Vers un nouveau marketing...(Towards a new marketing approach...)

Samedi 18 Février 2012
When you ask customers what is the most important for them for e-commerce, they respond search first, followed by free shipping.

This is a big challenge for retailers to offer free shipping to their customers and still retain their margin. Indeed this eats up the margin and nobody wants that. However, the customer is tired of paying for shipping, he has the expectation this to be free. Either you eat up the margin or roll it into the original price. With the current fight over pricing on the internet, the second seems difficult. Indeed customers are always looking for the best price and will just look up online which retailer is providing the best price for the same product.

Does that mean that online margins are going to shrink even further? It is likely. I would feel weird for customer to roll up the shipping cost on the product right now. We might be able to do it for new products and overall but it can only happen gradually and partially.

In the customer constant quest to get the best price, free shipping plays a big part of this equation. Free Shipping. Org is updating every day the free shipping offers. Free shipping has become a commodity for customers and retailers do need to understand this.

Customers want free shipping!

Vendredi 17 Février 2012
Jet Blue is redesigning his interface. More fun, easier to navigate and cleaner. Redesigning an interface is not only about colors and visual, it is also about functionalities. How do we make it easier for the customer? How can we decluster the interface to remove what is useless and keep only what is important to the customer.
Jet Blue new design

There are 2 approaches to redesign:

  • We keep adding stuff to the site and one day we realize that it is too much to the customer and that he is maybe using only 20% of the proposed functionalities.
  • We define a max number of functionalities that we are putting on the site and any new functionality should be more important to the customer to a previous one before going to production.

A sure thing, is that everybody wants always more and more ‘’stuff’’. We slag new functionalities, new buttons, new whatever, until we get a Christmas tree and that customer cannot find what he wants anymore. I am for slick interfaces. The functionality should serve a purpose. However, I am not for keeping the same years over years because habits evolve, market changes and customers expectations are becoming more specific. It is always an interesting decision that we, as management, need to make when it comes to add new features. What is driving it? Innovation: try and see? Customer: I want this? A good blend of this is always necessary and once in a while we all need to go and do a big spring clean up on our interfaces.

Lundi 6 Février 2012
People love their tablets!

Vendredi 20 Janvier 2012
Virtual stores are the nice convergence between online and offline. When we are talking about integrated retail, Virtual stores are the perfect solution. Products are displayed on an ad, in the same layout that it would be in a store and thanks to QR codes, customers can buy the products directly with their mobile
Virtual Stores: a future for development

When you think about it, it is very powerful and extremely costless. International expansion can therefore be made easier without investing too much money. It is an easy way to test customers interests for new products but also to test news brands in emerging markets. Going international is always very painful because it requires huge investments in addition to heavy legal adjustments. By doing this, we are removing one big barrier to international implementation.

Mobile is the device used by customers to buy products on the go. Research is also showing that customers do buy big ticket items via mobile too. These virtual stores are also located in very strategic locations as usually in areas where customer s do wait (for the metro, the bus, a plane). They do have time and when people have time, they spend money. It is a new experience offered to customers closer to entertainment and better integrated to their daily schedule. Now, you can also add an associate next to the virtual shop and offer special discounts for the launch of a new store so the engagement can even increase. It would be a nice addition as not all customers are yet familiar with this new ‘’way’’ to buy.


We all know how social is trendy lately. Every retailer is currently trying to crack the code on what social would mean for them and the customer. For me the key is: ENGAGEMENT. How can we manage to create an experience that is not asking too much to the customer and that is rewarding to him? Right now the big driver of social is the coupon or the special offer. Indeed, what would trigger somebody to participate to a community is that he will get special offers that no other will get. The challenge is that what do we ask to the customer in return? Of course the value is in content and we do want them to share content and to create new types of content in order to show their belonging to the brand. However one number that all tend to forget is that only less than 5% (I would say 3%) are really creators. The content creation promise is therefore not as huge as expected. How can we therefore still get customers engage and benefit from the experience?
RNKD: the new social site from Zappos’ founder

RNKD at this point is not answering the questions. I still feel like most of the retailers are still running in circles to find the solution but do not get it.

I believe that the social component should be fully embedded into the shopping experience. It should not be disruptive, it should be part of what the customer does every day. The social component should build return frequency and engagement. Not immediate engagement in term of content creation but engagement to the brand. Once the customer is engaged then he will be the brand advocate and will be likely to contribute more than the average customer.

Therefore, in my mind the social experience should not be created in separate sites, it should be embedded. It should not require customer to do, but customer to receive. We unfortunately often start with the wrong assumptions or not willing to address the true business need. Creating a product means bringing a value. What is the value for the customer and is what I am asking him to do in exchange interesting to him? The best social and easy feature that is working is ‘’Share’’. Customers are willing to share to get some benefits but I do not believe they are willing to upload videos, photos, create articles and other bunch of things in a large proportion but if each customer does create something it is already a lot.

Customers are willing to ‘’Like’’ within the experience, customers are willing to give feedback within the experience, customers are willing to ‘’share’’ to get rewards.
RNKD: the new social site from Zappos’ founder

Zappos does have a site with very powerful customers who are sharing reviews. Also within the site, we can ‘’favorite’’ some brands. So now that I am ‘’fan’’ of a brand why don’t you engage me directly from there and ask me to do ‘’something’’ right there to get a special offer from the brand I like?

