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Is Ecommerce Stuck In The Mud?

ByMartin Smith |760 views |Business

After creating the first Ecommie Ecommerce Awards for Holiday 2013 its clear online retailers are stuck in their own mud. This deck explains why and what can be different in 2014.

Presentation Outline

  1. 1. ecom

    Is Ecommerce Stuck In The Mud?

    After creating our first Ecommie Awards for Holiday 2013 ( its pretty clear online retailers are stuck in their own mud. This deck examines HOW ecom got stuck and shares ideas to get online commerce moving again in 2014.

    Photo by thephotographymuse

  2. 2. ecom's mud

    • Free Shipping.
    • Deal of the Day - Wootization.
    • Mobile.
    • Social.
    • Web 3.0 - Conversations.

    Online retailers are fighting wars among themselves, wars that few customers care about or benefit from. Some emerging trends are sure to change 2014's approach to holiday merchandising and promotion.

    Photo by Crouchy69

  3. 3. free shipping

    Free Shipping Out & Back Is Trending

    Free Shipping is one of the most self referential battles. Many retailers still use trigger points and codes. We predict both trigger points and codes will be gone by next year since the competitive space will continue to punish sites that don't make FREE SHIPPING easy and clear. Free Shipping on all orders is easy to understand and communicate. Any online retailer who bucks that trend especially in December will pay dearly. We also see Free Shipping out and back (inclusive of returns) as an emerging trend.

    Photo by wbaiv

  4. 4. 2014

    Shipping Codes, Triggers, Limits = Gone by next Christmas.

    Friction to free shipping created by retailers for tracking purposes will be swept away by next December.

    Photo by Justin in SD

  5. 5. DOD Deal of the Day Trending.

    Deal of the Day, or the Wootization of at least one element of online ecommerce promotion is trending with handling it the best in 2013.

  6. 6. mobile

    Top Retailers Mobile = Not Good. That Mobile study by Search Engine Watch confirms what we sense - that most online retailers don't understand important and broad implications of mobile, responsive and appification implications associated with "mobile marketing". Mobile First has little to do with phones and everything to do with how information is structured, stored and presented.

  7. 7. Appification

    Mobile First, Appification, Responsive NOT Embraced.

    Appification, or the use of cross functional teams to create content in an every faster cycle, is the biggest and most important implication of the Mobile First Movement.

    Photo by sergis blog

  8. 8. social

    Ecommies Study: Retailers Not Very Social.

    Our Ecommies Study available on Google Docs: show how confused major online retailers are by social media. The movement toward conversations and away from lectures, toward curated mobile information, toward snippets and responsive presentation (agnostic to receiving device) is not being fully embraced by most major online retailers.

    Photo by zarrion101

  9. 9. Follow back LOW for Major Retailers.

    Clear evidence of poor understanding of social marketing's quid pro quo is most major retailers low follow numbers (across all social nets). When P&G decided to outsource 50% of their product development they found more than 1M researchers "at least as good' as internal P&G researchers. Most online retailers follow back at 1% or less and that is an insult to their followers. I would recommend at least 10% follow back if only for the ease of communication benefits. When online retailers really begin to understand the conversational nature of social media their follow back numbers will climb and they and their followers will benefit.

  10. 10. pagespread

    Few Ecommerce Retailers Understand Content Marketing.

    Pagespread is the number of pages in Google and can be discovered by running a command on Google. Pagespread is a great proxy for content marketing, but MORE pages is no guarantee. Sears has the most pages in Google, but they have so few links their pagespread is harmful not beneficial. The new Google demands efficiency and simply dumping pages in like a dump truck hurts Sears' online marketing instead of helping.

    Photo by *s@lly*

  11. 11. Slide 11

  12. 12. sears

    So many pages with so few links = BAD now.

    Sears demonstrates the danger of hanging on to old school SEO in this new era. By having monster pagespread without social confirmation or link efficiency they risk Google losing its temper and slashing pages off the books or simply not counting them for much (which is what I suspect is happening). Sears needs to understand this new SEO game is about quality more than quantity.

