A must read for all e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers. Features include news and updates on internet shopping trends, mobile commerce and location-based marketing technology. Learn how to improve online conversions, drive consumer traffic to physical store locations and increase retail sales performance.

Thinking ahead to the Q4 holiday shopping season? Visit our special Holiday Retailer section for in-depth Black Friday and Cyber Monday coverage, plus marketing tips and tactics to round out your holiday promotional strategy.

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Report: “Understanding Customer Behavior” Top Holiday Priority For 66% Of Retailers

holiday-retailer2-1920 During a recent Big Data and Analytics Summit in Chicago, business analytics provider Looker polled more than 125 senior-level retail executives to identify retail industry priorities and challenges as the holiday season approaches. The survey found 66 percent of the retailers believed the No. 1 way to drive holiday sales and build loyalty was to understand customer behavior, but nearly half (four in ten) felt their organizations were ineffective at using data to improve business. Asking retailers to list their top challenges around business intelligence, the study revealed: 34 p [...]

What’s Google’s Biggest Fear? Native Search

holiday-retailer10-1920 Historically, consumers have used Google for research in every step of the purchasing process, all the way up the sales funnel -- starting with lifestyle search terms like [grass stains] to product consideration terms like [Tide reviews] and purchase decision terms like [where to buy Tide online]. In recent years, however, we have observed some interesting changes in customer behavior -- one of the main ones being that consumers are starting to favor native search over Google search for lower-funnel terms. This is something retailers can take advantage of during the upcoming holiday shoppin [...]

How To Beat Amazon As An Online Retailer

amazon-logo-1920 It’s been amazing to watch Amazon’s transformation from online bookstore to e-commerce juggernaut. Today, Amazon sells everything under the planet, fulfills e-commerce for thousands of companies, hosts major websites, enables crowdsourcing, and may even offer drone-driven product delivery someday. The company is now worth more than $160 billion – that’s more than Target, Macy’s, Sears, Nordstrom, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Dillard’s, PetSmart, BestBuy, RadioShack, and Barnes & Noble . . . combined! So you might think me crazy to declare that yes, Amazon is beatable. Before del [...]

Big Gap Between Awareness And Usage Of Digital Wallets

mobile-payment-wallet-featured Within the past week Google, PayPal and Amazon have all made moves in the "mobile wallet" arena. Amazon launched an Android-based mobile wallet app, focused on loyalty and gift cards. PayPal updated its iOS app to enable the addition of loyalty cards. Google updated its Wallet app to include the ability to add gift cards or send and receive money from friends. Apple is also reportedly in talks with credit card companies ahead of a potential mobile wallet launch this fall that would allow in-store payments. Apple currently offers this capability in Apple stores, through its Apple Store ap [...]

Most Consumers Reject In-Store Mobile Tracking — Or Do They?

privacy-600 The large majority of consumers have not had any experience with indoor location or indoor marketing on mobile devices. However there are already more than a dozen surveys asking how consumers feel about having their in-store movements tracked. Having read every single one of these surveys and conducted several myself I can tell you the following: consumers are concerned about location tracking. However if the reason behind tracking is legitimate (e.g., Waze, Uber) they're generally fine with it. More specifically, in a retail environment, most consumers are willing to share personal data ( [...]

Infographic: A “Christmas In July” Digital Marketing Checklist

holiday-retailer2-600 Christmas and the holiday shopping season is just around the corner -- that is, if you're a digital marketer. That's because to be ready for holiday shopping when consumers are, you need to be preparing months ahead of time. Like now. Below, Gareth Bull of Bulldog Digital Media has put together a six-month action plan of things to consider. The infographic starts this month and runs through the end of the year. It doesn't cover everything, may not be perfect for everyone, but there's plenty of good stuff to consider when creating your own plan: Want the infographic for yourself? You' [...]

Senators Resuscitate E-Commerce Sales Tax Issue With New Bill

tax-money-180px The push to pass a so-called Online Sales Tax is back in play after languishing for nearly a year. A bipartisan group of senators have introduced the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA), which essentially tacks on a slightly amended Internet Tax Freedom Act to the Marketplace Fairness Act that it passed last year. The bill was introduced in the Senate yesterday by Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). It's a move by the Senate to reclaim the issue of allowing states to collect sales tax on [...]

Introducing “Holiday Retailer,” Preparing You For Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Beyond

MarketingLand.com - Holiday Retailer It may be sweltering out there, but if you aren't thinking about turkeys, snowflakes and gift-giving, you may be falling behind already. That's why, here at Marketing Land, we're launching our Holiday Retailer section today, in July, to help you ensure you're ready for that most important of shopping seasons. The foundation you lay right now with all of your marketing programs will be the key to success or failure for Q4, and, for many, the whole year. And the stakes have never been higher. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (PDF), consumer spending on e-commerce, when measured as a [...]

E-Commerce Holiday Preparation – Making A List (And Checking It Twice)

holiday-retailer7-600 Although it feels early to be talking about the holiday season, anyone in retail will tell you it's impossible to be too prepared for the busiest season of all. In fact, it's a good idea to start the holiday preparation now, as the most important items take the most time to get ready. Here are some of the best ways to prep your e-commerce store. Promotions No holiday rush is complete without door busting sales. But there are a couple key components I always consider when deciding which promotions to run and when. What Are My Competitors Doing? For the most part, retail sales are [...]

The New Shopper Marketing Paradigm Part 3: Solving the Digital Paradox Of Performance

shutterstock_129636221-warehouse Return On Ad Spend, or ROAS, is a wonderful metric of digital media, but it is ultimately a measure of an acceptable cost of advertising. The real goal for product manufacturers is volume – to actually see a rise in orders shipping out of the factory. When something really works at scale, you don’t need fancy metrics to know. But most consumer product brands want to take baby steps into digital, or at least into new digital media opportunities. Modest budgets can generate incremental sales, but it will probably be hard to actually “feel” the incremental sales among the larger oce [...]

