Michael Ross, Figleaves: Online retailers, focus on the basicsMichael Ross, Figleaves: Online retailers, focus on the basics


Michael Ross, Figleaves:  Online retailers, focus on the basics


MICHAEL ROSS: I believe it’s
increasingly important that online retailers need to
focus on the basics. And what I mean by the basics is
the basics of getting your proposition right, understanding
your customers, and then getting your
marketing right. Proposition, marketing,
merchandising. Those are the basics of
online retailing. What I see a lot of is retailers
getting overexcited about the latest piece of
technology, the latest widget, the latest gadget that is fun
and interesting, but actually has really very, very little
impact on the fundamentals of their business. And I think that one of the
key challenges that has changed over the last four or
five years, four or five years ago, one had to be a technology
innovator in order to be a successful
online retailer. The technology simply
didn’t exist. But that’s changed radically. Most of the componentry, most of
the stuff you need to sell online incredibly well,
is now available. And it’s available relatively
cost effectively, often as a service, which obviates the need
to have complex servers and complex in-house
technology. And yet, time and time again,
I see retailers who see themselves as silicon huggers,
who feel that technology is a point of difference when that
battle in my mind is now over. So the thing is to focus on the
basics, to focus on the proposition, to focus on
marketing, to focus on merchandising, and essentially
to see technology as a commodity, not as a
differentiator.

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