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Building a Successful E-commerce Venture, or Failing Gracefully

Building a Successful E-commerce Venture, or Failing Gracefully

The sad fact is that most online ventures, particularly e-commerce ones, will fail. It is irresponsible to go into a new project without being aware of that fact, and without acknowledging that the same fate could befall you or your organization. But it is exactly by recognizing the possibility, if not likelihood, of failure, that you better your chance of success. Or, if success is not to be, then the odds of failing without being crippled by the experience.

In this speech, writer and Web development expert Larry Ullman presents his best advice for succeeding in your e-commerce ventures. The speech begins with the big picture of what e-commerce is, in all its facets, and puts forth a healthy and prosperous perspective that you should have when starting a new project. The speech then goes into making the right, smart technical decisions, before concluding with case studies from Larry’s own experiences.

Some of the specific points covered include:
• Establishing project goals
• Allowing a site to expand organically
• Understanding and enforcing security
• Avoiding the common causes of failure

Whether you’re looking to create or expand an online extension of a conventional business, or are dreaming of creating the next Amazon, you’re sure to hear lots of practical, specific, and real-world advice in this speech.

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Larry Ullman

June 03, 2012
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Transcript

  1. BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL E-COMMERCE VENTURE, OR FAILING GRACEFULLY LARRY ULLMAN

    ISTANBUL, TURKEY - 30 MAY 2012 Sunday, June 3, 12 Welcome to Building a Successful E-Commerce Venture, or Failing Gracefully. I’m Larry Ullman. For the bulk of my presentation, I’m going to talk about the Winning Formula: those steps you should take to succeed in your e-commerce projects. Or, if you don’t succeed for whatever reason, by taking these steps, my hope is that your project will at least fail gracefully. What do I mean by that?
  2. FAILURE IS THE NORM! FAIL 85% SUCCEED 15% Sunday, June

    3, 12 Somewhere between 80-90% of all new e-commerce projects fail. Not only is failure common, but statistically, failure is the expectation. How many people here have been part of a failing e-commerce project? I know I certainly have. I’ve seen projects fail because clear goals were not defined and followed.. I’ve seen projects fail because resources were not managed well. But when I’m in a losing situation, I try not to lose the lesson. I’ve probably learned more from my failures than from my successes, although I certainly prefer the successes if given a say in the matter.
  3. FAILING GRACEFULLY Sunday, June 3, 12 Accepting that you could

    fail is the first important step. But the smart thing to do next is to acknowledge that there are different types of failure. For example, Microsoft. You probably don’t think of Microsoft as a failure, but let’s look at their past ten years. Microsoft failed with their Zune music player, losing out to Apple. They’ve failed in the mobile phone market, losing out to Apple and Google. They’ve failed in the tablet market, again to Apple. They’ve failed with Internet searches, losing out to Google again. When you think about the key devices and technologies people are using today, Microsoft is not a major player anymore. That being said, Microsoft still has their 88% desktop operating system share, all their other software like Office, and the 70 million or so XBox 360’s. Microsoft has had plenty of failures, but Microsoft is still doing okay. On the other hand, you have Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt after 150 years in business and helped to create the worst global financial crises in decades. There are different kinds of failure. If your project does fail, which kind of failure would you prefer. Now I’m not actually going to focus on failure too much today. It’s a depressing topic. My reason for bringing it up is to emphasize...
  4. FAILING GRACEFULLY Sunday, June 3, 12 Accepting that you could

    fail is the first important step. But the smart thing to do next is to acknowledge that there are different types of failure. For example, Microsoft. You probably don’t think of Microsoft as a failure, but let’s look at their past ten years. Microsoft failed with their Zune music player, losing out to Apple. They’ve failed in the mobile phone market, losing out to Apple and Google. They’ve failed in the tablet market, again to Apple. They’ve failed with Internet searches, losing out to Google again. When you think about the key devices and technologies people are using today, Microsoft is not a major player anymore. That being said, Microsoft still has their 88% desktop operating system share, all their other software like Office, and the 70 million or so XBox 360’s. Microsoft has had plenty of failures, but Microsoft is still doing okay. On the other hand, you have Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt after 150 years in business and helped to create the worst global financial crises in decades. There are different kinds of failure. If your project does fail, which kind of failure would you prefer. Now I’m not actually going to focus on failure too much today. It’s a depressing topic. My reason for bringing it up is to emphasize...
  5. FAILING GRACEFULLY Sunday, June 3, 12 Accepting that you could

