Internet developments travel in a speedier time frame than do developments in businesses that live offline. To capture those opportunities, e-retailers budgeting where to invest may face having to make a decision without the same depth of supporting information that most often drives such decisions offline, says Susan Aldrich, senior vice president at research and consulting firm Patricia Seybold Group.
“Less longevity, less track record, less information of any kind,” Aldrich says. “Everybody talks about ROI. We all want ROI. But ROI is really expensive to figure out, even for what for what we already have, let alone what’s new.” Aldrich will present a session entitled Site Search: Zero Results Ring Up Zero Sales, at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 4-7 in San Jose.
Aldrich says that the pace of developments in the online world may put e-retailers in the position of accepting more risk for some decisions on where to invest. However, those decisions can find guidance in the combination of standard business practices and wiliness to review new technologies and business models.
“I take people back to first principles, which sort of went out the window when the Internet boom first arrived in the ‘90s. But the rules of business never really disappear. You just have more uncertainties than you had before,’ she says.
Aldrich adds that while e-retailers facing decisions on allocating budget should never forget about the first principles they’ve learned about business, they need to build onto that a more creative view. “Here are your principles and the traditional way to think about things. Then, open your horizons a bit and look at some of the trends and new business models and see, do they apply to you," she says.