Posts with keyword: ecommerce

                          When It Comes to Ecommerce, Most Retailers Don't Get It (or Why Amazon is Winning)

                          Amazon has consistently captured a greater percentage of my retail dollar year after year. With policies like the ones Eddie Bauer and Jos. A. Banks employ, I'm confident that will continue.
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                          Anonymous eCommerce: Building a Real 4th Party Offer Application with Kynetx

                          This is a long post. Don't worry, there are plenty of place to stop reading. You can stop at the end of each major section and have a complete picture for a given level of detail. Developers trying to see how to build a 4th party ecommerce application in KRL should read to the end to understand the complete picture. The caption of Peter Steiner's legendary 1993 New Yorker cartoon reads: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." If you've paid attention to the Internet Identity Workshop logo, you know we use that concept for the conference, although
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                          Someone Clue Delta in About Transactional Integrity

                          Delta Airline's ticket kiosks apparently were designed and built by 1st year CS students using Visual Basic. I'm guessing that's the case based on the fact that they apparently have never heard that when you sell someone something, it's bad form to take their money and not deliver the product. They don't know that you should wrap such processes in transactions to ensure they're atomic. Someone needs to give them a clue. Last Friday on our way home from San Jose, Steve and I had the chance to get on an earlier flight for $50 each. I was checking
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                          Black Friday was Good to Ecommerce

                          According to comScore, Black Friday shopping was up by 1% this year over last. That's good news given that rest of November showed a drop of 4%. Today, CyberMonday, has typically been a good predictor of holiday ecommerce sales. Related articles by ZemantaDespite steady Black Friday numbers, online shopping fallsBlack Friday not terrible; Christmas not doomed?
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                          Online Stores Crowded on Black Friday

                          The Business Technology blog at the Wall Street Journal reported last night that several ecommerce merchants experienced slowdowns and in some cases service disruptions due to higher than expected demand. It shouldn't come as a surprise that people are shopping online Friday. This year, retailers have been promoting online sales more heavily than in the past. In the case of Sears.com, the promotions seem to have worked too well: The site was unavailable for many visitors between 10 am and 12:40 pm EST Friday, according to Keynote. (It was also down when we tried to access
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                          After the Death of Advertising, Shopper and Merchants Can Start Talking

                          Dave Winer Dave Winer wrote yesterday about the death of online advertising. He says: I've been saying it for as long as people have been building businesses on advertising on the web, it's not a longterm thing. Now we're at the end of the road. Assuming the economy comes back from the recession-depression thing that it's in now, when it does, we will have completely moved on from advertising. The web will still be used for commercial purposes, people will still buy things from Amazon and Amazon-like sites, but they will find information for products as they do now,
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                          The 50-50 Rule in Retail: Capturing Customer Conversations

                          Ross Mayfield notes that in an Apple retails store "50% of the space is for retail sales and 50% for service and support." He goes on to contrast that with places like Fry's or Best Buy. I'm always amazed when I go into an Apple store: they're happening places. If you're in retail, visit an Apple store and then go back to your place. Seem kinda quiet and dead. Yeah, I thought so. Ross goes on: What Best Buy is missing is the fact that they provide no after market value add with their retail -- in comparison to
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                          Shopper Experience and Competitive Advantage

                          When I was at Internet Retailer in Chicago a few weeks ago, I heard at least three speakers give as story that, abstracted, went something like this: We started off building our own ecommerce platform, then we switched to a vendor supported product. After we almost went broke, we went back to building our own ecommerce platform. Your reaction to that might be like mine was: "why would a retailer want to spend money building their own platform?" After all, shouldn't they concentrate on their core competence--retailing--and leave software development to the experts? Here's what it comes down to:
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                          Building Personas

                          The floor(click to enlarge) I attended a few sessions on personas. I didn't get it all, but I did have some thoughts that I tried to record. Here are some questions to ask: Who is the shopper? Examples include First time buyer Repeat customer with specific frequency Loyalty program member What task is the shopper trying to accomplish? Examples include Replenish - buy a product they've bought before Accessorize - buy products related to what they've bought before Research - find information on specific product Browse - just killing time Leave - didn't intend to get here) You should
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                          Web 2.0 and Ecommerce: David Friedman

                          David Friedman of Avenue A | Razorfish is talking about Web 2.0 technogies and ecommerce. The title was "Web 2.0: A reality check" and I was kind of expecting a cautionary tale, but it was more a tale that went something like "if you're not doing this, then you're dead." The Web has always been a great place for surgical shopping. When you know what you want, you can go get it and the experience is largely good. Web 2.0 technologies give us the opportunity to put more of the fun of a traditional shopping experience into the Web.
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                          Social Networking and Retail

                          Some ideas from the social networking and retail panel: Engage communities that share our passions, partner with leaders in the this space Use caution or mistrust will erode the audience Switching barriers are low Enable fans to act as advocates Social network will become a primary channel for targeted marketing.
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                          New Levels of Competitiveness in E-retailing: Robert Antall

                          Robert Antall, CEO, Lake West Group is speaking on the new level of competitiveness in e-retailing. His slides are busy, but he's saying quite a few good things. I'm just writing down some ideas. Today's innovation is tomorrow expectation Customer loyalty isn't about getting people to buy more stuff from you, it's about turning them into advocates. He uses Hertz as an example. They use customer information to understand what customers want, not send lame emails. The emerging competitor is "globally integrated:" multi-channel, international, vertically integrated, agnostic supply chain, integrated technology, and multi-brand. He cites Costco, Staples, Gucci, AutoZone,
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                          Internet Retailer Conference 2008: Keynote by Mike Boylson

