Emperor Has No...CLOSE!
know the story, the one where it took a little kid to
point out the obvious: the vain, self-important Emperor
who thought he was wearing a glorious new outfit was, in
fact, appearing in public completely naked. Nobody had the
nerve to tell him, but to the little kid it was so
obvious, how could he not?
look at the current state of e-business. Lots of hype,
lots of pie-in-the-sky predictions, yet the truth is
painfully obvious. If e-commerce is that fabled Emperor,
then where are the sales? Folks online are learning
thereís a big difference between putting up an
e-commerce site and actual sales. From where I sit, the
Emperorís lack of clothes is e-commerceís lack of close.
Sales arenít happening because, while sites are doing
everything else including singing and dancing, they arenít
about running around naked! It's really embarrassing. And
I'm the "kid" pointing the finger!
size of the problem is amazing. Sites supposedly set up to
sell experience terrible customer conversion rates,
astronomical costs of customer acquisition, and appalling
customer retention rates. Itís no wonder the web is
awash in red ink.
how naked is that emperor? Let me paint a clearer picture.
typical conversion rate on the web is less than 2%
(compared with 48% in the brick and mortar world), and
that rate is going down.
out of the people who do buy from a site, 90% never come
back, and that number is going up.
1999, as much as $9 billion in US retail sales were lost
due to slow download times alone, and that figure is
the 1999 holiday season (can you say "most critical
time of year?"), at least $7 billion in sales were
lost to a combination of website and fulfillment
problems, and that figure is going up.
of shoppers who are looking for a specific product
simply abandon their search. Yep, still going up.
of online shoppers resorted to bricks and mortar
alternatives to meet needs they tried to satisfy via the
Internet. That number is going up, too.
of shoppers who actually put items in their online
shopping carts still abandon the transaction before
checking out, and that rate is going up.
typical cost of customer acquisition far exceeds the
lifetime value of the customer.
many as 43% of online shoppers who are
computer-knowledgeable and want to buy still fail.
e-tailers are redirecting their efforts to
business-to-business relationships in an effort to
salvage their companies, yet fail to resolve any of the
not just bad, itís getting worse. And thatís despite
literally hundreds of millions of dollars being thrown at
the problems by so-called experts. Do you think thereís
just a tiny chance those ďexpertsĒ might be missing
something? Plus, itís not just about those shoppers that
bail out. A customer who experiences a bad online shopping
experience tells an average of 10 other people, people who
will never even point their browsers in your direction.
crazy thing is that people want to buy.
That's why they came to you in the first place! And both
research and plain old common sense prove that, while
people donít want to be pushed, of course, people do
want to be sold. Sell them and theyíll buy more;
ignore them and theyíll buy less. Yes, it really is that
basic. Think about this: would you build a brick and
mortar store, stock it with stuff, but then not hire any
salespeople? No? Well then, how can you build a digital
store, not staff it with Digital Salespeopleô, and
expect it to sell? Sure, some people will buy - maybe. But
even then, ďsomeĒ isnít nearly enough. Want new
clothes? Pay attention to your close.
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