November 1, 2010, 12:00 AM

Hunting and Gathering

(Page 2 of 2)

Even if a merchant uses analytics to create the perfect e-mail, offer the best promotion and to ensure the warehouse and web site is ready to go, things can still go wrong. Savin describes an apparel retailer that offered free branded gift boxes with purchase and got so caught up in the holiday spirit it forgot to order them. It had to pay $300,000 to ship them to unhappy shoppers after the holidays were over.

No retailer is perfect, as that example shows, but good use of analytics can at least get a merchant a little closer to flawless performance.

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