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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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04/01/2013 - Order Fulfillment
In a retail environment where customer loyalty is increasingly rare and customer expectations are higher than ever, merchants should be constantly searching for ways to improve the way they do business. For a retailer or wholesaler who sells online, the struggle to provide excellent value and an ideal customer experience without a physical presence can be difficult. The key to a successful ECOMMERCE channel ultimately hinges on one important area-the warehouse.

04/01/2013 - Start a Business with Drop Shipping
The idea of selling products without having to first buy them and then hold the inventory in a warehouse is attractive to some business owners because it can be a cost-effective way to start selling online. Business logic tells us that the easier it is to start a small business, the more competitors will be in the industry. Drop shipping is no exception, and competition will only grow with the rapid expansion in ECOMMERCE overall.

04/01/2013 - Guide to Product Listing Ads
Google Product Listing Ads are a type of advertising that follows the pay-per-click (PPC) model. This kind of promotion, however, presents a greater opportunity than a typical text-only ad, which was long the cornerstone of PPC advertising. With Product Listing Ads, businesses can include rich product details, including merchant name, product images, product name, price and message

04/01/2013 - U.S. ECOMMERCE Sales to Hit $370B by 2017
Driven by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, ECOMMERCE sales in the U.S. are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of ten percent in the next five years, according to a new report, "U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017," from Forrester Research. Forrester predicts U.S. online retail sales will reach $262 billion in 2013

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.

03/01/2013 - SEO: Make Your Website Work
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important, and elusive, elements of an ECOMMERCE website. It is important because of the impact organic search traffic can have on ROI, and it is elusive because search engines are always changing the rules. Still, there are a few core SEO principles that Google and other search engines recommend which should play an integral part in your online strategy.

03/01/2013 - Google Feeds Your Appetite for Success
When it comes to the recipe for Internet sales success, brand and product exposure are key ingredients, and organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) are just two ways of gaining publicity. A third, often overlooked, option for product awareness is the use of shopping comparison sites, such as Google Shopping, which is fed through the Google Merchant Center.

02/01/2013 - Master Cutlery with Top Notch Knives
Master Cutlery was founded 30 years ago when Jackie Lee's parents established one of the first American companies to source knives from their native China. "My father saw a great opportunity, and he forged relationships with manufacturers who were able to get him these products," she explains. "The company has grown every year since its launch." The firm currently operates out of a 100,000 square foot facility in Secaucus, NJ, where Lee is VP of operations.

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 - 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 - Facebook Offers Viral Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, using text ads and banners to engage social media fans on Facebook, has been losing its luster in recent years. Advertising to these fans may be great for building brand awareness, but it is not doing much for the immediate bottom line. The low returns businesses see from PPC methods may be because people that typically use social media sites, like Facebook, do not necessarily want to be sold to directly.

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 - Fight Online Fraud
Nine out of ten online merchants may be vulnerable to credit card fraud, according to a survey by SignatureLink, an online security firm, and payment industry communicator CardNotPresent.com. The survey found that only ten percent of websites surveyed require shoppers to accept the terms and conditions of payment to the site via e-signature, vocal consent or a physical signature. Agreement to site terms and conditions along with data breaches are areas of focus for ECOMMERCE businesses that process payments online.

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.

01/01/2013 - Strength in ECOMMERCE Sector
Retail ECOMMERCE spending for the first 32 days of the November-December 2012 holiday shopping season reached $21.4 billion, marking a 14 percent increase versus the corresponding period last year, according to Internet analytics company comScore.

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 - Free Shipping Builds Profits
With 2012 winding down it is time to finalize plans for next year, and online sellers must not overlook the vital role that shipping plays in driving sales online. At some point during the buying cycle all shoppers ask, "How much does shipping cost?" and "How fast is the item shipped?" The answers to these questions play an important role in buying decisions, especially when all other comparison factors are consistent.

11/01/2012 - Conquer ECOMMERCE with Drop Shipping
As online shopping figures continue to swell, entrepreneurial opportunities follow suit, and with the help of reliable drop shippers, running a successful ECOMMERCE or mcommerce business is more obtainable than ever.

11/01/2012 - Stunning Low Cost Product Photos
When it comes to selling merchandise online, it's all about high quality images that share product features in a way that replicate their in-store allure. Photo Cubics Inc. specializes in innovative photography solutions that empower online retailers to create such detailed images at a fraction of the cost of professional photography.

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.

10/01/2012 - ECOMMERCE Holiday Checklist
The holidays are quickly approaching and your business promos should have already begun. Keeping everything in check and making sure you leave no stone unturned can be a difficult task. To help you in that effort, here is a checklist of items you should consider while preparing for the holidays.

