IER Partners

2011 Resource Guide
December 1, 2010

Welcome to Retail Online Integration's annual Resource Guide. This special section offers all the crucial details, company information, contact numbers and addresses of product and service providers to the cross-channel retail industry.

Surprise Your Customers With Sheer Novelty
November 17, 2010

Did you know that your pet needed a Christmas pageant dress this holiday season? I'm not talking about the holiday bandanas, bowties, or traditional red and green pet sweaters complete with snowmen, snowflakes and argyle designs that are must-haves for any fashionable pet, but an actual Christmas pageant dress! The merchants at PetEdge certainly had fun putting together this year’s offerings of holiday pet clothing novelties. Who would have thought of a pet pageant dress? And for only $7.99!

How to Reveal Your Inner Genius With Your Merchandise
November 2, 2010

I love products that make me stop and think; products that halt me in my tracks and cause me to say things like, “What's that?” and “Just how did they do that?” Then, upon studying it further, “Well, now that makes perfect sense. I wonder why no one ever thought of it before?”

Child's Play
July 1, 2010

Ali Wing has a lot to smile about. giggle, was founded in 2003 with a website and concept store in the city's SoHo district. Since then, the founder and CEO of this cross-channel retailer of baby products, gifts and informational resources for new parents has seen it grow to include 11 brick-and-mortar stores throughout the U.S., a sophisticated transactional website, a series of print catalogs and a growing line of baby products called giggle Better Basics

6 Ways to Maximize Your Multichannel Experience
June 8, 2010

In today's economy, brands have to do more than just help consumers become familiar with a retail establishment, product or service — they have to help make these things stand out from the competition. This was the focus of a session at last month's Retail Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla. called "Brand Voila! Maximizing Your Multichannel Merchandising Experience."

A Love Affair With Merchandising
February 23, 2010

I follow Harvard professor Clayton Christensen’s axiom as my merchandising golden rule: “A product has a job to do for your customer.” I also add to that: “A product has a job to do for your brand.” These guiding factors play out in all the best merchandising strategies. Customer-centric products have only two paths — they can either enhance or detract from the brand.

Draw Up Your Brand’s Road Map
November 1, 2007

We all need road maps, particularly us merchants. There’s so much good stuff out there to choose from, so many different directions you can take in merchandising your catalog, that you need to find ways to navigate. In my 20-plus years as a creative merchant, I’ve always made product fit charts my strategic tool of choice as I sift and sort through thousands of product possibilities for each brand’s offerings. I treat them as my merchandising road maps, driving me to the very heart of each brand I work with. They help me edit the multitude of products I see at trade shows

Creative Cut: Goodson Builds on Lengthy History
July 1, 2007

I’m a virgin in the engine-building world — intimidated by all things technical and motorized. I’m definitely not one of Goodson’s customers. Lucky for Goodson, a cataloger that specializes in tools and supplies for engine builders, I do know a bit about branding, marketing communications and best practices for catalog success and customer satisfaction, and it’s apparent to me that Goodson does all of this. Goodson owner Scott Biesanz is certainly interested in building greatness that lasts. His opening letter states: “Some companies have faded, others have service problems and still others have gone out of business entirely. But here at Goodson, we’re going strong.

Merchandising: Don’t Be Boring
January 1, 2007

Customers want to be stimulated, surprised, intrigued, involved, entertained and loved. “Just don’t bore them,” says Kevin Roberts, author of “The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution” (powerHouse Books, 2006). As you draw up merchandising plans for the new year, use these words as a lens to view all brand-enhancing merchandising strategies. You’ll be surprised to discover you usually have more work to do to be truly customer-centric. Below are six timely merchandising strategies to focus you on delivering an inspired merchandising experience. 1. Break through your customers’ continuous partial attention (CPA). Customers not only are multitasking more these days,

Sonlight Curriculum Makes the Grade
October 1, 2006

Sonlight Curriculum catalog’s tagline says “lifestyle” to me: “literature-rich homeschooling — education beyond textbooks.” Lifestyle in the true sense of the word: not merely aspirational as many catalogs purport to be. Homeschooling is, indeed, a lifestyle, and the people behind the Sonlight Curriculum catalog “get it” because they live it. This is one of the subjects that earns Sonlight Curriculum a place on the honor roll. Sonlight Curriculum seems called to a higher mission. Homeschooling is hard work, and clearly isn’t for everyone. This catalog, in addition to being a vehicle to sell the educational resources, is much more. As a true magalog, it