Sean Reyes For Federal Trade Commission Chair?

by Bill McClellan on Jan 26, 2017 9:00:00 AM Government Relations

I have some incredible news to share with you. Recent reports suggest that President-elect Donald Trump is considering Sean Reyes as the next chairman of the FTC. Currently he is the attorney general of Utah.

You may recall Attorney General Reyes’ keynote at the 2015 ERA Government Affairs Fly-In where he got a standing ovation from our attendees. He also had a memorable visit to last year’s D2C conference in Las Vegas where he joined a panel of legal experts to talk about self-regulation.

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How Digital Credentials Will Impact Retail in 2017

by Cody Winton on Jan 23, 2017 12:00:00 PM Retail

Consumers have grown accustomed to using smartphones just about everywhere. Well, everywhere except at the checkout. Only 9 percent of consumers use a mobile payment at the point of sale when it’s available, according to a new study from marketing firm Placeable. And perhaps even more surprisingly, four out of 10 Americans have not made a single purchase using a mobile wallet.

From the absence of a consistent user experience, to capabilities that fall short of consumer expectations, numerous issues stand in the way of a top notch mobile shopping experience. But advancements in the mobile payments space, mainly the introduction of digital credentials, may soon change that. By enabling consumers to bring along digital versions of their ID, license, passport or health cards wherever they may go, digital credentials are helping both consumers and retailers overcome gaps in a seamless user experience.

In fact, this emerging technology promises to change the way today's shoppers and retailers, interact with one another – especially at point of sale. Here’s a look at how digital credentials will impact retail in the new year.

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Alert: How Colorado’s “Rat Your Customer Out” Law Will Affect Marketers

by Bill McClellan on Jan 18, 2017 1:00:00 PM Government Relations

Last year, right before Christmas, a big thing happened that you really need to know about.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined the review of a case that requires marketers to either collect sales tax for purchases made by people in Colorado or report on customer’s purchases to the state.

The industry has been fighting against this outcome since 2011 when the DMA filed suit in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl.  ERA along with its partners in the True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) coalition strongly supported this effort filing and Amicus Brief in support.

However, all the appeals have been exhausted so now Colorado will want you to report. 

Here is what you need to know to get ready:

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CES 2017: Welcome to the Era of Acute Consumer Control

by Peter Koeppel on Jan 17, 2017 3:30:55 PM Trends

Advertisers know that with the ubiquity of the Internet, that the balance of power has shifted from marketer to consumer, as the latter now engage with brands how, where, and when they want. But if there was one overriding trend to trump all others at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show which ended last week in Las Vegas, it was the idea that through evolving technologies, that choice and control will empower consumers to whole new levels in the coming years. In the simplest terms, tailoring experiences – whether they be in terms of entertainment, security, household chores, or transportation -- will increasingly be subject to the tastes and whims of the individual, and in many cases, the smartphone will play a central role. Here are five examples of such technology due to take broader hold in the marketplace and the opportunities and threats they may represent to marketers.

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No, You Don’t Have the Next Hit in That Hot Category – But Here’s Why You Think You Do

by Jordan Pine on Jan 16, 2017 3:00:00 PM DRTV, Retail, Trends

In 2002, psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. As Michael Lewis writes in his new book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, this was unprecedented because “how on earth does a psychologist win a Nobel Prize in economics?” The answer is that Kahenman was a pioneer in the field now known as “behavioral economics.” Specifically, his work focused on the psychology of judgment and decision-making.

Kahneman would surely have shared his Nobel with Amos Tversky, his lifelong collaborator, had Tversky not died of cancer in 1996. (The award is not given posthumously.) Kahneman and Tversky spent decades disproving the idea that humans are rational decision-makers. They initially identified three mental shortcuts, or “heuristics,” people use in place of logic and reason. Many more have since been discovered.

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Mark Your Calendars: ERA Continues Webinar Series

by Jim Perrus on Jan 12, 2017 8:00:00 AM ERA News, Committees & Councils, Digital Marketing

One of the benefits of ERA membership is that we provide educational opportunities that are unmatched in the direct-to-consumer industry.
Marketing Maven, one of ERA’s long-time supporters, is continuing its social media webinar series to help you take the next step with your social media campaign. ERA’s Membership Committee and Digital Council are co-sponsoring the one-hour webinars.

Following is the full list of 2017 webinars.

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Why We Love The Federal Trade Commission (And You Should, Too!)

by Bill McClellan on Jan 11, 2017 2:00:00 PM Advocacy, FTC, Government Relations

It’s been a “Yuge” year so far.

Last week I shared a “beautiful” cheat sheet to help Direct Response Marketers survive the Trump era and this week I’ve got something better.

What you might ask?

Well the only thing that can trump that would be the inside scoop straight from the FTC. That’s why I reached out to my friend and long-time FTC insider Lesley Fair.  She agreed to visit with ERA’s Government Affairs Committee to tell us “what’s really going on” so you can do a safety dance. 

Thankfully the FTC agreed to the visit as well. That’s why we love the Federal Trade Commission (and you should, too!).

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Retailers: Are You Agile Enough to Withstand What’s In Store for 2017?

