With millions of Merry Christmases and Happy Hanukkahs on the line, it's important that omnichannel newcomers like Wal-Mart and Sears adjust for the effects of increased online shopping. One solution is for retailers to offer more products, while simultaneously ensuring faster delivery by transferring the shipping responsibilities to the manufacturer or supplier via drop shipping.

What did Santa bring online retailers, this Christmas? They must have been good, as the day delivered a 16.5% boost in sales, year-over-year. That's according to the latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data, which saw mobile traffic reach its highest levels this season. Overall, mobile accounted for 48% of all online traffic, which represented a 28.3% increase compared to the same period last year.

Macy's continues its run as a leader in mobile by adapting a favored smartphone activity — sharing photos — for its signature annual holiday campaign. Through Dec. 7, consumers who post a photo or video of themselves mailing a letter to Santa from inside a Macy's store using the hashtag #MacysBelieve will have chance to be included in a Macy's television commercial. The mobile social strategy will help Macy's drive word-of-mouth for the campaign as well as foot traffic into its stores.

Listen closely...can you hear that? It's the terrified screams from millions of children enjoying their summer breaks as retailers pound a [premature] Back-to-School drumbeat to get the second largest shopping season of the year underway. And when schools return to session in September, you can expect retailers to strike up the promotional band for the biggest selling season of the year: Holiday 2013. Forget the screams (along with Halloween and Thanksgiving), and cue the Buddy-the-Elf-esque joyful noise: "Santa!" By these

Sales tax rules may not be a topic of dinner conversation or family road trip banter, but they can be oddly amusing in their own way. From car seats to coats, when and where to charge sales tax can leave even the most savvy online retailer in the dark. Here's just a small sample of sales tax oddities:

It may be March, but it's the holiday season for home improvement retailers. Unlike most retailers that bank on the winter holiday season for a large percentage of their annual sales, Santa comes in the springtime for retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe's. That's when homeowners finally begin those home improvement projects they've been putting off all winter.

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