It’s time to re-think e-commerce – Cyber Monday Rakes in $1.25 Billion

ComScore reported earlier this week that Cyber Monday set a record for single day non-travel online sales in the US. While many online retailers are extending their offers beyond Cyber Monday, this one-day observation represents huge lift for online shopping. I suppose that we may attribute a resurgence of online shopping to the popularity of Groupon-style deal websites – people are paying attention to deals available online – but I also don’t think many Cyber Monday deals included ‘great service’ as the value proposition.

So, perhaps its time for retail to reconsider its approach to online. I talk to many businesses who think that online shopping and pricing will impact their in-store sales.  While I don’t disagree that customer service, brand, and up-selling are impacted online – its time to re-think what the real opportunity is. I doubt that everybody needs to put their inventory online. But I think that what we’re learning is that customers want to be sold – they want to see incentives.

I’ve never been a fan of discount pricing – and its not the only way to incent. In fact I’d dare say that deep discounting may cheapen your brand and attract transactionally dependent purchasers – who aren’t long term prospects. So, why not try something else – like exclusives? Or added values? Or feature products that are unique. But put these online – you don’t have to have a full blown shopping cart. But I think its time to start letting customers know that you value the nature of the relationship. And I think you better start doing it before you get pigeon-holed as old world.

 

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