Archive for July, 2009

Cross Channel Marketing

July 31, 2009

Companies are having to evolve their marketing strategies from multi-channel marketing to cross-channel marketing.  What does this mean?

Initially you market to customers dependant upon the channel that the customer chooses.  This is marketing in a silo – focussed on selling a product down a certain channel through a certain marketing campaign.

Customers now want to see the campaign across many channels.  90% of people who see a TV ad who want more information then Google search for the product or company.  So the campaign that you run on TV, radio, direct mail, etc needs to have a link to an online specific landing page in order to capitalise on the sale opportunity.  This phase is called multi-channel coordination via cross-channel retailing.

The ideal world is cross channel optimisation – where you have a one business view of your customer and one over-arching strategy to engage with your customer across all levers.  It’s customer focussed.

Paul Marshall, the CEO of lasoo.com.au says cross channel is ‘the coordinated use of mulitple channels to gain market share, grow revenue and profits, create a differentiated experience and increase customer loyalty’.  For more information on this concept see Paul’s article at http://www.insideretailing.com.au/Latest/tabid/53/ID/5906/NEW-POST-Multi-channel-must-evolve-to-cross-channel.aspx

Who do you think does cross channel marketing well?  Add your comments about this blog or links to cross channel marketers here.

Online Bookshops in Australia

July 28, 2009

In the past week I have been writing a paper for Uni on the Australian Online Book Industry.  This is an important time for book shops especially with parallel importing being allowed on books.  On the blogs there has been quite a bit of buzz about this having no affect on book prices as most of the books sold now (outside of the new release 30 days window) are being sourced from overseas at a lot cheaper price but sold at the high Australian retail pricing.  In the Book Abyss post http://www.thebookabyss.com.au/abyss-blog/?y=2009&m=7 an example is a book sold at Big W for a couple of dollars more than the Amazon delivered price is sold in Dymocks at $25.  Both books are sourced off shore at under $15.  So the argument is that parallel importing won’t change retail prices.

But it is interesting to review that even with these changes the Australian online bookshops are not using the digital medium as well as category killers such as Amazon and that there is a lot of work to do in order for these companies to remain relevant and competivite.  The big gap (in my opinion) is for the Australian brick and mortar business to leverage their off-line business to provide true differentiation through buy online and pick instore fulfilment concepts.  By doing this and reducing costs to reduce book prices they can then reduce some of the impact of Amazon in this market.

Do you agree?

Twitter – does it have a business application?

July 24, 2009

I have been reading a lot about twitter in the past week and it appears that most people think that this form of social media works and connects with users that the biggest problem is that it does not have a business model yet.  Without a business model it can’t be sustainable in the future.

I’m interested to here what others think.  Firstly can twitter create a sustainable income stream and still be attractive to its users?  Or will it go the way of MySpace?

Secondly do you have a business or a business idea that can leverage out of twitter to make an income?  I heard about a bakery that tweets each time a fresh batch comes out of the oven.  Apparently it is really effective and sales boom after each tweet.

I’m interested in your thoughts!

What steps are required to set up a retail web team for a merchandise ecommerce site?

July 17, 2009

I manage a small merchandise business with $2m in turnover on a range of travel, mapping, motoring, publications and first aid kits products.  This is a complimentary business to the core business of subscriptions, insurance and travel.  The growth has been 30%+ year on year for the past three years in the bricks and motar businesses.  There have been attempts at online sales with a growth from $3k to $9k now being recorded.

My dilemma is that while my team are very good at off-line retailing, merchandising and sales we don’t have the capability online.  So I am keen to find out from others about how to successfully sell and manage ‘retail’ online and what are the key points that I should consider?

Welcome – First Post

July 16, 2009

Welcome to my blog.  I am using this site to help me get an understanding on how to build a retail web management program to increase sales.  I am keen for any advice or assistance!! Please fill in my poll to get started.

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