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Recipe For Building Online Traffic

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The web has truly flattened the retail world and the old guard with their brick stores and huge advertising budgets don’t stand a chance because the new kids on the block are insanely smart. While on my GMAIL account I came across an ad with a very clever copy: Obviously I clicked on it as do half a million other …

Discovering New Categories

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Have you ever walked into a Foot Locker outlet and asked the sales associate for a pair of vegetarian shoes? Neither have I. But did you know vegetarian shoes is the fastest growing category on zappos.com? So, why didn’t Foot Locker this of this category first? After all they are a profit driven company. The truth is that Foot Locker …

Is There A Thing Known As Too Many SKUs?

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OfficeMax discovered that by keeping too many products in their store they started losing margins because associates were spending inordinate amounts of time helping customers find products. More choice was causing lower satisfaction levels (an idea eloquently described in ‘The Paradox of Choice’). Does this apply online too?

Why The Cash Register Is The Wrong Report Card…

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CEOs are under tremendous pressure to beat quarterly earnings and so, naturally, the only thing they care about are sales.  But paying too much attention to the cash register could be fatal.  Among the customers that shop at your store there are 2 kinds of personalities: those that shop because they simply love you and those that shop for the …

Does Design Have A Quantifiable Impact?

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CNBC started promoting their new website in the October – November timeframe and launched it on Dec 05, 2006 (according to archive.org). In the next 10 months traffic jumped 139%. 334,000 new readers have been added to their previous installed base of 200,000 readers. So what does this mean? CNBC is a news portal where content is expected to be …

Just Because YOU Care About Your Suggestion Box Doesn’t Mean Your Customers Do Too…

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In the last 20 years I have had bad customer experiences no less than 1,200 times and yet I can’t remember one instance when I actually filled a feedback form.  So the store never really knew I was unhappy. Fortunately, in the online world feedback feature comes standard.  When a customer is unhappy you don’t need to ask but observe …

How To Convert A Liability Into An Asset

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Panera Bread is one of the few coffee retailers that actually offer customers free Internet access and I can’t even tell you how much I feel endeared to the brand because of this. But I also know Panera is giving free Internet in hopes of getting me to buy more stuff (which, I don’t think I really do) so it’s …

What Can The iPhone Teach Retailers?

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A LOT. Apple knows as much about the cell phone business as Nokia knows about the PC, yet only one of them is going to add $10 billion to top line revenue through their new shiny product.  So what’s the lesson for the rest of us? The good news is that this illustrates (once again) that understanding consumer aspirations is …

What Is The Next Channel Opportunity?

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There has been a lively discussion on the true identity of the online shopper.  One of the most prevalent beliefs is that if all the potential shoppers were grouped they could be neatly divided into two groups, one that shopped online and one that didn’t (with little or no overlap).  I have a problem with this theory for two reasons: …

Buyer psychology of purchasing ketchup.

What Heinz Discovered

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Retailers (online and offline) really care about Price Elasticity. It determines their bottom line. Price elasticity definition The measure of the responsiveness of consumers to a change in a product’s cost. Definition source. It follows that if the price of a product is increased overall units sold drop, and vice versa. But this is not always the case. The Heinz story …

The Cardinal Rule

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Compelling online experiences (not traffic) drive sales. Consider a company like BlueNile.com which is able to generate annualized web revenues of $169 Million through just 739,000 online monthly visitors. Translation: every customer that walks into bluenile.com (with or without an intention to buy) ends up spending $19 dollars (and change) at the store. That’s a really big deal and I …

The Feel Of Fabric

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Traditional retailers (across every single product category) have done so poorly compared to their younger online cousins that it’s not even worth discussing.  The domination is so complete many seem to have stopped trying altogether.  But in the retail world ‘real experiences’ still matter and retailers own the ‘real’ part of the equation.  Multichannel retailers with online stores need to …

Synergize Online And Offline Experiences

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Many people buy offline and then do in-store alterations. If this data were captured at the store level it could be presented when customers purchase/browse online. Additionally, integrating offline purchase history will allow browsers to see a list of products they have already bought; both online and offline. This is especially useful when someone is trying to buy a shirt …