Five eCommerce Tips from eTail East Day One

August 14, 2013

This week I’m attending eTail East, the leading practitioners conference for the online and omni-channel e-commerce industry taking place in Philadelphia.

I wanted to share with you my thoughts and what I have learned. Here are some awesome quotes, lessons and ideas from the first day of this awesome conference:

1. Focus on wonderful content – no matter how small you are

To stand out and differentiate as a retailer, you need to invest in proprietary content.  Content will get you noticed, not just by customers, but will also significantly help with search engine optimization.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 9.12.26 AM

Claire Mazur is the co-founder of a four-person startup, “Of A Kind”, which sells unique, limited run products by up and coming artists. Her co-founder has a magazine background and writes a newsletter that announces upcoming new products and creates anticipation: only limited quantities, between 20 and 50, will be available. The newsletter consistently gets a 30% open rate. Amazing! How do they do it? They pair their unique items with eye-catching content while relating back to pop culture and everyday life events and locations, such as Wednesday from the Adams Family, or Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not only are they selling unique, beautiful items, but they are making it enjoyable for one to look at, read about, enjoy and look forward to the next set of items, creating that impressive 30% open rate. See what I mean on how powerful content can be! video review, a property of Summit Sports, aims to provide a better than real store experience through videotaped reviews by different types of skiers. You’ll be hard pressed to find a ski store that has a wide variety of skiers on staff that have actually tried out every single pair of skis and can give helpful insight. In this case, has taken the type of content that matters most to their customers – word of mouth – and made it available on their website so that a potential customer may feel more comfortable purchasing a product in which they have heard from skiers like themselves and how they feel about the product. I myself was so convinced; I almost bought a pair skis after viewing’s video content. Raw video content. Brilliant.

2. Make the shopping experience entertaining

What‘s so special about a gift that it manages to delights children and adults alike? Little Black Bag has figured it out. Everyone loves the thrill of receiving a gift box with something free, tailored to them, for them and the excitement of not knowing what it’s going to be until you open up your prized gift box. It’s the element of surprise! And Little Black Bag has taken that to the next level by provides an element of surprise to engage their customers - with each purchase, Little Black Bag will include a surprise sample item in the delivery box. This sparks the senses and engages the customer through the entertainment of that Christmas-morning -feeling of, “What will it be?!”

Little Black Bag Surprise

 3. Experiment – collect data on your experiments

What worked last year, may not work this year.

Little Black Bag is extremely focused on metrics and not just the ones you are familiar with: they are maniacally tracking time spent on the site, which may add up to a full hour each day. During the first week after a purchase, Little Black Bag is often successful in upselling customers and hence they track not just “Starting Average Order Value” but also “Ending Customer Value” (measured seven days after purchase). Smart cookies that they are!

4. Shocking! There are still retailers who are not online

Wendi Sturgis from Yext recounted a recent meeting with an Italian luxury brand where their American executives were trying to “figure out the Internet”. Some retailers such as these are only now making the jump to the Internet. If you are one of those, just know that it’s ok. You’re not alone and fortunately you can learn a lot from those who came before you and you can leap frog earlier entrants by making use of the latest technology, such as predictive data science, for example – just throwing it out there. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

5. Facebook custom audiences is awesome – but in very early stages

Facebook presented on the power of Facebook custom audiences. With this, you can target very specific customers through posts and ads – for example, you may try to reach lapsed customers who have opted out of email communications, or that haven’t bought for a while but still have a high predicted lifetime value. Sounds awesome! Even though it’s a great starting point, several members of the audience at eTail East commented on how young the interface of Facebook custom audiences still is. They’re clearly is a need for third party tools to help manage the upload, and list refresh with Facebook custom audiences. Fortunately, AgilOne is here to help with that and in many other ways you can leverage the power of predictive marketing and analytics through AgilOne.

Come back tomorrow and read about the biggest trends in eCommerce directly from eTail East: Mobile, Local and Big Data.

Want to know more? Contact AgilOne.