Retailers have teased and rolled out online deals for days, even weeks, but the real Black Friday is here.
A preview of what speakers will discuss at the Internet Retailer conference: Unleashing the Retailing Power of the Web
The web is starting to flex its muscle in retailing. No longer just another distribution channel, the web affects all aspects of retailing. It accounts for 5% of retail sales today and will account for 13% in 2010, Forrester Research predicts. But its reach goes far beyond online sales. The web influences 15 times more offline sales than it generates online, says Jupiter Research. And the web exerts a strong influence on marketing campaigns, customer relationship management and inventory systems. The speakers at Internet Retailer 2005 will address all the ways in which the web influences retailing today. Here are the speakers and the topics they will address:
Tom Beckwith, vice president, Amazon Services
Day One Keynote Address: Unleashing the Retailing Power of the Web
Unleashing the power of the internet is the lifeblood of Amazon. In Tom Beckwith`s keynote address, he will provide an overview of where Amazon.com started and insights into its vision of retailing in the future. Beckwith will share how Amazon Services is supporting the growth of leading retail businesses, detailing how Amazon is working with partners, both retailers and technology specialists, to innovate and push the envelope on new and improved ways to deliver compelling customer experiences. He`ll also discuss the powerful combination of channels working together including web, phone, and stores to build customer loyalty.
Fiona Dias, president, Circuit City Direct
Day Two Keynote: Bringing the Internet into the Store
"Achieving integration of the online and in-store experience requires coordination across the organization--and we all know that`s easier said than done," Fiona Dias says. "People, processes, technology, metrics all must come together to deliver a seamless experience to customers." Dias will share insights into Circuit City`s quest to integrate clicks and bricks. With its e-commerce launch in 1999, CircuitCity.com became a pioneer in multi-channel integration, offering the convenience of online ordering and in-store pick-up within minutes after the order is placed. In her keynote address, Dias will discuss how the award-winning site continues this strategy.
Ray Allen, president, American Meadows
Search Engine Marketing: Managing Search for ROI
Little guys have many advantages over the big boys and Ray Allen will focus on how small Internet retailers can grow by using these advantages. "We are more nimble and can move faster," Allen says. "And particularly with the new (somewhat) level playing field that pay-per-click advertising offers we can compete directly, and often in a smarter way." Allen will explain how online retailers can maximize ROI in their PPC advertising, and touch on other often ignored areas, such as copy writing.
Kent Anderson, president, Macys.com Inc.
Dressing up the Web: Soft Goods Get New Respect Online
2004 was the year for Fashion Ready-to-Wear at Macys.com and it worked, says Kent Anderson. "After establishing one of the largest and most distinctive home businesses on the Internet we knew we had an affluent and interested customer and we wanted to understand how we could convince her to buy ready-to-wear," Anderson says. "I will discuss the the four priorities and the successes we realized from their execution."
Michael Arking, president, FrenchToast.com
Outsourced Customer Service: The New Eyes and Ears of Retailers
Retaining customer insight is often a concern to retailers who outsource customer service. Michael Arking will discuss how French Toast, online retailer of school uniforms, communicates with its service provider so French Toast knows what customers are thinking. "Our service provider lets us know what customers are saying about the quality of our products, what products customers want to buy and other comments," Arking says.
Laurie Barkman, manager of marketing, ae.com
Affiliate Marketing: Playing to Your Strengths
Affiliate marketing programs don`t have to be colossal to be successful. American Eagle Outfitters has found a small controlled program fits its needs best. Laurie Barkman will discuss the strategy behind an invitation-only affiliate program, discussing the organizational and marketing issues, strategies for program growth, success measurement metrics and online brand management considerations.
Jeff Binder, CEO, Saffron Rouge Inc.
The Small Retailer Experience: Success Stories from Scratch
What are five key factors that go into building a successful retail dot-com from scratch? The answers may surprise you. Jeff Binder shares the experience of organic beauty retailer Saffron Rouge in building a retail web site. His talk takes a look under the hood at a thriving e-commerce business: the technology, the performance metrics, marketing strategy, the positioning you want to own and the business model that makes everything sink or swim.
Heather Blank, director, e-commerce marketing, PETCO Animal Supplies
How to Build an E-Mail List--And What to Do with It
While many retailers focus on getting a large number of names on their e-mail marketing lists, Heather Blank believes it is more important to make sure lists include high-quality qualified names. Blank will detail how PETCO creates its list, including the use of photo contests, in-store signups, company registrations and web site pop-ups. She will explain how to utilize those lists and how to determine the customer`s most "seducible moment" through analyzing customer information and site browsing behavior.
Mark Bradley, vice president, Nextag
Shopping Comparison Sites: What Every Retailer Needs to Know
Although comparison shopping sites are popular with retailers, few know how to make the sites work best for them. Mark Bradley will detail strategies that can help retailers. Bradley will explain which categories have been the most successful for retailers on the Nextag site as well as discuss which systems and tools, including advanced campaign management programs, retailers can use to get the highest number of responses at low cost.
Matt Britton, executive vice president, Mr. Youth
The Long-Term Market: The Impact of the Echo Generation
Matt Britton will focus on best practices to lure Gen Y to a web site and drive increased transactions and customer loyalty. He`ll offer online media strategies, ways to use blogging and community site marketing techniques, best practices for Gen Y e-loyalty, and will discuss changes in the market, offer ways to leverage viral marketing and word of mouth, and reveal college student Internet research results. "Attendees will find new ideas on how to reach the Gen Y segment," he says.