Behavioural psychology > Cosmetic changes

Behavioural psychology > Cosmetic changes…that’s what a new report on Ecommerce by Qubit claims. Now, the company it has to be said has somewhat of a play here selling behavioural technology. According to the company, “Qubit’s technology prioritizes the biggest opportunities for revenue generation so you can deliver personalization that makes an impact”. Yeah.

Regardless of this, the report itself is well worth your time. *Spoiler Alert*…these were the key findings in order of importance:

  1. Scarcity
  2. Social proof
  3. Abandonment recovery
  4. Product recommendations
This figures; some of the most successful ecommerce stores are classic examples of these e.g. Amazon’s product recommendations. Perhaps but not totally unsurprising is scarcity – this very concept is winning offline (Zara, HM etc). What’s worked for your ecommerce store? Let us know in the comments.

AMZN Crushing Mobile

As BI reports, Amazon is dominating the mobile commerce space. Oppenheimer highlighted by just how much saying …“At the end of 2014, Amazon had roughly the same number of mobile unique visitors as Walmart and eBay, in the US. As of December 2016, Amazon has more unique visitors than the apps of those two companies’ combined,”.

And outside of Walmart and Ebay, the rest of the entire retail industry is way behind to the point you could be forgiven for writing them off entirely in the future of mobile commerce:


So we have an Amazon dominated mobile commerce landscape in the near future. But long-term, perhaps as has always happened, the Internet will throw something new at us.


The Art of Service in Ecommerce

How products and services are being delivered to customers is going through frame-breaking change, according to ex Apple Retail boss and now Enjoy CEO Ron Johnson. Johnson argues the capabilities of new channels to deliver great experiences through service and information is turning traditional retail on its head. Whether or not you agree it’s an interesting thought.

Check out the full interview below.

A Word About Uber and Services

Most people equate ecommerce with selling physical things, warehouses and the sort but today ‘services’ are hot. Think about the number of companies in the space that are generating huge profits without selling a physical good; Google, Facebook, eBay, Oracle, Microsoft and more. This is usually defined as ‘software’ but it’s actually more than that.

What I mean is it’s more than software that makes services valuable both in terms of the free cash flow they generate and the huge valuations. For example, I came across a piece about Uber in the FT and the company’s plans to launch in Indonesia:

“Uber is a technology company,” the group said at the time. “We do not own, operate vehicles or employ drivers.”

This, the Airbnb style ‘sharing economy’ or whatever you want to call is perhaps the most innovative and potentially world changing thing in business today. This is the use of technology to harness physical assets – in Uber’s case cities, cars and people – to derive new value.

Think about this if you’re thinking about an ecommerce venture; how can you use the power of the Internet to use real world things?Technology is about getting more from less; how can you use the Internet to get more? What has nobody thought about yet?

Online to Offline Opportunity

It looks like Wanda, the Chinese Real Estate (Shopping Mall) company is attempting to do what no other company online ‘marketplace’ has done thus far – online to offline. eBay has made attempts and failed, likewise Google and Amazon to a large extent. Possibly the only player in the space today of scale is Instacart, who ironically have just raised a ton of money to go after the opportunity.

TechCrunch notes:

Wanda E-commerce hopes to differentiate from Alibaba and other rivals like by focusing on an online-to-offline business model. Wanda claims that its various holdings give the “world’s largest offline consumer network,” with 1.5 million customers in 2014, a number that it expects to reach six billion by 2020. The company’s advantage is that it already has a significant number of brick-and-mortar retail businesses that it can leverage to gain customers and data for its online services.

The opportunity is unprecedented – attempting to develop a true multi-channel marketplace model that allows shoppers to seamlessly shop in store and online. How exactly Wanda will pull this off (like Instacart’s financials) is unclear at this stage. For sure, we’re not seeing the rise of bricks and mortar utilizing this model so there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for the marketplaces either.

Are Affiliates Still Relevant? You Bet

I recall an outcry to the story of how Amazon embedded ‘buy it now’ buttons in articles on the Washington Post and it got me thinking about affiliates and their relevancy in what’s becoming a mobile first Internet. As this WSJ article mentions:

“Amazon could use the data it has about buying behavior to help make these ads much more effective,” said Karsten Weide, an analyst at researcher IDC. “Marketers would love to have another viable option beyond Google and Facebook FB -0.85% for their advertising.”

Forget just Amazon using affiliates however, should all retailers regardless of size be pro-active in affiliate marketing? How big an opportunity is it still? I would argue it’s often overlooked.

For example, you can now ‘roll your own’ affiliate program rather easily using software as a service solutions like Tapfiliate. If you don’t want to manager your own program, services such as CJ are still very useful for driving traffic.

The point is with affiliates, in an age where social is often the be all and end all to folks, taps into a very old but successful principle of retailing: loyalty. This is particularly important in ecommerce, you want loyal customers. The value of repeat customer is many orders of magnitude more important than single transactions. It’s no secret that Amazon is number one in the ecommerce world (at least in the west) as their customers are rabidly loyal.

And this is in no small part due to affiliate marketing. Do you use affiliates? If not, why not?