    fail is the first important step. But the smart thing to do next is to acknowledge that there are different types of failure. For example, Microsoft. You probably don’t think of Microsoft as a failure, but let’s look at their past ten years. Microsoft failed with their Zune music player, losing out to Apple. They’ve failed in the mobile phone market, losing out to Apple and Google. They’ve failed in the tablet market, again to Apple. They’ve failed with Internet searches, losing out to Google again. When you think about the key devices and technologies people are using today, Microsoft is not a major player anymore. That being said, Microsoft still has their 88% desktop operating system share, all their other software like Office, and the 70 million or so XBox 360’s. Microsoft has had plenty of failures, but Microsoft is still doing okay. On the other hand, you have Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt after 150 years in business and helped to create the worst global financial crises in decades. There are different kinds of failure. If your project does fail, which kind of failure would you prefer. Now I’m not actually going to focus on failure too much today. It’s a depressing topic. My reason for bringing it up is to emphasize...
  6. FAILING GRACEFULLY Sunday, June 3, 12 Accepting that you could

    fail is the first important step. But the smart thing to do next is to acknowledge that there are different types of failure. For example, Microsoft. You probably don’t think of Microsoft as a failure, but let’s look at their past ten years. Microsoft failed with their Zune music player, losing out to Apple. They’ve failed in the mobile phone market, losing out to Apple and Google. They’ve failed in the tablet market, again to Apple. They’ve failed with Internet searches, losing out to Google again. When you think about the key devices and technologies people are using today, Microsoft is not a major player anymore. That being said, Microsoft still has their 88% desktop operating system share, all their other software like Office, and the 70 million or so XBox 360’s. Microsoft has had plenty of failures, but Microsoft is still doing okay. On the other hand, you have Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt after 150 years in business and helped to create the worst global financial crises in decades. There are different kinds of failure. If your project does fail, which kind of failure would you prefer. Now I’m not actually going to focus on failure too much today. It’s a depressing topic. My reason for bringing it up is to emphasize...
  7. PERSPECTIVE Sunday, June 3, 12 Perspective. I’m going to talk

    today about specific things you should, and should not, do to improve the odds of succeeding with your next--or current--project. I know that the people in this room are leaders of industry. You are smart, experienced business people who could probably give your own speeches on creating a successful e-commerce project. I wouldn’t be surprised that some of you already have given such presentations at your own companies. But sometimes we lose perspective. Sometimes we get caught up in the latest fad. Sometimes we get too greedy. And when we lose perspective, that possible failure goes from being a Microsoft failure to a Lehman Brothers.
  8. THE WINNING FORMULA Sunday, June 3, 12 So...the winning formula.

    In order. [WALK THROUGH] Many people know these things but lose sight of them in time. Try not to lose perspective! I’m sure many of you could come up with a similar list. But some of you have probably made some mistakes in these areas along the way, just as I have. I’m going to walk through what these mean in detail and provide specific examples of what to do and what not to do. At the end of the speech, I’ll specifically apply the winning formula to a very current issue: e-commerce on mobile devices.
  9. THE WINNING FORMULA ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS Sunday, June 3, 12

    So...the winning formula. In order. [WALK THROUGH] Many people know these things but lose sight of them in time. Try not to lose perspective! I’m sure many of you could come up with a similar list. But some of you have probably made some mistakes in these areas along the way, just as I have. I’m going to walk through what these mean in detail and provide specific examples of what to do and what not to do. At the end of the speech, I’ll specifically apply the winning formula to a very current issue: e-commerce on mobile devices.
  10. THE WINNING FORMULA ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES Sunday,

    June 3, 12 So...the winning formula. In order. [WALK THROUGH] Many people know these things but lose sight of them in time. Try not to lose perspective! I’m sure many of you could come up with a similar list. But some of you have probably made some mistakes in these areas along the way, just as I have. I’m going to walk through what these mean in detail and provide specific examples of what to do and what not to do. At the end of the speech, I’ll specifically apply the winning formula to a very current issue: e-commerce on mobile devices.
  11. THE WINNING FORMULA ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES GET

