Listrak’s 2017 Winter Summit: Insights and Innovations

January 20, 2017 by John Swords

I recently attended Listrak’s Partner Expo at the company’s 2017 Winter Summit. TurnTo’s chief product officer, John Swords, traveled with me to Lancaster, PA, where Listrak brought all of its team members together for a week of training and team building.

I’ve always been a fan of working with Email Service Providers (ESPs).

Like SIs, ESPs, such as Listrak, work very closely with industry-leading retailers and brands and become deeply integrated with their marketing teams. All of that time working together leads to innovative insights, and those insights lead to ground-breaking marketing strategies and products.

2017 Listrak Winter Summit Partner Expo TurnTo

I’ve always known Listrak has industry-leading professional services, but the team’s product presentation stole the show at the 2017 Winter Summit. The data they are collecting with cross-device identification makes their content personalization and programmatic marketing products that much more effective. I was very impressed.

It was highly valuable for Swords and I to have an entire day of conversations with members of literally every team at Listrak. We immensely enjoyed drawing attention to what TurnTo is able to do for our mutual clients, hearing what they find interesting and discussing strategies to deliver more value through our partnership.

If you’re intrigued or would like to know more, check out the links above, or feel free to contact me at


Social Commerce Webinar: Solves Customer Engagement Challenge

October 15, 2013 by John Swords

Zachary Ciperski, Vice President at joined TurnTo for a webinar to discuss the success has had using Social Q&A to solve their online engagement challenge.

Watch the webinar now:

Social Commerce Webinar: Clarins Enhances Online Shopping with Social Q&A

July 30, 2013 by John Swords

Han Wen, VP, Digital & E-Commerce Americas at Clarins, joined TurnTo for a webinar (below) to discuss how they use Social Q&A to enhance their online shopping experience.   She also discussed how Clarins uses Social Q&A to gain valuable product insights and touched on what initiatives they have in store for the near future.

Watch the webinar now:

TurnTo Interview at Internet Retailer 2013

June 26, 2013 by John Swords

While at IRCE 2013, George Eberstadt, CEO and Founder of TurnTo, was interviewed by Website Magazine for their Video Spotlight about our social question-and-answer utility for online retailers (Social Q&A). George also shared his thoughts on what e-commerce changes we can expect in the future. Watch the interview below:

Social Commerce Webinar – North Shore Commercial Door Talks Success…

May 22, 2013 by John Swords

Matt O’Donnell, the President of North Shore Commercial Door, recently joined TurnTo for a webinar (below) to discuss the results he sees with Social Q&A on his site.  They’ve had much success, including increasing their user engagement and gaining valuable insight about their products, since implementing the Social Q&A in 2012.

Watch the webinar now:

Social Commerce Webinar – Vitamin Shoppe and Talk E-Commerce Tools

April 26, 2013 by John Swords

We recently hosted a webinar with Liveclicker, a provider of video commerce solutions, where we had the privilege to interview Karen Hansen, the Digital Product Manager for The Vitamin Shoppe and Robert Reed, the Video Producer for, regarding two leading e-commerce tools they recently adopted – social Q&A and video commerce.

In the webinar below, Karen and Robert discuss why they chose these tools and what results they’ve delivered.  Check it out!

Interview with Tim Parry of Multichannel Merchant at eTail East 2013

March 5, 2013 by John Swords

While at eTail West 2013, TurnTo’s CEO and Founder, George Eberstadt, was interviewed by Tim Parry of Multichannel Merchant.  They discuss trends in social tools and different ways to leverage them.  Watch the full interview below:

Social Commerce Webinar – US-Mattress Talks Social Q&A

January 24, 2013 by John Swords

Yesterday John Swords (our VP of Product) joined Jamie Braxton, the Marketing Manager for US-Mattress and FurnitureCrate, for our webinar “US-Mattress Talks Social Q&A.”  During the webinar, Jamie and John discussed the social commerce goals and challenges Jamie faced on their sites, why Social Q&A was a solution and how it is working for them now.

