IR Magazine: Coming in the August Issue
Cover Story

Internet Retailer's Handbook to Holiday Sales

The October-December holiday season accounts for an outsized proportion of annual sales for most online retailers, and being well-prepared for the season is critical. Internet Retailer’s Handbook to Holiday Sales will include a collection of articles providing advice and insights into the season, alongside sales data, historical holiday statistics and Top 500-exclusive data on popular marketing methods used by e-retailers during the holidays. This is the handbook every e-retailer will want to keep handy as the holiday season approaches.

Articles in the handbook will address:

  1. What does Q4 mean to retailers (sales data, over time)—Research team, chart from T500, with 500 words of explanatory text.
  2. Datapoints graphic on holiday season T500 data, and from other industry sources, such as comScore, Adobe, etc. Includes a calendar calling out key dates in the season (Green Monday, Free Shipping Day, shipping cutoff dates, etc.).
  3. 100% uptime: Traffic spikes go hand in hand with the holidays, and every season e-retailers find their sites operating slowly, encountering errors or knocked offline entirely. This article will offer advice on what e-retailers should do to prevent these issues. (Presented as a 5 things to do now.)
  4. Holiday hiring: How e-retailers staff up and provide training to temporary workers in their fulfillment and customer service centers. When do e-retailers begin the hiring process, how do they find these employees, when do they begin adding shifts, what incentives do they offer to keep staff motivated, etc.
  5. The opening salvo: Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday—addresses what promotional tactics work and insights on how deep the discounts typically are. It will also cover how holiday shopping is shifting up on the calendar, and the importance of mobile-readiness in this opening sales period.
  6. Attention, mobile shoppers: What e-retailers should know about mobile web shopping patterns during the holidays, and how e-retailers can sway mobile shoppers (such as those who are price-checking on mobile in stores). What can e-retailers do or add to appeal to mobile shoppers (such as streamlined checkout).
  7. Digital marketing: E-mail remains a critical component of e-retailers’ holiday marketing plans, and advertising options, particularly within social media, are increasing. This story will address what digital marketing methods work particularly well during the holiday season, and what e-retailers should consider adding to their holiday marketing plans.
  8.  Ship it: This will cover shipping cutoff dates and how to make sure your customers know what they are, with historical data on peak shipping days from the major carriers. It will also look at what rules/fees the shipping carriers are putting into place for the holiday season
  9. 911--Crisis management: How to be ready to deal with bad situations. (These will appear throughout the handbook as short sidebars.) The answers to these should be provided by experts. Crisis: My site’s not working. What do I do/who do I call?  Crisis: I took orders for inventory I didn’t have and I won’t be able to fulfill the orders in time for Christmas. How should my customer service team respond to affected customers?   Prepare 5 Q&A scenarios. Answers should be limited to 250 words.             
  10. Holiday hangover: How to prepare for and manage returns from gift recipients. The article will look at whether e-retailers will extend their return windows, how they match returns with orders, how they manage refunds, etc.

Topics: Holiday Sales

European e-commerce 500

This article provides an overview of the e-retail growth leaders in Europe and an analysis of market conditions as Europe’s economy struggles to reestablish growth. It includes new research from the Internet Retailer Europe 500 and country-specific insights from e-retailers active in Europe.

Topics: Europe 500

Second 500 Series: SEO for small retailers

With Google devoting more space to ads on search results pages on the web and mobile, it is getting tougher, even for experienced e-retailers to show up on page one. How do small retailers with limited resources compete for high placement in organic search results and the referral traffic? Often, it is by focusing on original content and establishing themselves as experts in their fields. This story will look at how retailers in the Second 500 Guide use strong content to capture top positions in search results. It will look at how they decide what products or issues to focus on, the content mix they find works (such as video and articles and reviews, etc.) and how much time/budget they devote to it.

Topics: Marketing Showcase

How to negotiate for cheaper shipping rates

Shipping costs weigh heavily on e-retailers, and cut directly into the profit they can make on each sale. But rates offered by UPS and FedEx aren’t set in stone, and can be negotiated. This story will look at how to analyze the charges, how to approach negotiating for better rates and the strategies e-retailers can apply to get the rates they want.

Topics: Operations Showcase
Special Report

Ringing in the holidays

The Q4 holiday sales season last year accounted for nearly a third of the e-retailing industry’s full-year revenue—it is a sales period e-retailer must get right. The Sponsored Special Report “Ringing in the holidays,” published in the August issue as part of Internet Retailer’s Handbook to the Holidays provides an opportunity for e-commerce service providers to share advice with readers about what they can do or should do to prepare for the holiday rush, and how they can help, relative to their service areas.

Topics: Holidays 2016

This Month's Issue

Contact a Sales Rep

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

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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

07/07/2015:Ad Close Date

07/14/2015:Ad Materials Due