Back in 2001, our industry made a decision.
We decided to be "multichannel".
Do you remember the discussions? They were spirited! Somebody had to get control of the rogue online team, those folks who worked in another building, or on another floor of the corporate offices, offering 20% off plus free shipping in a battle to monetize eyeballs.
If you worked in retail, you had your retail marketing team take control of the online marketing team.
If you worked in catalog, you had your catalog marketing team take control of the online marketing team.
This homogenized the whole online experience. We decided that the online folks would toe the company line, they would squelch innovation in the spirit of a "multichannel" experience.
We ceded true e-commerce to Amazon. Oh, by the way, have you looked at their market share recently?
Once we made the decision to be "multichannel", we created an e-commerce experience that suited our core audience.
For catalogers, this customer is "Judy".
Look at the graph at the start of this post. This is such a common story in our industry. The rate at which we acquire Jennifer/Jasmine to replace Judy is simply too slow. We keep marketing to our core customer, we keep spending money with the co-ops to acquire more customers like Judy.
Run the query I ran to produce the chart above ... it's a simple rolling twelve month buyer count. How has your business evolved over the past decade? Have you significantly increased Jennifer/Jasmine counts, or has your business followed the classic multichannel trajectory? And if you're following the classic multichannel trajectory, what happens in seven years when a 59 year old Judy becomes a 66 year old Judy?
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