It’s Summit time. What does that mean for the more than 3,500 retailers and industry experts attending the show? It’s time for the best and most influential digital retail event in the industry.
Over the last 10 years of hosting this annual event, we’ve received the strongest feedback for one critical component of our show – the sessions and speakers we put together based session nominations (over 350, in fact – for 22 sessions) and help from our growing community. As your lead on content, this makes me proud and also challenges our Board, committee members, and staff every year to bring you best sessions and speakers that we can.
For those new to the community and attending the Summit for the first time, I wanted to highlight two sessions that are especially fantastic.
The brain-child of Vintage Tub & Bath CMO Allan Dick – and back by popular demand for the fourth consecutive year – are two sessions titled “40+ Things You Can Do To Make More Money Next Week.” These sessions (one focused on marketing and the other on merchandising) are about specific, actionable tactics you can use to make money now. Our panel of eight industry experts will deliver killer tips to improve your online marketing initiatives. Forget talks of long-term strategy, this is all-tactics, all day.
Not convinced? I thought I’d share (and preview) just a few of their tips for you related to email, mobile, social and SEO. You know, the easy stuff. I’ll leave the rest for them to wow you in a few short days in Boston.
Tip 1: Hold a subject line bake off. Yes, we’re talking about email here. Speaker Ryan Urban suggests creating a “fun” internal competition for your entire team (VPs, graphic designers, copywriters, and other departments) to come up with A/B/C subject line tests. It’s testing and crowd-sourcing all in one.
Tip 2: Take advantage of the benefits of the Facebook Like and Google +1 buttons. We’re crazy about the effects of social media communication and engagement for retail. Scot Wingo, one of the newest members of the Shop.org Board, is going to dive into this tip and discuss how Levi’s saw a 40% increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010.
Tip 3: Mobile navigation is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Create categories to help shoppers find things, don’t create too many options, and allocate your space correctly. Those of us with (and addicted) to our mobile devices can all attest to this. There may be nothing worse than bad navigation (or categories) for mobile websites and apps. A Shop.org favorite, Amy Africa, is going to dive into a number of mobile tips including how to improve the mobile browsing and shopping experience. With bad mobile navigation and category options, you leave the mobile user the idea that – if they don’t see it, it isn’t there. Help the user find what they need.
Tip 4: Use expandable accordion text boxes for SEO. Who can’t use a great tip to optimize for search? According to Michael Mothner, higher organic rankings reward text-rich pages. Higher conversion rates reward short, to-the-point sales pages. To help balance these two needs, he suggests using accordion text boxes to add content that doesn’t detract from conversions. On September 13th at 1:30pm EST, he will show you examples of this tip and more.
As a member of the Shop.org team, I am proud of the entire agenda for this event. You won’t go wrong with any of the options. However, for the majority of our retailers that are sending teams to the Annual Summit, make sure someone spends at least a few minutes in these two powerful sessions.