More than 10,000 retail executives and business service providers gathered in Chicago last week to attend the annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) at the McCormick Place convention center. IRCE did not disappoint. The show once again maintained its position as the place-to-be for thought leadership and guidance for optimized eCommerce growth during the coming year. There was plenty to do and see – in fact, there were more sessions and exhibit spaces than there was time to see them all. So, if you missed this year’s event – or couldn’t pack it all into your schedule – we’ve compiled a quick recap of the show’s highlights and key take-aways.
Innovators Will Lead the Pack
In case you haven’t heard Amazonification is real, and chances are it will eventually effect your eCommerce business – if it hasn’t already. Amazonification is one of the latest buzzwords intended to refer to the eCommerce giant’s strategy of selling everything at the lowest price. The numbers don’t lie: the eCommerce marketplace is dominated by Amazon. But how can eTail merchants compete? The answer is to become an innovator.
During his keynote address on Thursday, 1-800-Flowers.com President Chris McCann shared his take on the risks posed by the need for continual innovation and detailed the rewards innovation has delivered for his eCommerce business. The key to success against Amazon and other big box giants is to create a community that provides your customers with access to unique products and information.
Compete By Harnessing the Power of Big Data
The Internet of Things will bring rapid adoption of digital technologies which will result in a “Consumer Information Tsunami”. When it comes to Big Data the average SMB eTailer may feel like David vs. Goliath in a technology showdown. In his Keynote address on Thursday James McQuivey, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research Inc. advised eTailers to develop “a cloud-based, single view of your customer”. While this may seem like an impossible feat for some eCommerce businesses, the rewards from Big Data have already been proven – if you can manage to make sense of it all. The equation is really quite simple, when you can properly analyze and distill your data it becomes intelligence that you can use to make data-driven decisions that increase sales and reduce costs by efficiently maximizing your customer satisfaction.
eConsumers Respond Better When Offers are Personalized
Big Data is critical to allowing eCommerce businesses to reach their customers with more personalized offers and communications. David Brussin, Founder and Executive Chairman of Monetate, delivered an informative presentation that reviewed the results of a recent study evaluating the personalization capabilities of more than 100 leading retail brands. The presentation focused on results from four areas: capturing data, utilizing data for email personalization, utilizing data to guide media personalization, and website and cross-device personalization. The main take-away for retailers: eTailers who achieve the highest level of personalization create one-to-one marketing that surprises and delights their consumers.
You can start by asking: Which parts of your eCommerce operations are you currently personalizing? Which parts lack personalization? Why?
You’re Only as Strong as Your Fulfillment
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: it’s not enough to have the best products presented in a great user experience. To win in eCommerce, you’ve got to get the right products to your customers in a timely manner to seal the deal and create an opportunity for repeat sales. For most eCommerce businesses, the key to focusing on growth and innovation is to take the worries and stress of fulfillment off the table. This year, our very own RSL Chief Operating Officer Michael Manzione was joined by client Jon Elliot of W.A.Y. Entertainment to present a session in the Fulfillment, Customer Service & Operations Conference Tract, “Outsourcing versus In-House Fulfillment – What it Takes to Win”. The well-attended discussion was moderated by RSL VP of Development Kelly Matzenbacher and provided attendees with the critical keys to building a successful relationship with your fulfillment provider.
We thank everyone who stopped by the new Rakuten U.S.A. booth or took the time to meet with us. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the show or would like additonal information on any of the points above, please contact us at 1 866 955 7793or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to helping you chose the right order fulfillment solution for your business.