Saturday, May 30, 2009

ProfitCenter Software Closing Down!

I am informed by reliable and knowledgeable sources that Systemax has "pulled the plug" on ProfitCenter Software (PCS).

While I do not have full details at this point, my understanding is that PCS will continue to support its current installs for a number of months going forward to assure a smooth transition for them to new solutions. Meanwhile, PCS as a company is being wound down, and of course no new contracts will be signed with new users.

I will report further details as they become available.

Friday, May 29, 2009

C&eB Sees New Hires in UK DM

According to one of today's Tweets from Catalogue & eBusiness magazine/European Catalogue & Mail Order Days (ECMOD), a lot of their multi-channel client companies are hiring. That sure is good news in this economy!

Fry Launches Two Sites for Thompson Group

Fry, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MICROS Systems, Inc. and a leading eCommerce solutions provider, launched two new Web sites for The Thompson Group, a direct-to-consumer multi-channel merchant selling products ranging from premium cigars to designer linens and women's apparel.

Fry delivered a multi-site eCommerce solution for The Thompson Group's two brand sites, and, utilizing the Fry Open Commerce Platform™ (OCP), which provides retailers with a feature-rich, scalable online store. As with all sites on the Fry OCP platform, The Thompson Group sites feature robust content management and flexible promotional tools, targeted merchandising capability and refined search.

The new platform has already made an impact. Both sites have seen increased traffic, improved average order, and reduced cart abandonment, providing value that has exceeded forecast. The Thompson Group attributes these improvements directly to the sites' ease-of-use and OCP's refined search and merchandising capabilities. In addition to providing the e-commerce platform, Fry also provided creative design for the Casual Living site.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

National Geographic Retains Epsilon

National Geographic Society, publisher of the 5 million-plus-circulation National Geographic magazine, has retained Epsilon, Irving, TX, for database hosting and marketing services.

The nonprofit has been an Epsilon database client since 1997 and also uses the agency's e-mail and Epsilon Targeting services to manage and market to its 45 million-member database. Aside from data management and aggregation, Epsilon offers National Geographic analytics, campaign management and reporting. National Geographic uses these tools to develop and manage campaigns across its many products, including the magazine, National Geographic Channel, films and live events.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jagged Peak Offers ACES to Measure Performance

Jagged Peak, Tampa, FL, a supplier of eCommerce, fulfillment, and supply chain software and services, has developed a program called "ACES" that allows organizations to review their performance the way customers experience it so they can implement the kinds of improvements that earn customer loyalty.

ACES views performance through three lenses:

• The Customer lens - measures performance of the business processes customer use up to the point where an order is placed. It also measures performance when orders go wrong and customers require additional services, such as a product return.

• The Fulfillment lens - measures business processes from the instant an order is placed until it is delivered to the location the customer designates. It measures the total time customers wait to receive products ordered and your total fulfillment costs.

• The IT lens - measures how effectively enterprise applications support your order taking and fulfillment objectives. Information latency and visibility are huge contributors to business performance and customer experiences and require ongoing measurement.

Figure 1. The ACES Performance Lenses and Component Measurements

Quantified measurements for each of these ACES lenses come from combining the results of subordinate metrics. For each organization, market dynamics, competitive positioning, process benchmarks, and any other factors relevant to success will define which subordinate measurements to use and their relative weights. Each ACES measurement considers the multiple dimensions of cost, failures, and customer wait time.

Experience shows that when you shift focus to better customer experience you will find that drives down costs and improves quality, as well.

Once it is in place, the ACES model compares actual performance to goals, highlighting strengths and shortfalls. The key reporting tool is a spider diagram like the one below can help summarize and communicate fulfillment performance to the entire organization.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eileen Fisher Selects Escalate Retail

Escalate Retail has announced that Eileen Fisher, a clothing company with 44 retail stores and accounts at all major department stores, has selected the company’s Buy Anywhere, Fulfill Anywhere Commerce™ solution to enable an end-to-end cross-channel customer shopping experience. As part of the Buy Anywhere, Fulfill Anywhere Commerce™ platform, Eileen Fisher will implement Escalate Retail’s e-Commerce, Contact Center, Order Manager, and Fulfillment Manager modules to enhance the customer experience and drive additional revenue. Escalate Retail’s consulting partner, Acquity Group, will provide Eileen Fisher with front-end implementation and hosting services.

