'Tweetstakes,' 'Tweetaways' Pay Off for Chickdowntown.com

I don't know about you, but I get pumped at the prospect of having a chance to win a giveaway every day. It certainly piques interest among folks following Amy Reed's tweets (@chickdowntown).

A Systems Overview

In part 1 of this two-part series from our August issue, we classified e-commerce systems into four essential groups: bundled suites, enterprise leaders, niche players and experienced multichannel partners.

Case Study - Monitoring Service Keeps DollarDays International Running 24/7

Problem: DollarDays International, a B-to-B online wholesale distributor and closeout company for small businesses, sought a monitoring service to ensure its web store was functioning 24/7. Solution: Hired a website monitoring service to test its site. Results: Averaging 1,000 new visitors to its website each day, DollarDays estimates it saves thousands in potentially lost revenue by being "open" 24/7.

Email’s Mounting Role in Customer Service

Delivering best-in-class service is an important competitive differentiator, so every customer interaction needs to be positive. Email is a powerful tool for strengthening customer service and increasing user confidence in your site and company.

How to Grow Your Small Business This Year

PATIENT: "Doc, my small company needs to grow — even this year. But I don't want to branch out recklessly and try to be all things to all people. How can I grow my company, remain relevant, but not lose focus of our unique brand?" CATALOG DOCTOR: "It's possible for a small company to grow, even in today's economy. Look at expanding into new programs while improving existing programs as well. Here are prescriptions for both."

Is Rich Media Making You Rich?

Online marketing technologies have advanced to the point where your e-commerce website should be a combination of engaging entertainment and DRTV-style hard sell. You're no longer limited to one-dimensional copy and still photos to merchandise your products. Today we have a plethora of rich media options to add sizzle to online communications and offerings. It's direct mail meets MTV.

Opportunity Knocking in 2010?

The housing market and employment levels are among the biggest factors economists monitor to get a fix on the state of the economy. Overall retail sales is the other major bellwether, particularly as we head into the fall and holiday seasons. At this point, it's tough to get overly optimistic about an economic recovery for 2009. But amidst the negatives, there are some positive signs on the horizon worth tracking and reacting to.

Prospecting - Z Gallerie, Beachbikes.com, Harrods

Security Trustmark Boosts Web Sales for Z Gallerie; Niche Keywords, Online Geotargeting Pedal Bike Retailer; Harrods' Video Ads Light Up London

Shop Talk - Marketing - Make Branding & Selling Work Hand in Hand

Everyone in business has to sell. In the long run, it's what keeps you alive and growing. Yet there are times I hear clients say they're willing to give up sales to support the brand. Are you kidding? Never! That's evidence of grave dysfunction between creative and marketing.

Tailored Deals Bank Sales

With company-record net income of $58.4 million and sales gains of 15.2 percent (including comparable store sales rising 8.9 percent) for its fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, JoS. A. Bank was a rare 2008 success story.

The Integrated Shopper

Some niches are tough. But during a recession, the overcrowded home decoration space is brutal. Forget waiting for end-of-season sales; companies are discounting new merchandise. It’s at times like these that your investment in brand differentiation pays off ... if you did it correctly.