Tag Archives: e-commerce

Marketing Technology that Powers $42.3B in E-Commerce

Quick link:  Download report here.
This was our second year releasing the Marketing Technology Holiday E-Commerce report.  It’s no Lumascape, but it’s damn interesting.

It started as a simple project for me to understand which top e-commerce players were using different Marketing Technologies.  This year, we included trending information from last year’s report.

Here is a link to the new 2012 report (PDF), and a link to the old 2011 report (PDF).  The actual data set that it is derived from can be downloaded here for your own analysis.

I owe a big thank you to my friends at Evidon for providing me this information as Ghostery powers much of it.

AdExchanger was kind enough to write up the report late yesterday and hopefully you had a chance to read it.

Here are my takeaways:

1.  Social.  100% of the 20 surveyed sites were using social plug-ins or another form of social connectivity.  While social is the grouping, this shows the power of “earned” media; or at least the potential power of “earned” media.

2.  Audience.  I’ve been harping on this for years now.  We need to understand audiences in marketing.  Not just online, but in store too.  We’re seeing these top e-commerce sites learning about their audiences by deploying different marketing technologies that could help shape audience experiences, products, customer service, etc.

3.  Mixpanel.  I was surprised to see them in the top 10 marketing technologies utilized.  They are an analytics platform for the desktop and mobile web.    Impressive to see them breaking into the top 10.

4.  Slow decline of the ad networks.  Not the death as many folks have predicted but 51% less ad networks year over year.  Google AdWords was the top ad network (no surprise).

Again, the report isn’t perfect due to classification of companies but it’s directionally accurate.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Amazon, The Data Company, Not The Retailer

Last week I blogged about $GOOG.  This week, we’ll talk about $AMZN.

I find myself using Amazon much more than I used to.  I use the desktop version and the iPhone app though most of my usage comes from the iPhone app.

I’ve tasked myself to think about why I use Amazon.

Price was my first reaction.

Buying online for consumers used to be about price – mainly because you did not have to pay sales tax.  Amazon is collecting sales tax, but from just 8 states but three of those states are the most populated states in the USA including California, New York, and Texas.  Based on a July 2012 estimate, they collect sales tax on 35.45% of the country.  New Jersey and Virginia are expected to join the Sales Tax list in 2013 which would push the total coverage of the USA to 41% of the US population.

So eventually, buying online will not be about saving on sales tax.  It’s about something much bigger.  Convenience.  Selection.  And much more.

Here’s what I basically netted out to:

Amazon isn’t necessarily about the lowest price, but the most convenient shopping (1-click).

The 1-click shopping experience on Amazon is amazing.  It’s dead simple.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been sitting with someone who recommends a book and I pull out my phone and within fifteen seconds, I order the book and its delivered via Amazon Prime (48 hours).  Their search works, their catalog of product is deep and broad, and the checkout experience is headache-less.

I wish every single site and store deployed a similar checkout mechanisms.

At the agency, we’ve partnered with Amazon in an advertising relationship and are working with them on a client business or two.  I never thought I’d be working with a retailer in this capacity, but I am.

So what is Amazon?

To me, in my opinion, is a data company that uses intent and e-commerce to build its dataset.  Sound similar to Google?  Yep.  Only difference is that Amazon is a bit more diverse with its data set as it has the actual sale of product.  Keep that in mind.

Oh, and Amazon also has an entire cloud hosting division.  How much data resides and passes thru their cloud?

 

 

Stores in an Information Society

I live in the suburbs of Manhattan and within an 8 minute drive from my home, I’m surrounded with retail stores… and there are a lot of them:  standalone, strip malls, and large malls.  Many of these stores were built when we lived in the industrial revolution society as that’s when urban planning was done for this area.

The industrial revolution is over.  Long ago.

We’re now in the information revolution.  Many things should change in this new chapter of life but the one area I’d like to highlight is the retail experience.

I’ve had many poor experiences lately in retail locations, even from stores which are supposed to have excellent in-store staff.  The more and more I go about my daily life and see how my kids are living theirs, retail stores need to adapt because consumers are now less than 3 clicks away from buying almost any item sold in any store at any time on any day.  Do retail stores really need to be tens of thousands of square feet and sell/stock everything in their catalog which is redundant to their e-commerce store?

Why can’t retail stores be discovery-and-customer-service engines staffed by salaried product specialists?  The actual goods that I might want to buy, maybe outside the top 10, would be ordered online and be delivered to my home or a central pickup area.  Stores would have a lot less overhead, smaller, wouldn’t be competing with their e-commerce P&L, attribution of marketing would be easier (shopping in one place), and product distribution would be easier for brands.  This doesn’t sound half bad…

Retail needs to change.  Just look at Best Buy.