3 Top Email Tactics From Holiday 2010

Social media plays a much smaller role in driving traffic to retail websites than email marketing and search during the holiday season, according to ForeSee Results. Having watched in recent years as video calls to action disappear every November, I'm not surprised. Consumers are just too busy to participate in time-intensive social media campaigns, just like they're too busy to watch video content. However, social media does have a role to play in email messaging during the holiday season

A Switch to Electronic Invoices Cuts Costs for Tim Hortons

Deluged by paper-based invoices, which required employees to open envelopes and key information into a system, Canadian-based quick-service restaurant chain Tim Hortons decided a more efficient and more environmentally friendly system for processing suppliers' invoices was needed. Tim Hortons turned to Transcepta, a provider of hosted e-invoicing solutions.

Copy and Design in the Face 
of a Struggling Economy

I read in the news that this past Black Friday revealed a new consumer: one who's cash-only and who arrives at the store with shopping lists in tow to keep their focus narrowed so they won't get distracted into spending more than they planned. Ouch!

How to Budget Your Mobile Efforts

Q: "What would you consider a good budget for a mobile launch? Our company is working right now on its 2011 planning, and we're aggressively moving on our mobile efforts — making our sites mobile internet usage friendly. We're looking at launching an application similar to Facebook and Yelp, but need to understand the cost behind the marketing."

Learning to Love Your Inventory Plan

Retailers have a paradoxical love-hate relationship with their peak season. For most, peak volumes coincide with fourth quarter holiday shopping, when it's not uncommon for 80 percent of the year's orders to come in at once. Scaling a retail operation to process five times its average order capacity is no small feat. For two months of the year, many retailers nearly break their backs to accommodate the seasonal business that will help sustain them through the other ten months. If last year's fourth quarter pushed your business to the brink, now is the time to learn how to build a better inventory plan for 2011.

New Buzzword: C-Tailing

The NRF's 100th Annual Convention & EXPO was attended by more than 18,500 retail professionals from 74 countries. (The press room alone was a mini United Nations). The 175,000 square foot expo hall at the cavernous Jacob Javits Center was filled with more than 500 solution providers offering state-of-the-art technologies and services. In addition, there were more than 120 educational sessions to choose from.

PalmBeach Jewelry Gains New Customers With Email Sign-Up Ads

Cross-channel costume jewelry retailer PalmBeach Jewelry acquired thousands of email subscribers prior to the busy holiday shopping season thanks to a series of email sign-up ads it ran on targeted websites last summer.

Staples, CHEFS Use E-Gift Cards to Acquire Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

As two out of nearly 50 retailers participating in Click It To Gift It Day, Staples and CHEFS relied on the power of the internet and gift cards to squeeze every dollar possible out of the busy holiday shopping season.

Taking the Royal Road to Success

Some may say 2010 was the year of the "flash-sale" site. Given the economic climate, it's no surprise these sites caught on — the majority of them offer members limited-time deals at drastically discounted prices. In fact, the three most visited flash-sale sites,, and, all saw at least a 60 percent increase in traffic per month compared to 2009, one study found. And as of press time, Gilt Groupe was on track to hit $450 million in revenue for 2010.

Tips for Better B-to-B Blogging

Your company has WordPress up and running. You've just posted your mandatory this-is-our-new-blog introduction. Now what? The web is littered with abandoned blogs — i.e., stale forums with year-old musings.

Wait 6 Weeks No More

Who hasn't been reeled in by the lure of a money-back rebate, reducing the purchase price of that new dishwasher or refrigerator you need? The process sounds so simple, too: Just fill out a rebate form, mail it back with a proof of purchase, then sit back and wait for the check to arrive in the mail. At least so it seems.