Escalate Retail Partners With MyBuys

Escalate Retail today announced a new partnership with MyBuys, a leading provider of personalized product recommendations for online retailers.

The partnership with MyBuys provides Escalate customers with another option to the personalization capabilities of Escalate e-Commerce, allowing retailers to outsource their product recommendations to MyBuys instead of managing them in-house. Through this partnership, Escalate e-Commerce customers can quickly and easily incorporate MyBuys's personalization technology into their e-Commerce sites, as well as integrating it with the Ecometry Order Management platform.

MyBuys creates deep consumer profiles based on information that it collects directly from site visitors, and matches it with information gathered from previous in-store and online purchases. Using a patented portfolio of algorithms and real-time optimization, MyBuys determines what products and offers are most appealing to each shopper, then makes recommendations on the site and in personalized emails. According to MyBuys, the company’s clients are increasing average order value by 45 percent, improving conversion rates by 90 percent, and boosting overall online revenue five to 20 percent.

Escalate Retail Expands EMEA/UK Team

Escalate Retail, San Diego, CA, has announced its continued expansion in the EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) region with a strategic addition to its leadership team in the area.

Rob Meyer, Escalate's Sales Director for EMEA/UK, has been named to head up this initiative based on his extensive experience in retail and e-Commerce.

Meyer will relocate to London this summer, where he will focus his efforts on supporting Escalate’s EMEA clients, as well as business development with additional retailers in the region. Current EMEA clients include Louis Vuitton, Sainsbury’s, Debenhams, The Entertainer, Gadgetshop, and Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton.

Meyer will work closely with Escalate Retail’s existing U.K. team, providing EMEA clients with additional support as they work through solution upgrades and implementations. The expansion will also increase Escalate’s brand awareness, giving retailers abroad greater access and exposure to the Escalate Retail name and the proven results of Escalate’s eCommerce solutions.

Escalate Retail’s Buy Anywhere Fulfill Anywhere Commerce™ suite includes Escalate e-Commerce, Relationship Marketing, Clienteling and Order Management.

Jagged Peak Offers AcroBoo Commerce

Manufacturers and Fortune 1000 companies looking to take advantage of the eCommerce channel often lack the expertise and the commitment of resources needed to launch and manage their own branded Website(s), despite the enormous potential for online sales from these sources.

To address this opportunity, Jagged Peak, the Tampa, FL-based full-service 3PL, developer of the EDGE order management system, and provider of specialized eCommerce platforms, has launched AcroBoo Commerce, which specializes in creating eStores for companies who can benefit from Jagged Peak's expertise in creating effective branded Websites for suppliers or manufacturers that are Search-optimized, customer-friendly, and Web 2.0-enabled.

They have also developed Brand Weasel, a service that provides online channel monitoring, pricing policy enforcement, and reputation management to help companies successfully sell their products in an exceedingly competitive, online marketplace. The Leegin Leather Supreme Court ruling in June 2007 gave manufacturers the power to enforce their MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) policies. While this was a victory for manufacturers in the fight against brand devaluation, most companies still do not have the internal resources or know-how to effectively monitor their online sales channel. Brand Weasel can do this for them, quickly and efficiently combatting brand threats with powerful enforcement workflow and case management capabilities.

AcroBoo has developed and hosted branded Websites such as and, but it also hosts broad-line stores such as and its own specialty eStores, such as Just The Right Gun Light, Just the Right Power Tool, or Just the Right Safety Equipment, which can feature one or more brands within the category.

Manufacturer or suppliers of high quality products looking to expand their business will find AcroBoo a "one-stop shop" for tools and expertise needed to make an online sales channel successful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ProfitCenter Launches Vers. 3.1

ProfitCenter Software Inc. (PCS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Systemax Inc. and a provider of Web-based software solutions for eCommerce and Order Management multi-channel direct marketing merchants, has announced their version 3.1 with a Campaign Engine imbedded into their eCommerce Platform and Order Management System.