Watch the full webinar here:


Webinar, Grows Sales with Social Q&A

October 11, 2012 by John Swords

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with guest speaker Jack Kiefer, CEO of  Jack spoke to us about how and why they use Social Q&A on their e-commerce site to create an engaging experience for their shoppers that is increasing conversion.

Watch a recording of the webinar below to get a quick tour of how Social Q&A works on and listen to Jack talk about the following:
– How Social Q&A engages their shoppers
– The benefits of using Social Q&A
– How Social Q&A fits into their social commerce strategy

An Overview of the Annual Summit

September 20, 2012 by John Swords

September 10th marked the start of this year’s Annual Summit in Denver, CO.

The Summit always seems to be the ideal place for online retailers and brands to close the conference season. In addition to the myriad of social activities, the Summit brings industry leaders and innovative players together and allows attendees to gather that one last nugget or exchange that one last idea with fellow retailers before they head for holiday lockdown.

Following is a summary provided by the blog on five sessions:

Are you making one of these 4 online marketing mistakes?

With everything that goes on in retail/e-commerce, mistakes are bound to be made.  Luckily, some of the most common ones are easy to fix.  Read about the top 4 mistakes online marketers make, and how they can be remedied here.

Cost-effective tactics to optimize SEO performance

SEO may be one of the most valuable online strategies, right after email, but are you utilizing all the available resources to optimize?  Learn more about it here.

How to be a web analytics hero

Getting the most from your website requires more than just reporting.  You must analyze!  Landing pages, search functions and product details should all be examined.  Learn more here.

Why site speed matters for big time retailers

In life, most people don’t like waiting and the same goes for online shoppers.  Read an interview with Ted Middleton, Vice President of EdgeCast Network, for insights on why your page load times matter and how to keep yours fast here.

H&M: Lessons learned from David Beckham’s Super Bowl ad

I think the title is self-explanatory on this one!  Read about the tactics and strategy H&M used when planning to launch their Super Bowl ad surrounding David Beckham’s underwear line here.

For those of you not familiar with this event or have not attended in the past, this year’s Summit had one of the biggest turnouts recorded and with the promise that ‘attendees will acquire valuable strategies and tactics to improve online and multichannel retail business’, you may want to check it out next year. This Summit is confirmed for September 30-October, 2013 in Chicago, IL. We hope to see you there!

Multi-Channel Marketing at eTail East

August 22, 2012 by John Swords

The TurnTo team recently took a trip to eTail East in Boston, MA where the hot topic was multi-channel marketing, or omni-channel marketing depending on who you asked.   From mobile to tablet (will talk more about these two later) to online, social, print and media, consumers have multiple ways to access your online store and experience your brand.   With this variety, businesses are wondering, What do I do for each channel?  Should I go social? and much more.

The CMO of Express, Lisa Gavales shared with the audience a 90 second video of their upcoming fall collection as delivered through multiple channels.  She prefaced it by saying it is boring.  Boring?  Yes, boring.  Why?  Because Express stays consistent with it’s messaging within every season, so when you take a 3 month season and condense it to 90 seconds it gets a bit repetitive with the same images and clothing being shown to you over and over again!  The point of this was clear though: stay consistent no matter what channel of marketing you are using.  A consumer should be able to access your site through their phone, tablet or computer and see basically the same thing.  A core principle of branding, but one that is easy to stray from.

With all the different types of devices currently on the market, how does one decide which to treat the same and which to put in their own category?  For the most part, this is quite simple, but what about mobile phones and tablets?  Do you consider a tablet a mobile device? Or do you classify them each into a category of their own? The speakers at eTail East all had their own opinions, and there is no one approach that is correct.  However, they all could agree that it is important to keep in mind the differences between a mobile phone and tablet device.  For one, the screen size is different.  Secondly, the Internet connection used on the two is usually different, WiFi for tablets and 3G for phones (4G if you’re lucky).  These two factors combined affects how these devices are used.   For example, 74% of people use a smartphone to find local services compared to 55% on tablets1. This type of information could be valuable when deciding what marketing activities you are going to execute for these devices, as well as what approach you are going to take with your messaging.  Slight changes are obviously necessary between a phone and tablet, but again, brand consistency is key.

