Breaking the E-Commerce Sound Barrier with Matrix Retail!

BOOMBOOM!

What was that noise?

Someone just broke the e-commerce sound barrier!

 

In the third quarter of 2014 Williams-Sonoma’s e-commerce sales represented 51.5% ($587 million) of total company sales overtaking their store sales ($566 million) for the first time!

WS

Even more importantly this increase is not due to offsetting reductions in store sales with the $566 million in store sales representing an increase of 4.8% year over year for the quarter. … Read more

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Logistics, Systems Key to Social Business Customer Experience

Recently IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando was a great opportunity to catch up with a number of thought leaders and frontline practitioners working every day to bring Social Business to life.

Numerous reports have been emerging showing that anywhere from 50 to 70% of both B2B and B2C sales in coming years will be driven via the web through online and social marketing channels making the movement to a social business approach a must for leading firms. … Read more

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Omni-channel Emerging as Top Retail Logistics Issue

December is now upon us and before we know it we’ll be starting off 2014 right, which means it won’t be long until we’re all gathering in San Diego Feb 23rd to 26th for RILA Supply Chain 2014.

Last year in Florida at RILA Logistics 2013, the topic of multi-channel was discussed with 5 related presentations delivered where the challenges of the coming omni-channel revolution were laid down.

RILA Supply Chain 2014 will highlight this ongoing evolution from a discrete multi-channel stream to a full track entitled Omni-channel which includes the 4 interesting presentations identified below: … Read more

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How to Become a B2B Social Sales Machine

Social adoption rates are rocketing and the impact of social networking within society continues to grow. But surprisingly enough, there are many in the business to business marketing sphere who still don’t “get” it. With this in mind I recently put together a fast moving and to the point keynote presentation to open the eyes of B2B salesforces and socially energize them!

“Becoming a B2B Social Sales Machine” in simple, sales oriented terms explains what the B2B social networking sales opportunity means. Sharing how both individuals and ultimately the combined organization can leverage content, connections, context, collaboration and community to drive real results! … Read more

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Putting ‘The EX’ Back Into EXperiential

Every year in Toronto the summer ends with the Canadian National Exhibition running the last two weeks of August until Labour Day. For the first time in 30 years I decided to venture down in search of effective examples of experiential marketing and there were many to be found. In fact I’d say that many marketers are missing out on key branding and customer acquisition opportunities by not taking advantage of this annual event.CNE logo_large
First off let’s be clear, it’s been years since I’ve been to the  (CNE).  This wasn’t always the  case, in fact some of my earliest memories are of my Mother loading up all the kids and making the road trip from Burlington in the 1960’s. In the 1970’s I saw many classic concerts at the CNE Grandstand including T-Rex, Three Dog Night, The Guess Who, Emerson Lake & Palmer and The Beach Boys only to name a few. My CNE highlight had to be going backstage to meet RUSH and having a smoke with Neil Peart when we stepped out of the trailer to escape all the girls going ga-ga over Geddy Lee.

In the 1980’s, 90’s and since 2000 ‘The Ex’ and I went separate ways, not with any intention, we just drifted apart. But that was then and this is now, we’ve come back together so let’s dive into some of the experiential marketing seen at this year’s CNE. … Read more

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E-Commerce Success Depends on Power of Two

Customer demands for more rapid and cost effective e-commerce delivery seem to be increasing on a daily basis. In fact not a week goes by now without my speaking with retailers and etailers that since the dawn of e-commerce have successfully serviced Canada from one fulfillment operation for the country and are currently rethinking this model.

In most cases their national fulfillment operations are either positioned in Toronto or Montreal, as well as some in Vancouver, which up until now have been totally acceptable solutions. However, it definitely appears the days are numbered for a single e-commerce fulfillment operation being a viable customer delivery experience solution for all of Canada. … Read more

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Matrix Commerce is Coming Will You Be Ready?

Early in January of 2012 I found myself struggling with the general terms around multi-channel, cross channel and omni-channel to adequately describe the rapidly evolving retail and e-commerce marketplace reality we all currently face.

Searching for a term that would better capture the full complexity and many drivers impacting the business, on January 3rd 2012 in a moment of epiphany I came up with the term and concept of Matrix Commerce on which topic this whitepaper is a primer.

