April 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

Internet Retailer 2006

(Page 3 of 6)

Larry Freed will present the latest update of the Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index, profiling leaders and laggards, highlighting category trends and contrasting year-over-year and holiday vs. non-holiday trends. In addition, he will showcase which retailers are most effective at leveraging their web sites to drive multi-channel sales, using data from the updated Multi-Channel Value Index.

Lauren Freedman, president, The E-Tailing Group Inc.

Conversion Rates: The Key to Profitability

Presenting data from an annual survey of merchants, Lauren Freedman will talk about the state of converting shoppers to buyers among multi-channel retailers. She’ll cover how to set realistic goals and look at best practices in online merchandising from product page to checkout. Freedman will also address the use of multi-channel tactics and integrated customer service to drive conversions.

Lauren Freedman, president, The E-Tailing Group Inc.

Traps to Avoid in Creating and Operating Retail Web Sites

Many e-retailers are still unsure about what makes or breaks a retail web site. As a result, it’s easy for them to fall into common traps in merchandising, marketing, site design and customer service. Lauren Freedman will use her expertise as a constant observer of online retailers to describe some of the most common mistakes e-retailers make and offer tips for avoiding them.

Patti Freeman Evans, retail analyst, Jupiter Research

Vertical Search Engines: The New Way to Find Products

As online shopping options explode, consumers are demanding more targeted search options as they seek products. Patti Freeman Evans will discuss why vertical search engines, which specialize in particular categories of web searches, may well be the answer. She will lay out the options available to online merchants to participate in vertical search and help retailers decide where they need to be.

Mark Friedman, chief digital marketing officer, Warnaco Inc.

E-Mail Marketing: The Best Way to Target Your Marketing Message

Despite its similarity to direct-mail marketing, e-mail marketing is a separate discipline with its own rules and best practices governing everything from frequency of mailing to size and contents of message. Mark Friedman will share his view of e-mail marketing based on the experience of Warnaco Inc., manufacturer of Speedo, Coles, Nautica and other well known apparel brands, where he is responsible for all online advertising.

David Fry, president, Fry Inc.

Traps to Avoid in Creating and Operating Retail Web Sites

You may think you know what you want to do with your e-commerce site, but do you know what not to do? Many retailers miss some obvious and not-so-obvious problems-such as product display and navigation hazards-that lower their return on investment. On this panel, David Fry will show how to handle common user experience and technical and business issues that can make your site less effective.

Tony Gasparich, vice president, direct sales, West Marine Inc.

Making Cross-Channel Inventory Management Work

At West Marine, effective cross-channel inventory management delivers more sales and happier customers, says Tony Gasparich. In his session, Gasparich will talk about initiatives that expedite the retailer’s buy-online and pick-up-in-store program. “We have customers check the web and want to know immediately if an item is in a store near them so they can swing by on their lunch hour,” he says.

Patrick Gates, executive vice president of consumer direct, Discovery Communications

When TV and the Internet Merge, Web Shopping Explodes

The convergence of the Internet and television finally is living up to its promise, and marketers need to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities, says Patrick Gates. “Internet shopping is maturing, but direct response TV is an expensive proposition,” he says. “E-retailers now must be prepared to take advantage of new technologies and cheaper marketing opportunities in this arena.”

Mike Golden, president, Home Décor Products

What Venture Capitalists Expect of E-Retailers

Venture capitalists are evaluating Internet retailers the way they would any potential investment: Is the business scalable? Is there significant growth potential in the market in which the retailer is competing? Is there a proven management team? Mike Golden will discuss how Home Décor has worked with venture capitalists, the benefits and pitfalls of venture capitalist financing, and alternative options.

Mark Goldstein, CEO, Loyalty Lab

Online Retailers Finally Discover Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are an effective customer retention tool, but building the right loyalty program requires more than an out-of-the-box solution. Mark Goldstein will discuss what consumers seek in a loyalty program and why multi-channel retailers must leverage loyalty programs for their online store. Goldstein will provide real-life examples and how they helped strengthen the retailer’s bond with customers.

Terry Golesworthy, president, Customer Respect Group

Lost in Cyberspace: Do E-Retailers Just Ignore E-Mail?

Web sites grant customers a convenient self-serve mechanism to browse, research and buy. Terry Golesworthy will discuss how individual queries-in this scenario, mostly by e-mail-are inevitable and the responses provided have a major impact on how users perceive the company. He will also discuss where the gap lies between customer expectations and the service provided by the retail industry.

Patricia Graca, manager, customer experience and web site production, HP Home & Home Office Store

Workshop: Site Search: The Web’s In-Store Merchandising Tool

Patricia Graca details how HP refined its site search to boost conversion rates and customer retention. Topics to be discussed include using search to manage cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, how retailers can integrate search with their marketing and merchandising strategies, using search results to broaden product selection, and how site search and navigation can work together.

Beth Grimsley, senior e-commerce manager, Beckett Media

Site Search’s New Role: Promoting the Right Products

Site search has become key in helping retailers determine what they should sell and how they should present products. Analyzing search logs can reveal items that customers are seeking but not finding and popular items that merchandisers should feature more prominently. Beth Grimsley will discuss Beckett Media’s new site search program, how to analyze search logs, what to do with the data and how to calculate return.

Greg Harper, senior strategic advisor to the chairman, Trans World Entertainment Corp.

Turning Rich Media into Web Riches

Trans World Entertainment closely links its seven e-commerce sites and 1,200 stores. All of the stores have broadband access; more than 15,000 web-linked terminals dot the stores. “We have the infrastructure and desire to link the virtual and physical worlds,” Harper says. “Through Internet technologies-including rich media-in store and online, we can create a compelling customer experience.”

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