Direct-to-Customer Commerce

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

After all is said and done, it’s still about what you sell

I’m a fan of Kevin Hillstrom’s blog:  MineThatData.  He posted yesterday about the impact of social media on sales, profits and stock prices, and specifically compared HP, Dell and Apple.  The post was entitled, Dell, HP and Apple:  It’s the Merchandise.

In summary,

  • HP has lackluster products, declining sales, declining stock price and no social media presence.
  • Dell has a spectacular social media presence, uninspiring products, pretty flat sales, and less dramatic, but still declining stock price.
  • Apple has products that continue in high demand, growing sales, skyrocketing stock price (even though it’s down over the very short term), and absolutely no social media presence.

Hillstrom concludes that superior products that customers demand still does more to drive business success than most marketing, and certainly more than social media.

Another relevant consideration to keep in mind, as you budget and strategize about your marketing efforts.

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

Testing Same Day Delivery

The Wall Street Journal reported, today, on eBay and Amazon testing same-day delivery in a couple of major markets.  Here’s a link to the story.

In the San Francisco area, eBay has hired a crew of people, essentially, concierge shoppers, who will locate the product you want at a local store, buy and deliver it to you within one hour of the time you place the order.  Wow, quite a high level of customer service.

Don’t expect this to be a viable service in Yuma, Arizona.

I’m not sure it would be viable even in all of the top ten markets in the US.  But it will be very interesting to watch it.

Based upon the anecdotes of the article, we can imagine this service being used by customers in major markets (where there may be sufficient aggregated demand for such a service) for whom convenience carries a very high value and who is less price sensitive than average.

I think that’s a pretty limited market … but the beauty of the web / ecommerce, is, in part, it’s ability to aggregate demand in ways we’ve never been able to do under earlier retail models.

The economics of same-day delivery are very difficult to make work.

We’ll know same-day delivery has worked when FedEx, UPS and the USPS begin to offer the service.  But don’t hold your breath!

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

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