RedMonk – Analysis for the people, by the people – Interesting consulting/advisory approach – trend and insights based upon the people at the ‘coal face’. A sort of translation service between managerial strategy/wishful thinking and the underlying currents.
The March issue of InternetRetailing’s hitting desks around Europe and we’re able to release the standings after the first ‘dimension’ of the Inspiration Index voting – on “Moments of Brilliance and Delight”.
To recap for those who missed the IRII announcement, the InternetRetailing Inspiration Index focuses upon:
those moments of admiration, enjoyment and – frankly – envy: when we look at another retailer’s activities and wish we’d thought of that first, had implemented as well, or have an open regard for a difficult problem elegantly overcome
You can see the full article from InternetRetailing Magazine here:
We’re pleased to launch today our “Inspiration Index“. Speaking with senior etailers we’re struck by the attention they pay to competitor and peer activity, continually seeking new ideas, better ways and cunning angles to improve their multichannel activity.
What do we mean by ‘inspiration’?
We’re focusing on those moments of admiration, enjoyment and – frankly – envy: when we look at another retailer’s activities and wish we’d thought of that first, had implemented as well, or have an open regard for a difficult problem elegantly overcome.
We decided not to go down a company or ‘awards’ approach since these tend to favour the established large players or the shiny new ones – in reality we’ve found that people covet the delivery capabilities of one, the design elements of another and the promotional campaigns of yet others.
There are six ‘dimensions’ to the Inspiration Index:
Moments of brilliance and delight
Operations and IT
How will it work?
Every other month we’ll ask our readers and members of the LinkedIn group to undertake a short survey on ONE of the dimensions. We’ll then cover the results in the coming edition of the magazine.
Over time we’ll build a picture of inspiration in internet retailing.
Best of all the winners will know that they’ve been nominated and rated by their professional peers — this is not a PR-led or sponsorship-driven activity: you can’t buy or promote prominence — it’s a question of whether you inspire others!
We’re really pleased to be partnering with eDigital Research on this. We’ve worked with them a great deal in the past and we welcome their support as a research partner on this project, helping shape the questionnaire and analysing the results.
I hope that you’ll make the time to take the survey and we’re really excited to see the results!
More in the March issue of Internet Retailing, and of course on the portal.
eDigitalResearch is a leading provider of digital market research, enabling customers’ to make critical business decisions with the benefit of comprehensive consumer insight and informed direction. eDigitalResearch possesses a unique combination of research expertise, marketing background, web technology and knowledge of the cross-channel consumer. As well as providing invaluable research data, the modules of its fully integrated research system — ratings, surveys, panels and forums — can combine to provide holistic analytics and essential market-leading insight. This gives our clients the power, confidence and backup to make crucial decisions on key aspects of their business including product range, marketing, customer service, supply chain, even basic positioning.
Well well – this is a fun idea. Zappos, a US$ 1 billion etailer that’s done for shoes what Amazon did for books, has created a ‘club’ for the “Fortune One Million” group.
The club, c$40 a month membership, is a mix of video content, happy-clappy employee indoctrination videos and general bigging-up of the company culture. It’s all very ‘can do’ (and more importantly ‘have done’).
In addition there’re knowledge base articles, interviews with key staff and execs, and opportunities to post questions.
Although a little ‘American’ at times, it’s an interesting approach from a company that clearly believes in values of staff and customer engagement, delivering great service and in sharing insights. After all, it’s one thing to be given an insight, but an entirely more difficult thing to interpret and then implement the requirements of that insight.
Having worked for years in best practice publishing, training and indeed the structured, state-supported business development sector (with Business Link for London, formerly Europe’s largest enterprise support agency) this initiative is to be welcomed.
That they’re clearly going to monetise the One Million is simply an elegant example of that commercial spirit 😉
An interesting report and certainly food for thought as marketers in particular think through how they’ll make their targets next year – surely a ruthless focus on converting “purchasers” to “customers” and sustaining meaningful commercial relations will come to the top of the list?
So, then, to 4 Millbank to be interviewed on the 7pm SkyNews bulletin about CyberMonday (or, being British, “Mega Monday”).
I was called this afternoon to ask if I’d be willing to appear and comment and of course the answer was ‘yes’. Then I started to feel nervous!
I don’t recall much about the interview itself – I was in a dark room, staring at a focus point and desperately listening to the question so that I didn’t burble. Intentionally, anyway.
Up earlier had been David Walmsley, Head of Direct at John Lewis, and as I’d arrived in the studio I’d thought how composed and fluid he was on TV. I decided to become more nervous immediately 😉
The studio was intriguing: not quite a ‘radio car’, but certainly a compact and lean operation, mainly focused on political happenings at nearby Parliament.
