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Taking Your Organisation into Online Retail – Issues And Challengesv1

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challenges presented for traditional business, moving into the online retail and ecommerce space

challenges presented for traditional business, moving into the online retail and ecommerce space


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  • 1. Taking Your Organisation Online Issues and Challenges Faced by Traditional Retailers Jon Bovard
  • 2. Agenda
    • How do you build an easy to use website for your audience?
    • How do you select an eCommerce platform?
    • Going online: The REAL challenges
  • 3. Identity Direct
    • Identity Direct – over 500,000 orders a year
    • 60% of Orders international
    • Personalised gifts – kids focussed
    • Was 1% online – now over 60% and growing. Fast.
    • Current platform redesign in progress!
  • 4. How do you build an easy to use website for your audience?
    • HIPPO
    • Eye tracking studies/ Usertesting laboratories/Focus groups
    • Analytics
    • 3 rd party tools
  • 5. HIPPO
    • Highest Paid Person’s Opinion
      • “Whatever you say boss!”
      • Intelligent guess
      • Sometimes a good starting point
  • 6. Eye Tracking Studies/Labs
    • “Interesting”
    • Expensive
    • Inconclusive
    • “Ok” for landing pages
    • Not holistic
  • 7. Analytics
    • Somewhat useful
    • Screen resolution/Technical data
    • Is purely objective
    • Does not explain
    • Can lead to dangerous assumptions
    • If not “online” then you wont have any!
  • 8. 3 rd Party Tools – Usertesting.com
    • Is my website useable or confusing?
    • Members of the public – get paid to test your site
    • For $29 you get a video of the experience
    • A written summary of your site and what they experienced
    • Target specific ages or demographics
  • 9.  
  • 10. 3 rd Party Tools – OptimalSort
    • How should I categorise my content?
    • Where do I (my customers) think my products fit?
    • How should I organise my website?
    • Do my offline categories work online?
    • Great for sites with a lot of products
    Feedback from users where your products belong
  • 11. How do you select an eCommerce platform?
    • Pedigree
      • Functionality
      • Customers
      • People
      • Strategic vision and Roadmap
      • Backing
      • Cultural Fit
  • 12. The ‘Australian’ challenge
    • Not all The “Big” ecommerce players are here
    • Limited local presence
    • Limits options
    • Time difference = pain
    The Forrester Wave™: B2C eCommerce Platforms, Q1 2009
  • 13. Questions to ask your eCommerce platform provider
    • Have you actually built an ecommerce site?
    • Who are your other clients?
    • Backing and funding
    • Customer retention
    • Who are the key people?
    • Ask about the integrator - not the vendor.
    • Are you actually doing the work?
    • Find a client that they have lost in the last 12 months. Speak to them directly
  • 14. Questions to ask your eCommerce platform provider
    • What is your smallest, biggest and average size client?
    • How close is your platform fit to my real requirements? (find out yourself!)
    • References, references, references
    • Who is doing the work for you? Meet the programmers and project managers
    • Beware unproven platforms or integrators
  • 15. How much?
    • Minimum $200k AUD and up….
    • Beware false economy
      • Lack of features
      • Poor conversion
      • Human overhead
      • Development flexibility (or lack of)
      • Lack of Roadmap
  • 16. eCommerce platform: What am I actually paying for?
    • Roadmap – the future . Will it evolve?
    • Security
    • Flexibility
    • Extensibility – integration
    • Merchandising and search
    • Support and upgrades
  • 17. Going online: The REAL challenges
    • Structural
    • Cultural
    • Merchandising Strategy
    • Technical
    • Human
    • Legislative/Legal
    • Financial
    • Warehouse and logistics
  • 18. Structural
    • Creating the eCommerce team
      • Option 1: Part of the main business
      • Option 2: Capitalised and executed separately
  • 19. Structural - Part of the main business
    • Advantages
      • Brand control/cohesion common marketing
      • “Shared” human resources/IT (beware!)
      • Shared physical resources/equipment
      • Shared warehousing
      • Lower capital injection
  • 20. Structural - Separate
    • Advantages
      • More agile/speed to market
      • Online “culture” might differ to “offline”
      • Lower risk of resource conflict
      • Run as separate P&L
      • Vary marketing and operating strategy
      • Merge into the main business when/if successful
  • 21. Cultural
    • “ this is how we do it now”
    • eCommerce requires support at the board level
    • Your business is setup for retail. Not etail
    • Probably operating at capacity
    • eCommerce stretches capacity
    • An additional channel adds complexity
  • 22. Merchandising Strategy
    • Does Online = Offline?
      • Price. Are online customers more/less sensitive?
      • Can you vary price of online to offline? (without upsetting customers!)
      • Audience/Demographic
      • Suitability of product
      • Do they shop the same way online?
  • 23. Technical
    • Web developers – unique breed
      • Highly specialised
      • Technical landscape in Australia different to the UK/US
      • Rare skills – local talent difficult
      • Even rarer for proprietary technology
      • Hosting eCommerce is specialised
  • 24. Human Resources
    • Find a good eCommerce manager
      • Not an IT Manager
      • Not a Marketing Manager
      • Some Senior Online marketing types
      • Bring this person in at a Senior level
      • KPI this person
      • Keep this person incentivised
  • 25. Human Resources
    • Other considerations
      • Web Content/Merchandising
      • Web Design/Interface designer
      • Email/Search/Affiliates
  • 26. Legislative
    • Compliance
      • Payment and finance (PCI compliance)
      • Privacy (esp email marketing)
      • Disability act
      • Foreign “eCommerce” laws (Duties, Taxes, Safeharbour, Distance selling UK etc)
  • 27. Warehouse and logistics
    • Distribution model
      • Is you warehouse suitable for direct dispatch?
      • Centralised versus single store versus multistore
      • Merits of having stock in one place
      • Return rates. Apparel and footwear as high as 40%
      • Multichannel returns. Allowed or not?
  • 28. Summary
    • eCommerce is tough.
    • Large scale eCommerce is not cheap
    • High upfront cost and effort with long term reward
    • Find a good eCommerce manager
    • Test your site and audience
    • “Getting it right” is an going process
  • 29. Thank you…
    • Jon Bovard
      • [email_address]
      • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonbovard
      • twitter .com/j bovard