After an exciting time at IRCE 2010, we are back at the office. It was the largest Internet Retailer conference to date, with several thousand attendees and hundreds of exhibitors! We spent most of the time at our booth speaking with attendees but were able to sit in on Imran Jooma’s presentation. Imran is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of E-Commerce at Sears and spoke on the subject of social media.
Peer reviews dictate how we shop, teenagers in particular. They seek approval from their friends who often hold more influence over fashion choices than a carefully planned out advertisement. Today’s reviews are not in the pages of magazines but broadcast via webcam for an audience of millions over the web. “Haul” videos, if you’re not tuned in, are basically a review of one’s shopping trip. These videos are made predominantly by teenage girls and mostly cover shopping sprees of the apparel and makeup persuasion. The goods are usually from mid to mass retailers like Forever 21 or Target, making them attainable purchases for the avid watcher. This phenomenon feeds right into the need of consumers to “keep up with the Joneses”. Plus it’s kind of fun to live vicariously through the spending of others.
The green movement has become somewhat of a marketing trend these days. “Eco”, “organic”, “sustainable”, “all natural”, and of course “green” are all the advertising buzzwords. Consumers now take into consideration how safe a product is. Lip balms and face washes declare that they are free of chemicals. Household cleaners like Method are marketed as safe to use on your baby’s highchair. Water bottles declare that they are BPA free. SunChips come in decomposable bags. Clothing made from organic cotton has become more popular. But because the green movement is such a powerful marketing trend, many companies are looking to align themselves by claiming that they are “organic” “eco-friendly” and “green” without actually backing it up. So then how do companies successfully market themselves as a green company, through and through? Social media is being used by many brands in highly successful ways to promote them as trustworthy companies.
Are you already on the list? Sample sales are not new; it wasn’t too long ago that people lined up at private, invitation only New York warehouses. They were crowded and shoppers came ready for battle. I mean, where else were you going to get designer wares at 75% off? But now consumers can enjoy the same satisfaction from the privacy of their home. The adrenaline is still there, as items this deeply discounted move quickly. It’s a rush for the shopping enthusiast and a pretty good deal for the sites as well. Gilt Groupe, which launched in 2007, is projecting $400 million in sales for 2010. Each site seems to have its own niche and since I’m never one to discriminate, I am a member of them all. Here’s a rundown of the most popular sites:
I love to shop online. I don’t have to deal with pushy salespeople, I have peer recommendations at my fingertips and there’s just something so gratifying about getting a real package in a the mail. The other day, I was browsing my usual stores and decided that it was time for a new pair of running sneakers. Click, click, click and oooh, I definitely need socks and a pedometer! But then at the checkout, my finger hovering over the mouse, I couldn’t pull the trigger.
It’s about that time again…IRCE 2010 begins tomorrow and we can’t wait! We have a timely theme for this year’s booth: FIFA World Cup! Come by Booth #224 to take a closer look at the handmade South African keychains we’re giving away. And for the true soccer fan, we will be raffling off 10 copies of Wii’s FIFA World Cup Game. Make sure to pick up a copy of our brand new “Fresh Ideas” booklet, containing more than 20 actionable online advertising tips for retailers to stay ahead of competitors during this year’s holiday season. Stop by and say hello…we can’t wait to meet you!
Since we’re gearing up for next week’s Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, I thought I’d reach out to someone who has their finger on the pulse of retailers. Zak Stambor, in addition to editing the daily newsletters, covers Social Media for Internet Retailer Magazine. At the Internet Retailer Conference, Zak and the rest of IRM’s editorial staff will be visiting with vendors in the exhibition hall and covering speaker presentations.
Here’s your chance to win 10 free hours of expert counsel from NetElixir’s seasoned ad operations team. Send us a short video telling us about the challenges you face and why you think you need our help with your paid search advertising. All videos will be viewed by our panel of judges and the winning retailer will be announced at the end of June. Simply respond to our target=”_blank”>YouTube announcement and upload your video. We can’t wait to see you!
A few weeks ago, I had a problem with my computer. I called the customer service number, innocently thinking that I would receive just that…service. After a heated one way conversation with the computerized voice, I finally gained clearance to speak with a real person. Two hours later, I was no closer to fixing the issue. Seemingly, I was being passed from person to person on an unending cycle of “hold on, I’ll connect you to the correct department.” This frustration just aggravated me and I eventually hung up.