There's a Radio in my Head

Friday, February 24, 2006

Day Two recap

General Session

Innovation, Acquisition, Retention, and Growth the Alloy Way
Matt Diamond, CEO, Alloy Inc.
The 3 C's: Content, Community, Commerce

Alloy markets exclusively to the youth market, and is finding them to be relatively sophisticated. They have never known a world without cell phones, the internet, and TiVO. Alloy considers this demographic "Millenials." They are a very influential market.
  • Direct spending power (themselves)
  • Influenced spending power (their parents and peers)
  • Future spending power (their future family)
Alloy has found that integrated marketing with nontraditional media is the most effective means of reaching this audience. This is the most diverse demographic in the history of the country, and it is nearly color/culture blind. They are extremely tech savvy. They multi-task constantly, and they want product differentiation. Only 18% of this demographic watch TV commercials (thanks to TiVO). Viral marketing works well with them, and their most trusted resource is their friends.

Alloy is a publisher and marketer, and they have found that 2-3% buy when they receive a catalog. Alloy therefore focuses on the 98% who DON'T buy, and strives to give them relevant and useful content.
  • Engaging the user is the Holy Grail of eCommerce. This demo thrives in web community spaces of all types, and is very comfortable there.
Social networking is ripe for marketing. It is unknown how much saturation this demographic will accept. If the marketing content is relevant, the hypothesis is that the demo will likely absorb a great deal of marketing.

What is the Total Economic Impact of Deploying Alternative Payments
Bill Zielke, i4Commerce (BillMeLater)
Carrie Johnson, Forrester Research

Forrester sez...
  • Loyalty of online buyers is declining and cannot be purchased
  • New online buyers are cynical, technophobic, and more mainstream than the web audience we've become accustomed to
  • Price is becoming more relevant than brands
  • New online buyers make up 41% of the market place
  • 4+ years online buyers make up 65% of online sales
  • New web users are 10% less likely to have broadband at home
  • Veteran web buyers are far more likely to be satisfied with their online purchases
  • Customer satisfaction levels are far lower in the web channel (NOTE: this contradicts what the University of Michigan tells us)
  • Security re: credit cards on the web is DOWN to 37% from 46% a year ago among 4+ years web veterans
  • 62% of ALL web users don't want to provide "personal" info online
  • Mainstream consumers will gravitate naturally to the brands they know (Wal-mart, Sears, Target)
  • All retailers need to step up their game to make the shopping process safer to instill trust and to make it more convenient.
  • Online sales are slowing. Retailers need to lock in these new buyers NOW.
  • Sire redesigns
  • Web 2.0
  • Cleaner brand messaging
  • Buying guides
  • Content
  • Alternative payment options
Alternative payment options are on the rise.
  • They address trust
  • Make shopping more convenient
  • Reduce payment costs and lift sales
Growing your share:
  • Conversion rates are still low (2.6%) and cart abandonment high (52%)
  • Earn customer loyalty by acting in their best interest
Gift Cards: Not tied to a credit card, multi-channel consistency
Private Label Card: Multi-channel consistency
PayPal: Stored info
Bill Me Later: Card info not entered online, improved conversion

Cabela's offers 14 different ways to buy. Customers LOVE that.

If you offer payment options, you must merchandise that info.
  • Nobody goes to FAQs to find out about payment options
  • Making customers comfortable begins on the home page
  • Weaving those same messages and options throughout the shopping process solidifies the message
  • Payment option placement is great for A/B testing
Bill Me Later
  • 5% of sales went through BML, 33% of which would not have occured without it
  • AOV up 75% vs. non-BML sales
  • Merchant processing fees are .5% to .75% lower than with credit card
  • To apply, users enter name, last 4 of SSn, andphone. Approval is in 3 seconds or less.
Attaining #1 Status in Customer Satisfaction by Truly Turning the Online Channel into an Extension of the Offline Brand
Marie Toulantis, CEO,
How does Barnes & Noble differentiate themselves?

