sales (13)

7516556500?profile=RESIZE_400xThanksgiving comes extra late this year (on the 28th) which means there are only 25 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. That’s almost an entire week less than last year, when retailers had a luxurious 30 days to woo shoppers. Now, harried holiday shoppers will have to accomplish all their gift buying in 4 weekends instead of 5.  Last time we had it this short?  2014

That time crunch will put extra pressure on manufacturers and publishers to get products into the pipeline early, and may prompt retailers to start running their holiday ads even earlier than usual. According to an Experian Marketing Services survey of marketing executives’ cross-channel marketing plans, 49% of retailers will launch their holiday campaigns before Halloween.

And this won’t just affect B2C sales. Fourth quarter is usually strong for B2B sales too, and now B2B purchasers will be rushed trying to get their orders in before year-end as well.

What does that mean for your Q4 planning? We predict

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7516903099?profile=RESIZE_400xNow that “the internet” has widely become considered a mature and stable sales channel, a small percentage of the more daring manufacturers and publishers are actually considering cashing out on catalogs and going “all in” online. The theory is, that customers only want to shop online and catalogs are costly and time-consuming paper weights that just end up in the old circular file.


As an online strategist, you might think that Yeoman would be encouraging this line of thinking. But you’d be wrong. We firmly believe that offline and online efforts need to complement each other. The question should not be "offline vs. online," but "are you where the customer wants to buy from you?"


These days, customers think of a “store” as both online and offline and will continue to migrate to the players that make it easy for them to buy – when and how they want to.  


Take one of our clients in the education space. They had such great results from our online demand gen programs that they decide

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2013 was a big year for ecommerce as mobile ads got monetized and social commerce took a big hit - both at the hands of the same company (hint: Facebook).

What's on tap for next year? And what should you be doing with your online channel initiatives so that you can hit the ground running on 1/1/14?

Join us for our popular ‘look ahead’ at what will be trending in online sales and distribution next year. We'll talk about such hot topics as:


  • Will tablet growth slow?
  • Will Amazon stumble? 
  • Is B2B ready for a big leap in activity? 
  • Is social commerce finally ready for prime time?
  • Will Google launch direct ecommerce?
  • How many more retailers and traditional sales organizations will fail next year?


Yeoman’s unique ‘no hype’ approach relies on researched trends and facts to help you plan your year. 

October 24th at 10AM EST


NOTE:  The webinar is free, but attendance is limited. The session is designed for original manufacturers and publishers and preference will be given to those clients first.


2014 Online Ecommerce Sales Trends


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7541234652?profile=RESIZE_400xEarlier this week, Facebook announced that it would be scrapping its ecommerce program less than a year after it was started. “Facebook Gifts,” launched last September, was a program designed  to entice Facebook users to buy gifts for their friends.  At first glance, ending the program so quickly looks like an epic fail.

However, there is a possibility that it was a savvy move.

According to Facebook, their  sales data showed that 80% of purchases were for gift cards. That means they looked at their data, saw what their customers wanted to buy from them, and started focusing on that. At the same time, they unburdened themselves of the logistics of becoming either a gigantic affiliate network or ecommerce fulfillment center – neither of which is core to their mission. That makes backing off of ecommerce look like a smart move.

But what does this say about the larger relationship between ecommerce and social media?

When social media exploded onto the scene, many claimed “social commerce”

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Eyeball$ Make the World (Wide Web) Go Round…

7541288072?profile=RESIZE_400xLast week Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, launched, a project that aims to provide Internet access to everyone on the planet. Yes, everyone.

Along with Facebook, the other founding members that are ready to invest are: MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung - all of which are anxious to help bring the entire world online.

"Today we connect more than 1.15 billion people each month, but as we started thinking about connecting the next 5 billion, we realized something important: The vast majority of people in the world don't have access to the Internet," Zuckerberg said.  - See more at:

Now, why would Mark Zuckerberg and all of these companies want to support such an initiative? One theory to consider: they are seeking more eyeballs. "They're not necessarily doing this out of the goodness of their hearts," Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Researc

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We just finished up the research and reporting for this week's InformationWeek cover story 'Blinded by Big Data,' and JC Penny is one of the companies we talk about. Under CEO Ron Johnson they made a huge pivot away from their private label brands and traditional discounting to focus on a new vision. A lot of the rhetoric was based on trends and stats they continuously referenced when they were on the road pushing the new idea.


Unfortunately, the planned failed and the returning CEO has kept only a few of the ideas (like store-within-a-store) but has essentially reversed Johnson's pricing, private label, and ecommerce plans.  What makes this especially interesting for data analysis is that both have referenced the same data points as the rationale for their respective changes.


Two CEOs, two visions, and one set of data that seems to morph as needed. The InformationWeek cover story focuses on the concept of 'data governance,' which helps establish quality standards and norms that c

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3294931802?profile=RESIZE_480x480Today the US Department of Commerce reported that US non-ecommerce retail sales only grew 4% versus Q2 2012. While 4% growth is welcome news for the economy, that number masks the fact that, while ecommerce is still a small percentage of the retail total, it has grown faster than overall retail sales, jumping 18.4% over Q2 last year.


