Increases in Paid Search Competition & Cost Per Click in the Post-Right Rail Era

by Jim Leichenko on Mar 29, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

Since news hit that Google was going to eliminate paid search text ads from the right rail of its results page on February 22, the industry has been abuzz with speculation on exactly what those changes may mean for advertisers.

To help provide some preliminary answers to this question at this early date, AdGooroo examined changes in the number of advertisers and cost per click on 2,500 top retail keywords from February 1 through February 18 compared to the period from February 19 (the day we started seeing significant changes on Google’s right rail) through March 8.

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3 Ways to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty in 2016

by Kirsty Tull on Mar 18, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail

Global ecommerce is projected to top USD $1.8 trillion in 2016, and while digital consumers are enamored with the convenience of mobile shopping, analysts are finding that they’re also concerned about some aspects of the ecommerce experience. In its 2015 Consumer Payments Survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers subsidiary Strategy& found that digital shoppers want better data privacy, more assurances of transaction security, and more rewards and offers when they shop online. Ecommerce and mcommerce merchants who address these consumer concerns wisely can build customer trust and differentiate themselves from the competition in the year ahead.

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Choosing the Right Fulfillment Partner Can Be Key to Direct Response Marketing Success

by Tony Altman on Mar 7, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

In today’s expanding world of omnichannel marketing, marketers must have the ability to not only offer their products across a multitude of different platforms, but they must also be able to deliver the product to the customer once the sale has been accomplished. Consumers have multiple options available to satisfy their shopping needs. They might be compelled by an infomercial to pick up the phone and order, they might shop in-store at a brick-and-mortar retail location, or they might shop via a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or smart TV.

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‘Buy Now’ Ads: The eCommerce Miracle for Conversions?

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Mar 3, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

With both mobile devices and social media now ubiquitous, e-retailers are tailoring their approach to cater to new, more savvy online shoppers. Click-to-buy ads are the hot new trend for increasing sales.

Are they really as great an ecommerce development as they seem?

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The Secret to Top-of-Funnel Engagement? Mobile Coupons. Yes, Really.

by Michael Jones on Mar 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

Mobile, mobile, mobile. Retailers probably hear this word more times a day than they would like to admit. And while smartphone shoppers used to be thought of as a technologically-savvy subset of a brand’s customers, I can assure you that most of your shoppers are now actively engaging on the channel.
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Selling Online? Here’s the Checkout Conversion Index You Don’t Want to Miss

by Scott Conti on Feb 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

eCommerce is expected to reach a total of $327 billion in revenue in 2016 and according to Forester, will account for almost 9 percent of total retail sales. If you’re an eCommerce merchant, how are you going to get a slice of that pie? Reducing checkout friction and payment processing declines are two of the most important factors to consider.

Digital commerce and the influence of connected devices are changing the way consumers shop and pay. Making it easier for them to buy online can help you save sales and customer relationships, not to mention stay one leg up on the competition.

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The Invisible Colors of Retail

by Pamela Webber on Feb 1, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail

Did you know the world has a favorite color? It is blue. Blue tops the list across cultures and in business, too. Fifty-three percent of businesses that design their logos on 99designs request blue—that’s almost twice as often as the next most popular color. In retail, three of the top four industry leaders (Walmart, Costco, and Kroger) use blue, too.

But what’s even more interesting is the colors businesses aren’t using—but maybe should. These “invisible colors” can provide an excellent way for retailers to stand out from the competition.

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1st Quarter Problems: Low Sales, Returns, and Chargebacks

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Jan 28, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, Retail, Support Services

The holidays have come and gone. With the annual rush of consumer spending in the last two months of the year now behind us, we’re settled in for holiday season’s ugly backside: slow sales, returns, and chargebacks.

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Holiday Returns Are Peaking, Too

by Jim Brill on Jan 15, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, DRTV, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail, Support Services

While most of us were busy taking down the Christmas decorations during the first week of January, many others were returning those wrong-sized or otherwise unwanted gifts. That’s why UPS predicted that it would return more than a million packages to retailers on Jan. 6, 2016.  

Accordingly, UPS designated this “National Returns Day,” the year’s busiest day for returns. By the end of the first week of 2016, we anticipated processing more than 5 million return packages – 500,000 more than this time last year.

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4 Ways Mobile Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving This Holiday Season

by Michael Jones on Dec 15, 2015 9:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

You’ve likely included some form of mobile marketing in your holiday campaign (brand marketers would be crazy not to have!). But we’re nearing the ninth inning of holiday shopping, and retailers are looking for one last boost this season. Well, there’s still time to amplify your efforts and make the most of mobile.

