’Tis the Season for Experienced Retail Sales Associates
November 15, 2013

Many retailers are preparing for the busy holiday shopping days ahead by making sure their websites are working properly, their inventory is up-to-date and their promotions are segmented correctly. Another area they should prioritize is making sure their sales associates are knowledgeable about their products, at least according to the findings of the recently released Retail Buying Experience survey sponsored by eXperticity and conducted by ReRez Research.

Why Sharper Image Embedded a ‘Buy Now’ Mobile Capability Into its Catalog
November 12, 2013

In an effort to make it simpler for consumers to simultaneously browse its print catalog and research and buy from their mobile devices, Sharper Image embedded a “Buy  Now” capability into its holiday preview catalog. The catalog is chock-full of electronic, recreation, fitness and travel products, and was sent to 4 million households and businesses on Nov. 4.

Tips for Customizing the Online Shopping Experience
November 8, 2013

In an effort to give you a sneak peek into the upcoming Retail Online Integration webinar, One Size Does NOT Fit All: Delivering Customized Shopping Experiences for Your Customers (you can register for free here!), I conducted an interview with Catherine Frye, marketing and customer services solutions manager, IBM Business Analytics. Frye will be co-presenting the webinar, and offered a few of her thoughts on the value of personalization in e-commerce. Here's a portion of that interview:

How to Deal With Web Visitors Who Do Not Read
October 8, 2013

Unless you have a content-first website like The New York Times or a juggernaut of a blog like TechCrunch, people don't come to your site for content. Don't misread that: some of your visitors may well consume some of your content, but most of them don't visit your website with the intention of reading. Nielsen indicates that users have time for about 20 percent of the content on your page, which affirms that the majority of users don't read. Rather, they scan.

‘Clean’ Design: Lean, Mean Selling Machine or Buying Barrier?
September 18, 2013

‘Clean’ design typically means more negative space (aka white space), minimal copy, larger but fewer images per product, sans-serif type, often smaller point sizes and sometimes gray type instead of black. To see if clean is for you, let's look at where it works and where it doesn't.

20-Plus Things to Watch in Retail, Part 1
August 29, 2013

I came across an interesting report last week from marketing communications firm JWT called Retail Rebooted. The report focuses on key trends taking place within the retail industry today. I was most interested in the report’s "20-Plus Things to Watch in Retail" section, which offers a relatively quick rundown of developments in retail, from innovative business models to shifting consumer behaviors to the latest technology launches. In today’s blog post (part one of a two-part series), I’ll recap 10 of these 20-plus things, such as 3-D printing, alternative brand currencies, and click-and-collect shopping.

4 Ways to Fail at Conversion Rate Optimization
August 27, 2013

Up until a few years ago, conversion rate optimization (CRO) was a niche skill set. By and large, designers were worried about a website's aesthetics; search experts were concerned about information architecture and keyword targeting; IT was preoccupied with site speed and availability; and chief marketing officers were concerned about the overall brand experience. And then this happened:

Why I Love LinkedIn’s Skills Endorsement Feature
August 26, 2013


You may have noticed over the last few months that when you look at a person's LinkedIn profile, you're asked, "Does ‘Joe Blow’ have skills or expertise?" It's a blue box at the top of your screen, you can't miss it. Or you may have received an email telling you that you've "been endorsed for specific skills." This is a great feature on Linkedin, and here's why:


Printer Lead Times Do Matter
August 21, 2013

There's more to obtaining print bids than price. Printer lead times should be part of the mix. For example, when mail tapes and creative files are due to the printer should be considered. The shorter the deadline when mail files are due to the printer the better. This enables catalogers to include more recent buyers in the mailing.

Slinging Some Hash(tags) on Facebook
August 1, 2013

I'll keep this post short and sweet. Recently Facebook finally did something right for us marketers by opening its network for #hashtags. Frankly, it's about time it did something right. Facebook has been losing ground as a marketing platform — well, maybe it was never even meant to be a marketing platform — but be that as it may, it's done much to disconnect brands from their hard-won fans.