June 27, 2024

It's Not Even Available

The omnichannel thesis demanded that you sell the same items in every channel at the same price ... and if the item is backordered you pull it from your website so you "don't disappoint the customer". Which of course was "code" from vendors to use software to improve your supply chain and then have outstanding website functionality that required more 3rd party payments.

Others stuff omnichannel theory in the meat grinder. Headphones.com (yeah, them again) has been hyping this new iem for a month ... it was available for the first time two weeks ago. It's draped all over their home page.

Buy it now? You bet! Look what happens when you try to buy it now.

Oh, it's sold out. If you want it, you can pay now to reserve it.

It is really that popular that they couldn't procure enough units to get through the first week? A quick check of the internet suggests other websites are backordered as well ... however ... this could be a marketing ploy to limit inventory to create a buzz. If so, it's another hybrid marketing/merchandising tactic to create FOMO.

I wanted to see if Headphones.com posted a review of the item. When I get to the review page, I find a new review (via an in-house influencer) of a seven-year-old item (click here: https://headphones.com/blogs/reviews/sennheiser-hd-569-sennheisers-best-kept-secret). They're reviewing items that are seven years old. When is the last time you bothered to communicate to your customers how much you love seven-year-old items you sell?

A few weeks ago, an Executive emailed me, telling me he was "locked into his paper contract for the rest of the year". Think about that statement for a moment. Catalog brands are locked into inflexibility ... meanwhile your online competitors are creating FOMO over a brand new item (which is allegedly sold out) and a (checks notes) seven year old item.

  • Brand A is marketing to satisfy a paper rep.
  • Brand B is creating FOMO over new items and seven-year-old items (the older item being hyped by an in-house influencer), sans paper.

This is where some of my readers will tell me that the print-centric brand "can" hype new items and seven-year old items. True. Describe why it doesn't happen.

These are subtle differences in selling that result in big differences in how a brand is perceived.

P.S.:  Did you read about the omnichannel catastrophe known as Walgreens (click here: https://x.com/cnnbrk/status/1806299944929611811). A quarter of their stores are unprofitable, many of those stores will be closed. Apparently things aren't great at the corner of happy and healthy. Meanwhile, have you heard the Amazon Pharmacy commercial on (checks notes) radio? On radio! They talk about standing in line at the pharmacy, hearing the guy complain about his gout ... "the only thing more painful than gout is having to listen to somebody talk about gout". Amazon is using (checks notes) radio to force Walgreens to close more stores. Omnichannel!!

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