Direct-to-Customer Commerce

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

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, , ,

9 Components of Successful Direct Commerce

These are the nine component systems, which should be in place, to execute a successful direct-to-customer retail commerce strategy.  The order is significant in only one point — marketing should be last.  But I’ve found this sequence is generally correct

  1. product master
  2. order management system
  3. single view of inventory
  4. warehouse management system
  5. product delivery
  6. content management system
  7. customer service
  8. web store
  9. marketing

In addition, this applies to e-commerce, brick-and-mortar, mobile, catalog — this is the infrastructure you need.

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

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, , , , ,

5 Things to Put in the Shipping Box

Here’s a link to this post at Practical Ecommerce … click here

Armondo Roggio posted this late last month.  Of course, it’s not just about ecommerce, it’s really about anytime you’re shipping product to a buyer.

Here are his five things:

  • put coupons in the box
  • put free merchandise in the box
  • put a treat in the box
  • put a review request in the box
  • put a catalog in the box

Of course, I can make the case that for specific companies this list should change.  But Armondo makes the underlying point that the box you ship to your customers is very important.

For example … the treat or free merchandise may do more for your customer loyalty than a frequent buyer program

And the follow up question for Armondo is this:  how to you make sure your customer sees all of this material?  Do you put it on top of the purchased merchandise to make sure they see it?  Or, do you put it underneath … because the first thing they should see is what they bought?

And of course, it’s really easy to overthink this stuff, too.

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

Nine Steps to Multichannel Commerce

Nine Steps to Multichannel Commerce

This is a PDF copy of a presentation on the major necessary steps to fully implement a multichannel commerce strategy, which is required precursor to an Omni-Channel strategy

 

Filed under: Direct Commerce, multichannel commerce, , , ,

Direct Commerce Sales thru July 2013

Here are the latest figures on Direct Commerce sales (non-store via Mail Order & Electronic) from the Department of Commerce.

Retail Sales 1992-01 thru 2013-07

Retail Sales 1992-01 thru 2013-07

We’re seeing the normal growth from the 4th quarter of last year. But the drop after Christmas, was much more dramatic and we still have not fully recovered.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, ,

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, , , , , , ,

Direct Commerce Sales, thru March, 2013

It’s critical to first, define terms.  By Direct Commerce, I’m referring to electronic & mail order retail sales, as reported by the US Dept of Commerce.

There are several similar reports out today, but they define their reporting term differently.  For example, comScore issued a quarterly report on non-travel ecommerce sales, excluding auctions, etc.  They reported about $50 billion of sales in 2013Q1.

The chart below includes all Retail Sales, compared to Direct Commerce sales, as defined above.  The 2013Q1 sales for Direct Commerce is $94.422 billion, year-over-year growth of 17%.  Direct Commerce now represents 7.52% of total retail sales

As you can see from the narrowing of the gap, Direct Commerce sales is growing almost twice as fast as retail sales, overall.  Retail sales in 2013Q1 grew only 1%, while Direct Commerce sales grew 4.2% in the same quarter (quarter-over-quarter).

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 1.19.20 PM

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Axle Digital Announces Launch of Grand Central Commerce Platform for Multi-Channel and Social Commerce | Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Axle Digital Announces Launch of Grand Central Commerce Platform for Multi-Channel and Social Commerce | Virtual-Strategy Magazine.

This is an interesting develop … the continuing integration of social media into the marketing mix, especially, the marketing automation mix.  This is especially worth reviewing, if your target demographic is on the younger side … < 30.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Filed under: multichannel commerce, , , , ,

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