'Opinions' Category

E-Commerce Environment Still Facing Supply Chain Challenges

Posted by Neal Leavitt on January 31st, 2016 at 2:32 pm

No doubt about it, e-commerce continues to grow and while it represents a burgeoning share of total retail sales, there are still significant hurdles to overcome.
“We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail,” noted Jeff Jordan of venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.
eMarketer reported, for instance, that e-commerce growth by quarter was about five times that of store locations in 2013 and 2014.
Yet there are headwinds.
Market research firm Market Track said companies that want to succeed in e-commerce must operate successfully amidst these risk areas that could undermine snaring and retaining customers:
• Volatility – Prices changing with increasing frequency and predictability;
• Non-compliance – Pricing and promoting brands and products outside established guidelines;
• Illegal/illicit activity – Counterfeiting and unauthorized resale;
• Size/scope – More retailers, resellers and products available online than ever before.
JDA Software Group also conducted a survey of more than a thousand online U.S. - based shoppers last year. Of the approximately 35% who bought online and elected to pick up their purchases at a store, about 50% experienced problems in initially getting their purchases. Wayne Usie, a JDA senior VP, said it may suggest that retailers might find it challenging expanding their e-commerce... Read more

Broadening your Appeal

Posted by Benjamin Taylor on January 28th, 2016 at 2:22 pm

In your average e-commerce scenario, an enterprising entrepreneur will pick a small niche of in-demand products that they understand, pop a website out of the ground, and hope that somebody shows up. Now, all the SEO and web development issues aside, successful entry into a market like that isn't easy.
Even if you can find the people who already want your product, put up a few testimonials and reviews, and start making sales, that's really not taking things to the next level, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we are here to do!
Think about the wider application of your product. Not specifically in terms of who is buying your product, but the deeper sense of your product's purpose.
One of my e-commerce shops is a cuckoo clock retailer. We have a lot of useful content on the website, all about antique clock maintenance, horology, and clock design, both modern and antique. Our most popular post, by far, has not been on any of those topics however, it was an infographic about rustic living room decor. Why do you think that was? Marketing can't just be about one aspect of your product. There are a thousand different ways to think about... Read more

10 Digital Age Coke Taglines—From The Distant Past

Posted by Rick Mathieson on January 24th, 2016 at 2:46 pm

A sip down memory lane reveals past may be prologue for this venerable brand.

Marketing & 'The Internet of Things': Radio Q&A with Author Rick Mathieson

Posted by Rick Mathieson on January 22nd, 2016 at 11:37 am

Is 2016 the year marketing and the Internet of Things finally enter a meaningful new phase?
Don't bet on it. But there are some promising signs.
In the days since CES, much has been made of the emergence of new ecosystems enabled by so-called "smart products"—connected devices that deliver information or can be controlled using your mobile phone.
Fitness apparel brand Under Armour was one entrant that generated a lot of attention during the show for its new Gemini 2 running shoes, which can track run duration, distance and more—without the need for syncing with a mobile device.
It's just the latest in innovative smart products UA has been rolling out, including a heart-rate monitor, new headphones and apps that, as Engadget reports today, the company hopes to use as the foundation for an interconnected ecosystem.
Indeed, while Engadget indicates these products still have a ways to go, they still point toward fitness apparel that doesn't just keep you comfortable, but also delivers useful services to you automatically and seamlessly, behind the scenes, to help you attain your goals.
From Data Collection to Data Utility
Last week, Social Times cited a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit that finds 51% of marketing executives... Read more

CES 2016: Highlights

Posted by Jennifer Marlo on January 18th, 2016 at 6:45 am

Yet again, drones took center stage at CES. The focus this year was to make drones easier to handle for amateurs; Parrot created an automated drone that launches, steers, and lands on its own.
Another interesting invention by Parrot – albeit less glamorous than a drone – is a self-watering pot. An app helps determine what kind of plant is in the pot, and waters accordingly. The app also lets the user know how much light the plant requires, or if it needs to be placed in a warmer spot in the house.
Indeed, home tech seemed to be a major focus. The show featured refrigerators with internal cameras that allow you to access the contents of your fridge remotely, refrigerators that turn transparent with the touch of a button, smart showers that tell you how much water you’re using, a smart-phone controlled nine volt battery for smoke detectors, connected ceiling fans that hook into HomeKit -- the list goes on and on.
Health devices were also a repeating trend from years past. Many improvements were made to existing wearables – they're more sensitive, offer additional features such blood pressure monitoring, and, in one case, offer medical relief: ReliefBand, worn on the wrist,... Read more