Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back-to-School Specials

The Back-to-School season is in full swing. My daughter starts school next Monday, and this week's Sunday paper was littered with FSIs promoting back to school.

It's striking how different the paper design of an FSI is compared to a web site. I always new this (web vs. catalog for all retailers), but the images are even more contrasted in the office supply space. Staples website looks like a dictionary compared to their jump-out-at-you circular. OfficeMax.com looks like an indexed binder. I'm sure these sites serve them well, but I expect that the coming years will change how we can interact with sites with an enormous amount of SKUs.

Office Depot's idea of back to school was free pizza.

Wal-Mart added College 08 ad. Target added a text ad on the left navigation and a college tab to their top navigation. The Target FSI focused on college dorm furnishing.

Amazon was another focused a variety of college oriented themes. JC Penney addressed both college (dorm life) and apparel for school. They also have a very interesting video advergame.

The visuals follow. (You can click on any image to see full screen.)

Stores Magazine President's column focused on back-to-school this month.


Advertisement: Free Holiday Snapshot for Retailers
My company is offering a free Holiday Snapshot for qualified retailers. See


OfficeMax FSI

OfficeMax Website

Staples FSI

Staples Website

OfficeDepot Website

Target FSI

Target Website

Wal-Mart Website

Amazon Website

JCPenney Website

JCPenny Advergame Splash Page

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review Your Competitors 2007 Holiday Strategies

I've been on summer holiday, and haven't posted for quite a while. As the holiday season ramps up, I plan to get back to posting every week or so.

For those of you who are interested, I'm making available a piece of our website archive that supports this blog.

As the holiday season approaches, I imagine you have a lot of planning activities going on. An important foundation to this planning is competitive analysis. I believe I can help enhance your planning by giving you insight into your competitors’ web sites from last year’s holiday season.

As part of my software company, DragonVista, I have a compiled an archive of the Top 500 Internet Retailer home pages for the past two years. My gift to you is a 2007 Holiday Snapshot for one of your competitors. Click on Macys-Holiday-Snapshot-2007 for a sample. If you are interested, simply let me know the name of the website you would like to see. If it is in the archive, I will send you a Holiday Snapshot for free.

A review of your competitor's website from Holiday 2007 can provide

- insight into promotion strategies (e.g., when did they start to offer free shipping, and at what threshold?)
- information on their changing merchandising
- inspiration for new ideas of your own

If you are interested in your custom snapshot, just write to me via the "Suggest a Topic" box on the right. Please include the URL of the site you are interested in and your email address so I can send the Snapshot to you.