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Editor's Note

Trying To Understand The Online World Is Like The Blind Men And The Elephant

Everyone has a different perspective. So who do you trust?



HAVE YOU HEARD the parable of the blind men who encountered an elephant for the first time? One touched its trunk and said that the elephant was like a thick snake. Another, touching its leg, described it as a tree trunk, while one touched its tusk and said the elephant was like a hard, smooth spear.

Today’s “elephant” is the digital world: Everyone has such different perspectives and opinions that it can be difficult to know what to trust. Worse, it’s like trying to understand an elephant that’s always evolving into something new.

But don’t give up. A healthy online presence is critical to your success.

Instead, start by reading our lead story on building the perfect website. Managing editor Eileen McClelland interviewed a host of retailers and marketing experts to help explain what kind of website you need and what platform can work best for your particular budget.

Then, be sure to sign up for our first INSTORE Live virtual event (March 30-31) at, where we’ll dive into the how-tos of social media, websites, lead conversion, SEO, employee training, online review management and more. We’ve curated the content so that you’ll receive only actionable advice, not sales pitches. At $79, it’s a steal.

By the end of the month, you’ll be confidently riding your digital “elephant” into the future with eyes wide open!


Trying To Understand The Online World Is Like The Blind Men And The Elephant

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  1. Go through last year’s data from pre-Mother’s Day and compare popular price points with what you have in stock now. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 24)
  2. Use lifestyle or hand-model images to show online shoppers what pieces look like when worn. (The Big Story, p. 32)
  3. Put QR codes in your window displays so passersby can learn more about products on your website. (The Big Story, p. 32)
  4. Send videos or voice-memos to create “virtual intimacy” with online shoppers. (Kathleen Cutler, p. 53)
  5. Don’t check your phone for the first hour after you wake up, and don’t watch/read the news for the last hour before you go to sleep. (Scott Ginsberg, p. 52)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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