Saturday, January 22, 2005

After The Sale

From Keeping it it simple for users.

In all the hoo-hah last year about the 10th anniversary of the commercial Internet, one of the recurring themes was the fact that technology had developed to such a point that many of the initial promises of the Internet could now be fulfilled. One of the most exciting - as one of the guests at our advertising roundtable last summer pointed out - is being able to communicate with customers beyond the point of purchase.

It's long been known that it's far more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. It should also be true that your existing customers are among your hottest prospects for more sales. And while direct marketers will argue that this has always been territory that they've exploited, the Internet has provided us with a toolset that's far more economical to use and can be employed on a far greater scale.

Fortunately, we're not the only people with this problem. Offline retailers have been dealing with this in the physical world of shelves and aisles for years. But one of the issues surrounding the 'newness' of new media is that this industry often feels that it's too new to find solutions to its problems elsewhere. Online has seemed happy to reinvent the wheel, rather than look for advice from someone with experience offline. Part of the process of growing up will be changing that attitude.

Hey brands, turn on your barcodes. Those physical world hyperlinks will allow you to keep contact after the sale.

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