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INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors. Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and business strategies to help you succeed.

See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.


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03/01/2013 - Increasing Sales with CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a top priority for many e-tailers this year, as customer expectations regarding the online experience are at an all time high. In order to contend in the ecommerce arena, some e-tailers are turning to service providers to gain an edge on the competition. Below is an overview of four providers and the products and services they offer to support online sellers.

02/01/2013 - Video For Your Website - Tactics to Build Online Sales
Ten years ago, it was rare for online wholesalers and retailers to have video on their websites, and those that did incorporate it into their online marketing plans were considered innovative. Now, if you ask a room full of business owners if they have video on their websites, at least half will say yes, as it is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Today, it is how, not if, you use video that makes you stand out from the competition.

02/01/2013 - A Taste of Milk and Honey
Success as a vendor in the gift and jewelry business, to a large degree, depends on offering buyers fresh, fashionable products, as well as being able to shift and adapt your product line to the times. Glen Miller, president of Milk and Honey, Inc., has perfected a balance of those strategies, and offers classic products that are continually popular, as well as trending jewelry, accessories and giftware

02/01/2013 - Time Equals Money
As a small business owner, one of your most important assets is time. Many independent retailers are under the assumption that using MOBILE phone and tablet apps will increase productivity, and allow them to use their time more effectively. Using app center features, however, is a time killer that can leave you frustrated and with less time to do the things that enable you to run your business smoothly.

02/01/2013 - mCommerce: Adapt or Die
Shoppers are quickly moving to MOBILE commerce, or mcommerce, with more than 50 percent of U.S. consumers saying they plan to use smartphones or tablets to make purchases over the Internet, according to research giant Nielsen. In addition, research firm Canalys notes that, in 2011, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones (487.7 million) exceeded shipments of personal computers (414.6 million).

01/01/2013 - MOBILE Sales Drive Profits
MOBILE payment apps are fast becoming a popular mode for web wholesalers and online retailers to generate more sales at offline venues, such as tradeshows and conventions. Various MOBILE payment platforms enable merchants to accept PayPal, cash, credit cards, invoice or checks, wherever they are, on the phone they already carry.

01/01/2013 - New Year, New eCommerce System
Many online retailers just completed a "hair on fire" end to the 2012 holiday shopping season. Now that you can rest and take a four-hour vacation, it is time to start planning for 2013, and ensure that you have built your store on an ecommerce system worthy of your business. To see if your ecommerce platform passes the test, ask yourself the following questions:

01/01/2013 - Ecommerce in 2015
yStats.com and MarketLine, two data collection firms, have released their preliminary predictions, based on figures gathered from studies conducted from 2010 to the present, for ecommerce earnings through 2015. The world business-to-consumer ecommerce industry generated between $400 and $600 billion in 2010, according to the report. Based on the growth involved in reaching those numbers, the market is expected to generate between $700 and $950 billion in 2015.

01/01/2013 - Cyber Monday Shatters MOBILE Records
MOBILE commerce shopping increased more than 400 percent on Cyber Monday 2012, reports Unbound Commerce, a MOBILE experience architecture firm. The firm conducted a study which showed that the vast majority of visits made to ecommerce sites were from first time customers who had not previously opened an online account with the stores where they shopped. Unbound Commerce's customers reported a 410 percent spike in revenue on Cyber Monday, as shoppers turned to tablets and phones for streamlined shopping trips.

12/01/2012 - eCommerce Musts for SEO Success
Online merchants who are serious about success must have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. In order for any ecommerce strategy to have SEO legs, there are important points to consider when picking your shopping cart platform. Optimizing your ecommerce site will help improve your search rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Below are some features that your ecommerce software must provide for you to effectively sell your products online.

12/01/2012 - Popular Smartphone Apps
Smartphone users download entertainment and game apps more often than any other applications, with social media, finance and productivity apps also popular MOBILE downloads, according to a study by customer service technology company Virtual Hold Technology (VHT).