I think retailers, not knowing how to crack the code of social, are just timid. They should not be afraid of putting social right in there, where their customers are. The same we offer them reviews, videos, comparison tools, why don’t we offer them social? Because of the fear that some customers might not use it, we prefer to put it in another side and are reluctant from embedding it directly. Do we search on a separate site? Do we checkout on a different site? So why would we engage on a different site?

Mercredi 16 Novembre 2011
Mercredi 27 Juillet 2011

Vendredi 15 Juillet 2011
Running Girl
Plus de la moitié des courreurs aux US sont des femmes. Le marché de l’habillement pour la course est passé de $275 millions en 2008 à $350 millions en 2010. Voilà donc un secteur en pleine expansion. Courrir est devenu bien plus qu’un sport, c’est devenu un état d’esprit, intégré à part entière dans une journée. Il est donc fréquent que ces dames restent dans leurs habits de course pour emmener leurs enfants à l’école avant d’aller s’entraîner.

Courrir se met donc à la mode et on peut désormais trouver tout un assortiment d’habits très différents: des chaussettes hautes, des jupes, des robes, des manches, des pantalons longs, courts, au niveau du genou, des chaussures de toutes les couleurs, des accessoires pour les cheveux, des vestes…bref il y en a pour toutes.

Les marques surfent donc sur la tendance et offrent des habits de course de plus en plus fashion pour notre plus grand plaisir: Moving comfort; Skirt sports; Pearl Izumi; Lululemon; Runningskirts, Athleta et Nike. See jane run regroupe aussi ces tendances.

Je pense que nous sommes au début de la tendance car tout cela reste encore bien timide et faire des lignes plus colorées, plus variées aves des formes et des couleurs différentes serait bien intéressant. Les mentalités évoluent, les habitudes évoluent et les habits suivent nos envies. Et si une petite skort était une motivation pour nous donner envie de courrir un peu plus, ne serait-ce pas super?

I discovered today Clickthecoup in my city where they were presenting their service as the groupon for the suburbs.
Clickthecoup: the groupon for suburbs

I have to admit, when I go to Groupon, the offers related to my city are just not existing therefore I was very much interested in a service that was serving cities around Chicago.

I was a bit disappointed as there was only one offer and nothing that was interesting to me. They told me they do exist for 6 months reason why maybe they still need to ramp up in term of offers on their site.

These coupons sites are interesting but they are not yet interesting if you do not live downtown big cities therefore there is room for improvements. I look forward Clickthecoup to get more offers in their portfolio.

Samedi 11 Juin 2011
Here you go, Renttherunway is offering you the possibility to rent designer clothes for special occasions at competitive prices.
About renting fashion online

You select your dress, you pay your fee and you receive your dress that you return after the event. What a wonderful idea to impress everybody with your cute Dolce & Gabbana dress at a small price? The renting market for consumer goods and fashion is growing. I presented you in another article Toygaroo for toys, here is now Renttherunway for fashion.
About renting fashion online

Renting clothes is not super new. People used to do this for years but having access on the internet is. I like the idea and it can sometimes save you the hassle to look for weeks for the right dress.

Vendredi 10 Juin 2011
The true word of mouth
Let me tell you a story about how a customer can behave and how a product gets purchased in today’s world. Word of mouth and context are so important to a level that you would not even imagine.

Joe is a gamer. He is playing world of warcraft on an HP computer. The computer is not super powerful and is crashing sometimes. Indeed it is a 2 years old computer. While playing in the evening, Joe is talking live to the other gamers. Via his headset, he is having conversations and he started to ask others which computer they would recommend. He asks one who says Asus. Another one says the same and so on.
Joe then reads some reviews on the web about this computer. He goes to best buy to see if they carry it. Unfortunately they do not have the one he is looking for. He goes on the internet and look for the locations close to his home that do carry this computer. It happens that a small store, 45 minutes from his home, does have the computer. He goes there…and purchases it!

The conclusions are:
  • Customers do ask advice to experts in the internet,
  • Customers do get advice from the places where they are,
  • Customers value reviews,
  • Customers are ready to drive far to find the product they want.

The way customers do enter the purchasing process can come from different places. Networks and communities are definitely at the heart of the new behaviors. People talk about products everywhere and brands advocates can be in places where you would not even imagine.

Vendredi 13 Mai 2011
Amazon.com : l'Empire caché
View more presentations from faberNovel

Invisible hand is a firefox plug in that provides pricing comparison. When you go on a page and look at a product it is showing you the best price you can find for the same product and where. Interesting to do savings!
Invisible hand: price comparison browser plug in

Jeudi 5 Mai 2011
The Future of Check ins
View more presentations from DASH7 Alliance

Amazon just launched his new private sales site: MyHabit. Now Amazon can go after the Gilt, RueLaLa and HauteLook.
MyHabit: the new private sales site from Amazon

For big retailers like Amazon it makes a lot of sense:
  • They have the inventory,
  • They have the brands,
  • They have the customers.

And they did it the right way because all his customers are enrolled by default. We can also argue whether the market is now too mature for this? Indeed in Europe this concept got launched back in 2001 and in the US, big players are in the place for already 5 years. The game changer could be to add some more engaging elements where people would have access to the same products they have on their site, in exchange to a bigger promotion and make this product more social for a higher engagement of their customers.

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