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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

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)






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