Latest infographics2 divulge that there are 845 million monthly active Facebook users and over 465 million Twitter accounts.   That’s 1.31 billion people that use Facebook and Twitter alone, not to mention other social sites.  So, should you go social? How do you measure social?  Some speakers at eTail use Facebook, others don’t.  Some use Twitter, some don’t.  So what’s the deal?  Use what works for you.  Test, test, test.  Start small, see what works, and go from there.  Remember though, that social is a 2-way thing… using it as a platform for dialogue with and between your customers can provide huge insights and help strengthen brand loyalty.

Kelly Cook, the SVP of Marketing at DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, engaged the audience by talking excitedly about “shoe love” and by giving away free shoes to the audience… much like they do through their enormous presence on both Twitter and Facebook. Whether it’s by commenting on their shopper’s photos or by giving away free shoes to celebrate a new store opening, they are active and engaging with their shoppers on a daily basis.   What benefits have they seen from their social presence?  At the very least, they see a very strong loyalty amongst their shoppers.  In fact, 90% of their sales come through their loyalty program.  And, their Facebook fans even went so far as to defend their page against unwanted hackers!  So, although it is extremely difficult to track the ROI on social media, it is much easier and according to some, just as valuable, to track the engagement level by clicks, comments, likes, etc. and see your fan-base grow.  I think it is safe to assume that the more active your social pages are, the more loyal your followers, and the more successful your social campaigns are.

All in all, the eTail East message I received was clear: stay consistent in your brand messaging, utilize the channels that work best for you (staying mindful of their differences) and take advantage of the fact that social media is a two-way street and cannot be measured strictly by ROI.



2 and Merchandising Workshop Recap

July 30, 2012 by John Swords

Retailers and brands at this year’s Merchandising Workshop, which took place in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, left with pages of notes on how to improve conversion, site design, customer engagement and much more.

If you were unable to attend, here are a few of our favorite sessions from the two days:
(These overviews are compliments of’s blog posts)

Doug Mack, CEO of One Kings Lane shared his take on ‘5 current trends within the e-commerce space.’  Read the overview of his session.

Sarah Veit Wallis, VP of Global Ecommerce for Bare Escentuals, and Michael Burgess, President of Saks Direct, shared a few of their lessons learned with launching mobile sites and apps.  Read more.

Kate Spade’s Johanna Murphy, VP of e-commerce, and Kristina DiMatteo, Digital Marketing Manager, showed how content and commerce are the same to this New York based brand. Read about their recent campaign here.

In addition, while I was unable to attend Tim Ash’s presentation on ‘Are you committing one of the 5 deadly sins of landing page design?’ I did hear that his ‘sins’ unfortunately resonated with some of the attendees.  Read about it here.

For those not familiar with this event, does a great job – not only is it always in a beautiful setting, but they bring together interesting speakers with relevant topics in an environment where one can hear and learn what fellow retailers are doing, learning and experiencing. My calendar is already marked for next year’s Merchandising Workshop, which will be held July 15-17 in Huntington Beach, CA.  Hope to see you there, if not before!

Finding the ROI in Social Q&A – Webinar

July 17, 2012 by John Swords

Last Wednesday, George had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Tara Hunt, the Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Buyosphere, for inSparq’s webinar “Finding the ROI in Social Q&A.”  The webinar was part of inSparq’s 10-week Social Commerce Accelerator program to help merchants define and execute social commerce strategies that drive sales.

During the webinar, George shared his experience making customer Q&A work as a conversion and SEO tool on eCommerce store-fronts while Tara showed how social Q&A delivers value as a product discovery tool on a destination site.  It was a great pairing, if we do say so ourselves.

