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Do online retailers have a better chance of beating the global recession than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts?
It's no secret that consumers are cutting back big time. Frugality is the new chic. Tight budgets and high fuel prices are leading to an increase in cocooning that can't be wholly attributed to bitter winter weather. Even New York City is reporting subway ridership has scaled back to levels not seen since the 1950s, as workers lose jobs and shoppers don't leave home to shop.
Hard to find bright spots in such scenarios, but grim economic times could bode better for online retailers than their beleaguered meatspace counterparts. A recent Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates survey finds 26 percent of consumers saying they'll shop more online if their personal financial situation worsens in the coming year.
These so-called "recession shoppers" aren't just buying online to save shoe leather and tire treads. They're hunting for rock-bottom prices, deep discounts and solid deals.
Most of all, recession shoppers love coupons.
With more people shopping online, it seems an obvious time to increase your email marketing efforts and get customers onto websites and into stores, but a surprising number of retailers didn't send emails last Christmas.
According to a report by Snow Valley, 38 of 107(36%) retailers studied didn't send an email in the three months before 28 December.
Finding the right balance for email frequency is crucial for retailers, but some get it badly wrong and run the risk of annoying customers by sending far too many promotional emails.
Having already put me off the purchase with way too much cross selling during the checkout process, VistaPrint has now compounded the problem by sending my 10 emails in the space of 11 days.
Sarah Fay, the chief executive of Aegis Media North America, is known for her smarts, a genuine warmth, and not incidentally, the fact that she's one of the most powerful women in advertising in North America, if not the world.
A 10-year veteran of Carat, Fay has steadily risen in the ranks until she ultimately achieved the top slot in 2007, when the company merged the digital and traditional media assets of Carat and Isobar into a single integrated operating unit.
We caught up with Sarah to ask about advertising in a recession, trends in media buying, and what's been surprising and inspiring her since she took up the reins at Aegis.
As if things weren't bad enough already for print publishers, the United States Postal Service is raising rates in May by around 4%.
The rate hike, which will apply to first class, standard and periodical mailings, is one more stake in the heart of the already troubled print media industry. In times such as these, it's hard to imagine an ad rate hike that could realistically cover higher distribution costs.
M&A activity and investments in the interactive ad industry declined in 2008 according to a new report issued by Petsky Prunier.
Deals were down 29% and acquirers and investors spent five times less than they did in 2007.
With business trying to work out where they should be spending their marketing budgets, everyone is ready to suggest a channel for them to invest their money.
Here are some suggestions on where to redistribute digital marketing budgets when times are tight...
I had my attention drawn recently to Jakob Nielsen’s latest post on Alertbox, entitled ‘Transactional Email and Confirmation Messages’.
In his article, Nielsen reports on his findings from a research study into the usability of confirmation and basic trigger emails.
His conclusion is that, from a usability perspective, they are, in general, shocking (my word, not his!).
Wired’s senior editor Paul Boutin has climbed aboard the 'blogging is dead' train, pointing to Jason Calacanis’ decision to quit blogging as a primary reason to bail out.
The article starts: “Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.”
Transactional emails can be useful for building trust and improving customer service, but many are not as user-friendly as they could be.
That's Jakob Nielsen's verdict in his latest Alertbox post, in which he details tests of a range of emails; customer service responses and order confirmations.
According to Forrester Research, over 150bn emails will be sent to consumers by retailers and wholesalers this year.
And many will be received by recipients who don't really want them.
Here, we speak to Beautique.com MD Jason Russell about the health and beauty retailer's acquisition and conversion activity, as well as the challenges of starting an e-commerce operation from scratch.