Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Low prices aren't everything

According to, "If online retailers think slashing prices to the bone is the best -- and only way -- to grab holiday shoppers this year, they're mistaken."

Even though more shoppers make purchases online this year compared to previous, their satisfaction levels with e-tailers declined slightly this holiday sales season.

A new industry report released today, by Foresee Results, ranked holiday winners and losers among major online merchants based on customer satisfaction. Satisfaction with the top 40 online retailers slipped 1 percent to an index of 78 out of 100 points.

Retailers were judged on four categories: content, functionality, merchandise and price. Amazon ranked #1. They reportedly excelled on content, functionality and merchandise.  Again reinforcing that the lowest prices aren't everything.

According to Kevin Ertell, vice president of retail strategy at Foresee, “Overall online site experience is incredibly important to not only satisfaction but in getting people to come back and buy, again and again.”

As you plan your online presence for the upcoming year, your website may need an update.  Evaluate your website from the perspective of your customer. Evaluate what is working and what needs to be adjusted for better response and retention. Solicit answers from your customers. Asking "why" and acting on the feedback, may help you to gain better long term customer satisfaction.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is there really instant success?

Everybody fails but very few successful people ever want to discuss it.
Anyone who does anything in the world has to experience failure. It is impossible to have all the “right” answers before setting off in pursuit of your goals. We all know that Henry Ford was responsible for manufacturing the first mass produced automobile called the Model T. But very few people are aware that the Model T was not his first automobile. He went through models from A to S that all were failures before he got it right. Coca-Cola was only selling a dozen cases a week for a long time before they got it right. Even Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 different times while working on the filament for the light bulb before he was successful.

Our society should glorify failure the same way it glorifies success. The stories we read about in the general press and in special interest magazines all make success sound easy. They tell you stories similar to the housewife who was selling her "Best Tastin’ " cookies at school bake sales when her son’s teacher suggested she should sell them in stores. Almost overnight she's a millionaire.
These stories make you feel that you should also be a success overnight or you are a FAILURE. Not true! Go out and fail ... that is the best way to get anywhere. The odds of being an instant success are about the same as you being hit by lightning. If you live in Florida, where lightning has a habit of striking often, your odds may not be so bad. However, if you're waiting for the right idea that is sure to be an instant success like you see in the magazines, you'll never do anything. Magazines write their articles so that you will believe that you, too, can be an instant success, if you must have the “right” idea, just like the people they profile. This is how they sell magazines.
The problem with these instant success stories is instead of encouraging you, they are more likely to stop you from fulfilling your dream. When you hear about a common persons instant success you might find yourself thinking..."If that average person can do it, why can't I?" If that average person really did it and you can't, you're going to feel dumb. How can an average person be smarter than you? No one wants to know that an average person is smarter than you are so you don't do anything about it. Or, if you attempt to figure out and make your own instant success, you get angry because your life didn't change overnight. You get discouraged and hang up your dreams.
We all have misconceptions about the way things work and what will be successful. We are inundated from all sides with opinions. Our friends, family, associates, and teachers all continually tell us why they believe someone else is a success. If they really knew the answer, they would be doing it too. Or these well-meaning folks hinder your success by attempting to protect you. They do not want to see you hurt. They will show you 15 ways your idea is likely to fail. Something to remember, though, the founder of Federal Express first presented his idea as a paper in business school and the professor barely gave him a passing grade because he thought the idea wouldn't work. And that was at Harvard! So trust your instincts and set your idea in motion, regardless of what some people might say.
The reason for your success will be because you are different than anyone else and your product and/or services will fit a niche and fulfill a need better than anyone else's.
If you want to succeed, most likely you are going to experience failure. A “failure” can be a good thing. If an idea appears to flop, take time to analyze before moving on. Rather than assigning blame or beating yourself down because of it, re-examine the failure. Determine it’s cause. Was it insufficient planning? Was it poor timing? Was it insufficient research? Was it insufficient resources? Was it erroneous data?
Don’t let yourself jump to conclusions. Allow yourself to get all the facts , so you can make a well-founded decision on the actual outcome of your efforts. You may find some efforts were useful or correct, however, most of all with proper analysis, you will gain a valuable learning experience
Welcome Failure.
It's the best springboard to your future success.