Direct-to-Customer Commerce

Icon

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

Rationale v Emotion

You’ve probably read about the need to emphasize benefits rather than features in your advertising.

Another way of viewing that contrast is rationale v emotion.

Nearly everyone wants to think they make decisions rationally.  Just give me the facts.  I can assess them and come to the best decision for me, my family or my business.

The truth is not so black & white.

Sure everyone needs some facts.  But we look at those facts, so differently, from such different points of view, it’s almost impossible to predict, with accuracy, what the important facts are for every buyer.

You need to present enough facts so the prospective buyer can rationalize their decision.  But their decision is far more likely to be emotional — based upon perceptions, which you do not control.

So advertise using different themes to different markets.  Focus on different emotions.

You may even need to engage different members of your staff to lead these efforts, because even they are constrained by these different emotions and different perspectives.

Sometimes, marketers conclude they must select the single most effective strategy.

Maybe we need to select any, and every, marketing strategy that is profitable.

Advertisements

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

How to improve the ROI on your marketing expenditures

Try to eliminate marketing expenditures, which reach non-buyers.

A huge percentage of your marketing expenses reach people who will never buy your merchandise or services.  While you may be able to ignore that fact, if your profit margins are high enough, you’ll do better if you know how to avoid spending marketing dollars sending your message to people who are not interested or have rejected your products.

We read a lot in the trade press about how to identify prospective buyers.  Maybe we should spend some time thinking about identifying known non-buyers.

If you can eliminate non-buyers from your target audience, the ROI on your marketing expenditures will automatically improve.

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

Eight email failures … Seth Godin

Seth is a great observer and writer and he hit the nail again with this post:

Eight email failures (and questions for those that want to do better)

It’s not so much based upon any decisive research … but rather just a lot of common sense.  I think one of the burdens carried by the new generation of marketers, is the ease of using short cuts to the execution of marketing programs, and often the associated low cost of most digital-based messaging.

This short cut has allowed many marketers to be less discriminating about what works with whom and boasting about remarkable ROI’s because of the low cost.

Seth’s insights are worth examining … and marketing management should consider the impact of excessive digital marketing on the customer experience / satisfaction / annoyance.

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

You don’t have customer until the second purchase

When a customer buys from you the first time, it’s a test.  It’s a test of you and your business:

  • is the product what I expected?
  • was it easy to complete my purchase
  • did they treat me right?
  • did it arrive when and as expected?
  • if I have an issue, will they resolve it quickly and the way I want it resolved?

The answers to these questions will either increase or decrease the likelihood of a second purchase.  And if they do buy a second time, you probably really have a customer — good for you.

11 Personal Gestures to Turn Casual Buyers into Lifelong Customers  — this is a post from Practical Ecommerce that suggests additional things you can do to make a tentative Customer (that is, first-time buyer) into a Lifelong Customer.

Good points to consider for your business

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

Low Cost Digital Marketing leads to Lazy Marketing

Digital Marketing … especially, email and social media … is leading to marketing the easy way.

Marketers are just buying keywords, or blasting emails to everyone on every promotion, disregarding whether any part of the target market is already a customer.

I’ve bought vitamins from the same company for over ten years.  They send them every 60 days.  Once or twice a year, I start seeing Ads by Google for this company, everywhere I go.  Why?

Lazy marketing.

There are two broad categories of lists:  compiled lists and response lists.  In the digital world, we haven’t figured out how to “purge” our existing customers from email campaigns or PPC campaigns, because we perceive that the cost to purge them exceeds the cost of including them.

But, we’re ignoring the cost of irritating our customer base.  Denny Hatch, writes in Target Marketing, this month about getting a promotion from Amazon for two books he’s already bought from them.  How long before Denny just marks Amazon promotional emails as “Spam” and never looks at them?

There is a sense in which the Golden Rule applies to marketing as well.  Your customers are likely annoyed by the same things you’re annoyed by … pay attention out there!

Filed under: Ideas, Opinion, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is show rooming a problem?

Well clearly, it is for some brick & mortar retailers.  At least they think it is.  It’s even reached the pages of the NYTimes (subscription required).

The NYTimes article even postulates that retail merchants should prepare a script of what to say when they catch customers using their store as a show room.

This is a losing battle.

Customers are going to use your store for a show room … at least if you’re selling products where there is a lot of content, a lot of price competition, or the products are simply expensive in the eyes of your prospective buyer.  You cannot stop it.

But you can combat it … but only by differentiating your business from the competition:

  • provide better prices
  • provide better customer service
  • provide a better guarantee
  • provide training
  • provide more information (content)

If you think show-rooming is bad now, this is only the start.  Younger buyers are ever more dependent upon their smart phones.  As they continue and increasingly dominate the buying public, show-rooming will become more and more prevalent.

This is a disruptive pattern.  Consider yourself disrupted.

Now what are you going to do about it.

Filed under: multichannel commerce, Omni-Channel Commerce, Opinion, , , , , , , ,

How Seamless Are You?

How Seamless Are You? is a study by Accenture on omni-channel retailing, from the customer’s point-of-view.

In my review, I found nothing earth shattering … because it told me what I expected:  customers want to be able to do business with you on their terms, rather than on yours.

Customers expect uniformity in products, pricing and promotions across all available channels.

So, if your organization is complaining about the negative impact of “show rooming” on your sales, then you should immediately consider the fact that your business may not be competitive in these three areas.

There seems to be some reluctance, among some retailers, to recognize that you win and keep customers by being the best company to buy from.  That may mean the best products, or the best prices, or the most attractive promotions.

But you can’t just sit there doing everything like you’ve always done things and expect to preserve your place in the market.  You must be better at something.

You must be more convenient, have a better selection, more available inventory, lower prices … something that differentiates you.

The principles of success have not changed … only the tactics required to implement those principles in the most effective way.

Filed under: News, Omni-Channel Commerce, Opinion, , , , , , , ,

Pros and Cons of eCommerce Replatforming

I ran across this post in a LinkedIn discussion within the Ecommerce Solutions group:  Pros and Cons of eCommerce Replatforming:  Considerations for the C-Suite.  It was posted by Olivier Pepin, Senior Director, Technology at Optaros.

You could quickly conclude that Olivier is promoting Optaros solutions in his post, but look past that and you’ll find a well considered piece.
 
 
However, I also want to add to Olivier’s thoughts.
 
 
Especially for the C-Suite.
 
 
What differentiate’s your business from your competitors?  Products?  Price?  Customer Service?  Business Rules?  Inventory availability?  or, your web site?
 
 
It’s certainly possible that your web site is what differentiates your business; but I don’t think that’s true for most business.
 
 
The features and functionality of your web site need to comparable to that of your competitors.  Not too far ahead or behind.  Because your customers have expectations of how to do business with you on the web.  If you have new features that are so “gee whiz” you may end up spending more time explaining the features and not enough time selling product.
 
 
The fundamental of retailing have not changed.  We’s simply added a new channel, in which the proven principles now manifest themselves in new ways.
 
 
Don’t get carried away with the technology.

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

The Importance of Ecommerce Strategy

click here for a great post on this topic.

There is a persistent tension between deciding what to do and the actual doing of it.  That’s why companies have Chief Executive Officers and Chief Operating Officers.

This post reflects on how this applies even to a small-medium business.

The fact is, you have a strategy, whether you know it or not.  If you strategy is accidental or unintentional, then your business is not all it can be.

Filed under: Ideas, Opinion, , , , ,

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, , , , , , , ,

Pages

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 27 other followers

2016 ElectionsNovember 8th, 2016
Get ready!
October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031