11/01/2012 - Six Design Tips to Generate Sales
To be successful, ecommerce businesses need to build sites that are able to sell products. Sounds simple enough, yet, too often sites are designed based on improper knowledge of customers' wants and needs. In some cases, companies even let technology drive design efforts, and that is one of the worst things that can happen.

11/01/2012 - Apple vs Samsung
Escalating the global fight between Samsung and Apple, the former filed a patent lawsuit against the latter over the iPhone 5, requesting that the device be added to an existing lawsuit underway in U.S. Federal Court. The October 1 filing says that as soon as the iPhone 5 was available for purchase, Samsung began its investigation of the product and within a week determined that the iPhone 5 practiced its patented technologies.

11/01/2012 - Best Electronic Devices Fuel Sales
Berlin, Germany, ballooned with excitement at this year's annual Internationale Funkausstellung (Radio and Television Exhibition). Fingertips were the focus for technology and engineering executives as they gathered to kibitz about the latest touchscreens, smartphones and tablet accessories.

10/01/2012 - The Best Apps for Your Business
The slew of promises that comes with many MOBILE apps approaches productivity from every angle. As business owners find themselves becoming more and more MOBILE, the curiosity surrounding these collectible tools makes a visit to an iTunes or Android store feel like the grown up version of a trip to the candy shop. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android, with more being added by the minute.

09/01/2012 - Ecommerce Essentials to Grow Your Business
Efficient ecommerce platforms are a vital part of Internet wholesalers' and retailers' businesses. They provide a variety of tools that automate web based sales, such as creation and maintenance of product catalogs, shopping cart services, payment processing and order tracking.

09/01/2012 - Collectibles Create a Craze
When it comes to making the web do work, Dimension 9 LLC is one company that knows how to strategically crack the whip. With 30 years in the gift and souvenir industry, the company has spent years perfecting products and learning from peers.

09/01/2012 - Small Businesses Eye Big Sites
A study recently completed by Vendio, a multichannel ecommerce solutions company, found that small and mid-sized online retailers are highly confident in the future of ecommerce.

08/01/2012 - Tablets Trump Smartphones
Retailers tend to lump tablets and smartphones into the same category called "MOBILE," but that might not be wise, according to the results of a new study by online marketing technology company Monetate.

08/01/2012 - MOBILE Online Transactions
Online shopping cart abandonment rates are sky high, topping 70 percent according to some studies, and incomplete sales can be a problem for today's online retailers.

07/01/2012 - Using Social Media to Grow Business
Most small business owners know that social media is an important part of their online strategy, but may not know where to start or have the time to learn. Others may not believe that social media is important at all. The truth is that social media is critical to the success of any business.

07/01/2012 - There's an App for That
Mobility changed communication. Freedom from wires and landlines, freedom from cables, cords and tangles has spread like wildfire in a culture that prizes speed and efficiency. The demand for mobility has affected the way we live and, in turn, the way customers shop. Text-ready thumbs are now interested in making purchases, placing orders online via cell phones and tablets.

07/01/2012 - Social Gifting Trend
The Official Merchant Services Blog keeps its finger on the pulse of ecommerce, and recognizes the latest hot trends by staying ahead of the technology curve. Trending now is Social Gifting, the activity where consumers on social media channels like Facebook can individually, or in groups, purchase gifts for friends.

05/01/2012 - Drop Shipping For Retail ROI
E-retail companies and mom and pop shops that want to make more money without the potential of overstock headaches need not look further than drop shipping.

04/01/2012 - Online Payment Trends
Online Payment Processing is an ever-changing industry.

04/01/2012 - Apple Rocks Ecommerce
Ecommerce providers have much to celebrate with the arrival of the iPad 3, demonstrated in early March.

03/01/2012 - Analyzing Google Analytics
When selling merchandise online, it is not enough to simply track sales.

