E-commerce is not different from traditional marketing

Last week, we had another guest speaker, So Young Park, who has various e-commerce marketing experiences. She initially built and managed the 1st generation of an online store for A&E and History channel. She worked at Guitar Center and Musicians Friends, and she is currently working at Oracle. In this post, I would like to share some of interesting statistics that So Young presented to us and her valuable life lesson besides e-commerce marketing.

E-commerce, marketers are not confident.

I was thinking about e-commerce sites. I go to Amazon where I consider as the essential website for my survival in New York City. I go to j.crew.com which is my favorite fashion brand. I go to Gilt when I need some good deals.

They are all efficient, selling well, looking great and conveying true brand image (except Amazon conveying true brand image…) I thought that I was living in the world that e-commerce has finally conquer our lifestyles. However, my thought was not quite right according to So Young’s resources.

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Not many marketers answered that they are not confidence with the e-commerce. The blue bar at the very bottom indicates that respondents who gave 6 and 7 on a scale of 7, where 7 is highly confident and 1 is highly unconfident,  for e-commerce execution are only 43%. This confidence, translated to how well  they are equipped and prepared, has significant differences among percentages, for example, brand building rated 70%.

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Ok, marketers are not so confident with what they are doing on e-commerce. This can be translated that they are ready in terms of brand and everything, but e-commerce is not making right profit that they expected. Therefore, another graph above shows that marketers are focusing on conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization is  important in the case that the brand has strong value proposition.

In my definition based on So Young Park’s presentation, conversion rate optimization is  to increase sales overtime. This should be based on seeing everything in a holistic way such as brand image, audience’s experience on website, and clear and convenient process of searching, detail-seeing, adding-things-in-shopping-cart and paying. What business has to do is selling products in an integrated sense online like offline stores have to have integrated store display, trained sales representatives and layout planning.

So Young Park pointed out that e-commerce is not something very different. It is one of your direct channels that sell your products, and it should be managed better, easier and clearer to increase sales.

In addition, what I appreciated from her presentation was that she made a metaphor optimizing conversion rate to a real life career experience, finding your KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and cumulating your experiences overtime. It reminded me of the book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. So Young and Sheryl put a stress on the same thing: you never know what you will become, so being prepared and learning from what you experience to find your KPI is important.

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