The official US Department of Commerce stats cite that ecommerce only makes up 5.8% of total retail sales.  We feel this is understated, because their figures include services and products - like gas - that require a physical presence to purchase.  They also don't factor in the influence of website visits on in store traffic.  If you factor out non-web goods and factor in influence, you're likely seeing 20-25% of sales influenced by online behavior.


And that's significant, because actual ecommerce sales  have grown faster than non-ecommerce sales for the past 10 years. The only time Q2 ecommerce growth dipped was in Q2 2009, at the height of the recession.

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The World is Your...Computer?

3294932354?profile=originalIt's coming. The day of working anywhere. Without a computer, tablet or even a mobile device. New technologies are popping up all the time, and one of the more interesting new ones is a projector that can turn any surface...a table, a wall, a couch, you name it...into a touchscreen.

WorldKit is developing a projector that works with a depth sensor to "use your whole world as a sort of gigantic tablet." This technology senses where your hands are on the projected surface so you can use it as you would any touchscreen, even creating your own controls, such as volume dials, sliders, and buttons. 

The technology is still in the development phase, but the thinking behind it and the possibilities for its use are incredible. Imagine creating your own customized "tablet" to do presentations with, to collaborate on, or to work at home using the surfaces around you. How cool is that?

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Once their product is ready, how is WorldKit going to get the word out online? That's Yeoman's work! G

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How Does Technology Speed up Production?

3294932387?profile=RESIZE_180x180Ask yourself this:  What if your distribution center couldn’t support changes in volume, product assortment or delivery timelines? How much would you lose in opportunity costs?


As multi-channel businesses look to expand product and business lines quickly as a key competitive advantage, the speed to deploy a material handling solution becomes a critical success factor. Fast system deployment can be the difference between kicking the competition out of the water and limiting your growth.

According to a recent article in the International Business Times,  Kiva - Mobile-Robotic Fulfillment System founder, Mick Mountz, had a vision for hardware starting way back in 2002. He felt that pick-pack and shipping systems were excessively hard and labor intensive. So he decided to do something about it.

Mountz set out with a goal to "turn the warehouse into a parallel processing engine," and in nine short years, his revolutionary technology and state-of-the-art processing system was the key to Kiva's

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7540331301?profile=RESIZE_400xAmazon Merchants were just notified that as of June 27th Amazon will be hiding (from both search and browse) any SKUs that do not have a main image loaded.  Having at least one image for an item you are trying to sell online may seem like common sense, but this new decree from Amazon actually represents a major step forward for online data quality - and should serve as a wake-up call to manufacturers.

While it may seem absurd to think someone would purchase an item without an image, Yeoman's analysis proves it does happen. We have done data quality analysis over a 2 year period with clients using BOTH Amazon and proprietary ecommerce platforms.  Items without main images were always in the lowest class of performance, but approximately 2-5% of the SKUs had some revenue.

The percent of 'imageless' purchases are especially high in industrial and educational categories that have strong offline sales groups or catalog sales.  In many cases, buyers look up these items by specific product SK

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Groupon is a very stealthy Company.  They very quietly acquired Zappedy last week for about $10 buck.  Zappedy is an ecommerce platform for small businesses.

So what you say?  This is a big move for Groupon.  Their previous acquisitions were either other 'deal' sites like German CityDeals or Companies that could bolster their core offering like US based Pelago who made location focused software.

Zappedy shows that Groupon is thinking beyond the quick hit revenue associated with coupons.  The bulk of Groupon customers are small businesses that typically lack sophisticated ecommerce, crm, or marketing systems.  This acquisition could let them offer a 'full service' suite to customers.

It's way too early to tell if this would be successful, but it’s a great idea. Most small retailers are a mess when it comes to their online presence.  If Groupon can expand upon their coupon model and give them a fast, well integrated solution they'll fill a major gap and open up some great revenue opportu

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Why Croc Sells Direct

There's an interesting article on the rise of 'manufacturer's direct websites' in a recent issue of Internet Retailer. Paul Demery gives a great example of why Crocs focuses so heavily on their own ecommerce site.

"We certainly don’t have a brand awareness issue, but the average consumer thinks we make fewer than 10 products,” notes Chris Ladd, VP at Crocs. "Consumers aren’t aware of all those items because most of them don’t make it onto retail store shelves." he added.

The article goes on to talk about variations on selling direct, outlining P&G's model, which focuses more on product testing than direct sales.  Great story, but the article falls short by not focusing on all the different online channels a manufacturer needs to evaluate.


At Yeoman, we believe a direct web site that clearly outlines products, pricing, and gives the buyer the option to purchase is critical for every Company. Whether you sell the product direct like Croc, or create a system that feeds the sales to yo

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A recent article in USA TODAY looked at the effort small businesses go through to increase their sales. Each time artisans and small manufacturers find a new place to sell their wares, they have the potential to raise both brand awareness and sales. It's an ongoing process with some proven steps, including creating an online store and using social media to get the product's name out, says's interim executive director Joan Broughton.

While hitting the pavement with samples and asking local shopkeepers to sell your wares may not be scalable or even practical for larger businesses, some of the other techniques these enterprising business owners used certainly are.

No matter what your annual revenue, taking small steps to increase distribution eventually adds up to noticeably increased cash flow and enhanced brand recognition. But it can take a lot of trial and error to find the most lucrative outlets. Even the nation’s largest businesses can take a note on that one.

Tips business

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