by Gene Alvarez | February 2, 2011 | 1 Comment
The time is running out fast on our early bird discount which expires on 2/4/2011 and I wanted to let you know that we have put together an agenda for a premier event that will enable CRM business, marketing and IT leaders to succeed in this ever changing environment of technologically empowered customers. I’ve worked with my track leaders on the Gartner Customer 360 Summit, March 30-April 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA at the JW Marriott LA Live and we have five tracks that will enable attendees to learn how to create powerful CRM strategies, leading-edge strategies for customer experience, leverage a multitude of customer data to gain a better understanding of their customers. We also have two tracks that enable CMO’s and marketing directors to see the latest industry leading trends in integrated and digital marketing. To view the full agenda, review our speaker lineup or download a PDF of the brochure, go to gartner.com/us/crm
Also if you want to follow Gartner Customer 360 via twitter look for this hash tag #GartnerCRM or join us on Linked in: search for the “Gartner Application Strategies (Xchange)” and select the sub-group “Gartner Customer Relationship Management (XChange)”
Category: Applications CRM e-commerce Social CRM Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags:
by Gene Alvarez | January 17, 2011 | Comments Off
2010 was one of the busiest years for e-commerce since the dotcom boom with many organizations upgrading or launching new e-commerce sites. These organizations were driven by the economy and by moves made by leaders such as Amazon, eBay and others and by a desire to enable business owners to control many aspects of thier website’s content, product catalog, pricing, promotions and other customer facing content. Moreover, these organizations want to reach out into new geographies for grow and to level new mediums such as social media and advancements in mobile phones and tablets. One key thing that is different than the last dotcom boom is that all organizations are build strong business cases with actionable ROI. Therefore 2011 and beyond will be the age of ”Rational Exuberance” for e-commerce. Is your organization ready for this?
Category: Applications e-commerce Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags: CRM, e-commerce E-Commerce, ecommerce, eCRM
by Gene Alvarez | July 21, 2010 | 1 Comment
After reading “Facebook, MySpace Get Failing Grade on Customer Satisfaction” in PC Magazine http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2366730,00.asp I started to think about what is it that I like or dislike about my favorite online community. What I discovered was the stickiness of my favorite online community was communication with people that I am interested me and that I wanted to stay in touch with them.
However because of this desire, I or we often put up with an ever changing and confusing user interface that is coupled with privacy settings that are cryptic and confusing. Moreover, when I do try and organize people into groups that task can take hours for existing friends. If fact when I polled some of my friends I found that some had simple created on profile for work and one for the rest of their real friends.
Yet I (and perhaps we) still returned to use the site. I found myself putting up with all shortcomings in order to stay connected. Now it could be that the cell phones may have altered my behavior as I have grown accustomed to hitting redial after a dropped call. Or could it be that PC software got me used to this because every fix involved a reboot of my PC. Or could it go as far back as electricity and the blow fuse. Who knows?
But perhaps it can be best represented in an equation (Alvarez’s Law, Axiom, or just a cool tweet).
Success is achieved for any technology that can create a desire to have, use or participate that is greater than the sum of all problems created whether these problems are known or unknown.
Category: Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags: Online Communities, social, Social Software, Web 2.0
by Gene Alvarez | May 24, 2010 | 2 Comments
Over the past month there have been several announcements in the E-Commerce market. These announcements range from vendor partnerships such as demandware’s Link partner community to the purchase of minority a interest in a competitor such as GSI Commerce’s deal with Intershop Communications AG, and more. However, the biggest to date is IBM’s announcement to purchase Sterling Commerce for 1.4B in cash.
Gartner is already working on a consolidated response to this event. However for the e-commerce market this is an interesting event from two points of view.
The first one is that two e-commerce Magic Quadrant vendors are consolidating into one (IBM a leader and Sterling Commerce a Challenger). Provided the deal closes without any interference, this event could signal other acquisitions of smaller e-commerce vendors by larger vendors. I believe that these acquisitions will seek to take advantage of the growing e-commerce market as organizations make investments in the web sales capabilities.
Secondarily, the e-commerce market is evolving and this evolution is well beyond those changes driven by a desire for new user experiences such as social software and mobile (more research on this coming out soon). This evolution includes much more than business-to-consumer functionality; it includes global business-to-business e-commerce with industries such as manufacturing, distribution and telecommunications seeking to improve their online self-service sales capabilities. This is where this deal will be one to watch in 2010 and beyond.
Can we see another Dot.com 2.0 with plenty of e-commerce announcements in 2010 and beyond? Yes! We still have Internet Retailer and our Gartner CRM Summit events in June. So stay tuned.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: CRM, e-commerce, e-commerce E-Commerce, eCRM, IBM, Sterling Commerce
by Gene Alvarez | January 29, 2010 | Comments Off
One of the things I have noticed over the years is that websites continually change their UI without much notice. This common place practice follows what many software firms have done to their enterprise customers. However, today I visited a site that did something different. Http://www.corporateperks.com/ offered a Guide-bot (after logging in) that asks if you would like to be shown around the site so that you can take full advantage of the site. I thought this was a great way to be customer centric when introducing new UI features to your web sites. It is based on the idea that not everyone using the web site is in the IT field or is willing to figure it out on their own. Perhaps you may disagree with me or know of more sites like this but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. How much should we help the user when we change our sites UI?
Category: Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags: CRM, e-commerce E-Commerce, E-retailing, eCRM, online selling, web
by Gene Alvarez | September 21, 2009 | 3 Comments
In a discussion with others about whether to Tweet or Blog, and if tweets are of value to the followers, I came to the realization that it is not the value of one individual social tool (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, eblogger, etc). The value is in the collection of tools one uses to communicate with their community of friends and associates and the content delivered via the tool.
