My 2012 Black Friday Experience

My experience at Target on Black Friday. What can we, as eCommerce merchants, learn and adapt to our preparation to the Holiday shopping rush.As online retailers we do not get to see our customers in action. So every year I visit a few stores on Black Friday to observe customer behavior on this crucial day. This year I chose to visit Target and since they opened at 9:00PM on Thanksgiving day it was easy for me to be there when the doors opened.
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Why is adding a new market or a new business model so hard?


In our business we run two or three business models which require many differences of approach and definitely bump into each other from time to time. When working on our plans for 2013 I was considering the different business models and it occurred to me that many companies have a very hard time introducing new models and perusing new opportunities. So in this short article I would like to set the foundation of how to establish a new business model and explore the inherent difficulties of operating multiple models.

First, I believe that when introducing a new model or going after a new market, which in many cases requires change in our model, there are two major pitfalls that cause failure. The first is expectations. This is ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ syndrome. Initially looking at the new opportunity we are blind, to a large degree, by the amazing opportunity we perceive. The opportunity after all is what causes us to enter the new market or add the new product segment. Then reality sets and the difficulties we did not consider arrive. This is inevitable. But there are remedies.
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Five Tips to Prepare E-Retailers for the 2012 Holiday Season

Five Tips to Prepare E-Retailers for the 2012 Holiday SeasonWith e-retail becoming an increasingly competitive field this is not the time to do business as usual. As you put together your strategic holiday business plan be sure to take complete advantage of the latest consumer behaviors and trends. Having an online presence that’s ready to handle both changing consumer habits and expectations is necessary not just to keep ahead of the competition, but to stay in business.

At overstockArt.com we have successfully used consumer behavior and trend research to adapt our business to better meet our customer’s needs. This proactive approach has provided us with competitive advantages in the field and allowed us to continue to grow aggressively and profitably.
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The Fallacy of Conversion Optimization

As e-commerce merchants, there is one key performance indicator that we hold dear to our hearts more than any other: the all allusive “conversion rate.” An increase of 20% in your conversion rate will have a direct affect on your bottom line, and there is no need to increase your marketing budget or overhead. By improving your conversion rate you are growing your business!

The Fallacy of Conversion OptimizationDue to this magical KPI, and its direct affect on our bottom line, we’ve all seen a tremendous surge in vendors offering online retailers a service called conversion optimization. The typical offer involves a few versions of a webpage and then conducting a test to see which one performs best. First an analytics code snippet is placed on to track conversions and traffic. Next, the vendor starts making modifications on certain areas of the website and performs multi-variant testing. The typical offer Finally, utilizing the analytics the vendor proves the improvement generated by the process.
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The Money Machine

Earlier this week I visited a friend of mine who is a commercial printer. With all of the new advancements in technology you might imagine that the life of a commercial printer are not simple these days. However, standing there and watching the giant printer spitting out, what seemed like, thousands of catalogs per minute I kept thinking that a business is like a big commercial printer. We have our inputs (paper) then the inputs pass through the machine and the output comes out the other side.

The Money Machine

Usually in business, we refer to our output as what we ship out, our finished goods or services. But in this exercise, I like to think of output as cash or money. The purpose of a business, any business is not to generate work but to generate cash.
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