Direct-to-Customer Commerce

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Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

Where Content Marketing ultimately leads …

This story appeared in the Washington Post today, To build brand, companies produce slick content and their own media.

One of the closing thoughts in the article is that “every company is now a media company.”  And that is a correct conclusion.

But the common availability of the tools be a media company, doesn’t mean a company can be casual or sloppy about the content it publishes — in either substance or appearance.

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Filed under: Direct Commerce, Ideas, News, , , ,

Cash registers fade away as smartphones, tablets take over

This trend was very foreseeable.  And anyone who doesn’t see it, needs to re-evaluate.  Here’s a link the this story by the AP, published by Gannett … Link

Note even Walmart is experimenting with an iPhone app that enables a shopper to scan items as the shopper drops them into her cart.  Stopping at a self-check-out terminal only to pay and perhaps bag up the items.

And if you’ve never used the “self-pay” function in Apple’s Store app, you should try it.  Scan an item, login with your Apple ID, pay with your registered credit card, email yourself the receipt and walk out of the store.  You can do it with any item that is not stored in the back of the store (which includes the big, very valuable items, as you would expect).

Once again, we talking about convenience to the customer … it’s a never-ending theme, but I’m always amazed at how few people get it.

Personally, I’m waiting for my grocery store to allow me to email my receipt … I hate those long pieces of paper!

Filed under: Ideas, multichannel commerce, News, Opinion, , , , , , , ,

Ecommerce Technology is more than the sum of it’s features

One of the essential parts of my consulting practice is vendor identification, evaluation, selection & transition.  Typically, a lot of the time needed for such an engagement is the development of the requirements document … an attempt to document every possible feature a client might need in the operations area being addressed.

But there is more to such an engagement than the rather mundane process of listing the set of feature requirements, and comparing it to what each prospective vendor claims they can provide.

An article in Multichannel Merchant, just today, makes this point well.  Entitled, 5 Tips for Choosing an Ecommerce Technology Provider , click to read it for yourself.

Matching up with the features & functions you need is an important place to start.  But as Raj Kumar Waghray writes, there are other broader, and ultimately, even more important factors:

  • evaluating your existing partnership
  • understanding your unique needs (my emphasis on understanding)
  • serving your needs?
  • collaboration quotient (not only theirs, but yours as well)
  • eager to serve mindset

There is a business culture component to matching up technology users with technology providers — don’t ignore it.  It is often the biggest factor of the long term success of your business relationship.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, Opinion, , , , , , , ,

More on “Same Day Delivery”

Late yesterday, Internet Retailer published a story under the headline:  Price beats speed for online shoppers.  In general, the article sites research on the web site features which are most important to what they buy online.

But the article highlights that for 53% of respondents, price is most important, and they use whatever shipping is the lowest cost or free.

Now there is another 47% for whom shipping cost is less significant.

But I hope it’s becoming clearer to all, that same day delivery is a very limited market.  Limited to the affluent & lazy + the urgent.

Most online buyers do not request “overnight delivery.”  Overnight deliveries probably average 3-5%, at most.  I’ve not seen recent data on that question.  So “same-day delivery” is likely a subset of the overnight number.

It may make a theme for a marketing campaign … and it may even be a profitable segment (because people who want same-day delivery are less price sensitive) … but it’s not a big segment.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, News, Opinion, , , , ,

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