Matrix Commerce describes the complex construct integrating marketing, sales, sourcing, pricing, profitability, service levels, delivery and consumer perceptions. Inherent in this is the notion of complete customer centricity from many of the above items extending to include customer desires for positive social outcomes relative to cause alignment and even the sustainability performance of companies they choose to do business with.

A mouthful for sure, but while you’re chewing on that start considering the types of real time and rapid processing systems which will be required to support such multi-facetted business decisions, not to mention the reams of big and not so big data that will be necessary for companies to collect in order to make them. … Read more

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Why the CMO Needs to Bond with the Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO)

As the world of commerce continues to become more complex, volatile and socially transparent the need for a strong linkage between the CMO and the Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) grows. In our ongoing exploration to better understand this need within the emerging reality I call Matrix Commerce, last week I had an opportunity to connect with John Mesberg of IBM.

The below Q & A points capture John’s insights into the growing need for C-Level bonding between CMO and CSCO. I then wrap up with a few thoughts on some of the SCM factors CMOs may want to consider as they begin to build out this relationship facilitated by technology for enhanced brand protection and longevity.

Ashcroft: Why is it important now for the Chief Supply Chain Officer and Chief Marketing Officer to partner?

Mesberg: When it comes to both marketing and supply chain and we consider consumer demand and supply, both sides are simultaneously becoming more volatile. On the demand side, you have consumers who expect more. They expect products to be delivered more quickly than we ever envisioned in the past. Consumers expect products to be available in an hour at a local store. They expect to walk into a store and if the store doesn’t have what they want, they expect the store to fulfill that order to make the sale. So the level of expectation on the consumer side is changing. On the supply side, we’re now dealing with a global supply chain with significant commodity price fluctuations. There’s political unrest, supplier volatility, and managing the risk of those suppliers. Both the consumer and demand side are undergoing more volatility than we saw even ten years ago. When it comes to marketing, I tell my clients, CMOs and marketers are the ones responsible for making brand promises. CMOs are telling their customers what to expect of the brand, whether that’s fashion, service, etc. And to a degree, marketers are now telling the customer to not just expect a certain product, but to expect a certain experience. And ultimately, marketers are dependent on supply chain officers to fulfill that brand promise and deliver on the experience. These promises however, are becoming increasingly more difficult to fulfill due to the increase in customer expectations and the challenges faced on the supply chain side in order to deliver the product and that experience. … Read more

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Looking for Growth in Lean Times? Look North to Canada!

There’s no getting around it, times are tough and we may still be in for more of these lean times for years to come. Every company is looking for that elusive source of growth to keep driving the top line, or at least to replace any shrinkage in business from the downturn.

But in difficult times growth can be a hard thing to find and merchants both online and offline need to be creative and on the lookout for any potential sources of new growth. For those in the United States still struggling to find growth in the aftermath of the real estate and banking meltdown I have one word which may be the answer and that is … CANADA!

Canada you say? What’s different about the situation north of the 49th parallel that might make it a growth opportunity for me? Well to borrow a phrase well worn south of the border the first answer is “It’s the economy stupid!” On whichever metric one compares, Unemployment, GDP, Inflation or Currency, Canada has fared better during this downturn. Relative to Unemployment, at the start of the downturn Canada and the US were both tracking an Unemployment rate of roughly 6% and since that time the spread has grown to 1.5% with roughly 9% in the US versus 7.5% in Canada. Looking at GDP, Canada and the US both went negative in 2008 and based on aggressive stimulus both returned to roughly 3% in 2011, however since that time there is about a 1% spread with Canada at 2.75% and US at 1.75%. … Read more

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Creating Expert Communities with Tweetchats

In June #MMchat aka #MarketerMonday chat will be held for the 100th time!

Established July 26th, 2010 #MMchat has become a weekly tradition for an ever expanding number of CMOs, marketers and others working in and around the digital social networking space. And all of us at @TheSocialCMO were recently very pleased when #MMchat was named one of the 15 Essential Social Marketing Twitter Chats by Mashable.

One of the most elusive goals of transient social networks remains the creation of sustainable ongoing communities of interest. Tweetchats are an excellent way to not only establish such an expert community, but to also keep it engaged and growing on an ongoing basis. … Read more

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