All Blogs and News (283)

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is often the quietest week for manufacturers and publishers.  Most sales reps are off, warehouses are doing physical inventories, and any retail partners are busy with returns.  If you’re in the office, you’re likely killing time chit chatting or hanging out on LinkedIn. 

However, this is a great week to knock off some key web-centric tasks that every manufacturer or publisher should do at year end.  We’ve compiled our top list of ‘slack week’ clean-up items:

1. Check the ‘Street’ Price for Your Products:  This is a perfect time to take a look at your true online pricing.  We all know that MSRP and List are gamed to support our channels, but very few organizations truly take the…

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What if, as a manufacturer, publisher or IT company, you could predict the future? You’d probably start off by predicting how much inventory you need to carry, followed closely by predicting the next products your customers are going to want to buy, so you can have them ready and waiting the next time they hit “search.”

 

Magic? Not really. Impossible? No. Mining the data you already have access to about your customers and web visitors can give you amazing insight into their future behavior and preferences – but only if you capture it and use it.

 

Case in point: Netflix cashes in on their…

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, so most manufacturers have 'checked out' on the holiday season.  If you walk around a manufacturer's or publisher's office this time of year, you wouldn't think it's the busiest time of the year. Most organizations are focused on 2016 budgets, new product plans, and 2016 forecasts, with the occasional glance at the POS reports. 

To quote one manufacturer: "all of our heavy activity is leading up to the holidays; our partners take it from there. We don't sell direct." That may have been true in years, past, but original manufacturers have a major impact on holiday sales - regardless of whether or not you sell direct.

A recent study of 5,000 shoppers found that 65% of have visited a manufacturer's website as part of…

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Thanksgiving comes extra late this year (on the 27th) which means there are only 26 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. That’s almost an entire week less than 2013, when retailers had a luxurious 31 days to woo shoppers. Now, harried holiday shoppers will have to accomplish all their gift buying in 4 weekends instead of 5.

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…

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Sometimes even Big Data needs a hand. The latest release of Google analytics has added some great new options for data analysis that every manufacturer and publisher should configure.   For those living in the 80s Google analytics is the #1 web analysis tool used by almost every major manufacturer and ecommerce site.  The product is part of Google's 'suite' of 'free' products designed to bolster their paid search revenue; every tool makes it easier to spend on paid search...

The main benefit to every organization is Google makes this tool available no matter how small your paid search program is.  When properly configured web analytics is truly a window into the behavior of your online visitor.  If configured correctly it can even give statistically relevant insights…

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Google has confirmed it - a Buy Button is “imminent.”  The button is expected to be rolled out on mobile devices, and will enable people who click on product ads in search results to buy those products without navigating to a third-party site.  The button, following similar moves by Facebook and Twitter, are a significant departure for the search giant, which has built its business based on ads that link to other websites.

"The rationale is to reduce friction for customers'" said Omid Kordestani, Google’s Chief Business Officer, "making it simpler to complete online purchases."  Trust us, there's another reason - Google is facing significant competition from Amazon and others when it comes to people searching for products and has been steadily moving to be more…

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Google > Alphabet

Google is restructuring and making a new parent company called Alphabet to manage all its subsidiaries This will allow Google to ‘be more Google’, and will allow all the companies it has acquired to continue to focus on what they do best (technology, life sciences, longevity, drone delivery...). All while still making the company all kinds of money.

I’m no business expert, but it seems like a smart move to me...all the parts working together to make the whole even better.

Plus they’ve got a pretty cool url (of course!): https://abc.xyz/

What does this mean for the rest of us? Time will…

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Just Do It - living your motto.  Can a manufacturer sell direct and not kill their channel?  It's a question every manufacturer or publisher asks in every industry  You've heard all the objections:

It will cause too much conflict with our existing channel
We can't fulfill small orders
We won't be able to generate any sales
It will cost too much


Nike had the same questions too, but dug in and took their own logo to heart.  They started a 'direct model' a few years ago; combining online and a retail presence to engage customers directly.  Stores are hard; but online clothing is one of the toughest ecommerce…

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Any B2B manufacturer or publisher involved with public sector bidding and RFPs knows the model for finding these opportunities has dramatically changed over the last 5 years.  The traditional methods of 'formal' postings in local papers or state publications has vanished.  So too, has been the time honored tradition of keeping a 'bid list' to mail out formal documents.  

Blame the economy and the web.  All states now recognize a 'web posting' as a legitimate public posting that meets the fiduciary responsibilities of the city/town or state.   While this makes it simpler to get the bid out, it creates a mess for those trying to find and…

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It’s summer! Are you protecting your skin from the sun? A cool new smart phone accessory that can detect skin cancer early is on the market. The MoleScope is a melanoma-detecting device for your smartphone. It’s a tiny microscope which attaches to the camera on your phone. It then takes a picture of a mole and sends it off for analysis with a team of doctors. If there's any concern, they'll let you know right away. The benefit? Detecting skin cancer early can increase survival rates by 98%. It’s far faster than waiting for a dermatologist appointment, and quite affordable, starting at $100.
Read more here »

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Amazon Tries for B2B Again

If at first you don’t succeed try, try, again…

Amazon this week announced its "new" Amazon business. The service offers B2B level ecommerce to any qualified business. If that's sounds vaguely familiar it is. Amazonsupply.com was launched back in 2006 after the acquisition of smallparts.com. That was Amazon’s initial entrance into the world of B2B ecommerce.

