Friday, May 9, 2014

Ecommerce Entrepreneur: You Can Be the Next “Amazon”

As an Entrepreneur, you know e-commerce has shifted the marketplace and changed customer expectations about the shopping experience. As a graduate student of Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill, Northwestern University I have been investigating e-commerce for startups and have found two articles you will find interesting and helpful.

           Ecommerce is a bear, written by Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn, shows current viable ecommerce strategies and lists out real successful example. Why is bear? Think about Amazon! It is like a bear in this industry – it’s fearless and it’s fierce. The authors observed four strategies in the marketplace to deal with Amazon’s incumbency: proprietary pricing, proprietary selection, proprietary experience, and proprietary merchandise.


           Nowadays everybody is talking about big data. The article “9 Data Sets Every Ecommerce Company Should Measure” written by Scott Gerber gives you the perfect answer about what specific dataset an ecommerce business should focus and analyze. Knowing the strategies of making a good ecommerce business, we need to understand what are the most efficient and effective ways to measure the success. Have a closer look at what user acquisition costs, abandoned carts and ROI are and tweet with your comments!

In reviewing these two articles, I have found three action items you should consider taking.  They are:

• Customer feedback is fundamental and crucial  - Not only does customer feedback help businesses evolve and perfect their product or platform, listening to customers can also have a "juggernaut" effect when it comes to building a business.

 Invest in mobile  - Remember this is a trend. Research shows that 80% of smartphone users use their devices to shop online. In the meanwhile, it’s easy to track customer’s behavior over mobile devices and it is also a better way to communicate with the customers.

• Take advantage of social media   - Building up good networks on social media sites can help you drive traffic and target your customers. What is more powerful is that this is the best way to create word-of-mouth buzz for ecommerce business.

         All in all, customer is always the key to start and improve your business. Try to think and act from the perspective of the customers will always give you a bigger possibility to win the advantages and eventually win the market in ecommerce.

Joshua Chen is an MS candidate in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. He has previously worked as marketing specialist at a consulting firm in Australia and a law firm in China. Follow Joshua’s Twitter @joshuaaachennn

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