I’ve not been able to track down a ‘recording’ of what I said, but my intention was to cover off how the predictions for Mega Monday were tending toward the blindingly obvious, and how even a scrooge-like consumer was now running out of shopping days to Christmas. Behind the headline figures of revenues (predicted, btw, by IMRG to be £320m today, with Retail Decisions predicting that Mega Minute will be 1.31pm today, with an expected near £1m in transactions that minute), the real issue is that revenues this year will have been bought by discounting. In order to have a higher cash value of transactions than last year, therefore, retailers will need to ship proportionally more boxes – creating an additional strain on their logistics operations as well as reducing their margins even further.
Pressed on the reason for the success of the web I recall mentioning that the web was now a mature component within multichannel retail. The web is used by some 90% of people questioned in an IMRG survey to help decide on purchases made in-store. Interestingly, only 68% of those questioned said the reverse – that they needed to see goods in-store to inform their internet purchasing.
I was asked whether there was anything fundamental to the web that would make it an inherently ‘cheap’ channel, but of course there’s a need to have a capable infrastructure as well, ideally, as a traditional retail channel in order to maximise sales. I challenged the draw of the web as being “cheapness” alone, noting that customers now required service as much as price. In the US on CyberMonday, for example, nearly 11% of all shopping traffic went to Amazon.com – a combination of breadth of product, excellent pricing and exemplary, proven service.
In what seemed like an age or a second it was over and, with a polite ‘thank you’ from the producer, I was back on the scooter heading home.
The kids were pleased to see me on telly (ahh) and I’ve already had abusive texts about being fat/nervous/bearded etc – to which I just say “thanks” 😉
It was an interesting experience and something out of the comfort zone. It was also a chance to get some key messages to a new audience and finally whet my appetite to enliven our plans for InternetRetailing TV. We did some experiments at our conference – see the embed below – but I think that it’s time to be a bit more active on this front.
We have a vacancy for a sales manager at Internet Retailing (the magazine, portal and conference for the UK’s multichannel and pure-play etailers). This is an exciting time for IR – our third annual conference was a great success and the mag and portal continue to grow in terms of critical acclaim (from a demanding, professional readership), revenues and scale.
With new events, supplements, v/pod-casts, goodness-knows-what-else, AND French and German editions of the newsletters and portals, it’s a manic and exciting time at IR Towers, and we now have three vacancies just waiting for the right people to join us.
We’re looking for:
Sales Manager – based in London, excellent base, unlimited commission, at the heart of a fun and expert supplier community. We’re looking for someone used to B2B, reputation-based selling who’s great with clients and not a “sales tosser” (ie talks like an estate agent, always yakking on about “closing”, pretending to discount/’do a deal’, and generally leaving civilised people aghast at their poor manners, short-termism and ignorance).
Country Editor, France and Country Editor, Germany – to launch the French/German-language portals and bi-weekly newsletters in, er, France and Germany respectively. You’ll be commercial, an analytical journalist, with sector experience (ie this isn’t just academic, you need to understand ecommerce and retailing) with a desire to make a name for yourself in the sector. You’ll be mother-tongue fluent, of course, and also speak excellent English so that we can chat. You’ll represent IR at the highest levels in-country, build on the basis of the European eCommerce Forum, and work as part of an unformal, slightly mad, collegiate team.
I have job descriptions, further info, a keen-ness to chat – let me know if you’re interested or push good people in this direction. Don’t be shy 🙂 Mail me for further info.
This is a quick, 3-question, interview with Mark, recorded on her mobile phone. Surprisingly engaging and useful, this is a near alternative to a standard press release.
I’ve long been a bit sceptical about ‘vcasts’ but I’m changing my mind as short, characterful and useful snippets like this become easier, quicker and better integrated.
We were so convinced that we asked NewsPepper to cover the Internet Retailing 2008 Conference. They’re currently editing the ‘tapes’ and I’ll post the show report as soon as their pixel-wizards have slimmed down my chubby cheeks…
I’ve been interested for a while in the tension between “retail” (encouraging customers to buy more) and sustainability or ‘green’ sentiments (encouraging people to buy less – “reduce, reuse and recycle” being the operating mantra).
There are many benefits and challenges for retailers in considering sustainability as a part of their strategy and this group on LinkedIn is a first step to exploring this topic.
Mired in conflicting claims, in questions of how far to trace and cost impacts and benefits, and struggling to reconcile customer expressed claims with their measured behaviour, we expect some lively debates!