Retail Online Integration December 2010
Rebuild it or else. This is the emerging mind-set of mid-sized companies as they start to feel the growing pains of a first generation e-commerce site that no longer supports their needs. Lack of features, scalability challenges, weak business tools, the need for mobile and social commerce support, and a slew of other challenges have driven many online sellers to a tipping point. Their current online solutions will not cut it.
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.
It seems too easy, right? There's got to be a catch. If not, I'm questioning why I'm not living in a much nicer house and driving a much nicer car at the rate my wife fires out texts to her friends and family.
In an effort to give consumers more information when they're shopping in-store, Canon U.S.A. has launched a mobile marketing program that centers around the mobile web and 2-D barcode technology.
New marketing vehicles such as the iPad bring cross-channel retailers innovative ways to reach consumers. But they also complicate life, making it a challenge to get a clear picture of which marketing activities are driving the most traffic to a website.
Cross-channel footwear retailer Crocs offered a companywide discount — a first for the brand — to kick off its recently signed marketing and distribution partnership with The DealMap, a localized daily-deal website. Beginning on Friday, Oct. 22 and running through Sunday, Oct. 24, consumers could get a coupon for 30 percent off Crocs products from The Dealmap's website or mobile apps.
What any e-retailer really needs to make 2011 a great year is some way to grow year-over-year visitors by 10 percent to 15 percent.
More than 50 percent of all catalog orders are now placed via the internet. This development has impacted the use of bind-in catalog order forms. In fact, this growing trend has impacted the use of any type of order form. That said, the order form in a print catalog can still be beneficial. The decision to eliminate an order form shouldn't be based solely on saving money or on the percentage of orders received via the mail. There are other factors to consider.
As I write this in mid-November, retail sales are staging somewhat of a comeback. On Nov. 15, for example, the Commerce Department said retail sales (excluding automobiles) increased 0.4 percent in October, in line with expectations heading into this crucial holiday season. As you read this, however, you're probably smack in the middle of your holiday season — and hopefully you're having a great one. But you also must be mindful of what's on the horizon.
Already a successful brick-and-mortar retailer for over 66 years, with a profitable catalog business for the past 17 years-plus, MPW faced a decision: continue on with its comfortable existence, or evolve with the times and grow to new heights. It chose the latter — although it wasn't without its struggles. Specifically, that evolution involved launching an e-commerce website, which MPW did in June 2003 to decidedly dreadful reviews.