group - Branded Online (2,303 words)
February 2, 2001

By Alicia Orr With all of the excitement of the Internet in the past few years, some catalogers have forgotten the most basic rule of direct marketing; that it must first focus on providing customer satisfaction. One company that has not forgotten this is The Mark Group, the Boca Raton, FL-based company that publishes the Boston Proper, Charles Keath and Mark, Fore & Strike catalogs. As company CEO Michael Tiernan projected a year and a half ago: "As e-commerce evolves... ultimately success is not dependent on Web traffic, click-through rates or market capitalization, but on earning customer trust on every single transaction." Today, a