Retail Online Integration January 2011


A Fresh Start

I know what you're thinking: the dreaded January editor's note. Another blowhard editor droning on and on about how great the year ahead looks for the industry they cover.

A Preview of Google Instant Previews: Is it a Game Changer?

Google unveiled its newest search enhancement, Google Instant Previews (GIP), in November. Denoted by a small magnifying glass to the right of a search listing, GIP allows searchers to look at a mini version (also called a snippet) of a specific web page before they commit to clicking on it. Is this a game changer? Not exactly, but it certainly does make things interesting.

Advancing to the Next Level

With the traditional video game industry in decline, the world's largest video game retailer GameStop figured it would have a lot to lose. Rather than become a dinosaur in a fading industry, however, the Grapevine, Texas-based cross-channel retailer took a series of steps to adjust its business model to remain relevant in an evolving and dynamic marketplace. Chief among those steps was a shift to providing consumers with more digital content.

Blue Nile Launches Daily-Deal Series to Acquire Holiday Shoppers

Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile relied heavily on promotions this past holiday season to attract new customers. Beginning on Cyber Monday (Nov. 29) and running through Dec. 23, Blue Nile rolled out a new deal on its website each day at midnight. Consumers had 24 hours to purchase the "Holiday Exclusives" at a significant discount. All orders placed on Cyber Monday were upgraded to free FedEx Priority Overnight shipping as well.

Check it Out

A sampling of key insights posted on last month:

Clear Skies Ahead: Recovery and Growth Forecasted for 2011

As we ring in a new year, many retailers are wondering what's in store for 2011. With an economy that's still bouncing back from the Great Recession, it's hard to predict the future (yet we're going to try anyway). For many retailers, 2010 proved to be a year of recovery. They're hoping to continue down that path again this year. To help you get a feel for what lies ahead, Retail Online Integration surveyed leaders in the cross-channel and e-commerce retail space in the fall of last year to get their predictions for 2011. Here's what we learned.

How to Implement an Email Preference Center

To start, implement an email preference center to make your emails more relevant to your audience. In my mind, this is a must-have adjunct to your email program. It allows your subscribers to update their personal information, change frequency schedules and even select what content they'd like to receive from you. All this is accomplished by allowing them to link directly to a preference center from your email. Typically, marketers include this link as one of the choices in their email's footer.

J.C. Penney Partners With Hearst to Increase Online Sales

J.C.Penney is set to launch two new online retail businesses this summer — Gifting Grace and CLAD — thanks to a marketing partnership the retailer formed with Hearst Magazines. The goal? To gain a significant share of consumers' growing e-commerce spend.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Despite the fact that most online retailers today understand that video increases the stickiness of their websites, improves their search engine rankings and helps close more deals, only a small number employ the best practices necessary to take full advantage of video's search engine optimization promise. 

Medicine Shoppe Canada Uses Digital Signage to Engage Shoppers, Drive Sales

Seeking to bring location marketing to a hyper-local level, retailers have begun to embrace digital signage as an effective tool at their disposal.