Birchbox and Zappos: The New Type of Influencer Marketing
April 20, 2016 at 9:44 am

Influencer marketing isn't new; using celebrities to sell products is an age-old practice. However, a new type of influencer marketing — using regular customers as brand spokespeople — is on the rise. Highlighted in a National Retail Federation (NRF) article, “Customers Are the New Celebrities,” this trend of curating a group of select social media…

Beyond the ‘Like’: Facebook's New ‘Reactions’ Add a Powerful Tool for Marketers
March 3, 2016 at 8:50 am

While Facebook's users are getting their first taste of the new "Reactions" emojis that recently rolled out, marketers are already working to better understand the impact they will have on their social media efforts. Facebook Reactions, in case you missed it, are a collection of six emoji that can be clicked on all posts and…

4 Things Retailers Should Know for 2016
February 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

One thing retailers can count on in January is innovation. Each year, retailers across the globe gather for Retail’s BIG Show hosted by the National Retail Federation (NRF). This year’s event covered the usual topics, such as payment technologies and improving the customer experience, but also demonstrated that there’s a big shift affecting the retail…

Email Marketing Trends Retailers Need to Know
February 5, 2016 at 11:38 am

Improving email execution processes, using personalization to create relevant content, leveraging marketing automation to reach revenue metics, and focusing on healthy and active list growth are four key email trends retailers should be focused on in 2016, at least according to the speakers featured in a Jan. 21 Total Retail webinar called “Marketers Talking to…

5 Stories That Generated the Most Discussion in 2015
January 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

What follows is a list of the Total Retail content in 2015 that generated the most reader comments. You’ll see that our readers are highly engaged when it comes to content on shipping rates — who isn’t when it has such an impact on your bottom line — social media marketing, payment options and cooperative…

My Favorite Christmas Catalogs of 2015
December 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

There are plenty of Christmas catalogs in the mail this year — some great, some just OK, some forgettable. Here are my faves for 2015: The Folio Society "Christmas 2015 Collection" An impressive package in a large envelope with letter, three inserts and two catalogs (one just of children’s gift books). This high-end U.K. book…

Getting the Most From Your Catalog Tests
November 25, 2015 at 2:22 pm

PATIENT: “Doc, we do tests, but I don't feel that we learn much from them. What are we doing wrong? What should we change?” CATALOG DOCTOR: "Try building your tests differently to get clearer, more actionable results. Here are some tips for what to do, and what not to do.” Optimizing an Offer Test The goal:…

The Impact of the USPS Price Increase on Shippers
October 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

This is a guest post by Gordon Glazer, director of strategic partnerships and modal optimization strategies for Shipware, a parcel audit and consulting firm that helps volume parcel shippers reduce shipping costs. Gordon can be reached at gordon@shipware.com.  The USPS Board of Governors has proposed a major price increase for competitive (i.e., shipping) products to take…

When You Need to Cut Even Deeper
October 22, 2015 at 10:01 am

PATIENT: “Doc, I really need to cut catalog program costs again, but without impacting sales. We've already done the standard things like lighter paper, fewer pages, operational efficiencies, and so on. What's left?” CATALOG DOCTOR: “You've done well so far. What's left isn't as easy as the standard cuts. Most require study and elbow grease.…

Love Your Customers and They'll Reward You With Sales
September 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

“Love” may seem odd as a business concept. Love includes valuing someone as a person, trying to see things from their point of view, being considerate of their time, trying to make their life easier, working to understand and help them achieve their goals, among other things. Let's take for granted that you do all…