    VISITORS TO YOUR SITE Sunday, June 3, 12 So...the winning formula. In order. [WALK THROUGH] Many people know these things but lose sight of them in time. Try not to lose perspective! I’m sure many of you could come up with a similar list. But some of you have probably made some mistakes in these areas along the way, just as I have. I’m going to walk through what these mean in detail and provide specific examples of what to do and what not to do. At the end of the speech, I’ll specifically apply the winning formula to a very current issue: e-commerce on mobile devices.
  12. THE WINNING FORMULA ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES GET

    VISITORS TO YOUR SITE TURN VISITORS INTO CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 So...the winning formula. In order. [WALK THROUGH] Many people know these things but lose sight of them in time. Try not to lose perspective! I’m sure many of you could come up with a similar list. But some of you have probably made some mistakes in these areas along the way, just as I have. I’m going to walk through what these mean in detail and provide specific examples of what to do and what not to do. At the end of the speech, I’ll specifically apply the winning formula to a very current issue: e-commerce on mobile devices.
  13. THE WINNING FORMULA ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES GET

    VISITORS TO YOUR SITE TURN VISITORS INTO CUSTOMERS GET CUSTOMERS TO RETURN Sunday, June 3, 12 So...the winning formula. In order. [WALK THROUGH] Many people know these things but lose sight of them in time. Try not to lose perspective! I’m sure many of you could come up with a similar list. But some of you have probably made some mistakes in these areas along the way, just as I have. I’m going to walk through what these mean in detail and provide specific examples of what to do and what not to do. At the end of the speech, I’ll specifically apply the winning formula to a very current issue: e-commerce on mobile devices.
  14. QUESTIONS & COMMENTS Sunday, June 3, 12 I have five

    points to get through, with about five minutes spent on each, and then there will be about 5 minutes on mobile e- commerce. This leaves a few minutes for questions. You can ask questions at the end, or during the presentation. If there’s anything you’d like me to clarify, just say the word. If I speak too quickly, or mumble, just let me know. If you’d rather not ask a question or make a comment today, here’s my email address, Twitter account, and Web site, so that you can contact me later. And, of course, you can grab me after the presentation. [[BIG PAUSE]] Finally, I should clarify that I’m primarily a developer, and so my expertise is in the underlying technologies involved with e- commerce. In fact, I’m the author of this book, along with 23 others. I’ve tried not to make this presentation too technical, but the technologies are my main focus, so if I mention something along those lines that you aren’t familiar with, just let me know.
  15. QUESTIONS & COMMENTS TODAY Sunday, June 3, 12 I have

    five points to get through, with about five minutes spent on each, and then there will be about 5 minutes on mobile e- commerce. This leaves a few minutes for questions. You can ask questions at the end, or during the presentation. If there’s anything you’d like me to clarify, just say the word. If I speak too quickly, or mumble, just let me know. If you’d rather not ask a question or make a comment today, here’s my email address, Twitter account, and Web site, so that you can contact me later. And, of course, you can grab me after the presentation. [[BIG PAUSE]] Finally, I should clarify that I’m primarily a developer, and so my expertise is in the underlying technologies involved with e- commerce. In fact, I’m the author of this book, along with 23 others. I’ve tried not to make this presentation too technical, but the technologies are my main focus, so if I mention something along those lines that you aren’t familiar with, just let me know.
  16. QUESTIONS & COMMENTS TODAY IN THE FUTURE LARRY@LARRYULLMAN.COM @LARRYULLMAN HTTP://LARRYULLMAN.COM

    Sunday, June 3, 12 I have five points to get through, with about five minutes spent on each, and then there will be about 5 minutes on mobile e- commerce. This leaves a few minutes for questions. You can ask questions at the end, or during the presentation. If there’s anything you’d like me to clarify, just say the word. If I speak too quickly, or mumble, just let me know. If you’d rather not ask a question or make a comment today, here’s my email address, Twitter account, and Web site, so that you can contact me later. And, of course, you can grab me after the presentation. [[BIG PAUSE]] Finally, I should clarify that I’m primarily a developer, and so my expertise is in the underlying technologies involved with e- commerce. In fact, I’m the author of this book, along with 23 others. I’ve tried not to make this presentation too technical, but the technologies are my main focus, so if I mention something along those lines that you aren’t familiar with, just let me know.
  17. QUESTIONS & COMMENTS TODAY IN THE FUTURE LARRY@LARRYULLMAN.COM @LARRYULLMAN HTTP://LARRYULLMAN.COM

