I’m blogging in my professional capacity over at blogs.shave.com/digital (must do something about that picture). I’ve been figuring out what a medium-sized manufacturer with half a dozen well-known brands (like King of Shaves) ought to be doing online.
We’ve come up with a cheeky strategy that actually reduces the emphasis on our own ecommerce activities in favour of better supporting the other online retailers: from Tesco and Boots to the long tail of pure play etailers who already sell our stuff.
This is going to have commercial benefits for us but also real benefits for the environment. Of course, as a manufacturer, we’re lucky: you can’t do this sort of thing if you’re a pure-play etailer. For those guys the other etailers (especially the big buggers) are the enemy. For us, though, as the people who make and market the stuff, the etailers are our friends. So ecommerce for us is not a zero-sum game. We don’t have to beat up the opposition to win: growing sales through Boots.com, Tesco.com, mankind.co.uk and all the others will feed directly into our bottom line.
And those green benefits will be substantial: a tube of shave gel delivered through Ocado‘s fine-tuned, route-optimised, biodiesel-fueled home delivery service (along with the rest of your groceries) makes a fraction of the environmental impact of the same tube shipped in a Jiffy bag in the mail.
So take a look and let me know what you think of the new strategy as I start to unfold it over at my KMI blog. I think this is the direction that ecommerce is going to take from now on. Etail 1.0 (or paleocommerce) – the period during which thousands of pure play etailers popped up to exploit massive audience growth but with no thought at all for the environmental impact of their activities – is finished. Hope I’m right…