January/February 2014 Issue


A Few Thoughts From NRF

This past January, as I've done for the past five years or so, I trekked into New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center for the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Big Show. I was met, as I was in past years as well, by retailers from around the world. I spent time at this year's conference attending presentations and press conferences; meeting and interviewing retail industry execs in the press room; and walking the vast exhibit hall floors trying to find the "next big things" in retail technology. Here are a few of my takeaways

Expanding Your Digital Footprint

Retailers are moving quickly to open new markets, enticed by double-digit growth and the global scale of international e-commerce. The appetite for U.S. brands is strong around the world, and the desire to shop online is growing at a tremendous clip.

F-Commerce Shines for Apricot Lane

For a boutique apparel and accessories retailer such as Apricot Lane Peoria (ALP), building a community of fans, and ultimately converting those fans into customers, is a top challenge. With a limited brick-and-mortar presence and a modest digital advertising budget, getting brand recognition was a concern for ALP. Enter Facebook.

From Soup to Nuts

An everything guide on how to be a successful omnichannel retailer in 2014

Here They Come Again!

Returned goods are an issue for retailers throughout the year, but they can really cause headaches in the aftermath of the holiday sales peak. You can set your calendar by it: customers who, for some reason, aren't satisfied with the gifts they've received or the purchases they've made will begin returning those items en masse even before the first quarter is over.

How to Make eBay Your Customer Acquisition Marketplace

Q: "I sell merchandise on eBay and via my own site, and have much better sales on eBay. How can I convert those eBay buyers to purchase on my website?"

Rock/Creek Outfitters Generates Leads Via Twitter

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer Rock/Creek Outfitters used Twitter's Lead Generation Cards in a Promoted Tweet campaign last year to capture the email addresses of people who entered a drawing to win a free pair of Chaco sandals.

ShopRoxx Uses Email to Build Customer Loyalty

For ShopRoxx, an omnichannel fashion retailer for younger women, increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value with the brand is a key initiative for 2014. To help make this goal become reality, ShopRoxx is using email marketing. Specifically, the retailer is leveraging profile and behavioral data sets that enable it to send emails that feature highly relevant suggested products to its subscribers.

Unorthodox But Effective

Sometimes an odd suggestion can really turn a company around. Here are three nontraditional recommendations that have significantly improved sales for B-to-B direct marketers:

Watch and Wait or Take Immediate Action?

With an ever-changing technology like mobile, it's important to stay up to date with the trends and take action on the already tried-and-true strategies. Let's take a look at some of these trends and must-do tactics.

Why eBay is the Winner of the 2013 Holiday Shopping Season

eBay has impressed me with shoppable windows, the expansion of eBay Now (its same-day delivery service) and its soon-to-be-launched virtual shopping mall "The Plaza." But the online retailer may have outdone itself with shoppable theater.