Archive

Archive for the ‘Ecommerce Eretail’ Category

Ecommerce: Northwestern University study on how online reviews affect sales

August 15th, 2017
Share

Every week (as the name suggests), I write the Marketing Sherpa Chart of the Week email newsletter. And so, every week, I come across interesting research and data, along with sources that add analysis and color to that research.

Usually, that analysis is confined to the MarketingSherpa Chart article. However, this week, my cup especially runneth over with good ideas and analysis that I thought you might find helpful on your ecommerce sites, especially as you set the groundwork for your holiday marketing initiatives.

When I interviewed Tom Collinger, the Executive Director of the Spiegel Research Center at Northwestern University, and Edward Malthouse, professor at Medill Northwestern and the Research Director of the Spiegel Center, we went well over our allotted time.

You can see their data and some of their analysis in this week’s Chart of the Week article — Ecommerce Chart: Star ratings’ impact on purchase probability. But if you’d like a deeper understanding of their research into how online reviews affect sales, I’ve included a lightly edited transcript of our conversation below. To make the transcript easily scannable for you, I call out key points with bolded subheads

Bringing evidence to the answer of how newer forms of consumer engagement with brands drive financial impact

Daniel Burstein: Why don’t we jump in and you give me a high level of the type of work you’re doing here? I believe, Tom, we may have had you as a source in the past at one point.

Read more…

Quick Analysis: Amazon could have bought any food retailer. Why Whole Foods? And how should retailers react?

June 16th, 2017
Share

Much of the buzz about Amazon’s agreement to buy Whole Foods has focused around the new physical distribution channel, especially for fresh food, that Amazon will now be able to leverage. And bricks-and-mortar retailers — especially grocers — are woefully behind in the use of technology in commerce. Of course.

But if that was the case, Amazon could have bought any retailer. Why Whole Foods specifically? Why a company that was likely more focused on the Amazon rain forest than Amazon.com until today?

Whole Foods Market is a high-touch, decadent customer experience company. Amazon is a low-touch, high-efficiency company. This is not a natural fit. It would have been more of a natural fit for Amazon to start experimenting with a regional, low-price-oriented supermarket like Southeastern Grocers (sure, they wouldn’t get the instant national presence, but they would acquire a large testing lab to optimize the business model).

While Amazon acquired Zappos, Soap.com, Diapers.com, etc. — it is not a particularly acquisitive company. And while much news has been made about a hedge fund’s involvement, this acquisition doesn’t reek of financial engineering like so many other M&A deals have.

So what data are we missing that Amazon has?

Read more…

Direct Marketing vs. Wholesale Marketing: How Steve Madden organizes and optimizes its $1.4 billion shoe empire

June 9th, 2016
Share

When your business is 80% wholesale like Steve Madden, how do you carve out a unique value proposition for your direct ecommerce business?

 

Watch the full interview to find out

“The value proposition of our site is that we have the deepest selection [and] we have it before anyone else.”

So said Mark Friedman, President of Ecommerce for Steve Madden, yesterday during a live interview at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2016.

Additionally, Mark mentions the company’s community of rabid Steve Madden fans in social channels and through the SM Mag.

“It’s crazy how people feel about the brand. We incorporate that into the site, and that gives others some perspective of how some people are wearing it. You’re getting to see not only the product that they bought, but their complete look and how they put it together,” Mark said.

Of course, because the business is 80% wholesale, Steve Madden can’t just leave partners out in the cold. To balance its relationship with partners, Mark mentions the team employs a variety of tactics, including:

  • Syndicate product photography done in-house
  • Syndicate product reviews that were written on SteveMadden.com

  Read more…

Ecommerce: Why online retailers are experimenting with brick-and-mortar locations

August 28th, 2015
Share

“There are so many ecommerce retailers who now believe that in order to differentiate themselves and establish better brand relationships with their shoppers, they [need to consider] opening brick-and-mortar stores,” Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief, Retail TouchPoints, said.

According to Advertising Age, 80% of companies have increased digital marketing budgets for 2015. Whether it’s selling products on a website or through a mobile or desktop app, virtual marketing has become the norm.

However, some ecommerce retailers have recently invested in the opening of brick-and-mortar stores in order to stay ahead of the marketing curve and establish better relationships with their customers.

The growing popularity of this omni-channel trend was recently explored by Retail TouchPoints, a digital publication for retail executives, offering content focused on optimizing the customer experience across multiple channels.

At the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, interviewed Debbie Hauss on why expanding to brick-and-mortar stores is becoming common for online retailers.

Read more…

Ecommerce Development in Brazil: An interview at IRCE [Video]

April 17th, 2015
Share

Even though the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) 2014, the world’s largest ecommerce event, was held during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, more than 60 Brazilians made it to the conference.

The contingent was led by Priscila Inserra, Executive Director, and Renato Gonzaga, President, Concierge Brazil. The goal of their organization is to advance Brazil’s digital marketing by exposing executives to knowledge gathered at ecommerce events across the globe.

“Brazil is really growing in (the digital marketplace), and we are proud of it,” Priscila said. “We are starting to exchange experience. We don’t consider ourselves as mature as American companies, but we can learn a lot. We are taking as much content as we can back to the businesses in Brazil.”

Priscila was surprised by the event’s focus on technology.

“In Brazil, we focus a lot on marketing,” she explained. “America has tools that are much more sophisticated. But when we can join the expertise of the Brazilians and Americans, they will work well together.”

