Monday, 9 January 2012

Vote Now in the Direct Commerce Readers Award 2012

Direct Commerce magazine is proud to announce that it has once again partnered with the ECMOD Awards to facilitate the Direct Commerce Readers’ Award category for most inspirational business in the catalogue and online retail sector. Click here to vote for your favourite.

The ECMOD Awards have spearheaded the recognition of business excellence for organisations engaged in direct-to-customer retailing across traditional and newly emerging channels. Established in 1998, the awards have built a strong reputation for honouring the best the sector has to offer.

An additional category within the ECMOD Awards, the Direct Commerce Readers' Award was introduced last year. After a very close-run competition, clothing retailer/catalogue Boden emerged victorious, beating six other finalists including Asos, Charles Tyrwhitt, Kiddicare, Lakeland, Net-a-Porter, and The White Company to the title.

The Direct Commerce Readers' Award invites executives who work within the sector to nominate the catalogue, online or cross-channel commerce businesses they hold in the greatest esteem. This year, individuals are welcome to nominate up to three companies they feel really stand out for their innovation, brand and service.

Voting is done online and the winner will be announced at the ECMOD Awards evening at the Lancaster London Hotel on 27th March 2012. Click here to access the official Direct Commerce Readers' Award voting form.

As a special thank-you for voting, all those making a nomination will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to the ECMOD Awards Evening.
Closing date for nominations is Monday, 5th March.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

December Catalogue Log

For the past couple of years, catalogue volume declined dramatically in December compared with the preceding month. In December 2009, for instance, we logged just 62 catalogues compared with November 09’s crop of 140 catalogues. December 2010 didn’t fare much better—just 66 catalogues compared with 167 logged in November. Then again, the snow hampered deliveries in late 2010, which may have deterred some mailers from sending catalogues in the last five weeks of the year.

Having said that, in 2011 it seems catalogue marketers have finally caught up to the reality that consumers are shopping for Christmas much, much later than they used to. We received 110 catalogues in December 2011, a 67 percent increase on the previous year and the fifth-highest volume of 2011.

December offers chart
December  2011 was also among the most promotional months of the year. Approximately two-thirds of all catalogues featured some sort of special offer on the cover. That’s up from November, when about half the catalogues we tracked featured promotional cover lines.

Of the catalogues arriving during the week in between Christmas and New Year, we noted several mailers such as The Handpicked Collection, Wall London and Bloom, take the opportunity to announce the start of their sales. This tactic saw the percentage of catalogues touting a special price promotion on the cover reach 53.7 percent. Now compare that with November, when just a third of catalogues featured a sale on the cover. Christmas is coming later, but the January sales are starting earlier.

On the other hand, the percentage of catalogues promoting free shipping on the cover was down from November. We counted just 12 catalogues offering free p&p in December, or 11 percent, including Cotton Traders, the Happy Puzzle Company and Traidcraft. Clearly, taking a hit on margins from knock-down prices was enough for most retailers.

The number of catalogues promoting a free gift in December 2011 was statistically insignificant from December 10 or December 09. We noted 6.4 percent of catalogues promoting a free gift in December, including Viking and bookseller Postscript, which promised a free Classical Myths book when customers spent £15 or more.

The Catalogue Log: 2011 in catalogues

We promised you a roundup of the year by the numbers, so here are the Catalogue Log’s top stats for 2011:

* In total, Direct Commerce logged in 1,419 catalogues in 2011. That’s 87 more than we received in 2010, representing a 6.5 percent growth.

* November proved to be the month with the greatest volume; we tallied 178 catalogues.

* In July we received just 64 catalogues. Almost 70 percent of them featured some sort of special offer on the cover making July the most promotional month of the year.

* September and October tied for the months with fewest promotional cover lines, but at 49.7 percent, 2011 was most definitely a very promotionally focused year.

* Breaking down the data into specific offers, June was the most popular month for sales and discounts with 59.3 percent of catalogues touting a special price on the cover. For the second consecutive year, the least popular month for sales was November.

* Free delivery was most popular in February (49 percent) but least popular in December (10.9 percent).

* February was a popular month for offers; in addition to the highest number of free p&p offers, 18.3 percent of covers promised a free gift with purchase. Free gifts were least popular in October.--MT

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

CV appeal

While the world of recruitment may have adjusted in the methodology, the main aim has always remained the same: matching the best candidates with the correct role.

A study produced by job-search website The Ladders surveyed executive-level recruiters on subjects regarding the job-search process. The survey looked into the work of recruiters and the essential advice needed for candidates to best deal with them.

The study showed that out of 134 executive-level recruiters, 110 said they source their candidates from job postings. It was closely followed by 107 recruiters saying they source candidates via social media.

It also showed that the average time recruiters spend reviewing resumes is around 21 to 30 seconds. Further, 81 percent of recruiters believe that a great CV can turn an average-looking candidate into a great candidate.

Recruiters said that the most common mistake on a CV is language and grammatical errors, with the second most common mistake being “too much information” and third, “no awards listed”. Take heed, the survey identified that around 75 percent of CVs that contained language and grammatical errors were rejected immediately.

Finally, to be successful in any job search, The Ladders advised candidates to remember the following steps:
1. Spend time making sure that you have an absolutely faultless CV.
2. Only send a CV to relevant recruiters.
3. Only apply for positions that are relevant to your skills and experience.--JD