Monday, July 2, 2012

Why do e-commerce startups come in waves

Brilliant article on Pando Daily by Jeremy Liew, managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners (and an Australian). "Why do e-commerce startups come in waves."

We need to find our “new, scalable and inefficient customer acquisition channel." Any ideas?

10 comments:

  1. StumbleUpon. Pinterest. Instagram will have potential if there's ever an efficient way for users' pictures to link to your account or site. Even the new Tumblr ad formats are semi-interesting.

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    1. Thanks Fred. We get quite a bit of organic traffic from StumbleUpon and Pinterest. We recently set up a Pinterest page and added Pin buttons to our shoe designer so we'll start exploring that further. I've seen some businesses do really well on Instagram too so that's another good one.

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  2. What was your previous customer acquisition model? Google ads? Or multiple techniques? started an e-commerce site last year with only Facebook fanpage promotions, Now have 10,000+ FB fans and 500+ real customers. It is definately harder on FB now as there are more fan pages vying for attention and most FB fanpage posts are now Internet memes (annoying). Pinterest is interesting for the female demographic and is probably worth exploring. Would you ever go with a celebrity endorsement if they loved your shoes?

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    1. Hi Costa, we've been mostly word of mouth and PR to date. Now we're hiring out a marketing team we're keen to explore some paid channels. We've had a few celebrity endorsements along the way but not a lot of success with them so far, keen to keep exploring that though.

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  3. StubleUpon is quite cheap, as Fred mentioned, but I am not sure it will be easy to engage your target demographic.

    A bit ludicrous maybe, but how about an offline strategy for customer acquisition: pop-up stores or stores in airports, where there is an endless traffic of new potential customers? I imagine traveling business-women would be a great target for SoP. Some shoes to show the quality, a lot of touchscreen kiosks to browse the site, and a strategy to gather emails - very little real estate is needed (hence - the (in)efficiency). This could burn quite a bit of cash, though...

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    1. The offline strategy is a good one and something we're exploring. Watch this space!

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  4. As a straight advertising channel try Plenty of Fish. Its better ROI depending on the product and I'm confident (though of course you'll need to test) that shoes could be sold to the dating crowd.

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    1. Plenty of Fish is one we haven't considered, will add that to the list to experiment with. Thanks Vagon!

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  5. Left of field...podcasts.
    Its affiliate marketing-esque, in a good way though! Certainly a captive, and repeatable, audience. The fans of the podcast have loyalty to the podcast itself, and by buying via the podcast, they are helping it survive.

    NFI on what the going cost for a mention is, I dare say its dictated by the audience size?

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  6. Michael, how's the overseas counterpart doing for you guys? if i'm not mistaken you guys have a Dutch and also Japanese partners. do you think this is a good revenue channel or rather a branding exercise - considering you guys can't really control the communication in those non-english areas.. or maybe i don't know what i'm talking about.

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