IRCE Conference - Learning How to Survive the Economic Storm

Exciting news!

We're here at IRCE, the Internet Retailer 2009 Conference & Exhibition in beautiful Boston, MA and are all having a grand old time!

Said to be the world's largest e-retailing trade show, the fifth-annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, presented by Internet Retailer magazine is devoted this year to the strategies and tools that e-retailers can use to thrive in a recession that pulls the rest of retailing down. The timely theme - Rising Above—Not Just Surviving—the Economic Storm.

Catalogs.com has a booth all set up and is one of 350 exhibiting companies. Last night we enjoyed the 3 hour cocktail party and have been listening to the roster of 179 expert speakers, absorbing every word they have to say. Featuring a brilliant cast of keynote speakers, including Brian Galloway from REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) and the founder and CEO of NetElixer, Udayan Bose, who discussed keywords and how 10% of keywords count towards 80% of overall conversion. Bose also keyed us in on the secrets of capturing ethnic market share simply by focusing on different, more relatable buzzwords.

IRCE2009Logo.jpg

E-commerce expert and President of Musician's Hut, Eric Archuleta, gave a memorable speech focusing on the fact that it's not always important to be #1. Simply put, he cares more about buyers than visitors and cited examples on why it isn't always best to be in first place - walking into a mine field for example, driving into a speed trap, or being the highest paid employee in 2009 are all instances where you don't want to be the first to jump in, and the same thing applies to purchasing keywords on Google. It isn't always best to be #1 on Google, and you don't always have to purchase the top keywords in order to thrive.

My favorite quote of the conference this far dealt with Archuleta's views on the catalog industry. He claimed that catalogs continue to have an incredible impact because while a catalog sits around, consumers have a chance to save up. The longer a catalog sits around, the more chances you have of people thumbing through it and visiting it over and over again, ensuring that catalogs will always have a long shelf life that is so much more valuable than a quick Twitter post or a search on a computer.

Which reminds me of another highlight...

Twitter, could it become another search engine?

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