Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
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Cory Nielsen, Internet marketing manager, Woodwind & Brasswind
Harnessing the Power of Search Engines: Mastering the Complexities of Pay per Click and Optimization
Search engine marketing offers much, but the path to ROI can be rocky. From the perspective of an online retailer who’s worked with a number of search engine marketing agencies, Cory Nielsen talks about how to work with agencies and make sure they understand the needs of your program. He also will talk about the option of launching and managing an internally-created search marketing program without an agency.
Doug Nielsen, president & CEO, NetShops.com
The Scotch Boutique: The Web Is Made for Niche Retailing
Doug Nielsen represents a mid-sized retailer, No. 120 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, that continually refines its niches, going ever smaller with each iteration. He will discuss how his company identifies, then creates, niche web sites from broader categories. Today, NetShops operates 80 distinct web sites, including Hammocks.com, Dartboards.com, AdirondackChairs.com and DogHouses.com.
Brian Osborn, vice president of marketing, Walmart.com
Wal-Mart: The Giant Uses the Web to Extend its Market Reach
Wal-Mart customers increasingly are using the web to seek information and make purchases. "Of Wal-Mart store shoppers, 75% have Internet access and 74% have purchased online; and of Wal-Mart store shoppers with Internet access, half visit Walmart.com," the company says. "Walmart.com aims to be the leading multi-channel retailer with integrated services that provide online and in-store convenience."
Jeff Parnell, vice president, e-commerce, Blair Corp.
Making E-retailing Music: When IT and Marketing Harmonize
Jeff Parnell will identify must-have web technology initiatives, then detail how retailers can balance resources to remain nimble as market changes occur and then act upon newly identified marketing/technology initiatives that can make them more competitive and boost annual sales, and when to scrap an initiative. He’ll also discuss the ways that marketing and IT must work together to achieve success.
Kurt Peters, editor in chief, Internet Retailer
The Stars of The Top 500
One week before the conference, Internet Retailer will publish the 2007 Edition of the Top 500 Guide, which profiles and ranks America’s 500 largest retail web sites based on 2006 online sales. Kurt Peters will discuss how the Top 500 rankings have changed in the last year, who’s moved up and who’s moved down and how changes in the Top 500 reflect changes in the marketplace.
Matt Poepsel, vice president of performance strategies, Gomez Inc.
Avoiding Disaster: Managing a Technology Implementation.
Today’s online shopping environments are in a constant state of change. How can an online retailer find peace of mind when the stakes are higher than ever? Matt Poepsel will describe how online retail leaders are finding new meaning in customer experience records as they plan implementations. He will discuss how retailers are using customer experience metrics to avoid glitches as they deploy new technologies.
Scott Potter, managing partner, San Francisco Equity Partners
Show Me the Money Without Showing Me the Door
Raising private financing for an e-tailing enterprise can be a scary business riddled with more unknowns than knowns: a lot like getting married. San Francisco Equity Partners recently married The Guild, a multi-channel purveyor of fine and decorative art. Scott Potter will describe the dating process from the investor’s point of view, right up to the wedding and after.
Geoffrey Robertson, vice president e-commerce, J.C. Whitney
Using Customer Product Reviews to Attract Shoppers
In the competitive business of automotive accessories, participating retailers must focus on excellent service as well as products. Geoffrey Robertson will address how J.C. Whitney is using customer product reviews to provide the kind of credible information shoppers need in order to help them decide what to buy. He’ll point out important steps in preparing and managing an effective reviews program.
John Rocco, director of kiosks, Indigo Music and Books.com
Using Kiosks to Bridge the In-store and Online Shopping Experience
In-store kiosks can do more than access the web store, they can provide a search and transaction platform that links key applications, such as inventory management, to deliver effective in-store search and buying processes. John Rocco will detail Indigo’s kiosk program, common pain points for customers and staff, and upgrades retailers can make to their kiosk programs.
Joseph Ryan, US/EMEA e-commerce director, eClerx
How the Internet Creates Commodity Pricing-and What You Can Do About It
Joe Ryan will discuss what e-retailers can do to make sure they are getting the right price for their merchandise, how to conduct price research and how to make sure pricing managers are applying the right analysis to the data they gather. "Near real-time price gathering of competitive prices, discounts, rebates, stock availability, assortment coverage and new bundles leads to quicker and more effective counter-competitive pricing," Ryan says.
Jeff Schueler, president, Usability Sciences Corp.
Making Rich Media a Rich Source of Sales
Jeff Schueler will present the results of a research project that gathered consumer preferences for various types of rich media. He will present tips and design suggestions for the selection and presentation of various types of rich media on a web site. Usability will be a cornerstone of the presentation.
Venky Shankar, professor of marketing, Texas A&M; University
What E-retailers Must Know About How Shoppers Use Their Sites
Venky Shankar will draw on original research to identify the metrics retailers must understand to create web sites that harness the power of multi-channel retailing. He will address such issues as: what retailers can learn from consumers’ evolving shopping behavior, how they should they allocate marketing dollars across channels and how they should measure ROI on cross-channel marketing programs.