Takeaways from eTail West Day 2

The prevalent theme in the early discussions on day 2 of eTail West was multi-channel strategy.  Seems like a no-brainer that you need to operate as ONE company. However, based on the questions from the attendees, you can see that challenges *and* opportunities exist within organizations for how to allocate revenue and control channel rivalry.

Another repeated message was “get mobile”. The early retail adopters are filling the space quickly and your industry may already be filled with competing mobile applications. So get busy.

Here are the highlights of my bullet notes from the opening sessions and track B on social media.

Bob Cell – CEO – MyBuys

  • Marketing should not be based on events of the past. Use what you know about the customer combined with predictive modeling to suggest/personalize the experience.

Vincent Ragueso – Vice President eCommerce – 1800Flowers.com – Distributing your Store

  • Building a mobile program
    • Broad mobile strategy
    • Optimized shopping via wide array of devices
    • First to market in their category and continued evolution
    • Utilized external vendor for expertise and speed to market
  • Smartphone penetration growth 20% now, on pace for 40% over next two years
  • Key Takeaways
    • Have a broad mobile strategy
    • SMS – Take advantage of it
    • There will be more eCommerce transactions on Facebook. Get involved.
    • Differentiate your social media strategy.

Jason Bertrand – Manager of Online Campaigns – Under Armour

  • Revenue attribution – the process of tracking, sequencing, and valuing the contribution of revenue for activities across business channels.
    • Example
      • User clicks on display add and go to email list
      • Few days later visit store but no purchase
      • Few days later go back to site and purchase
      • How do you credit and attribute the revenue from this transaction for the activities leading to it?
      • First touch point is the “introducer”
      • Middle touch points are “Influencer”
      • Last is the “closer”
      • Use the data and knowledge from the touch point funnel to help make decisions for media buys and advertisement budget.
  • What should a revenue attribution solution include?
    • Order and sales level attribution
    • Profit level attribution (may need to send profit data to provider)
    • Able to provide product-level analytics
    • View based conversion tracking (email opens, banner views)
    • Purchase path reporting
    • Attribution exclusion capability

Panel Discussion – Decisions to Prioritize Projects
Marc Miller – SVP eCommerce – Aeropostale
Carol Steinberg – SVP eCommerce – ShopNBC.com
Lewis Goldman – SVP Marketing – 1800Flowers.com
Jamie Iannone – EVP Shopping – Barnesandnoble.com
James Keller – SVP Marketing and Business Development – Shoebuy.com
Igor Gorn – CEO – SysIQ

  • How do they approach project prioritization?
    • (NBC, Aeropostale) – Capital budget/Operations expense budget – Review capital expense budget items each month.
    • B&N – Have a 12 to 18 month roadmap. Assign product manager/owner to each product responsible for value and ROI.
  • NBC -Looks at margin dollars by category. Allowed to go over budget if it bringing in more profit.  They setup mini P&Ls for each program.
  • 2010 Priorities
    • NBC – Mobile apps, social, video
    • Aeropostale – Mobile, Facebook, International reach
    • B&N – Digital, Store integration
    • Shoebuy – Selection and service on website, International reach
    • SysIQ – Personalization and one-to-one marketing
  • B&N – Using agile methodology for development

Jamie Iannone – EVP Shopping – Barnesandnoble.com – The changing landscape of eCommerce

  • Presented a video on B&N nook eReader.
    • The Nook is built on the Android platform
  • Discussed iPhone application
    • Store locator
    • Find events
    • Add stores to contacts
    • Promotion – Free coffee if you download the application. Received a free cup of coffee in the store.
  • B&N currently uses 6 different twitter handles dedicated to specific topics
  • Use of weekly voice of the customer panel meeting
    • 15 customers under NDA
    • Connect product managers with real customers
    • They are not paid in cash. They are sent coupons.

Miguel Almeida – Vice President Online Merchandising – Walgreens – Beyond eCommerce Linking Solutions for customers via the web

  • Optimal wellness program
    • Track and monitor specific health conditions
  • 3Cs of Web site real-estate allocation
    • Content
    • Commerce
    • Community
  • 3x more sales value from multi-channel customers
  • Give customers a choice for all channels. Make the channels reinforce each other.

Steve Zapf – EVP Multi-Chanel Management – Guitar Center/Musician’s Friend

  • Interesting presentation blending in video and eCommerce concepts. Quite honestly, I was mesmerized by ZZ Top with Santa’s elf.


Track B – Community, Social Media & Predictive Modeling

Keith Mercier – VP GAP Online – GAP

  • GAP Then – The “push” approach – No interaction with customer
  • GAP Now – Beyond “push”
    • Leverage store employees to add content
    • “Born to Fit” campaign
    • Challenge from campaign to ongoing catalog
    • Facebook contests
  • 3 takeaways
    • Go where the traffic is
    • Aggressively recruit a fan base
    • Be authentic in everything
  • Reviews do drive conversions. Their A/B tests proved it out.

Pedro Santos – Chief Strategist – Akami

  • Behavioral targeting is difficult if you are not careful with the data
  • What are the goals?
    • Awareness?
    • Persuasion?
    • Response?
  • Where in the purchase funnel can audience be found?
  • Akami hosts a shopping data cooperative
    • 550+ web sites contributing anonymous data
  • Predictive Targeting
    • Reach “right” in market buyers
  • Future
    • No need for pixel tagging to track behavior
    • Broadens reach of tracking

Panel Discussion
Cost-Effective Innovations in Social Media that Drive Sales
Eoin Comeford – VP Marketing – Moosejaw
Jamey Maki – Director eCommerce – Golfsmith
Lauren Coberly – Director Worldwide Marketing – Kodak Direct
Rich Lesperance – Director of Online marketing – Walgreens
Prashant Nedungadi – CEO – IM Shopping

How did social media get started?

  • Golfsmith – Polled fan base. Looked for ways to increase followers.  Giveaways to promote awareness and attention.
  • Kodak – Half of product lines that make up 70% of revenues today didn’t exist 5 years ago. As they reinvented the company it was the perfect time to get into social media.

What are the Goals for 2010?

  • IM Shopping – Conversion rates
  • Golfsmith – Increase mass
  • Moosejaw – Increase engagement and excitement – 20 days of decent giveaways.

How do you measure ROI?

  • Kodak – Engagement in social media helps search engine rankings. They have not seen the success Dell has with coupons. They look at brand lift and awareness. They look at engagement metrics.
  • Walgreens – Looks at sign-ups, sales. Realize though that Brand engagement can be fuzzy.

Do you have a dedicated social media team?

  • MooseJaw – Yes. Without constant content and immediate response then don’t play.
  • Kodak – chief blogger, chief listener, several part time responsibilities

Do you have suggestions on tools?

  • Golfsmith – Lots of free tools. Recommend look at Mashable.com

Phyil Arrington – Manager of Operations – The Body Shop – Engaging the Right Community

  • The body shop targets communities that are passionate about the same things that they are
  • Engaging Blogger Communities
    • Beauty
    • Mom
    • Values
    • The beauty bloggers are very influential in their niche
  • Through Facebook
    • Exclusive content
    • Engage customer complaints
    • Secret Santa tab – Each day post different coupon code and then give click through to the eCommerce site.
  • Through Twitter
    • Share beauty tips
    • Retweet influential blogs
    • Announce special deals and promotions
    • Promote causes that corporate supports
  • Investment in this channel is not always easy to measure and there is a definite effect on the traffic and conversion rate on the site when you tap into the right community.