Author: lindambustosgmail-com


Ecommerce Strategy Consulting

Edgacent offers a variety of strategy and consulting packages.

BUSINESS ADVISORY

360 Ecommerce Audit
Merchandising Strategy
Strategic Positioning and Growth Plans

TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY

Technology Assessment and Roadmap Review
Vendor and Partner Selection

We also offer custom, a-la-carte engagements – contact us for a quote.

BUSINESS ADVISORY

360 Ecommerce Audit

The 360 Ecommerce Audit is a discovery engagement that examines all areas of ecommerce business operations to identify opportunties for optimization and growth. The audit serves as a stand-alone “health check,” or as a pre-cursor to our technology, merchandising and market strategy engagements.

The audit is tailored to your business’ needs and objectives, which may include (but is not limited to):

  • UX and navigation review
  • SEO
  • Analytics and reporting
  • PPC and paid marketing (including social and remarketing)
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • UX and navigation review from home page through checkout (including mobile)
  • Merchandising and personalization
  • Site search experience

Contact Us for More Information.

Merchandising Strategy

It doesn’t matter how “usable” your site is, or how many A/B tests you perform, merchandise productivity makes or breaks your quarter. We believe merchandising strategies drive revenue, conversion and customer lifetime value more than anything else. We work with you develop optimization processes for:

  • Catalog and Merchandising Architecture (what’s this?)
  • Customer segmentation and site personalization
  • Category-level merchandising
  • Site search merchandising
  • Cross-site product recommendations
  • Post-purchase and remarketing campaign strategies

Contact Us for More Information.

Strategic Positioning and Growth Plans

No online business is immune to competitors, namely Amazon. And no business grows without a steady intake of new customers.

Edgacent helps you formulate quarterly strategic plans for:

  • Competitive positioning (UX, mobile, marketing, value propositions, branding)
  • New customer acquisition
  • Customer retention
  • Customer experience

Contact Us for More Information.

TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY

Technology Assessment and Roadmap Review

Edgacent’s technology assessment helps retailers understand how current systems, vendors and platforms meet short term business and revenue goals, and how your technology and roadmap align with consumer expectations and industry best practices, along with recommendations for next-phase solutions.

The technology assessment can be performed as a stand-alone “health check,” or a pre-cursor to vendor and partner evaluation.

Contact Us for More Information.

Technology Vendor and Partner Evaluation

In Edgacent’s 50 years’ combined experience in the ecommerce and marketing technology space, we’ve engaged in hundreds of projects and conversations with online retailers, vendors, analysts and systems integrators, and have a unique understanding of the entire ecommerce landscape from all sides. Unlike the typical RFP-driven process, which often fails to uncover critical aspects that can cause implementations to exceed budgets and timelines, our process
thoroughly validates the use cases to expedite your project timeline and ensure realized costs come closer in line with your budget and go-live targets than the typical implementation.

We can help you evaluate a range of commerce-related technologies, not limited to ecommerce platforms, personalization engines, site search, CMS, PIM and OMS, including implementation partners. Unlike many technology advisors, we have no “kickback” relationships with vendors, and are driven by your project’s objectives.

Contact Us for More Information.

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Friction on Purpose: REI’s Ballsy Black Friday Home Page

In my 8 years covering the ecommerce industry, I’ve never seen an online shop so enthusiastically discourage visitors from shopping.
REI’s Black Friday boycott #OptOutside, which shuttered 143 of its physical stores on the biggest shopping day of the year to allow employees and customers to enjoy the great outdoors, was the ultimate expression of the outdoor gear retailer’s core values.

While its online store stayed live, its design and calls to action on its home page were clear – go outside.

We hope you’ll join us outside today

For the rebellious that forged ahead, clicking that Continue link, this screen emerged (with conspicuous use of social proof):

Today we’re closing our doors and going outside. We hope you’ll come with us.

Oh! A million backpackers can’t be wrong! #thepressure

Why this works…for REI

I love this campaign. Not only because it’s such a bad ass response to the discounted, door-crashing frenzy that is the day post-turkey, it’s so on brand for REI. The campaign won the support of several National State Parks (offering free admissions on 11/27).

Outdoor Research, an outdoor gear manufacturer from Washington State pledged to donate $10 for every photo tagged with #optoutside #outdoorresearch to Paradox Sports, a non-profit that provides specialized equipment to folks with disabilities to enjoy outdoor adventures (a cause very close to my own heart!)

In fairness, REI’s less likely to suffer from the sales sacrifice than many other retailers. As a co-op, REI’s customers are owners. In our fickle digital economy, this is about as committed as you can get. These folks will place their orders this season, one way or another.

Would this work for other retailers? They’d feel the hit for sure. And now that it’s been done, the positive brand impact of the novelty has already been absorbed by REI.

The social response

While REI likely had a bleak Black Friday in terms of sales, its hashtag was a win on social media, with some envy-inducing photos published by those that chose to #OptOutside.

view

And some less envy-inducing 😉

danny

While some cheated a little…

then-mall

This may just be a new Black Friday tradition.

new-tradition

What is the Edgacent Possible?

In 2002, Stuart Kauffman introduced the theory of the adjacent possible – a concept that biological systems don’t make radical, divergent changes as they evolve, instead, they make smaller, incremental changes over time that consume relatively less energy.

The concept of the adjacent possible has been embraced in the business context by authors like Steven Johnson in “Where Good Ideas Come From.” In ecommerce, the idea is business transformation happens by exploring and leveraging the right-beside-you opportunities on a continual basis, not on radical, long-term and high risk investments.

As a digital business leader, you’re challenged with surviving and winning in an ever-evolving ecosystem of disruptive technologies and competitors. Nothing stays static. Amazon takes 1 of every 2 dollars spent online. Facebook, Google and other social networks want to own your sales on their own platforms. Advancing technologies mean customers demand your site be compatible on whichever screen they’re using in the moment, and take no longer than 2 seconds to load.

What’s more, the digital space is filled with a lot of trendy hype. While some marketing tactics and technology innovations may be adjacent – within your reach and seemingly “no brainer” value add to your business, they’re not all worth the time and effort because they are just hype. Exploring them ends up costing far more in time and resources and lack-lustre customer experiences. And we’ve seen countless shiny objects come and go in our over 50 years of combined experience in this industry.

The Edgacent Possible is selecting the right investments that will truly give you the edge and hit your short and long term revenue targets. Our team of seasoned ecommerce leaders and analysts are here to give you the answers, beyond the trends, the vendor sales pitches and the pay-for-play tradeshow floors.

We help ecommerce leaders small and large with vendor selection, customer experience and online marketing strategy. If you’re ready to explore the Edgacent Possible, contact us today!