    Photo by miralize

  13. 13.   curation

    Few retailers understand content curation.

    Content curation, especially of the gold that few online retailers mine (Amazon, Etsy being clear exceptions) is the secret key in the lock of the new content marketing door. The key few online retailers understand, use utilize or gamify. Best at this kind of online gamification are online retailers who started with websites and didn't have to unlearn brick and mortar policies and procedures.

    Photo by verbeeldingskr8

  14. 14. uGC

    Lego-Like Building Block of Content Marketing.

    Content marketing is as important to B2C merchants ad B2B relationship SaaS merchants though few realize the truth of that statement. The key to great curation is an ever increasing amount of quality User Generated Content. No brand can climb our online Mt. Everest without an army of brand advocate Sherpas. UGC is the key to winning the hearts and minds of a "Sherpa army" and UGC is the cheapest content on earth (once an engine is created to help seed, harvest and curate User Generated Content).

    Photo by hatalmas

  15. 15. Slide 15

    Amazon has 1M inbound links? Why? Because Amazon is all about seeding, harvesting and curating User Generated Content.

  16. 16. links

    Inbound Links = UGC, content mkt, curation proxy.

    What do you do when you leave a comment on someone's blog. Most share the link with their social net. Lings beget links like rabbits create bunnies, so your best "link building" strategy is to value UGC.

    Photo by arbyreed

  17. 17. confused

    Low UGC, Follows, Links = confusion.

    There are clear signs in the data. Confusion is where most online retailers live now caught between mobile's information architecture and design requirements, social's gamification and support for UGC and the need to curate more than they create online merchants are confused.

    Photo by Crossett Library Bennington College

  18. 18. conversations

    The next web is about conversations & Stories.

    Photo by khalid Albaih

  19. 19. Stories

    CSF (Critical Success Factor) Web 3.0 Thanks To Google.

    Stories are the new currency. Google's changes including Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird value improving website heuristic measures such as time on site, pages viewed and lower bounce rates. Websites achieve longer average visits with new kinds of content (such as video), by telling and sharing better stories and by increasing engagement and listening more than they talk (and then valuing what is heard by curating it into their content marketing).

    Photo by andronicusmax

  20. 20. hearts & minds

    Emotional & logical stories key.

    Hearts and Minds requires stories. Flat Feature Benefit selling doesn't engage passion. We can take or leave a list of facts, but how those facts turn into camping trips, better floors or magical homes we want to learn. Stories touch hearts and minds. I suggested nonprofits need to learn for profit skills in marketing and distribution while online retailers could learn emotional storytelling from nonprofits in Save The World Marketing on slideshare:

    Photo by ArloMagicMan

  21. 21. hard to win

    • Few follows = retailers don't care.
    • Few stories = nothing to share.
    • Poor curation = not listening.
    • Few conversations = retailers not engaged.
    • Can't win hearts or minds.

    Online retailers can't get "there", the connected, highly dynamic Web 3.0, from here (holiday 2013).

    Photo by ecstaticist

  22. 22. Retailer 2014 RX

    • Listen more than talk.
    • Curate & VALUE UGC.
    • Learn storytelling from nonprofits.
    • Add crowdfunding (get people talking).
    • Add cause marketing (touch hearts, win minds).

    Online retailers can't get "there", the connected, highly dynamic Web 3.0, from here (holiday 2013). Here are some ideas on what to change in 2014 to get out of the mud.

    Photo by Chris |

  23. 23. Retailer 2014 RX

    • Free shipping out and back (going there anyway).
    • Gamify with contests and games.
    • Personas, Segments.
    • Movements not campaigns.
    • Social, Social, Social & Mobile, Mobile, Mobile.

    Photo by Jamie In Bytown

  24. 24. martin w. smith


    Online retailers can't get "there", the connected, highly dynamic Web 3.0, from here (holiday 2013). Here are some ideas on what to change in 2014 to get out of the mud.

    Photo by Leo Reynolds

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