Monday, 17 June 2013

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A great video on omni channel supply chain, really sums it up nicely:


Monday, 29 April 2013

Bricks and Mortar Retailing is Far From Dead!

My car has been doing strange things lately. I'll turn the key and on occasion the car will hiccup, dashboad lights will blink, then the car will start. This has happened a few times only and at first I though that it was perhaps me not turning the key effectively enough.





Anyway, not wanting to be inconvenienced by a car that won't start on a cold grey night in some dark alley,  I took the car to a random auto electrician that I drive past quite regularly (Gil is his name).

Gil suggested that the battery could be dying based on the symptoms. He started the car multiple times to demonstrate how each time  the car was taking longer to start as the battery oozed its remaining electrons into the starter motor.

Ok, like most of us, I''m a busy guy. Work, kids, dogs, excercise... I don't have much free time, especially not time to hang around waiting for the RACV (NRMA, AA or equivalent) to jump start or tow me.

So I asked Gil  for a replacement battery and a price. Gil said that he doesn't stock the battery in question as it's not a common type. He did however jump onto his mobile, and enthusiastically called his battery contacts and said he could have a battery in stock within 24 hours.  I asked if he could get one today as this would be more convenient. Another phone call and friendly smile, and two hours later my car had a brand new quality battery fitted. 

The point of this blog post is really to highlight the things we overlook when we consider  short circuiting a retailer and buy online for less (or are we?)

1.) Gil gave me a price for the battery (fitted so no greasy hands for me) which was comparable with online prices  (unfitted and excluding delivery).

2.) When I presented the car, he brought out a mini 12 volt battery and connected this to the  terminals while he removed the ailing battery. This was to preserve the million memories that my car has, ie clock, fuel consumption computer , seat settings and many more electronic things that require some current to retain memory. I was impressed by this as its a real pain to find the stereo unlock code, and have to reset the clock, radio preselects etc

3.) The next thing I saw was this awesome tool he used to grip the sides of the battery to lift it out of the car. I would have struggled to get my fingers into the tight compartment space the battery sits in, to remove the battery.

4.) The experience was painless, fast, convenient, and I would never have gotten this done so quickly and easily had I bought it online and even saved $40 or so dollars.

The message here is that personal customer service will always have a value that cannot always be replicated online. So what's missing here. Not much really. Being a digital native my thoughts are that Gil could do with a website, a bit of brochureware, and a few good reviews like people like me to drive more traffic to his website and his business. 


Image: Courtesy http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2617


Google

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Essential cloud advice?

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Top 10 cloud computing leaders of 2012
Our expert staff evaluated the most influential and successful execs and architects from established enterprises and promising startups alike on their 2012 cloud projects and determined who was the best of the best. Find out who made the cut in this top 10 list.
Are you on the right cloud computing career path?
This essential column highlights the explosive demand for IT pros with cloud expertise and details what skills and experience you need to ensure your resume will get you hired and on the path to a successful career in cloud computing.
The cloud computing market forecast for 2013: Experts predict what to expect
Now that we’re getting into the swing of 2013, we polled our expert staff to find out how they see the cloud market unfolding for the rest of the year, from predicting winning vendors to what the hottest cloud technology of 2013 will be.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Smartcompany.com.au recently approached me to start writing regular blog posts for their readers on a topic they did not yet cover, so here is a link to my first article.

Operational Optimisation in the Online and Retail space


Operational optimisation: How to get the most from your business systems
Author: Mark Freidin on   
I was brought up surrounded by entrepreneurs. My father built a jewellery manufacturing business, where he supplied retail chains with mass produced and custom handmade jewellery. He was also an importer and wholesaler and employed around 80 people.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article 

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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I feel the need, the need for speed!


“I feel the need, the need for speed” said Pete Mitchell to Nick Bradshaw in the classic 1986 film Top Gun.   Little did “Maverick” and “Goose” know that 26 years later nearly every Retail Ecommerce Manager would be saying that very same thing to their IT Manager in the lead up to the most important trading time of the year for every retailer on the planet!

