Ecommerce provides great opportunities to generate sales leads through word of mouth and direct to consumer marketing.  I am not referring the marketing you perform through Facebook or Twitter or Google+ though because those outlets when utilized for marketing the brand or marketing products are another form of mass marketing.  I am referring to more organic marketing in the form of offers customized for the individual based on purchase and shopping history.  I am also referring to word of mouth marketing from your current customer base that you can utilize as leads to additional sales and specific products to offer these types of customers.  All of this can be achieved from big data analysis.


Remember in a previous discussion I mentioned that big data can provide vast amounts of information collected from eCommerce shopping and eCommerce purchases.  One area that can be improved through the analysis of this information is sales forecasting and planning.  Well another area that can be improved is the sales lead and sales generation customized for specific customers and customer interests.  This is where your customer loyalty programs come into play; the customer loyalty program will provide the customer background to allow grouping and analysis by different groups, including geographic purchasing and shopping data down to the individual customer.  This customer information when included in the sales and shopping information will allow you to focus your sales efforts to the specific customers and geographic regions more effectively.


Next you need to explore the capabilities of focused ads in search engines such as Google and social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.  As an example, Google adsense also provides a means to generate sales leads through advertising on blogs and club sites that can be effective means of targeting specific groups of customers.  The combination of analytical data with the focused web site delivery will bring additional sales leads that would not be possible through traditional means. 


Finally don’t forget customer word of mouth marketing which in this case I’m referring to customer product reviews and ratings.  In this area I’m surprised that more retailers haven’t taken the lead from Amazon in requesting and providing customer ratings for everything from the product to the packaging and delivery.  One of the most helpful ‘services’ in this niche is asking encouraging new customers to ask questions about the product.  The question is then distributed to previous purchasers for response.  I think this is ingenious because it builds a community of customers that help each other.    


The traditional means are changing dramatically and will not provide the same sales leads in the near future and for this reason it is important to explore and develop new methods to engage the consumer.  The successful companies in the future will be the companies that recognize the potential and begin to explore new opportunities now.

 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumers’ experience?  Improving the consumers experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?