Debra Ellis

In a session yesterday at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York city, three retail executives from leading brands Macy's, Lowe's and The Limited discussed how their companies have optimized omnichannel. R.B. Harrison, chief omnichannel officer at Macy's; Debra Ellis, CEO of The Limited; and Brent Kirby, chief omnichannel officer at Lowe's, participated in a panel discussion that broke down the multiple facets of being an omnichannel retail organization, from customer service to inventory to fulfillment and more.

Engaged customers are the holy grail for retailers today. They're the customers who interact with your brand on social networks, use mobile devices and subscribe to your email program. How do you acquire them? Join cross-channel retail experts Debra Ellis of Wilson Ellis Consulting and Kevin Skurski of Bronto Software as they answer that question and explain best practices around optimizing the customer buying cycle.

With the Internet fast becoming the vehicle of choice for catalog shoppers to place orders, catalogers face the challenge of identifying what inspired those buys to begin with. The more marketing channels available, the more ways companies can reach existing clients and prospects. But unless a buyer purchases the old-fashioned way — via phone, fax or mail — or types the key code of a catalog into the Web order form, it’s tough to determine whether that sale was driven by the catalog, an e-newsletter, a Google search or an intentional visit to your site. Earlier this year, Catalog Success polled multichannel merchants to

If inventory value is rising and back order rates are holding steady or increasing, this is a sign that your inventory is out of control. Before you confront your inventory management team, however, consider this: It might not be the team’s fault. Effective inventory management is a combination of art and science. The process seems simple: Review historical sales, project future sales, place orders and receive products. Simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. It requires someone with good instincts to predict trends and analytical skills to transform data into information. The old rules have changed. Economist Vilfredo Pareto’s 80/20 law worked because 80

By Carolyn Heinze&000;&000; &000;&000; Despite rapid online gains, future still bright for print catalogs Considering it's now been at least a decade since debates first surfaced in this business about whether the print catalog would ultimately become obsolete in favor of online catalogs, you'd think you could make a stronger case for such a phenomenon in 2006. And today, with a rapidly growing number of catalogers reporting 50 percent-plus levels of orders placed online, the writing would seem to be on the wall. But while it's nice to dream of the cost savings associated with alleviating paper catalogs altogether, reports of its death are

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