Saturday, May 19, 2007

Online research... creates offline sales

More proof that if you as a retailer AREN'T making a seamless offline/online experience the core of your growth strategy (including budgeting, staffing, product strategy, etc.) you should be by now.

This article in BrandWeek sums up the latest Forrester Research on the subject. Tamara Mendelsohn, a Senior Analyst with Forrester said that 51% of consumers are researching all of their purchases online prior to buying offline. That's a HUGE amount... and according to reports... this is an average across all verticals.

What does that mean? A couple of things: First, sharpening search strategy is even more important than ever. Next, you MUST have a web-to-store, store-to-web integrated strategy at LEAST on the drawing boards... if not implemented. Systems and processes need to be able to support this trend (which by the way the report cites as continuing to increase) and you are leaving more than enough money on the table at this point to justify the cost. Finally... the last traces of doubt about an ecommerce site and strategy should be gone from your organization. This is as important as operating your stores... it is VITAL to your overall success as a retailer in the US, and even more so abroad.

Why Cutter & Buck doesn't need 'help'

Okay... I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I'm a bit of a "golf shirt snob." And anyone in the golf business well tell you that Cutter & Buck is one of the best all around shirts you can buy. Their color selections... fabrics... very well done. However, their online marketing efforts sometimes leave room for improvement.

Case in point. I'm on their email list. I get one roughly once a week. It is usually well designed... good links... etc. Here's a quick picture of it.

But... in the address "from" field... the address it comes "from" is Now... I don't know about you, but... when I get an email from "help" at any address... I immediately think of one of two things:
  • whooray! I got my question answered by support. I'm so happy.
  • OR
  • who's spamming me from a help address? I didn't ask for any help.

In this day and age... inboxes are scanned by consumers QUICKLY. They define spam as "everything they didn't ask for, looks like SPAM -> Delete Key."

Which brings me to the point here. I'm normally not a betting man. However, with emails coming from an address like I'm willing to bet they have open rate problems. It is VERY straight forward to get this changed. Working with your Email Service Provider and your network support team, this should be a simple DNS record change. Should be ready to go in 24 hours tops.

I hope they get their act together and get this changed. I want to see them succeed online so I can still wear their great shirts!

Wanna talk about it... MEEBOME or leave me a comment.