For example, a while ago, I posted an entry as to whether to tweet or blog and my followers told me that some preferred the blog because is was a little “meatier” while others preferred the tweet because of the brevity of the response and a feeling of interaction and then my YouTube followers liked the see and listen format. Because of this, I use tweets, blog posts, and YouTube posts as well as my Facebook, Plaxo, and Linkedin status line to keep my followers up to date on my research and other activities.
These thoughts then lead me to think that social tools are just like tools in a carpenter’s toolbox where one saw is used to cut rough framing material and yet another for fine molding finish work and it is the carpenter that delivers the value to the customer.
Accordingly, is your organization taking a toolbox view of social tools or is it just trying to build a relationship with only one type of saw in it’s toolbox?
Category: Uncategorized Tags: CRM, Customer Experience, Web 2.0
by Gene Alvarez | June 24, 2009 | 1 Comment
An interesting story on a court ruling that enabled students to rate teachers sparked an equally interest discuss discussion around reviewing people performance.
As the e-commerce person here, I have been talking with clients about product rating for years. It has been my belief that with all product review ratings the reader should apply the “grain of salt theory”.
Ratings or reviews are only part of the customer (in the case parents and students) evolution process and are subject to gaming by many parties.
Moreover, one rating alone does not tell the whole story; have you gone to move just because it says “Excellent Movie…” NY Times on the poster – Most likely not.
However as the producer of a product or service once should be aware that people has a public forum to use and that anyone with an opinion can shout it out on the internet. Even if that person never even used the product or service, they may just not like the company for instance. Therefore, I thought I would list some attributes that bring value to ratings.
- Depth – How detailed is the rating? – Only the word “great” or did the writer provide information on their position?
- Number- How many are there only one or thousands?
- Timeliness or the rating – Are the ratings current or three years old?
- The profile of the rater – Do they do many ratings on these types of products or services? Are they an avid user of these types of products or services? Simple things like are the male or female can also help, for example male skiers will rate ski’s differently than female skiers, also rating can vary by age of the reviewer.
- Belief in the rating quality – Ever read a rating the looks like the product manufacturer wrote?
Therefore, product reviews are only a guideline they are not law and with all things – “Caveat emptor”.
Category: Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags: CRM, e-commerce, eCRM, product ratings, product reviews, Web 2.0
by Gene Alvarez | June 5, 2009 | Comments Off
An interesting phenomenon that I am seeing is that a company can go bankrupt and yet its online store can outlive the physical business. Take for example Linen – N – Things (www.lnt.com) and Circuit City (http://www.circuitcity.com/) both who filed for bankruptcy and closed their stores in 2009 have new owners of their website operations. (See http://www.circuitcity.com/sectors/opt-outv2.asp and http://www.lnt.com/content/6/help-faqs.html for the stories on the new owners.) I believe this trend confirms that your organizations website is the primary face of the organization and the customers can become loyal to your online operations. Moreover, it is possible for these online businesses either to remain as pure play online retailers or to resurrect their stores when the economy picks up.
I know this may seem like I am reaching here. However why else would the online sites survive the demise of the business? In addition, I cannot help to point out that the Linens – N- Things site still has a store locator on the homepage and when you click on the store locator, you will find a statement that Linens – N -Things is “presently” an online only store.
Now the next challenge for these businesses is to provide a superior online customer experience that makes customers want to come back for more. So as I see it, the bottom line here is make sure you website customer experience can interoperate with your stores for sales, service and marketing or else it may be the only thing left in the end.
Category: Uncategorized Web and CRM Tags: CRM, e-commerce, E-retailing, eCRM, Retail
by Gene Alvarez | May 29, 2009 | Comments Off
Ok, I have been swamped with client inquiries, research and the upcoming Internet Retailer Conference (Come to my session if you are there it will be quite interesting. http://www.internetretailer.com/IRCE2009/session_detail.asp?sess_id=76 ). Anyway, I was up late last night planning my much-needed vacation and being a web person I used an online booking service that I have used in the past. Well, I booked a room that according to the information on the website would fit my family and me. Well when I received the conformation email, something in the email did not look right about the type of room reserved. For that reason, I called an agent, the agent confirmed that I had booked a smaller type of room that would not accommodate my family, and she pointed out some other items that were not offered at the resort. Well after speaking with her, I spent $10 more to book my stay but the agent canceled my web order and reserved me the proper accommodations at different resort in the same location for the same time. Consequently, for $10 more I avoided walking into the wrong room type and accommodations all because the agent had better information than the web site. Ever wonder if your site has the same problem?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: CRM, Customer Centric Web Strategies, e-commerce, eCRM, Website, webstore
by Gene Alvarez | May 12, 2009 | Comments Off
In a discussion on social software and online selling, Amazon is one of the most often used examples.
However, in the examples used in these discussions Amazon’s perceived image is different to each person. So as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Amazon’s business model is in the eyes of the user. For example, if I asked you to complete this question Amazon is…
What would be your answer?
Here are some of the ones I hear.
- An online mall where it enables vendors to sell within the Amazon experience
- A retailer where they sell goods they stock and ship
- A brand in itself representing the bench mark for online shopping (from product research to purchase)
- A destination site (start all your shopping here)
- A technology provider of cloud computing?
- A technology provider that can run your online store for you
However, one of my most popular inquiry questions I receive is “How do we create a customer experience like Amazon?”
Well the answer to the second questions lies in the first. What do you think Amazon is?
Category: Web and CRM Tags: Amazon, CRM, e-commerce, eCRM, Socail Software