April 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

Internet Retailer 2006

(Page 5 of 6)

Internet search engines can generate pages of irrelevant data that can easily bury the best shopping options, but vertical search engines can produce a narrower and more targeted set of results. That’s the concept behind Froogle, a search engine devoted to web shopping developed by Google. Marissa Mayer will explain how Froogle works and how it will help shape the vertical search market.

Tamara Mendelsohn, analyst, Forrester Research Inc.

Putting the “World” in WWW: Strategies for Selling Globally

Selling to overseas customers is complex. Tamara Mendelsohn, who recently completed a study on strategies for international commerce, will walk retailers through what they need to know to create a viable overseas selling strategy. “International expansion requires tremendous brand marketing and technology investment, making this endeavor not for the faint of heart,” she says.

John Miniati, vice president, comScore Networks

Who’s Online and How Do You Reach Them?

John Miniati will quantify the influence of the Internet on sales generated online and offline, focusing in particular on the impact of search on offline sales and latent online purchases. He will highlight the multi-channel impact of search across retail categories and provide insight on how to best prepare for the 2006 holiday shopping season to maximize sales potential from online search.

Lynnette Montgomery, general manager of e-commerce, Levenger Co.

How Small Design Changes Can Yield Big Conversion Rate Gains

When Levenger redesigned its web site, it was with the goal of being more customer-friendly. “All the steps we took were to minimize the number of clicks,” says Lynnette Montgomery. Among the improvements she will discuss: placing the search box at the top of the page, including product images in shopping cart and how site redesigns aid in customer acquisition and search engine optimization.

Robert Myers, vice president, merchandising, QVC

When TV and the Internet Merge, Web Shopping Explodes

Customers comfy on their couches soon will see the blossoming of a new shopping hybrid-television and e-commerce. While watching TV shopping programs, viewers will be able to become online customers, purchasing items ... as seen on TV. It won’t be long before TVs come with keyboards for viewers to navigate cable. When that happens, the TV will start acting like a computer-complete with e-commerce.

Cory Nielsen, director of web services, FurnitureFind.com

Making Sense of Online Shopping Malls

Online shopping malls-ranging from comparison shopping sites like Shopzilla.com and Shopping.com to Amazon and Yahoo stores to rebate sites-can serve as effective ways to reach customers. But the many mall options also make it difficult to pick the right ones. Cory Nielsen will explain why it’s good to choose one e-mall or another with particular retail strategies in mind.

Jim Okamura, senior partner, J.C. Williams Group

Traps to Avoid in Creating and Operating Retail Web Sites

Common traps to avoid are often based on a retailer’s failure to integrate its web business plan into the broader company strategy. Jim Okamura will discuss how this failure can apply to business objectives, people, processes, technology, merchandising or marketing. He’ll share recent research on consumers’ online and multi-channel shopping behavior, and provide insight on current and emerging traps to avoid.

David Patterson, Internet director, Edwin Watts Golf Shops

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

David Patterson examines how retailers can tap hidden revenue by paying closer attention to site searches that turn up no results, using site search to target promotions when the customer can readily be seduced, and the differences between “dynamic learning” and “Boolean” search. Other topics include using site search to gain a competitive advantage and creating feedback mechanisms to improve the customer experience.

Kurt Peters, editor, Internet Retailer

Revealing & Analyzing America’s 500 Largest E-Retailers

Understanding the 500 largest online retailers is crucial to understanding the online retailing industry. The Top 500 account for well over 50% of all online sales. In this session, Kurt Peters will reveal the latest data from the Internet Retailer Top 500 and explain how the market rankings have changed since the previous edition a year ago.

Michael Phillips, Internet strategist, Yankee Candle

Getting the Nervous Nellies to Buy Online

At YankeeCandle.com, displaying Scan Alert’s Hacker Safe certification icon helps convert shoppers into customers, Michael Phillips says. During A/B tests, the company achieved a 12.8% higher conversion rate in the segment viewing pages with the icon, he adds. “Regardless of user interface design or brand recognition, there will be shoppers who require a higher comfort level before making a purchase,” he says.

Matthew Poepsel, vice president, general manager, Gomez Inc.

Revealing & Analyzing America’s 500 Largest E-Retailers

With today’s complex web applications and increasing user expectations, leading retailers are expanding their definition of benchmarking to encompass “Service Management” from an end-user perspective. Matt Poepsel will highlight observed Service Management results for several top retailers with a focus on web site consistency, delivery to the “Last Mile,” and third-party content provider contributions as advanced benchmarking topics.

Safa Rashtchy, managing director, senior Internet analyst, Piper Jaffrey

Wall Street Takes a Second Look at E-Retailing

Wall Street once again is looking on Internet companies with favor. Safa Rashtchy will discuss how current trends-increasing competition from established offline retailers and smaller niche players and the threat posed by local search-are coloring that view. And he will outline why investors generally are favoring companies in the customer or lead generation business.

Theresa Regli, director, content management, Molecular Inc.

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

Although shoppers using site search convert at a higher rate than those using navigation tools, site search remains an under-used merchandising tool. Theresa Regli will demonstrate how to get more out of site search, including helping customers zero in on products, how to deliver relevant returns when shoppers use broad-based search words, and ways to create cross-sell and up-sell opportunities within search results.

Geoff Robertson, vice president, e-commerce, J.C. Whitney Co.

Redesigns: The Need for Them and Strategy Behind Them

J.C. Whitney redesigned its web site and made it easier for customers to shop an online inventory of more than 100,000 vehicle parts and accessories. Geoff Robertson will detail how better guided navigation and other improvements are helping J.C. Whitney boost conversion rates on some products by more than 10%. “With the redesign, we made finding the right item easy and accurate,” he says.

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