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SES – Maximum Retail Conversion
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Some sites are all about direct sales. Search is arguably the most influential and accountable form of online marketing and we’ve assembled a list of experts who will show you the way. This session will focus on direct conversion behavior and turning visitors into customers and cash. Go Maximum or go home.

Moderator: Kevin Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch

SES Chicago: Online Retail And SEO

There is money being left on the table by online retailers, as many have not made the most out of their search engine optimization opportunities.

A Fun Day for Retail Research

Today’s a fun one for retail research.

First, I received an update from Compete’s blog deconstructing the myth of Cyber Monday:

Get Free Advertising Advice From Google

The Google AdWords blog had a post today that caught my attention. The AdWords Optimization Team is accepting requests from advertisers who want feedback on their campaigns. Simply fill out a request form and tell Google about your business and advertising goals.

Online Retail Growing but Not Winning

Online retail sales are growing by all accounts—but, paradoxically, this is somehow translated as a negative for the industry, indicating that it’s “immature.”

Recall Doesn’t Stall Online Demand For Toys

Non-travel retail sales for the third quarter of 2007 hit $28.4 billion, a 23 percent increase over the same period last year, with sales fueled by demand for video games and their related consoles and accessories.

Social Networks Impact Retail Sites

If Santa’s sled is extra heavy this year, his reindeer can blame it on Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo – a new report from Hitwise indicates that social networks are having a huge impact on retail sites.

Hitwise Launches Retail Data Center to Public
Hitwise, announced the launch of its new Retail Data Center. This publicly available website provides weekly online shopping trend data, based on how U.S. Internet users interact with more than 20,000 online shopping sites, across 21 shopping categories such as Video Games, Electronics and Apparel.

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.

Online Holiday Retail Sales To Set Record

U.S. online holiday retail sales will reach $39 billion in 2007, an increase of 20 percent over last year’s holiday season according to a new report from JupiterResearch, "US Online Retail Holiday Forecast, 2007."

Social Networkers Love Their Leisure

Though many think of Facebook and other social networking sites as destinations for people who find pizza and beer a frequent financial challenge, these users have been hitting various leisure-oriented retail sites in droves.

New Insights into Retail Marketing

I read an excellent article on Clickz.com written by Hollis Thomases called, “New Optimism for Online Retail Marketing Opportunities.” Her article related some of the insights she gained while attending Shop.org’s Annual Summit. You can read the whole article by visiting http://www.clickz.com/3627098.

The article quoted Forrester senior analyst Ms. Sucharita Mulpuru about the future of e-commerce. A few quotes I found extremely important were:

Shop.org Summit: Online Retail Trends

Whether an online retailer is also on top of the (virtual) world or is just starting out, they’ve likely got a lot to learn.  And as worlds both physical and virtual move forward, Donna Hoffman of the Sloan Center for Internet Retailing (and UC Riverside) has shared “10 Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss.”

ShopLocal Introduces Online Retail Index

ShopLocal, a multi-channel shopping and marketing firm has introduced The ShopLocal Index, a market indicator focused on tracking the influence of the Internet on in-store shopping.

Social Networks and Online Retail

Social networks and online communities have little impact on online retail sales according to a report from JupiterResearch, "Us Retail Consumer survey, 2007."

MySpace Driving Online Retail Purchases

Though retail sites get about a quarter of their traffic from search engines, they are also increasingly getting traffic from MySpace, perhaps answering some reservations posed about the efficacy of creating a presence in social networks.

Search Engines Drive Traffic To Retail Sites

Retail Web sites received 25 percent of their traffic from search engines for May 2007, according to findings from Hitwise. This was an increase of 0.7 percent over May 2006.

Online Shoppers Unmoved By Fast Retail
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Retail stores promote ordering items on their Web sites and then offer consumers the option of quickly being able to pick the item up.

The Analytics Opportunity

Final interesting article in DM Review this month – Dealing with Data: Data Analytics: A Huge Opportunity by Shari Rogalski. She does a nice job of summarizing the research and makes some good points. A couple of things I wanted to highlight:

* You must move to a predictive mindset, not an analyze-the-past mindset. Check out my predictive analytics FAQ if you are not sure what this means

StuntDubl’s Friday Favorites

I missed last week (My laptop started with the “laptop death rattle” – so it was a scramble to do data backups, find and migrate to a new machine). One of the worst parts of being a solo shop is being your own IT guy. Excuses aside – here’s twice the friday favorite goodness for this week.

Holiday Online Retail Rejoices With $11.7B

Heavy Internet traffic to websites was virtually matched by the money people were willing to spend on retailer sites, by almost 25 percent more than last year.

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