Winter 2015

Cover Story

The Top Women in Omnichannel Retail

Retail Online Integration's fifth annual list of the leading women executives in omnichannel retail features some of the brightest minds in the industry. This year's nominees were chosen for being in a top-level position within an omnichannel retail organization, along with several other criteria, including their scope of responsibility, achievements within their own companies, and their involvement within the retail industry. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the career paths of some of today's leading retail experts, as well as find out what they believe will be the top tip for omnichannel retail success in 2015.


Best Practices for Using Contests for Email Acquisition

Contests can be a very effective email acquisition tactic, however, you need to put some thought into it to be sure you get high-quality email addresses, not just a high quantity of addresses. The key to success here is what the contest offers. You want to make sure that the contest prize has a broad appeal to your target audience, but isn't interesting to those outside it.

Blick Art Materials Launches Price Matching Program to Retain Loyal Customers

Online price matching is a tactic that brick-and-mortar retailers use around the holidays to save as many sales as possible. Blick Art Materials, the nation's largest art supply retailer, is launching its own online price-matching program — with a twist.

Experts Forecast the Retail Trends to Watch

I recently asked Retail Online Integration's (ROI) stellar editorial advisory board for 100 words or less on an omnichannel retail trend they believe will have a big impact on businesses this year. As expected, I got some great responses back. What follows are the board members’ insights into what your business should be focusing on in the New Year:

How Uses Social Media to Drive Customer Acquisition, the fast-growing urban street wear e-tailer, is gaining new customers and increasing sales and average order values thanks to an on-site social tool that encourages visitors to share products in their social circles and receive coupons for site merchandise in return.

New Platform Satisfies Krave Jerky's E-Commerce Needs

For Krave Jerky, e-commerce represents a growth opportunity. While the company's primary business is in wholesale agreements with retail partners — e.g., Wal-Mart, Target,, Vitamin Shoppe — selling its gourmet jerky flavors online has become a key initiative.
 For that to happen, however, Krave needed to upgrade from its "archaic" website — both in look and functionality — to a sleeker, easier-to-use platform. It needed a site that could match the coolness of the brand, which was growing at a meteoric rate.

Why Your Ads Should Be Saying ‘Cheese’

U.K.-based startup Powa Technologies has developed PowaTag, a payment technology that allows consumers to purchase a product by simply taking a photo of it on their smartphone, making virtually any ad shoppable. Some of the most unique places for these shoppable ads have included bus stop windows and taxicab screens. 
The PowaTag platform combines technologies, including Bluetooth beacons, digital audio watermarks, QR codes and embedded social media links, to enable consumers to scan an image and purchase instantly via their smartphone.


Back to the Future

With the holiday shopping season in the rearview mirror and a new year ahead of us, retailers are counting up their 2014 profits and reflecting on the past year. The end of each year — and the close of the busiest shopping months of the year — brings forth new trends that will have a major impact on retailers as they're settling into their New Year's resolutions. As you toast to the New Year and look to continue to make investments in online and mobile, think about these trends that will impact you the most in 2015.

Innovate or Die

Are retail innovation labs here to stay or are they just a fad passing through the industry? The largest internet-based retailer in the United States,, serves as an enduring example of what retailers should be doing to maintain longevity. Amazon's relentless pursuit of disruptive innovation has resulted in some of the more intriguing retail technology products, including augmented reality and the Fire Phone, in addition to securing Amazon's longstanding success. Beyond that, innovation labs invest in a company's culture, processes, supply chain and noncustomer aspects of the business.


A (Big) Piece of the Puzzle

Remember the days when all we had to worry about was one channel? Those days are long gone! Today, to succeed in our complex omnichannel world, you have to be in front of consumers at the right time, in the right place, with the right offer. Yes, it's a very complex world out there, but if you're up to the challenge it can pay great dividends.

The Law of ‘REALationships’

When I first wrote "The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing" for Retail Online Integration as a blog post back in 2009, I never realized the stir it would cause in the social media marketing world.  
I've been told over the years that the laws provided a great context for how to create loyal followers and build social engagement. Since 2009, I've presented the nine immutable laws to thousands of marketers live, and the online version of the presentation has been viewed nearly 50,000 times on SlideShare. And yet, I've always felt that there was something missing.