March 21, 2007

NEMOA Wednesday

Some really great questions were raised and comments made during the first afternoon of sessions at the NEMOA conference. I'll list the questions now, I'll consider possible answers once I've digested the full context of the conference.
  • Catalog is not truly a channel, it is an advertising vehicle that drives sales to the telephone, website or retail channel.
  • How do you deal with price changes in print (where prices are fixed in stone for the life of a catalog), verses in stores or on a website?
  • Do you have a separate sale/discount website, or do you integrate it with your primary website?
  • How should the online/catalog business allocate sales to the advertising vehicle that drove the sales? For instance, if a customer received two catalogs and four e-mail campaigns, and uses Google to search for merchandise, which of those six advertising vehicles and/or search is responsible for a website purchase? And if all are responsible for the purchase, how do you allocate the sales in a way that is fair?
  • Once allocation is done "right", how should the executive allocate marketing budget across various advertising tactics?
  • The importance of collecting accurate data --- as well as the importance of not getting bogged-down in having "too many metrics".
  • Do you use e-mail campaigns for sale offers or free-shipping, verses SHOULD you use e-mail campaigns for sale offers or free-shipping?
  • Are square inch analyses of catalog offerings still valid?
  • What is the next big thing in multichannel retailing?
FYI, I strongly believe we will see a shift, over the next five to ten years, in how retail websites are constructed. We spent time from 1995 - 2005 building the infrastructure that allows us to execute e-commerce in a seamless and trusted manner. From 2006 - 2016, I strongly believe we will see a sense of community, imagination and entertainment infiltrate our e-commerce enabled websites. While e-commerce will still be important, it is clear that we've built e-commerce websites that lack warmth, and lack interaction. The seeds of Web 2.0 will take hold over the next decade, resulting in websites that support e-commerce, but more importantly, become a complimentary tool that customers use to interact with a brand.

More information tomorrow.

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