|Tue Sept 22 2009 19:29:07|
Blogging Ecommerce from Shop.org
By: Ina Steiner
Retailers are upbeat in Las Vegas at Shop.org's annual summit, which kicked off this morning. This is high-end ecommerce, with vendors offering platforms anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million, such as ATG and Demandware.
Macy's Terry Lundgren gave the keynote address, revealing that he views ecommerce as a positive - the best consumers are those who shop online and offline, and it has developed a number of initiatives around online shopping (product reviews, Find It InStore, Search and Send in stores, Finders (helping people size clothes), Style Guides (like a trunk show online), and social media.
The Search and Send InStores means someone in a store who can't find an item in their size or color in the store, will be able to have a Macy's sales associate find it for them on Macys.com, which is accessible right at the Point of Sales register, allowing them to make the sale on the spot. More significantly, Macy's has built two large distribution centers for direct fulfillment.
Amazon.com popped into my head when Mr. Lundgren talked about the online distribution centers - a further blurring of ecommerce I referenced in Sunday's editorial. Sears and Walmart opening to third parties, and marketplaces offering cost-per-click ad programs, etc.
Macy's is also launching an iphone app.
Macy's may have the best of both worlds - brick and mortar stores, and a strong online brand - now it must show strength in distribution, one of Amazon.com's key competencies.
As Eric Best of Mercent said afterwards, the key is in execution, so it will be interesting to watch as these players evolve into this new world of ecommerce.
I made my way over to the Exhibit Hall, where FitForCommerce is giving tours of the hall broken down by topic. For example, retailers interested in fulfillment/logistics can take the 1:45 tour and visit vendors such as Border jump and CommerceHub accompanied by a FitForCommerce guide to help them make sense of the solutions.
Ross Hart is the company's VP of sales and showed me a handout that acts like a cheat sheet, breaking down topics into customer service affiliate marketing, personalization, payments processing and security, web analytics/data mining, SEO/SEM and more. The tours are going on throughout the conference, and it seems like a good way to get some guidance in a busy expo hall.
As for the gossip picked up at the show: Did Amazon.com lose a key executive (coincidentally at the same time Stephanie Tilenius announced she was leaving eBay)?
I'm off to listen to the Gilt Groupe/Woot session and will report back later!