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This Week in e-Tail: October 1, 2007

  • By Jeff Molander

This Week in eTail

Social Media

Success Story:’s Social Media
Internet Retailer asks, “Does participating in social networking sites translate into ROI for online retailers?” and Pinny Gniwisch answers: Yes. He’s measuring the success of his efforts in the number of views his fun-filled videos have received on (about 50,000 altogether with 6,000 YouTubers signing up for an sweepstakes promoted and a whopping 16,000 who have signed up for ‘Pinny’s World,’ asking to be notified whenever publishes video on YouTube.

Gniwisch finds value in simply being on YouTube — something that advertisers need to come to grips with rather than trying to plan and execute ‘viral marketing’ campaigns that, by their very nature, cannot be planned.

“If I can interact with these connectors, the word of mouth is tenfold what I would have gotten from someone else who’s part of my demographic but not on that level of web interaction.”

Gniwisch is a genius suggesting he’s willing to experiment with YouTube as an entertainment venue rather than a purely marketing vehicle for a while longer to see if ROI will materialize.

Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing

Success Story: QVC Ties Web with TV
QVC recently used the 20th anniversary of its ‘Today’s Special Value’ home shopping TV show to promote online sales of personalized National Football League jerseys and sold 9,000 of them in one day on

This is a true multi-channel success story,” says Robert Myers, senior vice president of

Drop Shipping: Catching on Among Small and Large e-Tailers
Vcommerce Corporation recently signed Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) to implement Vcommerce Enterprise — it’s solution to help Web retailers create and/or expand drop-shipping abilities.

Why it Matters: Solutions like Doba, Shopster and Vcommerce offer Web retailers the ability to not only sell their own wares but to successfully sell products of others (wholesalers). These solutions manage ALL infrastructure from order to shipping and returns management (and everything in between) while allowing retailers to private-label the entire experience. This model takes affiliate marketing to the next level — turning referral-based affiliates into actual retailers who can set their own profit margins.

Research Provides Clouded Perspective with New Research released research showing email is delivering sales at a cost of $7 per order — compared to $71.89 for banner ads, $26.75 for paid search, and $17.47 for affiliate programs.

Why it Matters: While interesting this research misses the mark as it does not take into consideration the nature of each type of strategy (i.e. most banner and affiliate programs are aimed at customer acquisition while e-mail is aimed at customer retention/loyalty).

Take’s recency and frequency case study and contrast it with’s research. You’ll get a lot more out of it!

Performance Marketing

Google Placing its Google Book Listing in Search Results
Google is expanding what it will serve up in natural / organic search engine results pages (SERPs) — further pushing commercial/product related results off of page one. Welcome to the expansion of Universal Search and the complication of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What it Matters: Google’s Universal Search introduces more non-commercial content into its SERP pages and makes it more difficult for advertisers or their affiliates to occupy the space.

Google Introduces Conversion Optimizer Tool
Google is revolutionizing cost-per-click (CPC) advertising — making it accountable to an advertisers desired acquisition goal. Hence, CPC advertising becomes accountable and manageable (able to be optimized) to pre-determined acquisition cost objectives.

Conversion Optimizer “helps you meet your ROI objectives by automatically managing your bids according to a maximum cost per acquisition (CPA) goal. By automating the bidding process, this feature helps you minimize your conversion costs while saving you time.”

Why it Matters: In the words of’s editor, “in the end, CPA Optimizer moves Google one step closer to becoming a true broadcast company and take on the run of network display business in advance of their integration of Doubleclick, or perhaps in spite of Doubleclick.”

Practically speaking, Google is offering direct response marketers with a silver bullet — simultaniously disintermediating a large segment (if not all of) cost-per-acquisition affiliate marketing. On the list of not happy companies this week: Linkshare Corporation, Commission Junction, a Valueclick Company (VCLK), PerformicsDoubleClick and Think Partnership’s (THK) Kowabunga division.

Privacy & Security
Retailers: The More Data Collected, the More Responsible You Are!
The leak of 45 million people’s credit card information was caused by retailer TJX gathering too much data and not protecting it properly, according to the Canadian privacy commissioner.

About Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe.

Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.

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