Allison McGuire

Marketing Director, Paper Mart
Allison has an accomplished history of building online marketing and ecommerce programs. She has been the Director of Marketing at Paper Mart for 3 years where they have launched a variety of new marketing channels taking the 97 year old business to the next level. Under her leadership the company has gained national exposure on the Today Show, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and Make-A-Wish LA, and received a 2017 Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service Excellence. Prior to joining Paper Mart, Allison was the Director of Web Merchandising for Harbor Freight Tools which launched a complete website redesign. Online sales grew 50% the first year after implementing several highly successful customer engagement programs and an instructional video series. Allison was also the Director of Internet Merchandising for Viking Office Products, an Office Depot Co. where they created a personalized user website experience and coordinating email program increasing revenue by 500% in three years. To learn more, visit:
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Is anyone going to buy Sears’ rebranding?

    It's hard to watch such a well-known brand continue to try and fail over and over again. As much as I want to passionately say how this new logo and tag line are ineffective and explain why, I really just can't find the energy to care about Sears anymore.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    Will new Scan & Go tech turbocharge Sam’s checkouts?

    Yes, let's keep the evolution of technology that improves the shopping experience going! I am a proud Sam's Club shopper and gravitated toward self checkout along with everyone else. But now those lines are just as slammed as the checker lines. Adoption clearly isn't a problem, so let's take it to the next level and spend less time standing in lines!
  • Posted on: 12/20/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Cost Plus World Market vs. Meijer

    Both of these videos left me a bit "unfulfilled." The surprise twist to select a cookie jar didn't wow me, and I was distracted by the comet-like simulation of Santa and his reindeer. I love a good story, but neither of these impressed me or got me emotionally attached. They could have shown the boy walking into the World Market with his mom to establish the store connection better. Meijer just had the tie-in to their brand at the end. I think World Market wins out for the little boy's likability and his great acting.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2018

    When are outside Amazon experts better than inside ones?

    We recently went from managing Amazon in-house to hiring an agency. I couldn't be happier with the decision! The things an agency knows about the ins and outs of Amazon could only be duplicated in house if you hired someone away from Amazon. From handling technical issues to just knowing the right questions to ask support, everything is less frustrating. I'm happy we can now turn our focus to internal strategies and priorities.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2018

    Will porch pirates ruin Christmas?

    Stolen packages are definitely on the rise, but why is it up to the retailer to replace the package at no charge? I think we are at a point where retailers need to start adding to their Terms & Conditions that once a package is delivered, the retailer is not responsible for theft or damages. This will force consumers to address the issues in whatever way they are comfortable. If that means shipping to an alternate address or buying in-store, then that is their choice. In the long run, I believe consumers are smarter than thieves and that our communities will create better solutions for delivery locations and drop sites that will not seem like an inconvenience to the customer.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Study: Online retailers losing billions in sales to out-of-stocks

    Being out-of-stock is an issue in any channel. If you don't have what the consumer wants, you're losing money. In the ecommerce space, you can often retain the sale by displaying the expected in-stock date and placing the item on back order; options you don't have in retail. It all depends on the how fast the customer needs the product and if they're willing to wait. Where ecommerce often fails is when they allow you to complete the purchase, but then cancel out-of-stock items through a follow-up email. Not a good customer experience! Providing real-time inventory onsite is critical to setting the right customer expectation.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Retailers throw ‘hiring parties’ to reach staffing goals

    I think it's great to create a relaxed, comfortable environment so that candidates can be at their best, but this seems a bit extreme. If a potential hire is just showing up for the free food and games, do you really think they are seriously interested in a job? Maybe a better option would be hosting an event with an influencer or a networking event where people interested in your company or cause would attend. Then have a soft sell about the company and employment opportunities. The event has to align with the brand to attract the right people, then you go from there.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    Best Buy’s Geek Squad is now available by subscription

    Subscriptions are only good when they are valuable. Best Buy is offering phone, online, in-store and app support only. They are not coming to your home as part of the subscription. Most manufacturer's would provide the same support through those channels for free. And then only offering a discount for in-home visits as part of the subscription is simply not enough. The discount probably doesn't cover the cost of the subscription. As you can tell, I am doubtful that this will be a big success.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    AriZona Iced Tea taps ’90s nostalgia with pop-up

    We've been talking about this idea a lot at my company. The trend of '90s nostalgia is extremely popular and resonates strongly with Millennials. This is really nothing new. Most people feel nostalgic about their youth, so pop-ups give us an opportunity to relive those moments for just a little while. I think many other brands can take this idea and run with it in their own way. Finding a way to tie an authentic connection to the event or promotion will be the key to success.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Has Google found a formula for undercutting Amazon’s product search advantage?

    As an ecommerce retailer, I'm happy to see progress in this area. Google needs to start competing against Amazon and the only way to do that is providing customer benefits that Amazon cannot. I hope consumers are realizing that Amazon doesn't always have the lowest prices or the broadest assortment. Once that becomes more widely known, people will easily transition to new shopping experiences.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Honoring women

    Leaders can eradicate the biases by openly discussing the issues. Presidents and CEOs need to share what is unacceptable in the workplace and create a vision for change. Many people, like the writer of this article, have been unsure of how to express themselves and at times felt intimidated to speak up. These conversations need to start happening and women have to be part of the conversation. That's the only way empathy and understanding will begin. It's easy to say that women should feel comfortable speaking up when they feel unfairly treated, but unless we are sure that our comments will be met with support at the top level, that is still unlikely to happen. It all starts at the top.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2018

    Retailers can reduce turnover by treating employees like consumers

    I do think technology plays a big role for the next generation of retail employees. Encouraging them to photograph products and post online, creating social groups for local customers, and sharing on their personal accounts gives them ownership and fits into their comfort zone. I often see Millennials posting about sales and events happening at their workplace. Those people are invested and likely to remain at their jobs for a longer period of time.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2018

    Microsoft, Walmart and other brands play content police

    Brands are definitely being judged by the company they keep. It's so easy to bring awareness to consumers through social media, so you have to operate your company with integrity. People now align with brands that represent their beliefs and values. This is a major change from decades prior and I think it's a change for the better.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2018

    IKEA asks, will virtual inventory be key to the new urban showroom?

    This style of shopping is really exciting for both urban and highly condensed cities that aren't going to to get an IKEA store in their town. I can see a future day where we visit one big warehouse shared by multiple companies and customers select what store they want to shop using AR. Each time you walk through the store you experience a different showroom and add your selections to a single cart, checking out at the very end. The ultimate one-stop shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2018

    Luxury brands are racing to embrace ecommerce

    Selling online luxury goods is finally taking off because the younger, tech savvy generation can afford the finer things in life. The one thing missing for Millennials in that experience is the community aspect. Notice that you won't see customer reviews or chat on many of those high-end ecommerce sites. They have no interest in giving up control over the narrative or humanizing the experience, it needs to remain untouchable. We'll see how that plays out over the next few years.

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