BoR Daily Digest | Online Salesperson, Death of Retail, Flash Sales Work!, Top 5 Online Sales Deterrents, Big Data & Customers


Your best salesperson this year could be an algorithm –

“For retailers the shift in priority to internet marketing and sales is unmistakable. According to comScore, there were 4 separate days in the 2012 holiday season where online shoppers spent more than $1 billion USD in a single day. Time Magazine reports that online shopping during the 2012 holidays was up 17% as compared to 2011. Is this happening because technology is driving a better online experience? That’s probably one of many reasons why the internet is now the fastest growing sales channel for most retailers. The online store is breaking down many of the traditional barriers in retail, making millions of products available online 24 x 7 x 365. Against this backdrop, how does the individual retailer ensure they’re maximizing the online opportunity? One answer is certainly to use marketing personalization technology to create an online version of a great in-store salesperson.”

The Death of Retail: The Economics of the (Doomed) Office Depot/OfficeMax Merger –

” Office Depot has reportedly agreed to buy OfficeMax to form a super-office-retailing juggernaut that … well, is still 25 percent smaller than Staples and is probably doomed, anyway. For those of us on the end of retail beat, like Matt Yglesias and myself, the news might be a surprise but the story’s shape is familiar. For the last two decades, Walmart and e-commerce, led by Amazon, have eaten retail with a blend of supply-chain mastery, digital savvy, and ginormous scale. […] Our “end of retail” story won’t sell as well at clothing accessory stores, where employment is up more than 50 percent since 2001. People still like touching the clothes they wear (even if young shoppers are more comfortable than their parents ordering shirts in boxes for home delivery). But office and supply stores aren’t so lucky. Not only are their shelves being replaced by digital shelves, but also their products — paper and office supplies — are being replaced by digital products.”

Flash Sales Work: Wayfair, The $600 Million Ecommerce Behemoth, Launches Daily Fair –

“With $600 million in sales last year,Wayfair is one of the biggest privately-held ecommerce properties on the Web. You’ve also probably never heard of it. The ten-year-old company, which sells an inventory of five million home décor products, only finished consolidating its 250 retail websites into the Wayfair brand last summer. […] Today Wayfair is launching a flash sales site, Daily Fair, to sit within its main website. Why would a perfectly healthy, full-price online retailer slap steep discounts on products in the middle of their main digital hub? Because flash sales work. Flash-sales companies—like Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and One Kings Lane—have tapped into online shopping behavior that Amazon overlooks.”

Top Five Examples of Customer Journey Abandonment –

“A consumer may see a billboard advertising a product, research it on their smartphone, visit a store to examine it and then purchase it online after finding a discount voucher. Traditionally the last click to purchase was given credit for the sale, but in performance marketing the combined effects of both online and offline activity need to be considered. An often-quoted example is people who watch television whilst surfing the net and purchasing products using a tablet. Performance marketing is evolving, something seen from the IAB’s recent study with PwC. Despite this, companies still struggle to understand their customers, trying to work out why some baskets are abandoned and others transacted. So what are the key reasons that deter consumers from completing transactions?”

Where Big Data Meets the Customer –

“Seemingly everywhere you go in the retailing and CPG industries today, it’s all about personalization, big data and having the right product for the right person, every time. Yet, for many consumers, reality is not the same as the vision. Consumers appreciate customized offers and personalized service, but too often retailers fail to complete the circle they are now capable of drawing with better data and improved analytics. […] In short, there are now so many streams of data available to retailers, but the training of associates on how to use it, how to talk to customers about it and how to personalize online and offline shopping experiences doesn’t seem to have kept pace. It’s as if we are constantly layering on new data streams before we have the basics right.”


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