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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 - 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.

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 - Polarview Sunglasses are FAA Approved
The hottest trend in sunglasses is not as much about design as it is about functionality, according to David Zeuner, CEO of Sunglass Manufacturing Group. "Polarview is a new technology for sunglasses that does everything polarized lenses do to block UVA and UVB light as well as reflective glare, but, unlike polarized lenses, they don't block instrumentation. Even in bright light, you can see screens on devices like cell phones, GPS, aviation panels and iPads. All of our sunglasses are Polarview." Notably, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of Polarview glasses, and outlawed the use of polarized glasses, for airline pilots

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 - 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 - 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 - Transform Viewers into Buyers
Shoppable videos, those enhanced with attached or embedded links for direct-from-video purchase opportunities, is fast becoming popular with ONLINE sellers. This medium, the strength of which lies in telling stories, gets consumers excited by engaging multiple senses simultaneously, and turns this excitement into action by giving consumers the means to make a purchase on the spot. Video viewers simply point, click and buy, and then return to view their video.

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.

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.

10/01/2012 - The Spirit of St Louis Wholesale
St. Louis Wholesale's owner and founder, Craig Pinkerton, has come a long way since his first wholesale purchase. Had he not taken an initial risk, St. Louis Wholesale would never have been created.

10/01/2012 - FLOMO - New Valentines day product line
Seven is a lucky number at FLOMO, a manufacturer and distributor owned by Nygala Corp., with seven of its own factories in operation around the country. Started as a factory-based supplier in 1956, the company won seven national awards for excellence in 2011 and continues to uphold high quality standards.

10/01/2012 - A Whole Lot of Love
While romance is in the air year round, there is one special day set aside that celebrates lovers. That day is Valentine's Day, and nothing is more popular for amorous gift giving than greeting cards and merchandise that say "Love." This year, wholesalers are offering retailers merchandise that is both traditional and trendy, giving customers the opportunity to say the age-old "I love you" with a contemporary twist.

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 - 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 - Wrap the Holidays in Fun, Flirty Accessories
Colorful, unique accessories make great holiday gifts, especially when they offer retailers outstanding profit margins. Some of the hottest new merchandise this season includes versatile hand cut scarves, shiny hair products and twinkling rhinestone jewelry, and jingle jangle hip scarves, all of which dress up anyone's bottom line.

09/01/2012 - The Sky's the Limit with Cloud Computing
Instagram, Groupon and LinkedIn are amazing success stories that serve different markets yet share a common link. Each was born in "The Cloud," a complex infrastructure that, in real time over the Internet, extends an ONLINE business's IT capabilities without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software.

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.

09/01/2012 - Shipping is Key to SHOPPING Carts
UPS recently commissioned a study to pinpoint key details regarding shipping and ONLINE purchases useful in preventing ONLINE SHOPPING cart abandonment. With cart abandonment rates soaring around 70 percent, businesses with ONLINE stores can benefit from the information uncovered by comScore, Inc., the company commissioned to perform the study.

08/01/2012 - Impulse Gifts Grab Sales
It is easier than ever for retailers to stock up on gift and novelty merchandise in preparation for successful holiday sales. This is because ONLINE wholesalers not only stay on top of hot trends and have plenty of popular merchandise available, they also continue to invest in website functionality that enables buyers to quickly see what is new, peruse colorful catalogs, avail themselves of web specials, and place and track orders ONLINE.

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 - Innovative Toys Create Sales
Toys are always big sellers for independent retailers, whether for stocking shelves for the holidays or for year-round gifting occasions like birthdays. Marketers tend to agree that the more innovative the product, the greater the sales.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - Kole's Wholesale Buying Tips
With over 25 years' experience, Kole Imports knows the preferences of today's frugal retailers, and their equally cost-conscious customers.

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 - Clash of the Retail Titans
There was once a time when Walmart and Amazon grew simultaneously, serving different demographics and merchandising needs.

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.

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

04/01/2012 - Back-to-School ONLINE
While kids are currently counting down to the first day of summer vacation, retailers are already merchandising for the new school year, filling their stockrooms with the essentials and the forecasted must-haves.

04/01/2012 - Via Trading Liquidation
Via Trading Corp. of California has more than stood up to its company mission during its 10 years of operation: to be the recognized leader in the liquidation industry and to continuously strengthen its position.

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

04/01/2012 - Gas Fuels Ecommerce
AIT, web hosting company to over 210,000 customers predicts that the increase in gas prices in 2012 will have a direct impact on web SHOPPING.

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