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Jan 9, 2017 3:00:00 PM Retail

With a new year upon us, it’s time to examine what is on the horizon for online retail. Where will the eCommerce environment lead us in 2017? What emerging technologies will prove to alter the way in which we conduct business? What practices are now outdated and how will retailers need to adjust for future success?

I anticipate the biggest change this year will be how retailers connect with customers—including the platform, channel, and even media through which different parties interact.

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The Ultimate Direct Response Cheat Sheet for the Trump Era

by Bill McClellan on Jan 4, 2017 9:00:00 AM ERSP, FTC, Government Relations

Hello 2017!

It’s nice to finally meet you after all the bumpy election action we saw last year.  I am expecting 2017 to be “Yuge”!

No really, the Trump administration is just getting started with all its ideas and policies.  In the signature words of our President Elect “we have to figure out what’s going on."

In order to have a smooth transition through these changes, I have prepared this “beautiful” Direct Response cheat sheet just for you.  As we now say in Washington, it’s “Bigly” (or “Big League” depending on whom you ask).

So 2017 let’s do this!   

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ERA's Network NYC Success!

by Jim Perrus on Dec 28, 2016 12:00:00 PM ERA News

On December 14, ERA was excited to welcome many members as well as industry newcomers to Network NYC at the Madison Square Tavern. ERA holds events throughout the year aimed at creating opportunities for attendees to meet professionals from all areas of the industry including marketers, media agencies, inventors, producers, fulfillment, distribution and more! This year's event was a successful evening filled with great networking and formal introductions.

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Celebrating the Holidays with ERA!

by Lindsay Emow on Dec 23, 2016 10:00:00 AM ERA News

As 2016 comes to a close, ERA staff are reflecting on the amazing year we have had. We are excited for the new year ahead of us and all the future work there is to do. Before we get a running start on 2017 we are fortunate enough to take a few days away to spend with our families over the holidays. We asked the ERA what their favorite holiday traditions were that they would be taking part in over the break!

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Southeast Asia: The Next Major Consumer Market?

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Dec 21, 2016 10:00:00 AM Consumer Behavior

There has been a great deal of industry discussion regarding the rapid growth of the consumer retail market in China in recent years. In fact, China is forecasted to become the world’s largest consumer economy by 2024 when it will reach $11 trillion in annual retail spending.

As China develops into a fully-matured consumer market though, growth will inevitably slow and stabilize. However, several other economies in the region are poised to show similarly dramatic growth in the next few years, and retailers should act now to position themselves in the right place at the right time.

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Three Kinds of Consumers Every Brand Should Know

by Danielle Brown on Dec 16, 2016 1:00:00 PM Brand Marketing

There’s no doubt that most businesses prioritize customer satisfaction, but that doesn’t always mean that they deliver. Most companies assume that they’re providing a quality service to their consumers, but that doesn’t always go both ways -- in fact, studies show that 80 percent of businesses believe they deliver a superior customer experience while just 8 percent of consumers share that same belief.

So what’s responsible for this gap?

Well, more often than not, it’s because companies fail to understand the needs of their customers. To provide great service, brands can’t act on instinct alone; rather, they’ll have to get an understanding for what their customers really want. Fortunately we at Points believe that, when looked at through a loyalty lense, most consumers fall into one of three different categories: the brand loyal buyer, the customer with a passion for points, and the price sensitive shopper. These three types of consumers are common in nearly every industry and knowing how to appeal to them is essential for success.

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Six eCommerce Customer Service Must-Haves

by Simon Slade on Dec 12, 2016 3:00:00 PM Customer Service

Customer service takes on a whole new meaning — and a whole new importance — when it comes to online storefronts. Here are the must-haves for providing excellent customer service to your eCommerce customers.

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4 Ways e-Commerce Businesses Can Achieve Product-Market Fit

by Thatcher Spring on Dec 9, 2016 1:00:00 PM e-Commerce

Vital to achieving success in e-commerce is selling products and identifying product-market fit. Whether that means specializing in a single product or owning a market niche, the challenge is the same: finding a product that satisfies a desire or need of an audience large enough to sustain a business. Coming up with product ideas is not easy, and that is only the first step. It's easy to get stuck and feel like every good idea has already been taken by the big retailers that dominate the search engines.

Some entrepreneurs have found success tackling this problem by going with their gut instinct, but the most confidence can be found in data, much of which is widely available if you know where to look. In pursuing a data driven approach, it makes sense to take an iterative approach towards building a product for a specific customer set.

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Three Tips for Using Email Segmentation to Boost Retention

by Sarah Patrick on Dec 5, 2016 1:00:00 PM Digital Marketing

Are you using your email list to its full potential? As a digital business, if you don’t have a strong email strategy, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities for engaging and retaining customers and making sales. In fact, in terms of ROI, email drives the best results of all marketing tactics, even more so than social media.

A perfectly timed, highly personalized email is one of the most effective ways to get your customers’ attention. But, if your email doesn’t feel relevant to them, customers will hit unsubscribe — or worse — mark your email as spam.

