What Amazon Firefly means for commerce

Amazon Fire Phone

The new Amazon Fire Phone launched yesterday, and the internet is buzzing about whether this new device will be a hit or a flop.  I believe that the Fire Phone is a significant milestone in the evolution of shopping.  Retailers and shopper marketers would be wise to pay attention. Amazon clearly is swinging for the fences. The announcement was rich in innovation. Unlimited free image storage, Free Amazon Prime, Dynamic Perspective, Mayday, Camera with Optical Image Stabilization, etc.  Frankly, it's been several years since an Apple product launch had close to that level of attempted « Continue »

The Promo Code field could be costing Sears’ e-commerce $16M a month

Promo Code Field

When looking to improve performance of an e-commerce site, one of the best places to start looking is at the bottom of your checkout funnel. If a shopper has gone to all the trouble to discover products, put them in their shopping cart, and begin the checkout process, you know they have buying intent.  So you need to find any elements of the customer experience that might be tripping them up at the end of that process. One of the most common mistakes I see in e-commerce checkout flows is a Promotion Code Field that is too prominent. The Promo Code field is an important utility, and you want « Continue »

Have I earned your vote for the shop.org board of directors?


I’m running for the shop.org board of directors. As most of you know, I’ve been in the e-commerce industry for a long time (launched my first e-commerce site in 1996). Like all of us in this industry, I’ve benefited greatly from the efforts of shop.org, including their policy advocacy, content, and events. However, I benefited more than most from shop.org networking opportunities. You see, I met my current employer at a shop.org event in 2012, and more importantly I met my fiancé at an event in 2010! (Assuming she doesn’t come to her senses, we’re getting married on June 2nd). While the « Continue »

Three e-Commerce Lessons From the Super Bowl

Superbowl Blackout

The 2013 Super Bowl was more digital than ever. The 71,024 fans in attendance all had access to free wi-fi. Dozens of Super Bowl advertisers launched aggressive digital campaigns in the weeks prior to the game (including, in many cases, pre-releasing their commercials). And the game itself featured a record number of commercial spots with digital calls to action, and extended on-line experiences. The Success of these various digital initiatives was mixed, but three clear lessons emerged that can be immediately applied to e-commerce sites. Lesson 1: Prioritize your calls to « Continue »

E-Commerce Events in September 2012

2012 Shop.Org Annual Summit Logo

Would you like to escape your daily grind and recharge your e-commerce batteries before the holiday shopping season kicks in to full gear? September offers two e-commerce trade shows that might be just what the doctor ordered. If you are using (or are interested in) the IBM Smarter Commerce platform, you should consider attending the Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012.  It is September 5-7 in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.  This is the second year of the show, in this new business user focused format.  The first year (in San Diego) was surprisingly good given « Continue »

Retailgeek Site Redesigned for Speed

Website Redesign

Retailgeek.com recently underwent a redesign and moved to a new host which resulted in a much faster site. In fact we're almost 5 TIMES as fast! The site runs on WordPress and was hosted on a virtual private server. But the arrangement had ongoing performance and security challenges. The redesign involved moving to a new WordPress theme, a new host, and using a next generation CDN. Theme For a long time we've been interested in moving from our original commercial theme to the highly regarded Genesis Framework. Genesis has a great reputation for speed, security, and SEO, and comes from by « Continue »

What the new Top Level Domains mean for E-Commerce

ICANn URL Confusion

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is responsible for assigning and managing generic top level domains (aka gTLD) such as .com .edu .biz. In June of 2011 they announced a they offer the ability for companies to establish new top level domains.  The process required applicants to anonymously request new domain names and agree to pay fees of approximately $180K per application.  Initially they have promised to cap the number of gTLDs at 1000 (currently there are 22 plus country codes). For a variety of good reasons, I advised clients not to apply for new gTLDs.  « Continue »

GlobalShop 2012


GlobalShop, the largest event for retail design and shopper marketing in the U.S, is February 29 – March 2 in Las Vegas.  It’s a great event to catch up with colleagues in the industry and see the latest trends in Visual Merchandising, Store Design, and Store Fixtures. This year, in partnership with the Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE), I’ll be giving a presentation about in-store customer experiences in the omni-channel world. Hey, Who Moved The Front of My Store? Retailing in a cross-channel world. Thursday, March 1, 2012 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm SMCI6 (Shopper Marketing « Continue »

Learn E-Commerce from Louis C.K.

Louis CK Headshot

Louis C.K.  was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week, talking about his new special new special, Live at the Beacon Theater, which he self-produced and new special, x through his own website for five bucks. When the interview turned into a clinic on e-commerce best practices: Impulse Price Louis CK told the New York Times, "I buy lots of things online and I had a focus group of one. I thought about it, and five bucks seemed almost free and I figured if I took out the hassle, most of the speed bumps, it would almost be like hitting a link and streaming it." He offered the « Continue »

Cross Channel Events in September


I’m currently on a 8 week road trip full of client and store visits.  My schedule is pretty tight, but the trip does include three big industry events.  Shop.Org, IBM Smarter Commerce, and RIS Cross Channel Summit.  If you’re going to be at any of the shows and want to meet up, feel free to drop me a line.  Shop.org Annual Summit in Boston, MA, Sept 12 – 14   IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2011 in San Diego, CA, Sept 19-21   RIS « Continue »