2 Ways to ­Increase ROI Around the Holidays With ­Better, More ­Targeted Content

Content has become a tool for retailers in their efforts to optimize the online shopping experience for consumers. Just providing product details and pricing is often not enough anymore for today's connected consumers; they want information on how a product can solve their problem or fill a need. With this in mind, here are two ways to incorporate content marketing into your holiday plans: 

5 Customer Service Tips to Satisfy Online Holiday Shoppers

Today's digital age has become impersonal.  Sure, we still get greeted online and retailers know our preferences thanks to cookies, but the human element is gone for sure. Within this impersonal, digital world we live in, however, there are huge opportunities for retailers to step back and become more personal. Consider the following customer service tips as you prepare for the busy holiday shopping season: 

5 Email Strategies to Boost Holiday Sales

It might be hard to think about Christmas when you need SPF 1,000 to survive being outside right now, but now is the time to start building your email list and nurturing subscribers to get ready for the holiday shopping season. Here are five tips for using email marketing to make sure your business is on your customers’ "nice list," enabling you to sell more product this holiday season:

Best Practices for Getting the Most Out of PLAs

Q: "When PLAs were free, our company was king. Now that they're paid, we can't figure out how to crack the code and get PLA visibility. Any best practices around getting the most out of PLAs?"  Jackie Eldridge,  director of social media and affiliate 

Cash for Social Sharing?

As a kid, I would have been a lot more willing to share toys and treats with my siblings, friends, etc., if there was a reward for doing so. My reward for sharing? Avoiding a punishment from my mother. Retailers are taking a slightly different tact to persuade customers to share their purchases with family and friends: they're paying them — or at least giving them cash back for their purchases.

Happy Holidays!

While jingle bells and hot toddies may be the last thing on your mind this summer, the fact remains that the holiday shopping season is quickly approaching. And, like 2013, it's a shorter period than most years. There are 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas this year, compared to 25 last year. For comparison, there were 31 days in 2012. The short holiday selling season spelled trouble for many unprepared retailers last year, with downed websites, out-of-stocks and late deliveries fueling customers’ anger.

Holiday Shipping Tips: What You Should Be Doing NOW to Make the Season Merry and Bright

With memories of the well-publicized 2013 Christmas delivery failures still fresh on the minds of consumers and retailers alike, leading brands have already begun preparing a shipping strategy for the 2014 holiday rush. While it's not too late for proper planning for holiday shipping, it's certainly not too early. Here are four tips to improve the delivery of orders to your customers this upcoming holiday season:

How to Prep Your Warehouse for the Holidays

It's never too early to start preparing your warehouse for a surge in orders throughout the holiday season. You'll be ready to tackle any bottlenecks in the months leading up to and during the holiday season by following this easy checklist:

How to Prepare for Web Attacks This Holiday Season

The time to begin preparing for the 2014 holiday season is upon us. Last Cyber Monday, Akamai's data showed that retailers experienced record-breaking traffic at the rate of 11.2 million views per minute. While most of this traffic represented legitimate requests, malicious requests designed to steal or manipulate data spiked even higher than legitimate requests over the holiday period.

Improved Site Search Helps Thompson & Morgan Grow Sales

PROBLEM: Thompson & Morgan (T&M), one of the largest seed and plant retailers in the U.K., was unhappy with its site search upon migrating to a new e-commerce platform.

Macy's Uses Predictive Analytics to Grow Customer Spend

The ability to better understand customer buying behavior, and then being able to actually use that knowledge to create optimized (i.e., personalized) marketing campaigns, is a key differentiator for retailers in today's hypercompetitive market, particularly when it comes to reaching and communicating with consumers online. 
With this in mind, Macy's has invested in a predictive analytics solution from SAP. The national department store chain, and specifically its e-commerce operation,, deployed SAP's InfiniteInsight solution in the first quarter of 2014.

Retail Mobile Strategies for the Holiday Season

Holiday 2014 is right around the corner, and it's going to be mobile. For the first time ever, according to Branding Brand's Mobile Commerce Index, the majority of online retail visitors will come from smartphones and tablets, not desktops. This historic shift requires retailers to prepare for the holidays with a mobile audience in mind.

Rules to Live By

PATIENT: "Doc, you've been around the block a few times in the catalog business. In all that time, have you come up with any overarching guidelines that can help me out in my business?"

Site Improvement Tips to Increase Conversions

Are you doing everything you can to convert visitors into buyers on your e-commerce site? While there are dozens of ways to improve your user experience, below are a few suggestions that will have the greatest impact on your online business — from customer experience through to conversion:

Social Customer Acquisition Plan Yields Strong Results for Vintage Marquee Lights

Vintage Marquee Lights (VML), a Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based retailer of marquee lights available in letters, numbers and symbols, converted its website visitors into Facebook fans and brand ambassadors as well as drove customer acquisition thanks to a social commerce program it implemented this past spring.

The Price is Right

Retailers have been changing product prices depending on supply and demand, weather, and many other variables for years. So why is dynamic pricing becoming such a hot topic now? What are the implications for individual brands as retailers raise the bar on their dynamic pricing capabilities? Who's doing a good job, and who's not? Check out this feature to get these answers and more.