2005 was a great year for e-business.
Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen//NetRatings, and Harris Interactive Inc. reported online sales grew 30 percent year over year this holiday season. That’s great news. If you were one of the businesses that experienced this level of growth (or better), your online business should get lots more attention in 2006. On the downside, you’ll be challenged to hit some lofty growth goals.
A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts and advice on what you should work on in 2006. This week, I want to share some profound wisdom from my friend Sam Decker, former e-commerce and customer-centricity leader at Dell. Decker recently joined Bazaarvoice, a new company providing managed technology and services to bring word of mouth closer to a company’s online experience (it’s still in stealth mode, and, in full disclosure, I’m an advisor to the company).
Bottom line: when it comes to online success, Decker knows what he’s talking about. He spent seven years at Dell, four of them leading the consumer site, Dell.com, to double conversion annually in the midst of a struggling PC industry and online sales slowdown after the dot-com crash. By 2003, Dell’s consumer online sales reached $3.5 billion, making it the largest e-commerce site (according to comScore).
For several years, I’ve tapped Decker’s expertise and shared his advice in this column as well as my recent book, “Call to Action.” I asked him to reflect on his 13 years of online experience and share his top 10 principles for lasting e-business success. Like orange juice concentrate, below I’ve attempted to squeeze in as much of Decker’s great ideas on e-business strategy, operations, metrics, and merchandising: