Mark Twain

Zone pricing can be the missing link between e-commerce sites and brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers need the benefit of regional pricing intelligence to compete more effectively on a local basis. If retailers elect not to employ zone pricing, they need to consider that many of their competitors do — compromising their own margins and conversion rates.

During a recent conference, I spent many an hour critiquing catalogs for managers hungry for ways to make their catalogs work smarter. I noticed one prevalent flaw: Most of the catalogs were written and designed for a customer who disappeared 10 years ago. As surely as our world is changing, so is the public, particularly catalog prospects and customers. Today’s customers are: • overloaded with information; • time-impoverished; • overstimulated by world events; and • feeling a financial pinch. What’s more, customers are jaded from being force-fed hyperbole. And while catalogers have little control over the four issues above, they're often

During the holiday ’06 season, more than one assessment in the consumer press about the healthy state of the print catalog made reference to Mark Twain’s legendary reaction to seeing his own obituary in 1897, “The reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated.” As a metaphor for the print catalog, it’s a pretty accurate quote. Nearly a decade since e-commerce Web sites were first tooled to process orders, it’s safe to say that the role of the print catalog has largely been recast. And unlike what so many free-speaking soothsayers were forecasting in the late ’90s, Web sites didn’t replace catalogs after all. (A somewhat

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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