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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Yes. And the truth about ecommerce is…

Consumed => “Web ‘Stoopidity'” by Denny Hatch on Target Marketing Mag.

=> My value add (i.e., left a comment)…

Obviously, no one deserves to be this frustrated.

However, as a web savvy marketer who comes from a systems / IT / technical background, I’d like to take this opportunity to re-spin Denny’s thoughts just a bit. I appreciate his venting but I would prefer to channel that into more useful action oriented information for the rest of us.

In short, put the just-add-water myths aside, the truth is that e-comm isn’t easy. And that those who make it look easy are very good at it *and* working very hard at it. Don’t be fooled by what you see on the surface. A best-in-class outfit is working relentlessly to create a friction-less experience.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that the more sophisticated and and back-end feature-rich (read: enhancements requested / dictated by marketing et al) an e-comm website becomes, the more that can go wrong. And sometimes it does. Certainly, a big dog (read: plenty of resources) like the NY Times doesn’t purposely jinx an order. I’m not making excuses for anyone here. I’m just trying to give some perspective to some request user make for functionality that might be heavy-handed and in turn glitch prone.

Marketers should be very mindful that such systems are not perfect. Just like a guitar doesn’t stay in tune forever, there is always the possibility of unanticipated results. Marketers should plan for those when possible. For example, perhaps if the p.s. in the email from NYT said, “If you are experiencing problems with our website please click here or call.” Obviously that’s not ideal but it’s at least something. The alternative of public execution (via customer verbal complaint) isn’t exactly ideal either, yes?

  1. Denny Hatch

    Hello Mr. Simchock,

    Many, many thanks for taking the time to write and for sharing your thoughts with other readers.

    Great post on your part!

    Many years ago I wrote a book called “Method Marketing.”

    The premise: To be a successful direct marketer, it is imperative to get inside the head and under the skin of the prospect. Think how he thinks; feel what she feels.

    The book took off on the work of Konstantin Stanislavski. He was the Russian drama teacher whose premise was that to be successful on stage, the actor had to mentally become the character being played.

    Stanislavski Method Acting was first used in the Moscow Art Theater and was taken up here by The Actors Studio in 1947.

    Among the alumni who learned acting there: Marlon Brando, James Dean, Robert DiNero, Marilyn Monroe and Sidney Poitier.

    I believe that one way to make sure that everything is working is to use secret shoppers. I wrote about this last November:

    The object is to catch possible screw-ups before going live with the site.

    Same thing with sending important e-mails. Spend time getting the message right; spend a lot of time getting the subject line right and then send it out to yourself as a test to see (1) whether the subject line pops out from all the spam, scams and crap in the in-box and (2) how the final message looks and reads.

    Anyway, enough of me.

    Thank you again for writing.

    And do keep in touch.

    Happy New Year.

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