Watch the whole interview below: “Global Ecommerce: Developments in Brazil

Read more…

Ecommerce Investment Advice: How marketers can make their companies more valuable

March 3rd, 2015
Share

We don’t often think of business investors as marketing experts.

However, great marketing is grounded in a great value proposition. If anyone is good at finding a value proposition, it’s a (smart) potential buyer of a business. Great investors have a way of cutting through all the hype and finding the true value (or lack thereof) in a company.

It stands to reason, then, that a great investor would be a stellar resource to tap for your marketing efforts.

Enter Abe Garver, Managing Director, BG Strategic Advisors. Abe attended IRCE last year and was able to talk to former MarketingSherpa reporter Allison Banko about how ecommerce marketers can develop an acquisition mindset and help grow their business, whether they plan to sell or not.

In this interview he covers:

  • How you value an ecommerce company
  • The four keys to making your ecommerce company more investor friendly (and as a result, customer friendly)
  • Why ecommerce companies aren’t really getting it right, and who really is

 

You might also like:

Vendor Selection: A 5-step process for choosing a marketing automation solution or agency

How a B2B Company Used Live Chat to Speed up the Sales Cycle

Marketing Research Chart: Clear communications and unconscious customer bias

Inbound Marketing: How Infochimps grew its database 94% in one year

Ecommerce: Blurring the lines between online and offline experiences

January 27th, 2015
Share

What does the No. 2 song of 2013 and ecommerce have in common?

Blurred lines.

“The retail customer has an experience, and they expect that experience to be consistent, no matter where they engage with that company,” said Ryan West, CEO, West Music. “Our responsibility as omnichannel retailers is to blur the lines and make sure it’s going to be impactful, no matter where they engage with us.”

Ryan met with MarketingSherpa Reporter Allison Banko in the Media Center at IRCE to discuss the importance of providing relevant customer experiences, no matter where that customer is. This includes both online and offline channels.

 

Geolocation in-store and online

Ryan dove into his experiences in geolocation in West Music’s marketing strategy, sharing how marketers can leverage emerging technologies and platforms to take geolocation to the next level.

This is key to marketers with regional brick-and-mortar stores, such  as West Music. Ryan explained retailers can now leverage Bluetooth low energy protocols and in-store mapping platforms, which allow customers to see on a foot-basis where they are in a store to find products with ease.

This blurs the lines of ecommerce and in-store by using proximity sensing.

Ryan also explains in the video how his company utilizes simple site merchandising and IP address locators to provide a more relevant experience for customers online.

This includes providing relevant promotions for regional customers, such as a grand piano liquidation sale or an offer that would apply for national customers, such as a simple discount or rebate.

This is key for marketers serving local and national markets, as some sales and offers may only be applicable to a regional store location.

  Read more…

What’s the Most Important Ecommerce Challenge? On-time Shipping

November 18th, 2014
Share

You can optimize your website, signage and marketing, but if you can’t deliver what the customer orders when they expect it,  it’s all for naught.

That’s the word from Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief of “Retail TouchPoints,” a digital publication that covers customer-facing aspects of retail.

She spoke about the challenges of fulfillment with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute, at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition earlier this year.

“The most important thing is getting your inventory right,” Debbie pointed out. “It’s not as sexy as digital signage or what you’re doing face-to-face or on mobile technology or inside your store or website. But if customers want to buy online, you have to make sure you’re ready to fulfill orders when they want them.”

Read more…

How Seamless Email Turns Ecommerce Prospects into Buyers

October 14th, 2014
Share

Only 2.6% of the people browsing an ecommerce site actually buy during that visit, but, according to Charles Nicholls, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to eventually make a purchase.

Charles is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for SeeWhy, a provider of cloud-based behavioral target marketing. He discussed what it takes to transform browsers into buyers with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, at the 2014 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

Charles exhorted marketers to rethink the channel mindset and optimizing websites for a single session, and instead, think about optimizing the entire buying process. The key, he explained, is seamless use of email across desktops, tablets and smartphones.

Why? Customers may use all of these devices before finally making a purchase.

Consider this: SeeWhy has been tracking smart phone conversions, and, according to Charles, smartphones are outpacing tablets, which have become a desktop substitute. Also, 67% of smartphone conversions are done via email.

Watch the video below to learn about the importance of seamless emailing:

  Read more…

Ecommerce: Going beyond omnichannel for creative customer experiences

September 9th, 2014
Share

Omnichannel is a word that many marketers have become familiar with in the past year or so. It’s the evolution of multichannel marketing and, some argue, an overused buzzword.

Lisa Butler, Head of Enterprise Solutions Enablement, eBay, agrees with that statement. In the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE, she sat down with Allison Banko, Reporter, MarketingSherpa, to discuss omnichannel and what it should really mean to marketers.

“So we went from multichannel, to omnichannel, to all channels — what it really means is just allowing customers to shop however they want,” Lisa said.

In its essence, the prefix omni- means “all.” For Lisa, this means “allowing customers to shop anywhere they want, receive their purchases whenever they want and giving them the best customer service.”

In her interview, Lisa explained the key to providing this engaging experience: developing creative new ways for customers to engage with a brand.

 

Lisa provided some examples of companies that are doing this well, such as Boxpark

Boxpark is a company in the UK that sets up pop-up stores for clothing brands in a unique way — the stores are a network of shipping containers. 

BOXPARK

 

For retailers, this is a creative solution for giving the customer the best (and coolest) experience, according to Lisa.

Read more…