Hear what they had to say:

Webinar: Beyond Customer Reviews – Meet Social Q&A

June 1, 2012 by John Swords

Yesterday George Eberstadt, our CEO and Founder, hosted our webinar “Beyond Customer Reviews – Meet Social Q&A.” George covered topics ranging from “what is Social Q&A?” through to the positive effects Social Q&A can have on a website’s SEO. Below are the slides from the webinar:

Video of Tuesday’s FastPivot-TurnTo webinar: Social Q&A for eCommerce

April 1, 2011 by George Eberstadt

Here’s the full video from our webinar on Tuesday with our partner and leading Yahoo Store design and development shop FastPivot.  It’s about an hour.


A webinar just for Yahoo! Stores: Social Q&A for eCommerce

March 14, 2011 by George Eberstadt

For Yahoo! Stores

Join us and leading Yahoo Store services provider FastPivot for a webinar on:

Social Q&A for eCommerce

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Register here

Question-and-Answer systems are one of the hottest topics on the social web. Now learn how to use Social Q&A on your store to increase conversions, bring past customers back, improve your SEO rankings, and drive fresh traffic from social networks.

The goodwill of your customer base is the #1 asset of your business. Don’t leave it locked away. Adding Social Q&A to your store can release this untapped goodwill to generate more sales by connecting your shoppers directly to your customers.  That’s what makes it “Social” – this isn’t just another customer service tool; this is a level of community engagement you’ve never seen before. Results include: – Shopper questions about popular items typically receive 3-6 answers from customers within 24 hours – 80% of these questions receive their first customer answer within an hour or two – 7% of past customers receiving a shopper question email return to the store to provide an answer – Shoppers who engage with Q&A convert at a massively higher rate – as high as 7X the baseline – Often  produces more user-generated-content (UGC) than customer reviews with attendant SEO benefits During the webinar we’ll walk you through a number of live examples of Social Q&A in action on Yahoo! Stores. Register here


Meet with us at the NRF Innovate11 Conference

March 2, 2011 by George Eberstadt

Coming to the NRF Innovate11 Conference in San Francisco next week?  Interested in Social Commerce?  Stop by and see us in booth 52.

Or be one of the first 10 to pre-schedule a 15 minute appointment with us at the show, and we’ve got a $50 gift certificate for you from Amazon or Apple.

Send us an email here to schedule your appointment.

The fine print: One gift certificate per company.  For pre-scheduled appointments only.  Qualified retailers only.


Next Webinar: Bring Social to your online store – October 6 2PM Eastern

September 30, 2010 by John Swords

You have the “Like” button, a Facebook fan page, and Twitter updates, but aren’t sure what to do next?

Join our Webinar on October 6 at 2PM Eastern to look at how we can bring Social to your online store through a dynamic widget that has retailers experiencing a 2-5X lift in conversions.

If you were at and stopped by our booth and need a refresher, this is perfect for you.  If you couldn’t attend, now’s a great time to take a look at what we do before the holiday crunch.  Don’t miss those incremental sales!

To attend, send a request to and you’ll receive an invite with details.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Webinar!

Next TurnTo Webinar: Beyond Facebook “Like” and Twitter

September 19, 2010 by John Swords

You’ve implemented Facebook “Like,” have a fanpage, post on Twitter, but haven’t seen a real return on using Social Networks?

Register now for TurnTo’s 45 minute Webinar taking place on Wednesday September 22nd at 2:30PM Eastern.  We’ll take a look at how you can increase conversions 2-5X above your baseline by providing your shoppers with a way for them to connect with people they know and other shoppers directly in the shopping cycle.  See why over 50 online stores have implemented TurnTo’s powerful and lightweight Social Commerce Suite.

Simply email to register and we’ll send details on the upcoming webinar.

We look forward to seeing you at the webinar!