Ken Burke

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

A survey released today by MarketLive, a commerce technology platform provider, identifies key buying trends for the upcoming holiday shopping season as well as tactics retailers can employ to better engage consumers during this busy season. Here are some of the key findings from the report, which surveyed a random sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers who had shopped online at least four times within the past year, own a smartphone, and typically spend $250 or more online annually:

Publishing content is a unique breed of marketing and promotion. Unlike traditional means such as banner ads, live events, offers, etc., content marketing isn't directly promotional. Rather, it's about coming up with content that informs, entertains or inspires your audience. So how exactly can you use content marketing to your advantage? Below are a few best practices and examples of what you can do to take your e-commerce content marketing to the next level:

In a fast-paced session at the opening day of the NEMOA directXchange conference in Boston, Ken Burke, chairman, founder and chief evangelist of MarketLive, an e-commerce software platform and service provider, and Kelly Goldsmith, e-commerce manager at Title Nine, a cross-channel retailer of women's athletic apparel, tackled the question all retailers want an answer to: How can I make money via social media?

Retailers are making last-minute preparations and considering which tactics will help them attract and convert shoppers as the holiday season kicks off. An October survey of more than 1,000 consumers conducted by MarketLive and the e-tailing group revealed critical considerations and customer preferences for the 2009 season. Among other facts and indicators, free shipping and high-quality customer service rank top of mind for consumers.

There's a battle raging for the control of e-commerce. On one side are retailers looking to increase market share, accelerate revenue, grow brand affinity and increase customer lifetime value. On the other side are consumers who want to be empowered, increase connectedness, find relevant products, receive feedback from peers, and have interactive and entertaining experiences online.

This year's economic retreat actually stands to help Gaiam, a product and information services company with a heavy emphasis on sustainability, position itself for greater growth in the near future.

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