    Sunday, June 3, 12 I have five points to get through, with about five minutes spent on each, and then there will be about 5 minutes on mobile e- commerce. This leaves a few minutes for questions. You can ask questions at the end, or during the presentation. If there’s anything you’d like me to clarify, just say the word. If I speak too quickly, or mumble, just let me know. If you’d rather not ask a question or make a comment today, here’s my email address, Twitter account, and Web site, so that you can contact me later. And, of course, you can grab me after the presentation. [[BIG PAUSE]] Finally, I should clarify that I’m primarily a developer, and so my expertise is in the underlying technologies involved with e- commerce. In fact, I’m the author of this book, along with 23 others. I’ve tried not to make this presentation too technical, but the technologies are my main focus, so if I mention something along those lines that you aren’t familiar with, just let me know.
  18. ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS Sunday, June 3, 12 Step 1: Establish

    clear goals. Here’s the problem: if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you can never be sure if you hit the target or not. Establish clear goals: what is it that you want to do?
  19. GOOD GOALS CONCRETE AND SPECIFIC MEASURABLE REALISTICALLY ACHIEVABLE APPROPRIATE FOR

    YOUR BUSINESS Sunday, June 3, 12 [[WALK THROUGH]]
  20. SUCCESS VS. FAILURE Sunday, June 3, 12 Goals give you

    something to aim for, to work towards. Your goals should identify what success looks like and what failure looks like. Defining success lets you know when it’s time to throw a party and to set new goals. Obviously there are incremental goals along the way to the ultimate goal. Which is to say there are short term goals and long term goals. Defining failure lets you know when it’s time to cut your losses. This can be a difference between failing and failing gracefully.
  21. EXPANSION NEW VENTURE TYPES Sunday, June 3, 12 To look

    at this topic more concretely, your goals will depend in part on the type of venture you have. Is this an expansion of an existing business or is this a new business altogether? Different venture types have different degrees of failure, too. For example, right now in 2012 I’m taking steps to expand my current business. Along those lines, I have some specific goals. The good news is that if I don’t succeed, I just won’t have more business than I do now, but I’ll be okay. At the same time, I’m in the preliminaries with a couple of people to create a new e-commerce venture. We have a reasonable, limited initial set of goals. We’re very carefully going into this new venture as there is competition. But we know that if the site fails, mostly we will have wasted just time. Two different ventures with different goals, but both are designed to fail gracefully.
  22. EXPANSION NEW GET MONTHLY INCOME UP TO $X VENTURE TYPES

    Sunday, June 3, 12 To look at this topic more concretely, your goals will depend in part on the type of venture you have. Is this an expansion of an existing business or is this a new business altogether? Different venture types have different degrees of failure, too. For example, right now in 2012 I’m taking steps to expand my current business. Along those lines, I have some specific goals. The good news is that if I don’t succeed, I just won’t have more business than I do now, but I’ll be okay. At the same time, I’m in the preliminaries with a couple of people to create a new e-commerce venture. We have a reasonable, limited initial set of goals. We’re very carefully going into this new venture as there is competition. But we know that if the site fails, mostly we will have wasted just time. Two different ventures with different goals, but both are designed to fail gracefully.
  23. EXPANSION NEW GET MONTHLY INCOME UP TO $X VENTURE TYPES

    START EARNING MONEY FROM Y AND Z Sunday, June 3, 12 To look at this topic more concretely, your goals will depend in part on the type of venture you have. Is this an expansion of an existing business or is this a new business altogether? Different venture types have different degrees of failure, too. For example, right now in 2012 I’m taking steps to expand my current business. Along those lines, I have some specific goals. The good news is that if I don’t succeed, I just won’t have more business than I do now, but I’ll be okay. At the same time, I’m in the preliminaries with a couple of people to create a new e-commerce venture. We have a reasonable, limited initial set of goals. We’re very carefully going into this new venture as there is competition. But we know that if the site fails, mostly we will have wasted just time. Two different ventures with different goals, but both are designed to fail gracefully.
  24. EXPANSION NEW GET MONTHLY INCOME UP TO $X CREATE A

