boots up annual summit with educational preview day

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NEW YORK - The National Retail Federation's e-commerce unit kicked off its annual summit with a preview day Oct. 10 designed as an online retail boot camp to get attendees up to speed on the latest trends in e-commerce.

It wasn't a surprise to hear lots of talk about video given that Google had only the day before announced its intention to buy YouTube, an online video sharing site.

"There is a huge audience for user-generated content," said Andy Liu, CEO of Advanced Media Research Group, known for Buddy TV. "People today have decided what they are going to consume and when they are going to consume it, so marketers have to break the 30-second spot mold."

The sessions were divided into two main tracks. The first focused on core concepts, addressing e-commerce basics like customer retention and good design, as well as encouraging dynamic e-mail and search.

The second track was more forward thinking and designed around the catch phrase Web 2.0. These sessions featured discussions about more trendy marketing tactics like social networking, mobile, branding and video.

The sessions were well attended with retailers and marketers scribbling notes, raising hands to ask questions and exchanging business cards.

Though most in attendees - e-commerce executives from around the country -- seemed to be engaged, not every review was favorable.

One executive who did not wish to be identified seemed a bit bewildered by the preview day. Even though she was excited about the upcoming days, she did not enjoy the preview sessions.

"The e-commerce track is too basic for me and the Web 2.0 is too advanced for me," she said. "I can't wait for the floor to open."

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