Store Closings Equal Ecommerce Gains

As many have read in recent news articles, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced the plan to close 269 stores globally this year. According to a January 15 Associated Press article, the store closings were announced three months after Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO, said the retailer would be reviewing its physical stores. The article also stated that the closings were related to Wal-Mart’s desire to enhance its online presence in an effort to compete with

The AP article also says that the merger of technology teams is designed to help Wal-Mart create a better experience for shoppers who shop in an omnichannel fashion. This announcement came perfectly in time for the DotCom Conference, which was held January 19, 2016 in Bentonville, Ark.

The DotCom Conference brought together retailers, manufacturers, technology companies and advertising agencies to discuss the future of and Everything from analytics and how to interpret them to the importance of quality content and how to create it were discussed during the half-day conference. Each speaker presented their own unique perception of today’s shopper and how best to reach them, but they all had one idea in common: Shopper behavior is changing and online information must be maximized to drive sales.

This concept is one that is relatively new, but one that many people are getting behind.


Howerton Featured in NWA Business Journal

Eric Howerton is the CEO and senior consultant at WhyteSpyder, a full-service, integrated content marketing agency.  He was recently featured in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal where he shared his thoughts on entrepreneurship and WhyteSpyder’s upcoming DotCom Conference.

After falling in love with the natural beauty of Arkansas, Eric majored in photojournalism at Arkansas State University. His experiences and classroom knowledge inspired him to begin his first entrepreneurial adventure: Get Out Magazine, a magazine that featured the Arkansas outdoors.

Get Out was the perfect venue to express my education and editorial passion,” Eric said. “I knew how to take a photograph, write and design professionally.”

Eric credits his photojournalism education on his ability to excel in all aspects of his career. After starting Get Out, he founded the creative consultant agency, Now Creative Inc., further displaying his entrepreneurial spirit. This spirit, Eric said, is something that cannot be learned or acquired, but is rather a way of life.

“It’s not a job title, and it’s not an education,” Eric said. “It’s a character, personality and ambition. You either have it in your blood or you don’t.”

Eric sees many upcoming opportunities for entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas, especially as the economy continues to develop.  However, he feels the addition of more entrepreneurs in NWA should only come naturally, otherwise there will be more bad businesses than good ones.

The DotCom Conference is a half-day conference and is specifically for the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club suppliers.  The purpose for the event is to better understand Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club online strategies and the omnichannel plan.

“This conference will help Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club suppliers understand who, what, when, where and how to provide the valuable content and how that will affect their sales both online and in-store,” Eric said.

The conference will be held in Bentonville, Arkansas at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on January 19.