    WEB SITE THAT DOES X VENTURE TYPES START EARNING MONEY FROM Y AND Z Sunday, June 3, 12 To look at this topic more concretely, your goals will depend in part on the type of venture you have. Is this an expansion of an existing business or is this a new business altogether? Different venture types have different degrees of failure, too. For example, right now in 2012 I’m taking steps to expand my current business. Along those lines, I have some specific goals. The good news is that if I don’t succeed, I just won’t have more business than I do now, but I’ll be okay. At the same time, I’m in the preliminaries with a couple of people to create a new e-commerce venture. We have a reasonable, limited initial set of goals. We’re very carefully going into this new venture as there is competition. But we know that if the site fails, mostly we will have wasted just time. Two different ventures with different goals, but both are designed to fail gracefully.
  25. EXPANSION NEW GET MONTHLY INCOME UP TO $X CREATE A

    WEB SITE THAT DOES X VENTURE TYPES START EARNING MONEY FROM Y AND Z EVENTUALLY EXPAND TO DO Y AND Z Sunday, June 3, 12 To look at this topic more concretely, your goals will depend in part on the type of venture you have. Is this an expansion of an existing business or is this a new business altogether? Different venture types have different degrees of failure, too. For example, right now in 2012 I’m taking steps to expand my current business. Along those lines, I have some specific goals. The good news is that if I don’t succeed, I just won’t have more business than I do now, but I’ll be okay. At the same time, I’m in the preliminaries with a couple of people to create a new e-commerce venture. We have a reasonable, limited initial set of goals. We’re very carefully going into this new venture as there is competition. But we know that if the site fails, mostly we will have wasted just time. Two different ventures with different goals, but both are designed to fail gracefully.
  26. E-COMMERCE TYPES MARKETING/SUPPORT PROVIDE A SERVICE SELL A PHYSICAL PRODUCT

    SELL A DIGITAL PRODUCT Sunday, June 3, 12 Along with the type of venture, the goals will also depend upon the type of e-commerce being attempted. People tend to have a narrow sense of what e-commerce is, thinking it has to involve spending money, but that’s not true. e-commerce can be as simple as a Web site that establishes a business’s online presence or provides customer support. The goals in such cases will focus on getting people to buy the company’s products and services through the existing, traditional avenues. The other three types of e-commerce do involve money changing hands: providing a service, selling physical products, and selling digital products. Each of these has different requirements and different tangible goals. Each requires different types of infrastructure as well.
  27. CHANGING GOALS Sunday, June 3, 12 Finally, know that it’s

    okay to change goals, so long as it’s a conscious, well-reasoned decision. This is another example where perspective comes into play. Changing the goals without a good estimation of the consequences is a great way to fail. But if you see an opportunity, that’s not part of the original plan, consider it, just remember the perspective. Speaking in Istanbul here today was not on my original plans for 2012. But it’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m happy to be here, and my other goals could be shifted around.
  28. MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES Sunday, June 3, 12 Step 2: Manage

    Your Resources This is where I spend most of my time, using and developing resources. Of course we all know what the two main business resources are: time and money. A big reason for not succeeding is not being able to spend enough money. A big reason for failing is spending money before you have to, or just spending more than you have to. Labor involves both time and money. Let’s look at these two categories in detail.
  29. TIMING ISN’T EVERYTHING Sunday, June 3, 12 Many people have

    a drive to get something done as soon as possible and many think that you have to get your product or site or idea out there first, but this is wrong. Timing isn’t everything. Being first is good but being better is best. Here’s an example: smart phones. The first smart phone came out in 1992, the IBM Simon. How many people here knew that IBM ever made phones at all? In 1996, Nokia released their first smart phone. In 1999 Ericsson, which was the first company to use the term smartphone released their R380, which was a groundbreaking device. In 2001, Palm released the Kyocera, which was the first mainstream smart phone in the US. In 2007 Apple released their first iPhone. This is fourteen years after the IBM Simon. I think it has worked out okay for them. Your resources are precious, don’t waste them chasing a dream of being first. Try to be best. In fact, there was a great article in Bloomberg at the time pointing out the three reasons the iPhone will fail. Reason #1: it was late to the party. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
  30. TIMING ISN’T EVERYTHING 1993 IBM SIMON Sunday, June 3, 12