Mobile is decidedly the most impactful force behind shoppers this season.

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Direct Response Marketing: Knowing the Customer’s Mind

by Cory Bergeron on Dec 9, 2015 8:30:00 PM DRTV, Retail

When I was a director in live shopping television, I was the heartbeat of the show. I was the one who reacted quickly, pumping blood to each and every moving part and synchronizing their efforts toward a common outcome. Behind a switcher with about 2,500 buttons and touchscreen menus, I called out commands to my crew via headset, coached the talent through the show with their in-ear monitors, and partnered with the producer to meet sales goals.

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6 Ways to Reduce Chargebacks and Fraud this Holiday Season

by Suresh Dakshina on Dec 3, 2015 5:30:00 PM DRTV, Retail, Support Services

The holiday shopping season is here. Phones will be ringing and e-commerce sites will be flooded with buyers searching frantically for that unique gift. It’s the perfect environment in which fraud can thrive unless businesses carefully examine their protocols and policies to ensure a successful holiday shopping season.

By following these six easy tips, businesses can stay ahead of the curve, and in the black, this holiday.

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Men, Shopping & Mobile: 3 Critical Insights That Helped Capture the Male Shopper

by Jerry Hum on Nov 18, 2015 8:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail

Given the recent success of e-commerce brands targeting men—from Bonobos to Dollar Shave Club—it’s easy to forget that just a few years ago, few people saw male shoppers as a viable market for e-commerce.

Many traditional retailers—and even those online such as Gilt—have struggled to capture the attention of male shoppers. We saw a huge gap in the marketplace back in 2012 when we started Touch of Modern.

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Field Report: Walgreens, Rite Aid & the Impact of Retail Consolidation

by Jordan Pine on Nov 1, 2015 2:00:00 PM DRTV, Retail

The hot topic in the field these days is that announced acquisition of Rite Aid, the third-largest drug chain in America, by Walgreens, the largest drug chain. Assuming antitrust regulators approve the deal, which Reuters said would close in the second half of 2016, I wondered what effect it will have on the DRTV business. So I asked a few veteran drug-chain reps for their opinions.

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Payments Big Data: 3 Tips on Profit Maximization for Retailers

by Adam Altman on Sep 15, 2015 8:00:00 PM e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

Big Data has emerged as a buzzword that means analyzing extremely large data sets to reveal patterns and trends. How are people applying Big Data to payments? And how might it affect you?

Data analysis is nothing new. Marketers have been segmenting audiences to craft optimal messaging for decades. The same is going on in payment processing. Visa has used it to identify billions of dollars in fraud.

Like Visa, leading retailers are using Big Data to identify threats and opportunities by marrying payments data with marketing data. Here are three areas that are ripe for continued mining:

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Online Retail Marketplaces: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?

by Ranjit Mulgaonkar on Aug 18, 2015 8:00:00 PM e-Commerce, Retail

You recently received a call from one of your retail customers, not a pleasant conversation. The call is a complaint about your hottest selling product that the retail customer is selling. The same product is now available on Online Retail Marketplaces for lower than the retail price. These Online Retail Marketplaces are large e-commerce sites that allow third parties to sell products in exchange for a commission (typically 15 percent of the sale price). Amazon, eBay,, Rakuten, and Newegg are some examples of the Marketplaces. Amazon is the leader and by far the most powerful and influential company, with almost 40 percent of people going there for their initial product search.

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Friendly Fraud: The New Cyber-shoplifting

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Aug 16, 2015 3:00:00 PM e-Commerce, Retail

Retailers who conduct business online face a multitude of challenges. While their reach can be global and their convenience an incentive, the separation from the customer can present new risks. Apart from sales, security is arguably the most important aspect of running an online business. Cyber security breaches and criminal fraud are most likely already on their radar, but what some e-commerce merchants don’t know is that there are security risks where they least expect it: their own customers are often committing fraud.

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5 Steps to Expand Your Online Retail Business Overseas

by Mark Vandegrift on Dec 7, 2014 8:00:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

Selling internationally used to be seen as a goal achievable only for larger brands with remote locations, global warehousing, comprehensive back-office support, and thousands of employees. But with the general growth of international e-commerce and the emergence of online marketplaces, retailers of all sizes are realizing that going global is not only a possibility, but a necessity in today’s economy.
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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.