May 27, 2010, 2:37 PM

Publisher's Letter: Our portal to e-commerce intelligence

Our intention is to make the online forum where e-commerce industry members exchange ideas, opinions and experiences.

This month we introduce our totally redesigned and upgraded web site. Many of you have already redesigned your retail web sites at least once and will appreciate the effort and expense that went into this complete redesign. The project took us twice as long to complete and cost us twice as much as we thought a year ago April, when we put on paper all the features we wanted in the new

I hope you’ll agree that what we’ve come up with is well worth the investment of time and money. Our previous web site was designed in 2001 and should have had a makeover years ago. We were too busy expanding our editorial coverage of e-commerce—adding industry guides, e-mail publications, conferences, CDs and a new Top 500 Guide online database. With this new web site, we put on a single and easily navigated platform virtually all the e-commerce information that we report in all of the media we have created in the last decade.

The old site featured daily e-commerce news from IRNewsLink and E-Commerce Technology Report and feature articles from issues of Internet Retailer. It also gave visitors the ability to search our archive of 35,000 stories on e-commerce. That’s an impressive amount of content, but it pales in comparison with what the new will offer.

The foundation of our new site remains IR’s unrivaled daily news coverage of e-commerce, but now stories are supported by graphics and supplemented by links to related articles on the same topic, comments from readers (who can submit their views on any article) and by related blogs from our editors, another new feature of the site. More than ever Internet Retailer's web site is interactive, and our intention is to make it the online forum where e-commerce industry members exchange ideas, opinions and experiences.

The new site also contains rich content from our other e-commerce media that never made it onto our old web platform. A new Trends & Data section provides charts and tables on a wide variety of e-commerce trends—all searchable by topic. It has summary financial and growth data on every e-retailer in the Top 500 Guide in a central repository and in every article where a Top 500 web merchant is mentioned. A brand new vendor section offers product, pricing, client and management details on more than 750 e-commerce vendors, also in a searchable section and in stories where a solution provider is mentioned.

The new for the first time provides audio and visual content from our conferences, beginning with excerpts of 35 speaker presentations from last February’s Internet Retailer Web Design Conference. These excerpts include synchronized speaker audio and slide images, but, beginning with this month’s IRCE 2010, conference excerpts will also include video of speakers. Soon we’ll be presenting video of interviews with industry experts that we record in a studio just completed in our new corporate office. Video will someday be the primary content on the site, supplemented by written content and data. When the web merges with cable television in a few years, we want to be the cable channel focused exclusively on covering e-commerce.

We are grateful to everyone at IR who built the new site, including our editors, web production editor Farnia Ghavami, associate publisher Molly Rogers and IT director Michelle Suchomel. They worked in close partnership with Alex Schmelkin and the talented web designers at Alexander Interactive, who invested the time to understand precisely the kind of site we wanted and made the effort necessary to achieve it flawlessly.

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