Can we agree that in baseball, the players are "the merchandise"? That's what we are paying to see, right?
Did the players on the field just show up there, unannounced? Or was there a development process the players went through?
A baseball star plays in High School. From there, the player might play in College, or be drafted and begin a professional career in a Rookie League. If the player does well, the player moves on to Low-A. If the player does well, the player moves to High-A. If the player does well, the player moves up to Double-A. If the player does well, the player moves up to Triple-A. If the player does well, the player is called-up in September (or when there is an injury). And if the player does well, the player becomes a Major League Baseball Player!!
In other words, in Sports, there is a clear development system for players (merchandise).
Tell me what your development process is for new merchandise you launch?
You don't have a development process? You just provide a few links on your website and/or a "new products" link and then hope for the best?
In the future, retail and e-commerce will become much more like professional sports. There will be a development process for new merchandise - almost like a tournament - with email and social and key landing pages weeding out the merchandise that works from the merchandise that doesn't work. The new merchandise that works is promoted to expensive offline/digital advertising, saving the retail / e-commerce brand a ton of money.