Guest Blog by David Seiden

Why do some online retailers collect sales tax and others don’t? Why do some online retailers collect sales tax in certain states and not in others? Why are some states requiring online retailers to collect sales tax despite not having a physical presence in the state? Over the last 10 years as online shopping has gone mainstream, the issue of when an online retailer is required to collect sales tax has grown increasingly murky.In the “good old days,” sales tax collection on retail sales was straightforward. A consumer would go into his or her local store, buy merchandise and pay sales tax at the register.

By Cliff Courtney

Why are we still doing the same research we've done for the last 50 years?

Eight strangers face each other around a table. The room is bland, except for a two-way mirror in the back that spans the entire wall. A pleasant enough moderator asks about a brand. Let the post-rationalization begin! The consumers struggle to give intelligent responses to unanswerable questions. Why did you choose the Prego over the Ragu? How do you pick out a pair of pants? Is Chili’s salad healthier than Applebee’s salad? How do you feel about radial tires?

Guest Blog by Chip Averwater

A well-oiled, smoothly operating retail store is a beauty to behold. Its people are professional, they like what they do, their systems are efficient and reliable, the store is organized and everyone is happy with their transactions. People like doing business with them, and many do. The keys to putting together such an organization aren’t secrets. Most retailers recognize them. Yet most of us struggle to get them right.

Guest Blog By Carrie Shea

Shoppers are in control. Retailers face this reality daily. What shoppers decide to spend their hard-earned cash on and how they make those decisions ultimately determine how retail merchandisers and marketers operate. So how are shoppers adapting to the recovering economy — and what does that mean for retailers? According to our biannual “The Why? Behind The Buy” report, in today’s sluggish economy, shoppers are still holding on to the budget-conscious behaviors they developed during the prolonged recession.

Guest blog by Jeff Liesendahl

Just think, not that long ago, a security guard positioned at the front door and a video surveillance camera were all merchants needed to protect their businesses. How times have changed. With the rapid expansion of e-commerce as a profitable and oftentimes preferable way for merchants and customers to transact business, security and fraud prevention are clearly no longer as simple as a guard manning the front door. Increasingly, merchants are realizing that finding the right balance of protection that enables fulfillment of legitimate customer orders while also flagging fraudulent ones can be a difficult task.

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