10/01/2012 - Retail ECOMMERCE to Grow Significantly
For retailers today, it is an exciting but challenging time. The ECOMMERCE revolution has created a newly empowered consumer, the "always-on" consumer, who has higher expectations for the retail shopping experience than ever before. But how should retailers transform their business and their supply chains to support the omni channel delivery of products to these new consumers?

10/01/2012 - New GENCO Website Brings Greater Convenience
GENCO Marketplace, one of America's largest merchandise liquidators, has launched a newly designed website to bring speed and convenience to online wholesalers and retailers, enabling them to spend less time sourcing liquidation inventory and more time selling, GENCO announced.

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 - 9 Lessons For Running an ECOMMERCE Business
If I have learned anything over the years while running ECOMMERCE businesses, it is to plan for everything, and expect the unexpected. Growth requires adaptation, constant attention and change. "You reap what you sow," "garbage in, garbage out," and the list goes on.

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 - Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing
Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing - If you are running any Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, and you should be, you cannot overlook what remarketing can do for your efforts

08/01/2012 - Consumers Demand Simple Site Navigation and Reviews
A report from A.T. Kearney suggests that ECOMMERCE vendors are seeing increased interest from consumers with the web becoming an avenue for

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 - Google Search Goes Shopping
Starting this fall, just when the retail holiday shopping season is in full swing, Google will do away with its free Product Search platform in a move to a paid format called Google Shopping.

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 - The Right Renovations at Accessories Palace
Accessories Palace Inc. has offered many stellar fashion wholesale products for over a decade, enabling independent retailers to acquire stylish items and sell to customers hoping to reinvent their look.

07/01/2012 - Peer-to-Peer Reviews
When it comes to making a buying decision, nothing can be more important in closing the sale than customer reviews. A form of social proof, non-biased peer-to-peer reviews are just as good as getting a referral for a product from a friend. "What online tool most influenced your purchase decision?" The number one answer was product ratings and reviews.

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.

07/01/2012 - Online Sales Continue to Climb
Since 2009 the average amount U.S. Internet users spent annually shopping online increased roughly $100 per year. This year, GroupM projects the average U.S. Internet user will spend $1,042 on ECOMMERCE, with Canada trailing slightly, at $1,009 on average.

07/01/2012 - Free Shipping Worth Waiting For
Online shoppers want free shipping, even if it means their packages take longer to arrive, and are less concerned about sales tax, according to a recent study by research and consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.

07/01/2012 - Marketers React to Google Changes
Google recently upended the ECOMMERCE marketing world with the announcement of upcoming changes to what will now be called Google Shopping. Many retailers and marketers we spoke with are positive about the switch. One might think taking a product from free to paid would cause an outcry, but for many it is an answer to long time concerns about control.

06/01/2012 - Walmart Dives Into Social ECOMMERCE
Walmart recently launched its first social gifting platform, Shopycat, a Facebook application that suggests gifts for friends based on their Facebook use.

06/01/2012 - The Live Chat Choice
The face-to-face service of brick and mortars has been replaced by an overwhelming favoritism towards digital convenience offered by ECOMMERCE sites.

06/01/2012 - MoH Innovates Online
Andrew Kitzenberg of Memory on Hand proves there are also fascinating startup stories in more behind-the-scenes venues like wholesale.

06/01/2012 - Wholesalers See Big Holiday Season
It's that important time of year again, when independent retailers begin buying holiday season products for their ECOMMERCE warehouses and store shelves. What is going to be hot among Christmas and Hanukkah shoppers in 2012?

06/01/2012 - Email Marketing: 4 Success Factors
Email marketing is a critical component to building any business. Being at the forefront of your customers?, and potential customers? minds, and those of your potential customers, plays a vital role in generating sales.

06/01/2012 - Conversion Funnels for Web Profits
Conversion funnels help website owners understand the online behavior of visitors during a conversion process.

05/01/2012 - Six Secrets of Successful ECOMMERCE
Web companies need to stay on top of the constantly evolving methods of advertising on the web.

05/01/2012 - Western Express For Western Success
The story behind Western Express, the leading wholesale company for cowboy hats, western shirts, belt buckles, and other buckaroo-styled clothing items, starts with a touch of show business.

05/01/2012 - Data Segmentation for ECOMMERCE
If you only use the standard data gathering and reporting features present in Google Analytics, you are not getting a complete picture of how your business is performing.

05/01/2012 - Web-Only Retailers See Growth
Digital shopping channels are undeniably a growing trend among bargain hunters, special occasion shoppers and even shoppers looking for everyday merchandise.

04/12/2012 - Wholesale Central and Pinnacle Cart Forge Partnership
Wholesale Central, the Internet's leading directory of wholesale suppliers, has joined forces with leading ECOMMERCE provider Pinnacle Cart in an effort to make selling wholesale merchandise on the internet easier than ever before. The partnership launched with the latest release of Pinnacle Cart, version 3.7.11, which includes an automated data feed to Wholesale Central's proprietary product search feature.

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