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About Greg Howlett

Having launched two multi-million dollar online companies, Greg Howlett has been working in the trenches of internet marketing for over eight years. He currently is the President/CEO of Vitabase. Vitabase is a leading health supplement company, selling hundreds of products under the Vitabase label. Vitabase markets exclusively online, and has built its customer base by providing a unique and cutting-edge online customer experience.

Greg lives with his wife, Marla, and four children in Monroe, GA.

MarketingPilgrim posts
Internet Retailer Annual Guide

Today, Internet Retailer released their annual Top 500 Guide that chronicles the online retail industry in general and the top 500 online retailers in particular. As I am listening to their presentation of the report, I am typing these highlights.

Total E-Retail revenue hit $166 billion in the US in 2007, representing 6.3% of total revenue. The top 500 online retailers accounted for 61% of the total E-Retail revenue. Total retail growth was at 3.8% last year while E-Retail grew at a much healthier 21.8%.

Valentines Day Virtual Flowers

1-800-Flowers has launched BokayMe.com, a site that allows people to send virtual flowers to each other. The service is free for basic bouquets and up to $3 for enhanced bouquets.

Look at Things From a Customer’s Perspective

As an internet retailer, I have had to learn the hard way that our customers do not necessarily see our sites the way we see them. In fact, when we conduct usability studies, I am often shocked to find that what is very obvious to me escapes them completely.

Does that make them stupid? Of course not. Their perspective is just different. In their eyes, the retailer is the one that is stupid.

8 Good Holiday Season Stats for Internet Retailers

Forrester has some great statistics related to the holiday season for online retailers:

Holiday Increase in Online Retail Predicted

JupiterResearch predicts that US online retail during the holiday season will grow to over $39 billion this year. This represents an increase of 20% over last year. About 126 million users are expected to buy online, which is a 6% increase over last year.

Internet retailers plan to drive their holiday sales primarily through search marketing, even though they are noticing that costs are rising and ROI is dropping. They also plan to increase free shipping offers and promote percent-off discounts.

Are Widgets the Future of E-tail?

All of a sudden, widgets are getting very hot. I discussed Lemonade Stand last week, which is essentially a widget that attempts to combine affiliate marketing with Web 2.0.

Retailers Struggling with Multi-Channel

The development of multi-channel marketing is one of the most impactful things happening in internet retail these days.

As I have written about before, the idea that customers want to order online but pick up their merchandise in a physical store seems counter intuitive. However, there is growing evidence that they want to do exactly that. This gives a tremendous advantage to multi-channel merchants because not only do they see an increase of online sales but they also see significant upsell revenue once they get their online customers into their stores.

The Death of MLM & Affiliate Marketing as We Know it?

Lemonade Inc. is getting some attention today with its launch of an ecommerce platform that practically anyone can sell from. The idea is that people can set up “lemonade stands” on social sites like Facebook that sell products from various well-known companies including Apple and Wal-mart.

No Love Between Wikipedia And Overstock

More bizarre news from Overstock. Now, Wikipedia has apparently banned them from editing on their site. This comes after a long history of alleged blantant advertising and other nefarious actions by Overstock on Wikipedia.

The Truth About SEO & E-tail

Everybody is talking about this study from Oneupweb that says that internet retailers are not optimizing their sites for SEO. At the risk of rehashing, here are my two cents.