Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
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Chris Saito, senior director, shopping products, Yahoo Shopping
Social Networking: The Peer Persuasion Marketing Tool
Yahoo Shopping is offering an online social networking environment where consumers can post reviews, trade experiences about shopping and help one another make buying decisions. Chris Saito will explain how retailers can harness the power of these networks to generate sales. He’ll also cover how retailers can assure that information in these networks is accurate and supportive of their brands.
Ezzie Schaff, vice president, risk management, Ice.com
Taking Security Into Your Own Hands
As a category, jewelry faces particular risk from online fraud, yet Ice.com reduced its chargeback rate to under 1% over the holidays. Ezzie Schaff will share Ice.com’s technology and tactics and will discuss Ice’s best anti-fraud weapon: well-trained fraud prevention analysts. “With all this technology to minimize the risk of card-not-present transactions, the most valuable asset we have is our people,” Schaff says.
Dan Schatt, analyst, Celent Communications
Alternative Payments: Moving Beyond Credit Card Only
Credit cards have dominated Internet retailing since the industry’s beginning, but their hegemony is weakening as alternative payment options gain ground. Dan Schatt, who recently completed a study of alternative online payments, will examine alternative payment companies and give insight into the merchant services they offer beyond payments. He also will discuss the emerging mobile channel and its payment options, including PayPal Mobile.
Jeff Schueler, president, Usability Sciences Corp.
How Small Design Changes Can Yield Big Conversion Rate Gains
Jeff Schueler will lay out the 10 commandments of conversion rates. Among them: Add to Cart button must be above the fold, make it easy to start checkout, make product images as impressive and functional as possible, make errors easy to correct. He will discuss interface design and flow issues that Usability Sciences has seen to be problematic for Internet retailers in converting shoppers.
Matt Seely, CEO, CheetahMail
E-Mail Marketing: The Best Way to Target Your Marketing Message
One of the most effective marketing tools is e-mail because of its ability to build customer loyalty and to direct the right pitch to the right customer. It is also an offshoot of direct marketing that retailers and catalogers are familiar with. Matt Seely will address the opportunities and challenges of e-mail marketing, sharing insights from CheetahMail’s perspective as provider of e-mail marketing services to online retailers.
Paul Segre, EVP, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories
Web Site Self-Service Doesn’t Mean Auto-Pilot
A survey by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories reports that 57% of consumers have more than once called contact centers after trying to use web site self-service. Paul Segre will examine which customer service functions are most appropriate for online self-service, how retailers can ensure self-service functions are operating correctly, and how to train staff to encourage customers to use self-service.
Andy Stevenson, senior director, Crutchfield.com
Using Content to Make Your Site Stand Out
Many retail web sites rely on product descriptions and images from manufacturers. But when all web sites carry the same product descriptions and images, it becomes hard for an e-retailer to differentiate itself. Crutchfield.com makes itself stand out by editing manufacturers’ content to suit its own needs. Andy Stevenson will discuss how Crutchfield makes its product content unique, the cost of doing so, and the ROI.
Gerry Sweeney, senior vice president, Visa USA
Getting the Nervous Nellies to Buy Online
Gerry Sweeney will highlight consumer marketing and education tools Visa uses to encourage online purchasing among first-time shoppers and cautious long-time shoppers reacting to news about identity theft. He will discuss Visa’s security initiatives, the strategy behind Visa advertising campaigns and the results of a new consumer preference survey highlighting the growing importance of consumer-driven authentication tools.
Michael Tam, SVP, marketing, e-commerce chief, Borders Group Inc.
The Many Ways the Internet Can Drive Brand Preference and Loyalty
While partnering with Amazon to operate its retail e-commerce site, Borders is taking its own innovative steps to engage online shoppers and keep them coming back. Michael Tam, with Kevin Ertell, will describe how Borders is using cutting-edge rich media applications, including seasonal gift-finders, that help its customers personalize gift selections and build repeat traffic to its web site.
Howard Tong, vice president, Newegg.com
From Zero to a Billion in Four Years
Newegg.com blew past the $1 billion sales mark in just four years because it knows precisely who its customers are and what motivates them to buy online, says Howard Tong. He will discuss how Newegg.com built a loyal following among serious do-it-yourself techies and gamers by offering new payment options and more consumer electronics and games. “We formulate around the customer,” he says.
Boris Wertz, COO, Abebooks.com
Affiliate Marketing: Unsung Hero of Online Marketing
Boris Wertz walks retailers through how to set up a clear affiliate marketing business model around which to generate additional traffic and revenues without overpaying. Topics include how to set a payment structure, ways to optimize an affiliate partnership, how to select the right partners, program retention strategies, and which analytics will accurately measure the program’s success and value of each partnership.
Mary Brett Whitfield, senior vice president, Retail Forward Inc.
Internet Retailer Profit Survey: How Retail Sites Stack Up on the Bottom Line
Mary Brett Whitfield will provide Retail Forward’s analysis of the profitability of online retail sites, based on her own expertise and on the results of a recent Internet Retailer survey on online retailers’ profitability. She will examine such factors the percentage of sales that companies are reinvesting in operations, technology and marketing and what levels of profitability retailers should expect and how they can achieve that.
John Yunker, president, Byte Level Research
Designing Sites for Global Sales
John Yunker will outline how to develop a web globalization strategy one country and culture at a time, focusing on how to develop a global web design that can scale quickly and efficiently to include additional markets, best practices in global navigation, which icons work best globally, and what colors mean around the world. He’ll also discuss how to design sites that support languages from Chinese to German to Spanish.