How Online Retailers Could Use To Disrupt & Win In 2014 | Innovative Marketing and Crowdfunding |

Content or Conversion
Ecommerce (B2C) merchants are narrowing the "content marketing" gap with their B2B cousins, but the old left/right brain problem remains. Ecommerce requires a strange synergy between right brain creativity (design, merchandising, visualization) and left-brain science (analytics, metrics, KPIs).  

If you asked me the greatest challenge from my 7 year Ecommerce Director tenure it would be finding ways to win on both sides of the content - conversion Rubicon. 

When we thought we had the content dial just right it would tank our conversion metrics. Each time we thought we had conversion set up perfect our "content" metrics like pages viewed, time on site and bounce rates would disintegrate. 

Finding the tiny balance beam between CONTENT's heuristic benefits (more time on site, better engagement, more Lifetime Value, better quality User Generated Content and more of it) and conversion's MONEY was hellish. To The Rescue
If you run a multi-million dollars ecommerce website and aren't using you’re nuts. There is NO faster content feedback tool than (period, full stop). 

Here are ways I would be using this magic wand of a tool if I was still responsible for more than $6M in online sales yearly:

* Test contest and game ideas. 
* Test Q&A content (most shared WINS a page). 
* Find and empower brand advocates (buzz team).

* Watch competitors like a HAWK (with keyword tool).

* Watch my key brands like a HAWK (also with keyword tool). 
* Ask for help (amazing talent in community). 
* Reward previous helpers with profiles and long thank you notes). 
* Copy's brilliant soft gamification and leader boards.

* Crack the API and find ways to build curation as a "channel" with a P&L, a budget and distinct goals. 
* Partner with the team to find common points and tap their community for "testing before you test" ideas.

* Look to create an uncapped incentive plan with team to weigh, measure and value traffic and conversions from the channel and PAY THEM a % of the action they create. 

This last bullet is worth MILLIONS . Instead of simply thinking about the very cool curation tool I would set up "content curation" as a marketing channel with a budget. Next I would call Guillaume and Marc and ask to meet in SF. 

At that meeting I would pitch a mutually beneficial partnership. Instead of approaching the partnership in a static way I would pitch the team on a more flexible and uncapped arrangement. If the "commons" we create together produced millions projected then gets a sizable "affiliate-like" commission. 

If I were running, or especially B& I would be all over in 2014. is an even better example. When I created in the late 1990s (now gone sadly) RedEnvelope was the cool kid on the block. 

Now is being destroyed.

They can't compete against the User Generated Content of or the scale of Amazon. They are in the middle where NO ONE SURVIVES.

Crack the top of that website and reinvent it with the help of a cool tool like or will reach the point of diminishing return where every order costs more to ship than it makes (ouch). 

If you are developing your ecommerce plan for 2014 and you aren't thinking about LOOK OUT.  


Via Martin (Marty) Smith