03/01/2012 - Fear, Fun & Profits This Halloween
For most holidays, consumers purchase decorations and merchandise that promote cheer or comfort such as bunnies for Easter, snowmen for Christmas, or a Thanksgiving cornucopia.

03/01/2012 - Staples Expands Ecommerce
Staples, the world's second largest ecommerce company, has announced that it will open an eCommerce Innovation Center in Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA, near its Boston headquarters, in May.

02/01/2012 - Local Marketing With Google AdWords Express
In 2011, Google launched a new service, AdWords Express, aimed at providing the easiest way to advertise on Google.

02/01/2012 - MOBILE Cyber Monday
Online spending reached a record $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday 2011, with an estimated 22 percent growth year over year, according to ComScore.

02/01/2012 - Google Takes On Amazon
After seeing Amazon increase its sales 42 percent in the first nine months of 2011, Google is looking to launch a service that will allow the search engine giant to act as a middle man between shoppers and a local seller.

02/01/2012 - Big Spending Tablet Users
According to Mashable.com, 20 percent of all MOBILE ecommerce sales currently come from tablets, nearly two thirds of tablet owners have purchased goods via their device, and more than 56 percent have downloaded shopping related applications.

01/01/2012 - Making Your Website MOBILE
Designing a website to sell your products used to be pretty simple, because you knew your audience.

01/01/2012 - 2012 CES Preview
The Consumer Electronics Association?s (CEA) 2012 International CES will be held January 10th to 13th in Las Vegas, NV.

01/01/2012 - MOBILE Marketing Trends
On a planet with about seven billion people, 2011 saw an astonishing 5.3 billion MOBILE subscriptions, about 77 percent of the total population.

12/01/2011 - Effective Email Marketing
It seems like many are ready to anoint marketing through social media the wave of the future, and relegate email marketing to a relic of a time gone by.

12/01/2011 - MOBILE App Sales Rising
According to IT market research group Gartner, companies will generate half of their web sales via social media and MOBILE applications by 2015.

10/01/2011 - Google Universe: Tools To Build Your Business
For any retailer seeking low cost tools to boost the bottom line, the first place to look is Google.

10/01/2011 - Erply's New POS System Offers Six Compelling Strengths
Erply, an Estonian company, has created an innovative ecommerce solution for big box retailers as well as medium and small retailers.

09/01/2011 - Spring Trends Focus on Value
As the economy is still in a state of recovery, suppliers are working hard to offer deals that will help store owners survive.

07/01/2011 - New Payment Frontiers: Smart Phones
With smartphone use growing in America, the technology exists for anyone to process a credit card when it comes time to check out a customer.

07/01/2011 - Asia America Trade Show
Surrounded by 43 countries from Central and South America and the Caribbean, Miami has been chosen for its high marketability to host the Asia America Trade Show (ACS America), scheduled for September 20 to 22.

04/01/2011 - Product Comparison Sites Let Retailers Reach Shoppers
As more and more shoppers go online, the chances are slim that any one potential customer even knows your web address, much less wants to shop specifically at your site.

04/01/2011 - Rules of MOBILE Marketing
In today's four-screen marketing world, designing an ideal MOBILE site is becoming more important than ever for the e-retailer.

04/01/2011 - Consumer Confidence High, Future Should See Online Growth
The economy is looking better now, and ecommerce sales will trend up for the next several years, say several reports.

03/01/2011 - More Retailers Move To Ecommerce
Electronic commerce is gaining in importance, according to a new study by Retail Systems Research.

01/01/2011 - Moving To MOBILE Ecommerce
Converging trend lines show that the importance of MOBILE computing and smartphone shopping is beginning to be seen on the retail front.

01/01/2011 - Stay Connected For Success
In the increasingly fragmented market space of 2011, how can retailers, especially those who source products online, best reach their increasingly tech-savvy customer base?

12/01/2010 - MOBILE Commerce
With all the talk of iPhones, apps, Blackberrys and like-minded "smart" devices, at some point, if not already, you need to consider when it is right to make a move to MOBILE commerce.

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