Speaking plainly, site speed equals high conversion rates which in turn equals dollars in the bank.  Outside of planning a suite of Christmas campaigns, that are seamlessly executed across the range of digital marketing channels, the next topic on the Christmas planning agenda has to be: how is the website going to maintain high-speed performance during a period of intense load both from browsing and purchasing customers?

This Christmas Cracker usually finds itself on the desk of an already busy IT Manager who is busy trying to get agreement with “the business” on a lock-down of system changes during peak trading times to ensure stability, squeeze some additional capacity from an already overloaded IT infrastructure to bolster retail store performance and populate a Xmas rota to ensure that the department had adequate cover during the holiday season.  

Needless to say, without an accurate prediction of site traffic and predicted transactions and in fact, even with an accurate prediction of site traffic and transactions, finding the budget and resources to implement the IT infrastructure (servers and network bandwidth) required to cope with peak load is very difficult.  

The upshot being that during the Christmas season some online shoppers will be presented with slow and very slow websites that are struggling to keep up with the pace of the voracious demand from the Australian multi-channel retail consumer!

So, what to do?

To ensure that your online customers don’t lose  “that lovin’ feelin” during the Festive Season the answer can be found in a new and highly effective solution: FEO – Front End Optimisation.  FEO is a combination of Content Distribution Networking and Website Acceleration (through software optimisation) that can significantly improve the performance of page rendering on your website, reduce load from your servers to ensure that transactions are handled faster and create a buffer so that spikes in high traffic volumes go un-noticed by your customers!

This combination of content distribution and site acceleration can be implemented within 36 hrs, require 5 minutes involvement from your IT Department, is contract free, pay-as-you-go and has a money back guarantee! 

For more information, contact iceman@hitworks.com.au who will help keep you out of the Danger Zone!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Setting up an online store | Nett

A nice article about setting up your online store... It still however seems to exclude the pitfalls of starting up, creating content, copy, images and data. Also no discussion whatsover about integration to accounting, warehousing etc.

Selling online is like walking through a minefield.

Setting up an online store | Nett:
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Friday, 2 November 2012

iPad Competitions Galore - Do they Add Valuable Subscribers

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I am sure you have all seen the ongoing ebb and flow of competitions used to entice people to subscribe (and refer friends  to go into the draw) to win an iPad. Just today I checked my Facebook page and there for all to be seen, two competitions, one after the other. See image below.

Does giving iPads away bring highly engaged subscribers?  Personally, unless you are an Apple reseller, I doubt they do. I enter these competitions purely to win the iPad. I know this as I recently unsubscribed from an online book reseller after I entered the competition.

Perhaps if I had won their iPad, i would have remained somewhat loyal to their emails out of respect for the prize I would have won!

What are your thoughts?


Infinity-channel retailing

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Forget Omni Channel Retailing, the next BUZZWORD is Infinity Channel Retailing, which sums up the a concept of future smarter computing with far greater artificial intelligence and even deeper cross and multi channel integration capability.

Infinity-channel retailing


Stuart Bennie Writes in an article in Inside Retailing about the potential future,  where infinity represents WITHOUT ANY LIMIT. Bennie eludes to extremes such as technology capable of walking into David Jones and ordering a McDonalds; where  data is stored as a 'qubit' represented by a quantum system such as the spin of an atom's nucleus or an electron, as opposed to the current  model of our faithful transistor that stores '1''s or '0's... 

And I though I was a forward thinker ! Infinity Channel Retailing. I like it.

Click on the link below to read more about this 
Infinity-channel retailing | IR News | Inside Retail:

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Tarocash launches e-commerce platform

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Wow, after all these years, its nice to see Tarocash embracing eCommerce. With the support of Amblique, they are in relatively good hands to ensure their eCommerce sales and multi channel strategy is implemented correctly
TAROCASH: E-commerce site launches.

Tarocash launches e-commerce platform:

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Demystifying big data | IR News | Inside Retail

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Big Data, A topic that has very much piqued my interest in the past few months, and something I intend to explore more over the next few!

 Here is a nice article Demystifying big data.

Click on the link below to read more:


Demystifying big data


Demystifying big data | IR News | Inside Retail:

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