All About ROI May 2010


"Shipping Costs Are Eating Me Alive"

Q:"Shipping costs are eating me alive. Customers want free or very low shipping, but they have no idea what that means for small online retail stores. Do you have any strategies to deal with shipping costs and remain competitive?"— Carla Rose, owner, Green and Chic

5 Free, Fantastic Web Marketing Tools

B-to-B companies are notoriously cheap, so here are some free tools and services that can improve your online marketing know-how and creative efforts.

Chinaberry Uses Personalized Product Recommendations to Boost Revenues

PROBLEM: Chinaberry, a cross-channel retailer of children's books, craft kits, toys and games, wanted to increase its online conversion rates. SOLUTION: Partnered with a provider of personalized product recommendations (PPRs) for online retailers. RESULTS: Overall site conversion for the Isabella brand website jumped from 4.7 percent in November 2008 without PPRs to 6.8 percent in November 2009 with PPRs.

eBay Goes Green to Attract Environmentally Conscious Buyers

The world's largest online marketplace has launched, a microsite for conservation-minded consumers. The site is designed to help consumers access the millions of green products available on the marketplace.

Getting Organized

The Container Store, a leading multichannel retailer of storage and organization products, understands the importance of having a cross-channel retail strategy: Developing cross-channel customers pads its bottom line.

Going Mobile

Will 2010 finally be the year of mobile commerce? While mobile has been the "next big thing" for at least the last five years, 2010 may actually be a banner year for the platform. Smartphone and iPhone usage has soared, and even older adults use phones to check the stock market, find the best deals at the grocery store and price insurance policies.

Good Readability Makes a Healthy Catalog

Your last prescriptions were to make design fast and easy to view, and add testimonials. Although there are no guaranteed "sure things," here's another low-risk script to keep your catalog healthy: Have good readability.

Have You Ever Faked a Tweet?

That comes from Paul Madden, a presenter on the "Automating Twitter" panel at Search Engine Strategies New York, held last month, and owner of Crea8 New Media. Madden "specializes in the darker arts of black hat SEO," and "actively explores as many methods for automating and benefiting from social media as possible," according to his speaker bio.

iPad Mobile Shopping is Where E-Commerce Meets Catalogs

In publishing, they're calling it "the Moses Tablet." Such is the potential seen in Apple's recently released iPad, the bigger version of the iPhone — sans phone. But that potential extends to retailers too, and with its big, shiny, multitouch, high-definition screen, the iPad may be the best visual selling space since catalogs.

Notes on the iPad

By now, you're probably sick of hearing about the iPad, right? Unless you're living under a rock, you know that Apple launched its iPad tablet computer on midnight, April 3. The smartphone/laptop computer combo was so popular, I'm sure you read, that Apple sold over 300,000 of them in the U.S. on that day alone. And as of press time, one report says more than 600,000 iPads have been sold. But what does the iPad mean for multichannel retailers?

What a 5-Day USPS Delivery Week Means for Direct Marketers

In late March the U.S. Postal Service officially presented its plan to move to a five-day delivery week to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Although the centerpiece of the USPS’ plan is the elimination of street address delivery on Saturdays, direct marketers should be aware there are many more potential changes that could impact their businesses.