This new module allows eCommerce and Multichannel marketers to accurately track their marketing "spend to revenue" using actual product cost, campaign pricing, and marketing expenditures.

Retailers also benefit by presenting a unified brand experience across all shopping channels, including automatic qualification and presentation of dollar-off, percentage-off, coupons, gifts and free or discounted BOGO assortment offers. Call center, eCommerce and even retail store registers recognize campaigns and eliminate the frustration that shoppers experience when trying to activate offers on opposing sales channels.

"It was essential for our clients to present a consistent campaign experience to their customers who may respond to a specific channel’s offer using an opposing channel," stated John Marrah, CEO of ProfitCenter Software. "We’ve been providing dynamic pricing on the Web for some time, but never fully replicated our complete list of Order Management campaigns to the Web channel until now."

Now print, email, search engine, affiliate, shopping engines and many more types of campaigns can be offered in one sales channel and automatically change to match an order on an opposing channel with:

- Percentage price discounts defined for order level or item level thresholds
- Buy One, Get One: free, from a selection, at a discount, etc.
- Shipping discounts based on order value, specific items or other
- Dollar off discounts assigned to a product group, category or brand
- Incentives, such as coupons, gift cards or auto insert items

Catalogs, DRTV, space ad and insert direct marketers also benefit. Orders can be entered into a retailer’s quick order Web form and the site dynamically changes to present the matching price, quantity breaks, auto insert gift, assortment of discount choices and more.

MNP Launches OMSConnect

MNP Ltd., Salisbury, UK, has launched "OMSConnect," a module which provides a secure, certificated method of sending and receiving real time updates between a Website and ORDERactive, the company's order management and fulfillment solution.

OMSConnecct ensures the website is displaying the most up-to-date information e.g. customer data, promotional campaigns, product information, etc. It also enables orders and/or customer detail changes entered on the website to be transferred and processed in real time.

As Ed Helborough, part of MNP's Product Development team, notes: "This real-time functionality has many benefits for a business. For example, when a customer places an order via a Website, the order is fulfilled and stock levels are adjusted immediately in ORDERactive, thus giving the business confidence that their reporting figures are correct at all times."

Harry Rosen Using iCongo

iCongo, Inc., a provider of eCommerce and cross-channel systems, was selected as the key developer and technology provider for the new eCommerce site of Harry Rosen Inc., one of Canada’s leading quality menswear retailers.

Delivering the same high level of customer service found in the 15 Harry Rosen stores across Canada, the new eCommerce site features state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology that unifies the chain’s online and physical stores. Sales associates will be able to interact with the customers they have served in their local stores, suggesting products and offering assistance. The site will also leverage iCongo’s Order Management System to coordinate shipping and fulfillment of all orders.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sears Introduces "givetogether"

Sears has introduced a new gift-giving service called "givetogether," which is free, online at With givetogether, families and friends can easily combine individual contributions into a single, larger gift, gift card, or service.

Sears givetogether works on four easy-to-navigate Website navigation tabs in four simple steps, First, the organizer or the recipient selects from any product or service offered by Sears and creates a group gift goal.

Second, they send an e-mail to invite contributors, such as family and friends, to participate at whatever level they choose, via credit card. There are no hidden costs or service fees.

Third, the group can track progress toward the goal online.

Finally, when the goal is met, the originator of the givetogether account can select to give a Sears eGift Card to the recipient via e-mail or in person. The gift recipient can then redeem the eGift Card online, or in-store, for the actual gift.

Said Bill Kiss, Sears' divisional vice president of marketing, planning and program development,"Giving gifts is an important part of American life that becomes a little more challenging when loved ones are geographically dispersed. We want to deliver a pleasurable experience for the gift givers, one that leverages a sense of family or community and which ultimately thrills the recipient. That's all part of the givetogether experience."

Sears Holdings's plans for givetogether, he added, will include home fashions, apparel and other products from Kmart.
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