Unfortunately, the specialty site never really gained traction as a true B2B site when compared to its primary competitors, Grainger, ULine, Global Industrial, etc.

To put these numbers in context, Amazon.com had 2.4 billion visits during this same time period. Therein lies the problem.

It's important…

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Join Yeoman's Mike Healey at the 2015 Chief Learning Officer Spring Symposium on April 12th for a review of the major digital trends impacting the education market.  The session is part of a pre-conference event sponsored by our higher education partner Mindmax.  This session is designed for high-ed execs looking to better understand the digital transformation that is impacting their enrollment and recruitment initiatives.  

Institutions continue to struggle with their online presence, often creating a silo'd series of sites that don't integrate with backend systems and ignore the critical 'offline' touches that occur as part of a student's enrollment journey.  The "web" is often dropped onto Marketing without any plans to coordinate…

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March 20, 2015:  This week was a very rough one for manufacturers and their relationship with Amazon.  Amazon announced they will be ending the 'Amazon Webstore' service in July 2016.  Many people may not realize that Amazon offered a private label web hosting, but Yeoman estimates they host almost 2,000 sites.  Many of these sites are original manufacturers like Fiskars, Cuda, Black and Decker, Eclipse, Lacoste, Remmington, Sesame Street, and Isaac Mizrahi to name a few.

For a manufacturer, the appeal was clear:  A world class hosting platform that uses the exact same product data they have to create to be successful on Amazon.  Amazon…

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Recently the US Commerce Department released estimates that Web Sales for 2014 were up 15.4% from $264 Billion to $304 Billion. This is the 5th year in a row that online sales growth has been right around 15% or more each year.  Online sales continue to grow and gain momentum year after year and bear in mind that this is a very conservative estimate. This number does not reflect B2B sales, music downloads or movie purchases, just to name a few big number$ that are omitted from this total.  For more on this: http://bit.ly/1AkWS3r .

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Amazon Re-positions for B2B

Amazon wants more B2B and used their holiday boost to try and jumpstart the program.  Many Amazon visitors (mostly businesses users) started seeing new ads for Amazon for Business service.  This is a re-labled version of their existing Amazon Supply (www.amazonsupply.com) service that has been around for a few years.  The Company has seen some of its fast growth in traditionally B2B categories - industrial supplies, office equipment, basic medical supplies, etc.  The issue for Amazon has always been their inability to support what a business wants - purchase orders, multiple users, and a phone number to call.

Enter Amazon Supply.  Launched back in 2012 it was positioned as a 'Grainger killer' and would woe the industrial world. The separate site even has a phone…

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 This post was originally published 5 years ago.  Today JC Penney announced they were bringing back catalogs.  It took them almost 5 years to realize what Yeoman has always said; customers shop in a multi-channel way and can't be forced into 'online or offline' mode. 

Original Post: JC Penney may now join the list of retailers, manufacturers, and publishers who have mistakenly assumed they can go 'all in' online and abandon one of their traditional channels.  In this case, JC Penney has opted to exit the traditional catalog business to focus on e-commerce.

Big mistake for several reasons.  First, as all Yeoman customers…

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Upgrading Your Car's Technology

For those of us who have older (technologically challenged) cars, there are now plug-in touchscreens that work like the built-in systems in newer cars.

One example I recently came across is the Parrot RNB6. This 7-inch touchscreen, shown at the 2015 CES, allows owners of ‘older’ cars to update their vehicle’s technology without having to purchase a new vehicle.

This infotainment system offers features like hands-free calling, on-board diagnostics, GPS navigation, built-in dash cam, satellite radio inputs, climate control functionality and much more. What makes it a standout is that it works with both Android Auto…

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To Sit or To Stand?

We’ve probably all read the articles that tell us how bad it is to sit at our desks all day long…how it slows our metabolism, increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, and that excessive sitting can even be lethal.

Companies are starting to pay attention to this and are creating products to help us minimize the amount of time we spend sitting. One such example is the Ikea Standing Desk.

This desk is designed so you can use it in the standard workplace mode sitting in a chair, but it has the added feature of a push button to raise the desk to various heights so you can also stand and work. This is an interesting take on the design because it can be used both ways, rather than just sitting or just standing like other desks. This way, you won’t be confined to sitting at a desk all day…

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Master of Science in Business Analytics

Business analytics and big data analysis is one of the fastest growing fields in the US.  According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2018, the US could face a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts with the knowledge of how to use the big data to make effective decisions. 

In response, business schools, including Columbia, MIT, NYU and USC, have introduced a Master of Science in Business Analytics. 

Starting salaries for 2013 grads averaged $90,000.

At GM, business analytics professionals “make sense of big data, mine vast quantities of information, and look for trends in customer and dealer behavior,” said Nate Bruin-Slot, a customer-experience manager.  “We find it invaluable to have people who can synthesize data and suggest changes based on…

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