The solution is to segment your list and send highly targeted emails, but that’s easier said than done. In fact, according to a new survey from Clutch, a B2B research firm, targeting and segmentation ranks as marketers’ biggest challenge.

But it’s well worth putting in the work to get it right. According to research from MailChimp, segmented email campaigns have 14% higher open rates and get 63% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.

Not sure where to start with segmentation? Here are three tips that can help.

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Three Vulnerabilities Affecting Electronic Retailers this Holiday Season

by Don Bush on Dec 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM Retail

The holidays are right around the corner and merchants across the world are gearing up for a busy retail season, including peak periods like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles Day. But with increased sales come increased risks for fraud. And big ticket retailers, like electronics merchants, have even more to lose – losses that may not appear until several months after the holiday shopping rush. Read on to learn what retailers’ biggest vulnerabilities will be this shopping season so that you can enjoy a holly jolly season and avoid holiday horrors.

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The Risks of Improper Shipping Practices and How to Avoid Them

by Ryan Anderson on Nov 30, 2016 3:00:00 PM e-Commerce

For many e-commerce retailers, shipping deadlines and overall product presentation, are top of mind when thinking about packaging. Most retailers aren’t worried much about the potential dangers of shipping – but, as it turns out, maybe they should be.

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The Trump Era?

by Bill McClellan on Nov 28, 2016 1:30:00 PM Government Relations

The election of 2016 is finally over.  By all accounts this campaign season was a no holds barred battle. The candidates offered contrasting visions for our country’s future that where robustly explored and vetted by the electorate.  No national consensus emerged on policy. Rather, voters split along geographic fault lines for their favored candidates.

A troubled nation, divided.    

Where are we now?

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What Are You Thankful For?

by Lindsay Emow on Nov 23, 2016 11:00:00 AM ERA News

Sometimes life gets the best of us and time flies by so quickly that we forget about the things we are grateful for. Thanksgiving gives us all a time to pause and reflect about those important people, things, and successes that we are most thankful for. With many changes that have happened with the Electronic Retailing Association this year, it is so important to take a step back and remember all that we should be thankful for.

We asked each one of our staff members what they were most thankful for this Thanksgiving Holiday.

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Field Report: What Expert Execution Looks Like

by Jordan Pine on Nov 21, 2016 2:00:00 PM DRTV

In my August Field Report (“The Commoditization of DRTV”), I argued that only two things truly differentiate DRTV companies these days: superior strategy and expert execution. Since then, several conversations in the field have caused me to think more specifically about what I meant. Someday, I’ll think of a way to write about what’s happening with strategy, but until then let’s focus on execution.

What does expert execution look like? As I see it, it involves a high degree of competence in the five key areas.

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Peter Koeppel’s 6-Part Series on Trend Spotting: Part 6, Media Attribution

by Peter Koeppel on Nov 17, 2016 4:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, Trends

At the recent D2C convention, I presented a session entitled Trend Spotting: Benchmarking the Present and Predicting the Future of Marketing. My intention was a simple one: to synthesize the latest statistics, forecasts, and best practices in marketing from over 100 different sources to save my audience time and to provide insight that will help you today and in the future. In the sixth and final of my multi-part series I take a look at media attribution and the vital role it has in direct marketing. Given the presentation was confined to an hour, this is bonus material we did not have an opportunity to cover during the live event.

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Best Practices for Integrating Conversational Commerce into Retail

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Nov 16, 2016 2:00:00 PM Retail

Conversational commerce—it’s one of the hottest marketing topics of 2016, and to be honest, there is a lot here to be excited about.

Technologies such as chat and messaging apps are especially valuable to marketers when it comes to reaching out to highly-coveted Millennial and Gen-Z consumers. In response, app developers are sending signals that conversational commerce will only grow more promising, with the makers of Snapchat, Facebook, and others adding such features as mobile wallets, in-app payments, and more.

However, simply deploying bots is not enough to convince consumers to complete a purchase; that process will need to be optimized in order to be effective.

By adopting the following best practices, businesses can ensure that they make the most of these new opportunities. 

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Peter Koeppel’s 6-Part Series on Trend Spotting: Part 5, Mass Retail

by Peter Koeppel on Nov 14, 2016 4:41:24 PM Brand Marketing, Retail, Trends

At the recent D2C convention, I presented a session entitled Trend Spotting: Benchmarking the Present and Predicting the Future of Marketing. My intention was a simple one: to synthesize the latest statistics, forecasts, and best practices in marketing from over 100 different sources to save my audience time and to provide insight that will help you today and in the future. In the fifth of this six-part series we take a look at mass retail and its impact on direct marketing. For the purposes of this blog post, the term “retail” will mean traditional bricks and mortar retail. Given the presentation was confined to an hour, I have had to limit my focus, but hopefully the learnings gleaned will prove helpful to the reader.

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The Consumer Protection Round-Up!

by Bill McClellan on Nov 11, 2016 1:00:00 PM ERSP, FTC, Class Actions, State Ag's, CARU


Last July the ERA Government Affairs Committee held a webinar that covered important information regarding consumer protection. 

For those unable to attend the live webinar, the Government Affairs Committee is pleased to share the recording for your convenience.

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The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.