Annual Trends Survey 2011

While Retail Online Integration readers are increasing their focus on e-commerce and social media marketing this year, mobile marketing/commerce won't be garnering the same attention, at least according to responses to this year's Annual Trends Survey.

Creating a Mobile Strategy for Your Customers

There's been a lot of hype about mobile so far this year. It seems that everyone's talking about it, but very few are doing it. And sadly, the majority of those who are doing it aren't doing a very good job.

Creating Loyalty in the New Era of Syndicated Commerce

Multichannel commerce has evolved; the lines between channels are disappearing. Retailers have long built strategies for marketing to shoppers within a channel, whether it's online, in-store, through a catalog, via a mobile site and so on. But today's shoppers view retailers holistically, regardless of how and where they choose to shop. This dynamic changes everything for retailers. They're now required to promote their brand and products consistently, in relevant context, to individual customers. The era of "syndicated commerce" is upon us. 

Customized Gift Cards Prove to Be a 
Worthy Sales Incentive for FM Group USA

With a business model akin to that of Avon's or Mary Kay's, FM Group USA sought to increase its revenues by motivating independent sales distributors to move more product. What better way to motivate than to offer an incentive. Beginning in July of 2010, FM Group USA did just that, offering its sales reps the opportunity to win gift cards in exchange for meeting predetermined sales goals. FM Group USA also offers gift cards to new members joining its independent 
sales force.

Direct Marketers Win Round 1 
in Tax Collection Case

On Jan. 26, a United States District Court Judge in Denver entered a preliminary injunction against the Colorado Department of Revenue in the lawsuit that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) brought challenging Colorado's new notice and reporting law, H.B. 10-1193. This controversial legislation — the enforcement of which is now suspended by the court's order — imposes three sets of obligations on out-of-state retailers that don't have nexus in the state and don't collect Colorado sales tax.

Not so Lucky With Lucky Chic

Luxury items at 98 percent 
off? Ninety-eight percent off? It can't be true. But it is. There has to be a catch. There is.

The Math Behind Mailing Catalogs Profitably

Q:"I'm experimenting with sending printed direct mail catalogs to my customer list, and would like to get some insight around conversion or response rates for this type of mailing. Anyone out there have some benchmarks or advice?"— Howard Berg, online division marketing manager, 
Horizon Hobby, Inc. A: Howard, that's a great question. However, there isn't…

The Rise of E-Commerce Media

I've written about this in these pages before, but I can't help myself: I love the idea of e-commerce media and think it's the latest untapped revenue stream for e-tailers. What's e-commerce media, you ask? It's a form of online media that allows marketers to target shoppers within and around the e-commerce environment at critical moments before the point of purchase.

The Simple
 Math of Branding

The art of brand building still remains a mystery to many companies. During these tough economic times, business leaders are searching for ways to grow their brands, expand their reach and influence their bottom lines.

ValoreBooks Lowers its Prices to Acquire Customers

ValoreBooks, an online retailer that rents, sells and buys college textbooks, has declared a "price war" against its competitors (e.g., Chegg, eCampus). To gain the upper hand in the college textbook marketplace, ValoreBooks has lowered its prices and vowed not to be undersold.