And for the time-pressed, here’s the speed summary of key insights/takeaways. Brilliant.
The future is e-commerce; offline commerce will serve only two purposes: immediacy(stuff you need right away), and experiences (showroom, fun venues).
But immediacy may no longer a promise for offline commerce companies as both Amazon and eBay have announced same day delivery.
The role of offline lies in the value of the “showroom” and “entertainment” aspects to places like Williams Sonoma. The future of commerce is a hybrid model with (entertaining) showrooms + online fullfillment
The future of e-commerce is combining online and offline experiences in disruptive ways. (Chloe + Isabel, Warby Parker, Everlane, and Stylemint)
There is no such a thing as e-commerce any more. There’s just commerce. You can innovate in commerce with technology, but the e-commerce silo is dead/dying (mobile payments are disrupting/removing the online/offline divide).
The future of e-commerce is vertical integration in markets where there is significant markup in both wholesale and retail (think Shoedazzle, Bonobos, J Hilburn, Warby Parker, IndoChino).
Few successful e-commerce companies were started in the early 2000s, although a slew of recent new entrants appear to be getting traction - flash sales, social commerce,subscription commerce and other new “content + commerce” models
The first wave of e-commerce was about commoditization this wave online and offline is about being a “merchant” (point of view, authority, experience etc).
The key equation driving e-commerce is: profit = lifetime customer value minus customer acquisition costs
“If it has a UPC code, Amazon will beat you.”
Before you enter the e-commerce game, visit an Amazon warehouse.
E-commerce is good for two things – price and exclusives. Amazon will beat you on price, so you have to beat it on exclusives.
The only way to escape commoditization and catalogue commerce dominated by Amazon is to a) sell used stuff, or b) make your own products (or provide a marketplace for those things), or c) (possibly) offer customisation
Be wary of e-commerce businesses based on customization – they’ve existed for a decade (cafePress, Shutterly, Vistaprint) and yet none are thriving. Customers don’t want customization, they want great brands and great design, and they want to be told what they want.
The e-commerce opportunity is to contribute to the e-commerce ecosystem rather than sell directly yourself; four opportunities – 1) supply chain innovation, b) marketplaces, c)e-commerce solutions for small businesses, d) mobile payments
There’s room for innovation in the space as long as the ecommerce company creates value for all participants – the retailer, the supplier and the customer
To make money in e-commerce, you need to sell in emerging markets where there are no huge incumbents
Compete in an industry with a grey market, where consumers are willing to pay higher prices for reducing risk, for authenticity, and warranties
The opportunity is to venture into segments where Amazon won’t go (adult, arms… !)
The opportunity for e-commerce success is a) sell to iPad owners (iPad owners are 10x more valuable than non iPad owners), b) mobile commerce (nobody owns this yet), and b) target your customers who use social features (3 to 4 x more valuable)
You can’t sell to people who know exactly what they want – Amazon owns that; focus instead either a) ‘discovery‘ (“the best place to discover the stuff you don’t know you need”) or b) deep domain expertise
to succeed in e-commerce, you need to sell exclusives. You can’t sell stuff that Amazon sells, Amazon will crush you
Amazon is not a store, it’s the world’s best supply chain and logistics company. Amazon is transforming from a retailer to a marketplace+services provider over time.
Domain expertise, live assistance, and overall experience are the critical success factors for success in a market where price-competitiveness and scale rule
Necessary (but not sufficient conditions) for e-commerce success are a) remarkable, unique and branded experience and remarkable, unique and branded service; do what Apple, Tiffany & Co., Coach, Lululemon do in bricks and mortar commerce, but online
There is proof that 80% of your ad spend is linked to your headline. Get the headline right and your chances of a much better return on your hard earned marketing monies shoots up.
Clyde Bedell of Santa Barbara in the US wrote the best selling book - 'How to Write Advertising that Sells'. He outlined 36 selling strategies for ads - here are the five headline ingredients. Use as many of them as possible in your next headline and watch your results improve.
The retailer, which makes products from electronics to garden furniture, and the supermarket chain see the partnership as an opportunity to boost customer numbers, convenience and choice for shoppers, despite both offering general merchandise (GM) including TVs.
Initially retailers focussed on making their delivery models more flexible, encouraging shoppers to buy, try and return. The problem with this solution is that no matter how easy the retailer return/delivery policy is, customers still need to invest time and effort in making that return, and often end up in a physical store for the final purchase. This is evident in the rise of click and collect, particularly in fashion.
When Tesco opened a virtual supermarket on a subway platform in South Korea, it was a revolution in grocery shopping. Now they’ve teamed up with Samsung to open a more robust version of the same concept in Seoul. The store, in Seoulleung subway station, is larger than the original platform shopping stop but shares the same premise: pictures of products are posted with QR codes underneath.
Shoppers use their smartphones to scan the QR codes of the items they want.