  • Leading brand
  • Store format and real estate
  • Deep and wide selection
  • Service ("Put the book in the customer's hand")
  • Deep &Wide selection
  • Great search engine
  • Fast delivery (usually free)
  • Dedicated customer service - no outsourcing/off shoring - their customers consider this a HUGE differentiator
  • High site availability (99.9%)
  • Easy navigation with rich content
  • Proprietary products
  • Loyalty programs
  • Quick checkout
"Make it easy to find the right product; make it dumb easy to give us their money."

Barnes & Noble places great emphasis on making checkout smooth - online and in store.

The stores and site collaborate when possible, but they feel that eCommerce has its own complexities and opportunities.

Driving Profit-Centric Thinking & Decision Making: Ensuring All Activities have a Benchmark of Profitability
Matt Diamond, Alloy Inc.
Steve St. Andre, President, FordDirect
Seth Greenberg, CEO, eHobbies
David Liu, CEO, The Knot
Geoff Ramsey, CEO, eMarketer
Rob Wilson, CTO, Lyris

It's all about time-saving and convenience. We need to make it A LOT easier.

We all need to improve the serendipity factor and improve "surprise" sales opportunities (i.e., you go to a store to buy a sweater, and walk out with a sweater and a new jacket).

Give customers a way to shout out about their passions. This relates directly to engagement.

It helps to have a long-term eCommerce plan, and it really helps not to be too reactive.

"Do it wrong quickly, fix it quickly, and don't be afraid to try new things."

Test. Test. Test. Test. Test. Test. Test.

Institutionalize customer-centric thought & behavior. Try doing things solely for the customer, just for a month or so. See what happens.

Engaging Your Entire Enterprise in your Site Redesign to Ensure that you are Providing what your Business Units Want and what your Customer Needs
Chuck Jensen, Program Director Online Solutions, Delta Air Lines

Define the site's purpose, and publicize it. Primary purpose? Secondary purposes? Tertiary purposes?

Goals for customers:
  • high-value transactions
  • valuable content
  • advanced technology
  • simple and easy customer experience
Goals for the enterprise:
  • optimized revenues
  • cost savings
  • push and pull marketing
  • customer acquisition and retention
Provide specific personas for customer segmentations. Give them names. People can relate to names better than to marketing categories.

Lessons learned when redesigning
  • Must have laser-like focus on the customer and the bottom line
  • Must prioritize effectively and spend wisely
  • Many critical variables are beyond our direct control, so we must influence and educate whenever possible
  • The latest change is never the last

Multi-National, Multi-Lingual, Multi-Brand, Multi-Everything: Growing Your Retail Brand and Sales in as Many Ways as Possible
Kristen Celco, Director of eCommerce, Under Armour
Jeffrey Max, Venda, Inc.

Forrester: 50% of internet users do not speak fluent English (globally). On average, users stay 50% longer when a site is in their native language.

Simply translating a web site is never enough. Must consider culture.

Translation best practices:
  • Go for it
  • Leverage professional translation services
  • Consult with cultural experts
  • Design to accommodate multi-lingual
  • Provide a fully multi-lingual support system
  • Test

Examining Your Cross-Channel Marketing Approach to Find New Revenue: A Panel Discussion
Chuck Jensen, Delta
Nikhil Behl,
Ben Tatta, GSI Commerce
Multi-brand sites and micro sites work well in this environment
  • Maintain brand consistency across sites
  • Be careful when you start to stray
  • Use microsites to test
  • Use microsites to innovate
  • Consistent customer experience
  • Keep flexibility high, costs low

InfusingYour Brand into Your Internal Customer Experience in addition to your External Customer Experience
Brent Carter, General Manager, Oakley Direct, Inc.

This presentation was all about conveying corporate soul.

Brand affects employees
Employees affect brand
Brand affects customers

You must keep giving your employees shots of Kool-Aid. Don't ever let them forget who you are.

If you want to effectively sell or market your brand, you have to have real-life experience with the products.

The more employees feel involved in the brand's direction, the more they will give feedback to improve the brand.

Execs need to be part of every team.


Expanding Your International Horizons without leaving the US: The case for the US Hispanic Consumer
David Paschkes, Univision
Session canceled, which was most disappointing.


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