The e-commerce branch encompasses all digital business traffic and is a branch for the future. Big players, such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba are leading the way: if you want to sell products in the internet successfully, you need more than just a pretty online shop.
Progress is not stopping for B2B companies either, quite the opposite: the digital transformation is increasingly putting pressure on B2B companies to address the topic of e-commerce and online sales. In this context, e-commerce is not limited purely to sales, but also includes the customer journey, which begins with the marketing of a product and continues after the completion of a transaction.
E-commerce is still new ground in B2B and there is a lot to catch up on to reach the maturity of the B2C industry. However, there is no need to catch up in some areas. Because of the different legal situations, greater experience in logistics and customer contact, some of the problems cropping up at every B2C conference are simply not an issue in B2B. Three examples:
The price competition which is normal for every competing trader at Amazon, is also part of life for manufactures and the industry. Those who offer exclusive and complex products as well as the fitting logistics can relax for a bit. Everyone else has to watch Amazon’s supply catalogue grow and thrive, invariably ruining their prices.
Personalisation is the most effective promotional measure, and the most important investment topic in e-commerce. Nearly every online shop uses product recommendations, which take the interests of the user into account. True to the motto >>Recommendation is the New Search<< today’s shop visitors don’t want to look for a specific product, they want to be found by the right product.
Good service is expensive. Creating the conditions and company culture required to achieve true service orientation costs money, time and energy. This is why it is important to never lose sight of the ROI and develop a strategy which connects and partly automates services.
Thinking about emotion in e-commerce, it is easy to get caught up in clichés: Happiness and the mood for shopping always appear to go hand in hand. This may be true for usability and the user experience, however, looking at the emotions which make us reach for our (virtual) credit cards, it seems they are not always positive (quite the contrary).
The ‘wheel of emotions’ by American psychologist Robert Plutchik shows that orientation around positive feelings falls short of the mark, because they constitute just a small part of our emotional states.
Marketing campaigns, such as “miserliness is marvellous,” have long since recognised that it is not always positive feelings which drive us.
For instance, it is the fear of losing a new pair of glasses which advices us to take out an insurance policy for them. Anger over exploitation and chemical additives in clothing material leads us to buy sustainably. Jealousy, or the need to keep up, can be a trigger to buy high-end products.
An interesting approach will take the complete width of human emotions into account, and thereby achieve new forms of customer approach. Selectively raising an issue and offering a solution can also make use of negativity. When the client gets the feeling that their problems are taken seriously and solutions are being offered, this leads back to positive emotions.
Topics such as emotional customer approaches will be dealt with at our Handelskraft E-Commerce Breakfast taking place in eight cities in Germany and Switzerland this year.
We are a long term Magento partner and don’t want to keep our opinion about the ‘scandal lecture’ to ourselves. Jochen G. Fuchs (as editor), Roman Zenner (as consultant and Magneto expert) and Tobias Zander (as developer) have already referred to it.
While another device with only one function now exists with Amazon Dash, one will disappear from the market: the Nike FuelBand. For the time being it will still be sold, but it won’t be developed further. Nike see their future as being in the software branch. That is why 55 of the 70 strong hardware team was let go. That it came to this is not surprising, after all, pressure from the competition in the area of wearables is growing dramatically. On the one hand, there are much more extensive complete solutions for the target group from the hardware and software products of runtastic. More sports and more devices, right up to intelligent weighing scales; Nike can’t keep up without a lot of effort.
Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and social media expert is stunned: 99 percent of marketers still run marketing and advertising as though it were 2004 not 2014 – via print, TV, radio, or billboards.
He summarised what is catastrophic about this in the slideshare presentation below. Traditional channels are not half as valuable as they used to be. People waiting for the bus don’t look at billboards anymore; they look at their smart phones. E-mails are the plague of western civilisation and thanks to google, have finally disappeared into the inbox’s very last drawers.