IR Magazine: Coming in the January Issue
Cover Story

Can Amazon go high end?

In July, as flashbulbs popped and models strutted during New York’s Fashion Week for menswear, they did so before a backdrop emblazoned with, North America’s dominant e-retailer. Amazon’s lead sponsorship of one of the highest-profile fashion events exemplifies its ongoing push into high-end retailing, particularly of apparel. It, along with a series fashion industry hires and fashion-focused sites (East Dane, ShopBop, MyHabit and the Amazon Fashion category within are parts of Amazon’s drive into fashion, and the e-retailer says more than 40 million U.S. customers bought clothing, shoes or accessories through last year. This story will detail Amazon’s moves to make inroads into high-end fashion, what it must do differently to compete in an arena where flair and publicity trump price and convenience, and where it seeks to gain an advantage.

Topics: Showcase, Top 500 E-retailer

Focus: Web analytics and testing

This story, rooted in vendor data, will examine the analytics and testing services used by North America’s leading e-retailers, establishing the mix of programs deployed and how retailers feed test data into analytics applications to gain website design and marketing insights. The story will be driven by e-retailer voices describing how they test new features and analyze the results in the drive to create highly shoppable and satisfying e-retail sites.

Topics: Web analytics

Taking action on data

“Real time” is a calling card for marketing services today. But while retailers appreciate knowing what’s happening right now, what they really want is for these services to recommend the actions they should take, or just trigger a recommended action. This story will look at the advancements services vendors today are making to analyze the data their systems produce and make it easier for e-retailers to take the actions that can improve their businesses, such as with pricing, assortment planning and marketing. E-retailers will provide insight on what they want to be able to do with data and how they have been able to become more agile with at least some elements. 

Topics: Data analysis

Adjusting to ad-blockers

Ad blocking software isn't new. But it is gaining new traction after Apple in September included ad-blocking capabilities in iOS 9. While ad-blocking had been limited to desktop computers, new ad blockers developed specifically for iPhones and iPads have come to dominate App Store rankings. As ad blockers gain traction, retailers and other marketers have to figure out how their newfound popularity impacts their ad-optimization strategies, particularly because in addition to blocking ads, the programs also block tracking tools and cause mobile sites to display improperly. So how are retailers adjusting? How many consumers use apps that block apps? What does this mean for retailer and brand marketing strategies?

Topics: Ad blocking software

Improving warehouse productivity

Labor management is a critical part of running a fulfillment center, and fulfilling orders is a key task for online retailers. This story will look at how e-retailers are improving their warehouse productivity through that lens. It will look at what types of labor management processes or software operations executives have in place to ensure warehouses have the right staffing levels day to day, and how they track the performance of individual employees. How do they ensure workers maintain standards—some digitized warehouses have screens displaying metrics per employee, for example—and motivate them to improve? What are the special challenges an online retailer faces in operating a fulfillment center? For example, what’s the best way to adapt to the sharp spike in holiday sales without building in extra costs throughout the year? The story will include metrics that demonstrate the cost of labor, the impact of labor efficiency improvements on fulfillment costs per order, etc. 

Topics: Operations

Toast of the town

Thirsty? There’s an app for that. Drizly, Thirstie, DrinkFly, Swill, Drinkos, Klink and other colorfully named sites and mobile apps have emerged in the few years to help stock mostly Millennial-aged consumers’ fridges with alcohol typically delivered by local liquor stores in about an hour. Orders—and venture funding—are flowing in as the companies race to claim territories. Part of the problem: Liquor laws vary state by state, making it hard to achieve scale and imposing a significant burden of legal fees. While the space had been dominated by startups, Amazon recently entered the market. And that could change everything. The story will look at the alcohol delivery landscape, why Amazon is moving into the space and if it will knock off the startups.

Topics: Mobile apps
Special Report

Emerging e-commerce technologies for 2016

The sponsored special report “Emerging e-commerce technologies for 2016” will showcase the advancements in technology and services vendors are developing to serve the needs of online retailers in 2016. Vendor executives will describe the technology or services they have poised to launch, how these products will break new ground from products already in the market, describe the target market for the services (by retailer revenue, category, etc.) and anticipated pricing model for these services. This sponsored special reports will shows a 1 page write-up per company with a 1 page advertisement

Topics: E-commerce technology

This Month's Issue

Contact a Sales Rep

For information about the latest ad opportunities, contact your regional representative.

Which Region am I in?
Pick a region to contact a sales rep.

Cindy Wilkins

Midwest / Intl. Advertising Manager

Nancy Bernardini

Northeast Advertising Manager

Dave Cappelli

Western Advertising Manager

Judy Dellert

Southeast Advertising Manager

Oliver Love

Classified Advertising Manager

Important Dates

12/04/2015:Ad Space Close

12/11/2015:Ad Materials Due