• How to Increase Social Media Followers and Sales? Ask Uniqlo

    Growing sales is an important goal for every retailer. How do you do it in a foreign country and a huge market where you are relatively unknown? How do you leverage social and mobile media? If you are thinking along the lines of conventional strategies such as run promotions using social media and create a contest, think again. In the Chinese market, Uniqlo, the Japanese fast fashion retailer, used a simple but powerful idea, comprising the following principles.

    • Be relevant to everyday life of shoppers through social and mobile media.
    • Use physical stores to let shoppers try out its clothes, take selfies and pictures against exotic backgrounds, and share with their friends.
    • Create buzz and excitement around the brand through fun associations.

    The results were impressive; WeChat (China’s ubiquitous social mobile app), users doubled and sales of some items rose by as much as 30%.

    Lessons learned? Be relevant, keep it simple, and think different. 

  • Which Retail Mobile Apps Standout and Why?

    For successful retail shopping engagement, mobile app quality matters. Retailers lag behind in app quality, but Fanatics, Domino’s and Groupon stand out. Jimmy John’s, Michaels and McDonald’s fare the worst. The best performing retail apps meet customers’ high expectations, curate passionate fans, and offer the shopper value in mobility.

  • Producer Lifetime Value for 2-sided Market Firms

    Enhance producer life time value (PLV)–lesson from 2-sided shopping app/platform Instacart’s successful growth 

  • Are Multichannel Customers Really More Valuable? The Moderating Role of Product Category Characteristics

    Kushwaha and Shankar 2013

    by Tarun Kushwaha and Venkatesh Shankar

    The article is forthcoming in Journal of Marketing.

    How does the monetary value of customer purchases vary by customer preference for purchase channels (e.g., traditional, electronic, multichannel) and product category? The authors develop a conceptual model and hypotheses on the moderating effects of two key product category characteristics—the utilitarian versus hedonic nature of the product category and perceived risk—on the channel preference–monetary value relationship. They test the hypotheses on a unique large-scale, empirically generalizable data set in the retailing context. Contrary to conventional wisdom that all multichannel customers are more valuable than single-channel customers, the results show that multichannel customers are the most valuable segment only for hedonic product categories. The findings reveal that traditional channel customers of low-risk categories provide higher monetary value than other customers. Moreover, for utilitarian product categories perceived as high (low) risk, web-only (catalog- or store-only) shoppers constitute the most valuable segment. The findings offer managers guidelines for targeting and migrating different types of customers for different product categories through different channels.

  • First Mover Advantage in an Internet-enabled Environment: Conceptual Framework and Propositions

    Varadarajan Yadav Shankar JAMS 2008

    by Rajan Varadarajan, Manjit Yadav, and Venkatesh Shankar

    This article was published in the Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, 36 (2008), 293-308.

    The competitive market environment has evolved from a physical market environment (PME) to an Internet-enabled market environment (IME) encompassing the physical and electronic marketplaces. At the same time, an increasing number of information products are available in both analog and digital forms. For information products in digital form, the IME also serves as a distribution channel. Such developments raise questions concerning the extent to which extant perspectives on first-mover advantage developed in the context of the PME hold in the IME, generally, and for information products specifically. We address this issue by developing a conceptual framework that focuses on selected sources of first-mover advantage delineated in the extant literature and advance propositions concerning sources that will have a greater or lower effect in the IME relative to the PME. A central message for first-movers in the IME that emerges from our conceptual analysis is to focus on achieving superior positions in resources that would enable them to get close to the customers fast, create switching costs, and retain them though ongoing investments in multi-faceted innovations. A second message that emerges for first-movers in the IME is they must take note of and make strategic adjustments for the potentially diminished significance of some traditional sources of first-mover advantage. These sources include spatial preemption, preemptive investment in capacity, and consumers’ choice behavior under conditions of uncertainty about product quality. We discuss the implications for further conceptual and empirical work in this area of increasing significance.

  • Determinants and Role of Trust in E-Business: A Large Scale Empirical Study


    by Yakov Bart, Venkatesh Shankar, Fareena Sultan, and Glen Urban

    This research investigates the determinants and role of consumer trust in e-business. It examines consumer perceptions of trust in a Web site and addresses the following key research questions: What factors influence consumer trust in a Web site and what specific Web site trust cues are associated with these factors? How does trust affect consumer behavioral intent on a Web site? To address these questions, we develop a conceptual model that links consumer perceptions of Web site characteristics, consumer characteristics and demographics to perceptions of trust in a Web site, and trust to behavioral intent related to a Web site. We also examine whether trust mediates the relationship between Web site and consumer characteristics and behavioral intent related to the Web site. We test our hypotheses in a large-scale empirical study that estimates this model from 6831 consumers across 25 Web sites and eight industry categories. We validate the model using a holdout sample. The results show that Web site, consumer, category and demographic variables can explain 76% of the variance in trust. Web site characteristics such as privacy and security, navigation, presentation, brand, and advice account for as much as 98% of this explained variance in Web site trust. Surprisingly, over 80% of the explained variance in Web trust is due to factors other than privacy and security—mainly navigation, brand, advice, absence of errors, and presentation. We also find that trust mediates the relationships between Web site and consumer characteristics and behavioral intent related to Web sites. The results offer important implications for Web site strategies that include the manipulation of factors influencing Web site trust to favorably impact consumer behavior at the Web site.

    Determinants of Trust in e-Business