It’s Time For A Commerce Approach To Media


The industry-standard approach to media advertising is obsolete. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than you are to click a banner ad. And you can research and buy virtually any product, at any time, from any touch point. This fundamental capability overrides the marketing funnel and reorders the priorities of media. St. Elmo Lewis imagined the marketing funnel in 1898. He postulated that people take particular steps in the purchase journey (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) in a prescribed order. By predicting the most important touch point at each step, marketers could « Continue »

The Two Overlooked Musts Of Omni-Channel


With smartphones conditioning a generation to expect what they want, how and when they want it, omni-channel has become the ante for retailing’s future.  Retailers need to move beyond their channels to serve each customer wherever and whenever she wants to be served.  Today even retailers with very dynamic inventory like TJMaxx, Saks OFF Fifth and H&M are launching successful e-commerce sites.  And digital first brands like Warby Parker, Bonobos, ModCloth, Nasty Gal and Blue Nile are rushing to open stores. Everyone knows omni-channel is the future of retail. And everyone says it. So « Continue »

Where’s Your Social Proof?

Social Proof

One thing hasn’t changed since the dawn of retail: We feel more confident in our choices when we know people like us have made the same choice before us, and had a good outcome. Early carpet and spice merchants would pay confederates to act as customers and make their stands look busy. And the attendant at the general store would tell you what products were popular with your neighbors. They didn’t call it social proof, but they understood it to be the cornerstone of selling. Mass marketing and big box retail took away the one-to-one contact, but not the consumer need for reassurance. « Continue »

Bridging The Mobile Gap

Mobile Shop

This quarter, we hit two milestones in retail. Target, Best Buy and Walmart all had 50% or more of their website visitors coming from mobile devices. And the overall time shoppers spent on retail sites using mobile devices crossed the 60% threshold. As mobile initiates more online traffic, though, retailers need to contend with a gap between shopping and buying that could sink their brands. While the majority of retail site traffic now comes from mobile, the overwhelming majority of purchases happen via web browsers on desktops and laptops. In fact, consumers are four times more likely to « Continue »

Hey, Who Moved My Storefront?

Hey who moved the front of my store?

We used to go shopping; now we are shopping. Smartphone in hand, we start our shopping experience by accessing nearly perfect information – product specs, ratings and reviews, competitive pricing – within moments of considering a need, want or purchase. For all practical purposes, the front door of retail has moved online. REI recently disclosed that 75% of REI’s in-store shoppers have visited the retailer’s website in the seven days prior to a store visit. And it’s not just REI. Forrester estimates that 48% of all purchase decisions made in the US – that’s $1.5 trillion – are now « Continue »

What Amazon Firefly means for commerce

Amazon Fire Phone

The new Amazon Fire Phone launched yesterday, and the internet is buzzing about whether this new device will be a hit or a flop.  I believe that the Fire Phone is a significant milestone in the evolution of shopping.  Retailers and shopper marketers would be wise to pay attention. Amazon clearly is swinging for the fences. The announcement was rich in innovation. Unlimited free image storage, Free Amazon Prime, Dynamic Perspective, Mayday, Camera with Optical Image Stabilization, etc.  Frankly, it's been several years since an Apple product launch had close to that level of attempted « Continue »

The Promo Code field could be costing Sears’ e-commerce $16M a month

Promo Code Field

When looking to improve performance of an e-commerce site, one of the best places to start looking is at the bottom of your checkout funnel. If a shopper has gone to all the trouble to discover products, put them in their shopping cart, and begin the checkout process, you know they have buying intent.  So you need to find any elements of the customer experience that might be tripping them up at the end of that process. One of the most common mistakes I see in e-commerce checkout flows is a Promotion Code Field that is too prominent. The Promo Code field is an important utility, and you want « Continue »

Have I earned your vote for the board of directors?

I’m running for the board of directors. As most of you know, I’ve been in the e-commerce industry for a long time (launched my first e-commerce site in 1996). Like all of us in this industry, I’ve benefited greatly from the efforts of, including their policy advocacy, content, and events. However, I benefited more than most from networking opportunities. You see, I met my current employer at a event in 2012, and more importantly I met my fiancé at an event in 2010! (Assuming she doesn’t come to her senses, we’re getting married on June 2nd). While the « Continue »

Three e-Commerce Lessons From the Super Bowl

Superbowl Blackout

The 2013 Super Bowl was more digital than ever. The 71,024 fans in attendance all had access to free wi-fi. Dozens of Super Bowl advertisers launched aggressive digital campaigns in the weeks prior to the game (including, in many cases, pre-releasing their commercials). And the game itself featured a record number of commercial spots with digital calls to action, and extended on-line experiences. The Success of these various digital initiatives was mixed, but three clear lessons emerged that can be immediately applied to e-commerce sites. Lesson 1: Prioritize your calls to « Continue »

E-Commerce Events in September 2012

2012 Shop.Org Annual Summit Logo

Would you like to escape your daily grind and recharge your e-commerce batteries before the holiday shopping season kicks in to full gear? September offers two e-commerce trade shows that might be just what the doctor ordered. If you are using (or are interested in) the IBM Smarter Commerce platform, you should consider attending the Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012.  It is September 5-7 in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.  This is the second year of the show, in this new business user focused format.  The first year (in San Diego) was surprisingly good given « Continue »