Blog Header

What Can The iPhone Teach Retailers?

Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

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 Heinz Discovered

Rishi Rawat Blog 1 Comment

Retail merchandising strategy is almost completely governed by the principle of price elasticity.  It follows that if price of a product is increased overall units sold drop and vice versa.  But this is not always the case.  Heinz discovered by increasing the size of ketchup bottles from 24oz to 36oz sales increased with no reduction in buying frequency.  Turns out …

Not Either Or

Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

Every time the cash register rings two kinds of analysis are possible. The traditional way is to look at the transaction itself (size, frequency, category etc). The alternative is to measure everything leading up to the purchase; things like, other products considered, time taken to make purchase decision, customer history etc. Retailers should look at both.

Offline Vs. Online

Rishi Rawat Blog 1 Comment

My previous post about has gotten me thinking. The fact that an online retailer (with 0 offline stores) is able to generate 5 times the online revenue of its closest rival (which happens to have 2,700 offline locations) should be a lesson to retailers who believe selling online is hard because browsers can do a Google searches to find …

The Cardinal Rule

Rishi Rawat Blog 6 Comments

Compelling online experiences (not traffic) drive sales. Consider a company like which is able to generate annualized web revenues of $169 Million through just 739,000 online monthly visitors. Translation: every customer that walks into (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 …

Valentines Day Scam

Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

Retailers pay a lot of attention to store walk-ins; in fact they can rightfully claim to be experts. But they don’t know diddly squat about customer service. An example. Through I steer clear of the Valentines Day scam this year I decided to get something from RedEnvelope. Click click and I was at the shipping options page (this was turning …


Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

I’m not much of a gift giver but when I do end up gifting I like to make it as personalized as possible. For Valentines Day I bought love ‘fortune cookies’ from which I thought were very cute. I would have liked it even better if I could have attached a handwritten note with the gift, something to show …

The Adoption Game

Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

The common lesson in the new web 2.0 explosion has been that viral ideas trump good ideas almost every single time. Flickr, YouTube, Myspace and Techcrunch have all benefited from this; neither of these were the first to introduce an idea and yet they ended up completely dominating their respective services. So while retailers have been slow to innovate on …

The Feel Of Fabric

Rishi Rawat Blog 1 Comment

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 …

If You Use Revenue As Sole Measure You Might Be Making A Fatal Mistake

Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

Nordstrom is one of the few retailers that have managed to grow quarter over quarter.  We don’t know what portion of their $7 Billion in revenues comes from online sales but this channel is definitely growing.  I was quite surprised to learn a whopping 3.5 million people visit every month.  As CEO I’d be just as interested in traffic …


Rishi Rawat Blog Leave a Comment

One of the cheapest ways to try out new alternatives is to present both to customers and then just observe how they use them. Case in point: AirTran is offering the option to use a pull down and a calender interface. Now, if only they looked at their logs to see that 90% of people dont use the pull down.