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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Hear No E-Shoppers, See No E-Shoppers

Re: Hear No E-Shoppers, See No E-Shoppers
Posted by: ECT News 2001-03-16 09:55:30

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After surviving the dot-com shakeout and now
a slowing economy, many e-tailers are too distracted to remember
one of the essentials of running a smart business: Listen to the customer.

Why is it that online merchants can't seem to hear
what their current and potential customers are
telling them? The e-tail business has
only generated a single-digit percentage of total
U.S. retail sales, and some might say that speaks
volumes -- that the
public has made its wants and
needs clear through its actual buying pattern.

Re: Hear No E-Shoppers, See No E-Shoppers
Posted by: MARIA STILSON 2001-03-18 11:52:58 In reply to: ECT News
How true, how true!

Too many companies are attempting to merchandise on dreams of mass sales
without considering 'the mass' has thousands of individual
needs and wants.

Can America's needs really be stereotyped?
Sure...if you're the only one who sells laptops.

Re: Hear No E-Shoppers, See No E-Shoppers
Posted by: Ron Bean 2001-03-16 10:06:13 In reply to: ECT News
This article does a great job of stating some of the truisms about the B2C marketplace.

I think everyone can probably relate to times when we’ve visited a brick-and-mortar store often enough that the salespeople know us by name, and cater to our personal needs. Most of us that have had this experience would say that it feels good when a salesperson takes the time to get to know us, and makes us more likely to return to the same store the next time we need what the store is selling. The bottom line is that sales –in any business is and has always been about building relationships. Contrast that with the times that we've walked into a store, and haven't been able to find what we wanted or anyone to help us - I often have left without making a purchase. The likelihood that I will return to that store is diminished. The same is true online.

Many companies that have taken their business online have lost touch with one of the basic premises of doing business “know thy customer”. So much so in fact that many sites spend very little time gathering any information at all about the people that visit their site.

Consumers are simply confronted by too many choices – in the brick and mortar world, consumers generally shop at stores within a 10 mile radius of their homes. On the Internet, there are no boundaries – it’s just as easy for me to buy from the web site of a company here in town as it is to buy from a company based in the UK. As a result, consumer loyalty to any one online retailer is very low, making it difficult for online retailers to amass significant market share.

Adding to this problem is that many online retailers take a shotgun approach marketing, essentially ignoring the other “P” in the 4P equation (pricing, packaging, promotion, positioning) and actually ignore all but one, missing packaging, promotion, positioning all together. Many retailers take a “build it and they will come” approach to taking their business online, only to find that no one comes, or possibly even worse, find that those that do actually visit the site, don’t make a purchase, and don’t come back, and since they don't have any sort of site business intelligence tool implemented, they have no idea why people come to their site, shop and leave without making a purchase. The premise behind this method of marketing is “I’ll just shoot and see what I can hit something”. The fallacy here is that people aren’t necessarily going to just find you on the web, and unless you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, they won’t.

Ron Bean
Senior eCommerce Consultant
EDS bluesphere

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