One Of 2014’s Hottest Mobile Retail Opportunities: User Reviews

mobile-review-shutterstock Each year, the retail shopping season seems to catch us off guard, beginning sooner than we expect. Retailers begin to see a lift in sales during the back-to-school season, which continues through post-holiday sales at the end of the year. June is the perfect time for digital marketers to examine last year's trends and prepare to execute on new ideas that will help drive this year's sales. Based on the customer behaviors that we saw last year, we expect mobile -- browsing, showrooming and purchasing -- to continue to grow in 2014, supported by research-savvy shoppers who browse user revi [...]

Most Retailers Get “D” Grade On Digital Marketing Scorecard

poor-bad-review-survey-600 According to Wpromote, photography processing site Shutterfly does the best overall job of online marketing among 500 companies evaluated for its Online Marketing Scorecard. The scorecard is a clever lead-gen tool for Wpromote. However it also provides a snapshot of how effective these 500 marketers are in promoting themselves online. To generate the scores, Wpromote evaluated a range of activities: PPC, SEO, social, email, mobile, blogging and e-commerce. The categories were weighted as follows: PPC -- 25 percent SEO -- 25 percent Social Media -- 10 percent Email Marke [...]

The New Shopper Marketing Paradigm, Part 2: Measuring Impact For Product Brands

shutterstock_196202399-new-shopping Consumer product marketers have long had to operate under the assumption that direct sales attribution, while an ultimate goal, is largely unobtainable and that marketing success must be judged through predictive modeling and sophisticated estimation. The exception is when brands decide to operate their own stores or e-commerce sites, where they can use and measure direct response tactics to drive traffic and purchases. However, the vast majority of product brands either do not have their own stores, or they operate a small e-commerce site that serves as the brand backbone but carefully [...]

Infographic: Using User Generated Content To Boost Sales

If you do online retail, you probably know all about SEO, SEM and other acronyms. But how about UGC: user generated content? UGC might be a good way to allow your own customers to make pitches to new ones about your products. The folks at Offerpop have put together an infographic pull of ideas, such as using photos and videos from customers to aggregating customer reaction to your social campaigns: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: How to Fuel your Sales Engine with Social Content. [...]

Facebook Gives Restaurants Easy Way To Display Menus On Their Pages

facebook-like-600 Restaurants that market on Facebook were served up a new appetizer today by the social network. Facebook pages associated with restaurants can now upload PDF versions of their menus and display them in their page tabs. The feature is accessible worldwide in page settings. Facebook also announced that restaurateurs in the United States and Canada who use the Constant Contact listings tool SinglePlatform can now use it for menu display on Facebook. SinglePlatform provides a centralized dashboard to manage price, business hours and other details that can be pushed out to review sites, s [...]

Nearly 75 Percent Of Female Millennials Enrolled In Retail Loyalty Programs

shopping-featured Among top US retailers, Kohl's enjoys the highest percentage enrollment of Millennials (18 - 33 years old). That's according to survey data from white-label retail loyalty platform provider PunchTab. The firm conducted two separate surveys of more than 1,000 US Millennials in late 2013 and early 2014. Kohl's is one of the largest US retailers by number of stores and sales. That may factor into the finding of its loyalty program popularity. Source: PunchTab The survey also found, as with other groups, that Millennial shoppers tend to trust and rely upon word of mouth and the opi [...]

Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 2

Learn what is clickable - image Many online marketers dismiss usability as a critical part of the user experience. A delightful experience requires effective and efficient goal attainment. A delightful experience also occurs on websites that are easy to use and easy to remember. As I've mentioned previously, usability should take into account the following 6 elements: Effectiveness: Can users achieve their desired goals on your website? Efficiency: How quickly can users achieve their goals on your website? Learnability: Is the website easy to learn the first time users encounter it? Memorability: Can repeat visi [...]

Apple Beats Staples: Ranks No. 2 On Internet Retailer’s List Of E-Commerce Sales Leaders

apple-store-600 According to a report from the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Apple has edged its way into the No. 2 spot on Internet Retailer's list of 2013 e-commerce sales leaders, second to Amazon, and now ahead of office supply store Staples. The report claims Apple's leap into the No. 2 position is a result of Internet Retailer's recent decision to include Apple's online hardware sales. Previously, Internet Retailer had only used digital sales from Apple's App Store and iTunes. Wall Street Journal claimed Apple's online sales were up 24 percent last year, reaching $18.3 million, while Staples onli [...]

Google’s Same-Day Delivery Pilot Goes Bi-Coastal

Google Shopping Express 1 In a sign that Google's pilot program for same day delivery has legs, the program is now available on both coasts. Consumers in Manhattan and the West Los Angeles area can turn to Google to get items from local shops delivered to their doorstep within a matter of hours. The company began testing its same-day delivery program, Google Shopping Express, in the San Francisco Bay area last spring. The program is designed to marry the convenience of online shopping with the instant satisfaction of brick-and-mortar purchasing -- and compete head-to-head with the Amazon Prime delivery service. T [...]

E-commerce Q1 2014 Revenue Up 11% Since Last Year

Based on e-commerce data from over 100 US retailers, Custora's E-Commerce Pulse report claimed online retail revenue saw an 11 percent year-over-year growth rate for the first quarter of 2014, with online orders up 13 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Tracking online and offline retail revenue, the report showed online retail revenue has experienced a steady incline since 2000: At the end of 2013, the share of online sales out of all retail sales in the US was six-percent, up from only one-percent in 2000, three-percent in 2006, and five-percent in 2012. Online Retail Reven [...]

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