June 03, 2013

Trouble Brewing - Mobile

This is a picture of Mt. St. Helens.  As many of you know, this active volcano blew, way back in 1980, long before people could live-tweet horrific events.

During the past thirty-three years, the lava dome is "on the grow".  Given time, it will fill the crater.  And then, it is likely the volcano will blow once again.

History repeats itself.

In direct marketing, history is in the process of repeating itself.  It's called "mobile".

In the late 1990s, you'd run merchandise forensics on the online channel.  It was small, it was growing like a weed, and the merchandise that early adopters purchased was different.  When I was at Eddie Bauer, we knew that the early adopters were men - they were purchasing mens apparel at rates far greater than in the catalog, or in stores.

As e-commerce matured, the experts demanded that e-commerce be "integrated" with the rest of the business.  This stripped e-commerce of many of the unique benefits it possessed - it became the low-cost, free shipping, promotional channel that everybody enjoys until they compare themselves to Amazon.

It's happening again.

Now it's common to hear that 10% of e-commerce sales come from mobile (well, it really isn't mobile - it's the iPad, but that's splitting hairs).

Have you conducted a full Merchandise Forensics analysis on your mobile channel?

Why not?

You're highly likely to be selling different merchandise in your mobile channel than you are in e-commerce.  And if you don't demand that mobile become fully integrated with the rest of your brand (hint - that's boring), well, then you'll quickly see what convenience-based, on-the-go customers need.  That need will be different than the needs of the traditional e-commerce customer.

Ready to see what mobile buyers are purchasing?  Contact me (click here) for your own, customized Merchandise Forensics project.  Just like Mt. St. Helens, direct marketing is going to blow up again.  Get ready!