                          I'm at the Internet Retailer this week at the McCormick Center in Chicago. I haven't been to an industry conference like this since 2000. The opening by Jack Love was, frankly, a throw away. Nothing like a Phil Becker welcome at Digital Identity World. Jack spent his 15 minutes telling us why his conference was so important ("this show is full of content") and saying things about ecommerce that anyone who's been paying attention since 1997 probably know ("ecommerce works as well for small merchants as large merchants"). Instead, he should have introduced a theme and set out the
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                          Turning Shoppers Into Customers

                          Someone asked me for a one-paragraph description of Kynetx today. Here's what I sent them: Kynetx is an early stage ecommerce company focused on turning shoppers into customers. We provide online merchants with easy to use tools and services that give them the ability to merchandise in real-time to shoppers according to the shopper's individual context without changing their existing ecommerce toolset. Shoppers get a better shopping experience without sacrificing their privacy. Merchants sell more. The management team includes experienced ecommerce veterans Steve Fulling (CEO) and Phil Windley (CTO) who created the iMALL product strategy that successfully led to
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                          Kinetic Energy, Flywheels, and Friction

                          I read this essay on Kinetic Energy, Flywheels, and Friction at A List Apart when it first came out last year. I just reread it. Here's the basic idea: The reason you have a Web site is to get visitors to take some action. In order to induce them to do so, you have to give them enough momentum to get them through the process--with all its attendant friction. There's real power in this. Retail Web sites, for example, are full of friction and rely on their customer's determination to get the product to overcome that friction. Too often
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                          When Recommendations Go Wrong

                          I just logged onto Netflix to add some shows to my kid's queue. The first recommendation was "The Princess Diaries (Fullscreen)." I'm always curious why Netflix (or Amazon, etc.) is recommending something. The reason left me shaking my head: "Because you enjoyed: The Princess Diaries (Widescreen)." Huh? I enjoyed seeing the whole movie so much--I'd love to see it with the sides cut off! Netflix apparently views the fullscrren and widescreen versions as two different titles instead of a single title with different options. Weird.
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                          License Plates as Identity

                          Finding cars online(click to enlarge) The other day I was walking through the Novell parking lot and came upon the car pictured at the right. If you look at the larger image, you'll notice that the bumper sticker on the car says "Use my license plate to find me on the Internet" with the large URL: license-plate.com. Maybe it's just my bias, but I thought that this was a Web site that allowed license plates to be used as general purpose identifiers, allowing license plates to be linked to email and Web addresses. I wasn't sure what use that
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                          Overstock's Community Portal

                          Overstock.com has launched a community portal where they hope their customers will write "guides" about things that they're passionate about. Seems like an interesting idea. I've wondered about the ability to harness people's passion to create customer service sites that are more useful than those run by the company. Interestingly it's built on MediaWiki which I think is a great platform, but a little hard for wiki novices to use. I wonder if they've done something to make page editing any easier. I'm wondering rather than looking because when I went to sign up for an account, they wanted
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                          Reputation and eCommerce Site Ratings Survey

                          The other day Devlin Daley pointed out RightCart to me. RightCart is a SaaS shopping cart implemented in Rails. The reason RightCart caught our attention, besides the fact that it's pretty slick, is that it uses RapLeaf's rating system as a way to rate merchants. Coincidentally, the next day, Scott Allen pointed to some survey results he had about Rapleaf and "transactional trust." The survey showed that ratings are the number one way that buyers choose merchants. Ratings are one way that people establish a reputation for a merchant (or a buyer when two-way trust is necessary). One of
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                          What I Expect from Online Retailers

                          Last week, I wrote about the joys of being on the bleeding edge with the new MacBook Pro. The disk issue is giving me fits. The problem is that in anticipation of putting a 160Mb disk in the machine (before I realized that fast 160Gb SATA drives are impossible to find), the machine was ordered with a 100Gb drive in the interest of being economical. I can't work in 100Gb--at least I'd rather not. My laptop is my only machine and I want everything on it. So, at the moment, that requires a 120Gb drive at the minimum. No
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                          Larry Weber and Customer Experience

                          I really enjoyed listening to Larry Weber speak about his view of how the Web will change in the face of "user-generated media," his catch all for blogs, wikis, podcasts, and everything else you can imagine. Larry is a well known high-tech PR person who's thought a lot about how new media influences the behavior of companies. It was especially interesting to me because of some other ideas and work I've been doing on enhancing customer experience in eCommerce and online service contexts. One of the key ideas I walked away from in the talk was that commercially oriented
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                          Ron Kohavi on Data Mining and eCommerce

                          Today's colloquium was Ron Kohavi from Microsoft research. His talk was titled: Focus the Mining Beacon: Lessons and Challenges from the World of E-Commerce (PPT). Ron was at Blue Martini Software where he was responsible for data mining. They developed an end-to-end eCommerce platform with integrated business intelligence from collections, ETL, data warehousing, reporting, mining, and visualization. Later Ron was at Amazon doing the same thing. Again, simple things work (people who bought X bought Y). Human insight is the key--most good features come from human ideas, not extensive analysis. Amazon measures everything. Any change was introduced with a
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