July Ecommerce Digest

I was watching the Olympic games and was fascinated to learn that gymnasts are scored by two different sets of judges. One set of judges awards points based on the difficulty of the routine and one set detracts points for flaws in its execution.

In general, we assume that the greater the risk, the higher the return. And it’s true. Every new twist, every new complication showcases a broader range of skill. But as athletes strive for greater elegance, flawless execution becomes more difficult to achieve.

Ecommerce is no different. In place of cartwheels, handsprings and somersaults, we have product functionality, marketing initiatives and customer acquisition.

It’s easier to measure success in the Olympics than in ecommerce. An Olympic athlete know whether they’ve won or lost immediately after they deliver their performance. In ecommerce, we deliver our performance twenty four hours a day and the results aren’t immediately known or even understood.

Nevertheless, the path to success is similar. A good product will only take your business so far. To go for the gold, so to speak, companies must create a multifaceted business model that functions with precision that simultaneously protects against unforeseen flaws. This means attention to everything from infrastructure to customer experience. The goal of this Ecommerce Digest is to point you towards a more versatile but secure business performance management.

Why Cloud Computing Won’t Make Its Olympic debut – Yet | ZDNet: While cloud computing would make economic sense for the Olympic computing needs (its systems are running the games, recording results and sending them around the globe in real time), the infrastructure is not in place. Still, this article highlights important issues for the Building Keystones community. 1. The desire for cloud integration for its economic advantages while struggling for a secure infrastructure. 2. The struggle to adapt offerings to mobile environments.

5 Important Tips to Improve your Thank You Page | Boosting Ecommerce: This post has some solid ideas to consider for your order confirmation pages. However, I’m ambivalent about tip #2: offering discounts after the order. In your experience, does offering a discount immediately after an order lead to further conversions or contacts from customers wanting to apply the discount on the aforementioned purchase?

Small Businesses Open Storefronts on Facebook | NYTimes.com: We’ve been keen on corporate Facebook strategies for a while now and it looks like the New York Times is as well. One especially interesting point is made Forrester Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. She is quoted saying that, “Small businesses seem to be having more success on Facebook than large companies.” We’d love to hear your F-commerce stories in the comment section.

Merchants Say Fine-Tuned Daily Deals Are Starting to Pay Off |AllThingsD: I’ve been hearing mixed reviews of daily deal sites from consumers and business owners for some time now. From a consumer’s perspective, who doesn’t want to pay half price for things they want? But then, who wants their inbox flooded with offers they don’t want? For businesses, I’ve heard complaints about the quality of traffic and the costs of promoting on daily deal sites.

Still, the research quoted in this article is positive for small business owners who see better customer retention from this channel than their larger counterparts.

Thrive In The Age Of The Customer: Forrester’s Playbook for CRM | Forrester Blogs: This blog post from Forrester touches on my favorite business topic: customer experience management. Read on to learn about seven trends emerging in the “age of the customer” and leave us a comment about your initiatives to improve the customer experience.