June 12th, 2008 | 4 MIN READ

Internet Retailer 2008 Live Blogging + Commentary Digest

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

This week's Blogger's Digest is a bit different...

Jason Billingsley and I were in Chicago this week for Internet Retailer's Conference and Exhibition meeting e-tailers, giving site reviews to Get Elastic readers and conducting video-podcast interviews with other ecommerce vendors. I thought it'd be fitting to do a roundup of blog reactions to the conference:

  • 2008's Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide was released this week, and Shawn Collins blogs about Commission Junction's popularity among the top e-tailers. The affiliate network boasts 53% of the top 500, including Apple, Best Buy, Dell, HP, Newegg, and QVC.
  • CSE Strategies' Scot Wingo was shocked by Monday's affiliate marketing workshop's negativity about affiliate marketing instead of tips for how to maximize your affiliate program's performance. George Michie from the Rimm-Kaufmann Group gives a rationale why the panel decided to focus on the terms and conditions issues for the session - all the panelists felt it was an important issue. You could argue that identifying affiliate cheats (though they're not all scoundrels) does improve campaign performance and overall profits. Lively discussion follows in the ABestWeb forums.

  • DigitalTransactionNews provides a thorough summary of six ways online merchants can get a grip on payment costs from a workshop with Grapevinehill's Jon Kuhlmann.
  • eBoost Marketing has a series of takeaway roundups from all the sessions its team attended, check 'em all out on their blog, this is the 6th and final entry which links to all the previous entries also. Nice and concise.
  • Bronto Software reminds us of the importance of transactional messaging in email campaigns.
  • Heather Dougherty from Hitwise was a speaker for a social media session and posts a nifty chart of May 2008 upstream traffic from social networks to online retail categories.
  • Carlo from UK eCommerce consultancy and technology provider Snow Valley expected to be awed by the advanced-ness of US retailers vs. UK. Instead he found multi-channel operations and technology vendors were essentially the same on both sides of the pond. But he noticed one area of advancement the US has is testing and analysis.
  • Michael Kearns from 5 Star Net blogs that he got the most value out of the sessions performing live critiques of websites, but was bored at the recycled information of other sessions. Unfortunately he didn't know Elastic Path doing private one-on-one consultations at our booth and could have hung out with us. Maybe next year, Michael!
  • Kevin Harmon from StartUpNation met a lot of fellow eBay sellers at the show, but warns you of over-eager and lonely trade show booth-ers' aggressiveness during the early exhibit hall hours. Yes, you must run our gauntlet before you can attack the continental breakfast. (Wearing dark glasses or an iPod may help.) He also confessed he's a bit behind on the whole ecommerce marketing thing. Kevin, you can catch up by reading Get Elastic!
  • Kyle Bumgardner from Marketing Insights gives us the highlights of the 500 Guide including top 5 retailers, fastest growing categories and slowest growing.
  • If you're running a Yahoo! Store you may enjoy Shawna Fennel's podcast with Yahoo! Small Business' Jimmy Duvall and an interview with AmericanBridal.com's Shirley Tan.

Thanks for Your Support for 8 Stupid Things

I also want to add special thanks to those who've taken the time to link to my entry in Marketing Pilgrim's Third Annual SEM Scholarship contest: 8 Stupid Things Webmasters Do to Mess Up Their Analytics.

To show my appreciation for those who enjoyed the article enough to link to it from their blogs, I pledge to acknowledge each one here on our blog. Not all appear in the post's trackbacks so if you've linked to it and I haven't added you please drop a comment here and I will add you. You can read short bios on the bloggers who linked to it last week if you like.

  • Tim Peter linked to 8 Stupid Things from his link roundup last Friday, you should check out his other faves, Tim's obviously got good taste.
  • Melanie Phung is a seasoned SEO / ecommerce veteran, currently working for New Media Strategies which provides brand monitoring and protection for Fortune 500 companies. Melanie's blog is a humorous collection of social media, marketing and SEO soundbytes. Melanie bookmarked the article which appears in a sidebar on her blog. She also owns a parrot.
  • FoxyCart also gave it a nod from their blog, along with a couple other analytics resources.

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