    Many people have a drive to get something done as soon as possible and many think that you have to get your product or site or idea out there first, but this is wrong. Timing isn’t everything. Being first is good but being better is best. Here’s an example: smart phones. The first smart phone came out in 1992, the IBM Simon. How many people here knew that IBM ever made phones at all? In 1996, Nokia released their first smart phone. In 1999 Ericsson, which was the first company to use the term smartphone released their R380, which was a groundbreaking device. In 2001, Palm released the Kyocera, which was the first mainstream smart phone in the US. In 2007 Apple released their first iPhone. This is fourteen years after the IBM Simon. I think it has worked out okay for them. Your resources are precious, don’t waste them chasing a dream of being first. Try to be best. In fact, there was a great article in Bloomberg at the time pointing out the three reasons the iPhone will fail. Reason #1: it was late to the party. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
  31. TIMING ISN’T EVERYTHING 1993 IBM SIMON 1996 NOKIA 9000 Sunday,

    June 3, 12 Many people have a drive to get something done as soon as possible and many think that you have to get your product or site or idea out there first, but this is wrong. Timing isn’t everything. Being first is good but being better is best. Here’s an example: smart phones. The first smart phone came out in 1992, the IBM Simon. How many people here knew that IBM ever made phones at all? In 1996, Nokia released their first smart phone. In 1999 Ericsson, which was the first company to use the term smartphone released their R380, which was a groundbreaking device. In 2001, Palm released the Kyocera, which was the first mainstream smart phone in the US. In 2007 Apple released their first iPhone. This is fourteen years after the IBM Simon. I think it has worked out okay for them. Your resources are precious, don’t waste them chasing a dream of being first. Try to be best. In fact, there was a great article in Bloomberg at the time pointing out the three reasons the iPhone will fail. Reason #1: it was late to the party. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
  32. TIMING ISN’T EVERYTHING 1993 IBM SIMON 1996 NOKIA 9000 1999

    ERICSSON R380 Sunday, June 3, 12 Many people have a drive to get something done as soon as possible and many think that you have to get your product or site or idea out there first, but this is wrong. Timing isn’t everything. Being first is good but being better is best. Here’s an example: smart phones. The first smart phone came out in 1992, the IBM Simon. How many people here knew that IBM ever made phones at all? In 1996, Nokia released their first smart phone. In 1999 Ericsson, which was the first company to use the term smartphone released their R380, which was a groundbreaking device. In 2001, Palm released the Kyocera, which was the first mainstream smart phone in the US. In 2007 Apple released their first iPhone. This is fourteen years after the IBM Simon. I think it has worked out okay for them. Your resources are precious, don’t waste them chasing a dream of being first. Try to be best. In fact, there was a great article in Bloomberg at the time pointing out the three reasons the iPhone will fail. Reason #1: it was late to the party. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
  33. TIMING ISN’T EVERYTHING 1993 IBM SIMON 1996 NOKIA 9000 1999

    ERICSSON R380 2001 PALM KYOCERA 6035 Sunday, June 3, 12 Many people have a drive to get something done as soon as possible and many think that you have to get your product or site or idea out there first, but this is wrong. Timing isn’t everything. Being first is good but being better is best. Here’s an example: smart phones. The first smart phone came out in 1992, the IBM Simon. How many people here knew that IBM ever made phones at all? In 1996, Nokia released their first smart phone. In 1999 Ericsson, which was the first company to use the term smartphone released their R380, which was a groundbreaking device. In 2001, Palm released the Kyocera, which was the first mainstream smart phone in the US. In 2007 Apple released their first iPhone. This is fourteen years after the IBM Simon. I think it has worked out okay for them. Your resources are precious, don’t waste them chasing a dream of being first. Try to be best. In fact, there was a great article in Bloomberg at the time pointing out the three reasons the iPhone will fail. Reason #1: it was late to the party. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
  34. TIMING ISN’T EVERYTHING 1993 IBM SIMON 1996 NOKIA 9000 1999

    ERICSSON R380 2001 PALM KYOCERA 6035 2007 APPLE IPHONE Sunday, June 3, 12 Many people have a drive to get something done as soon as possible and many think that you have to get your product or site or idea out there first, but this is wrong. Timing isn’t everything. Being first is good but being better is best. Here’s an example: smart phones. The first smart phone came out in 1992, the IBM Simon. How many people here knew that IBM ever made phones at all? In 1996, Nokia released their first smart phone. In 1999 Ericsson, which was the first company to use the term smartphone released their R380, which was a groundbreaking device. In 2001, Palm released the Kyocera, which was the first mainstream smart phone in the US. In 2007 Apple released their first iPhone. This is fourteen years after the IBM Simon. I think it has worked out okay for them. Your resources are precious, don’t waste them chasing a dream of being first. Try to be best. In fact, there was a great article in Bloomberg at the time pointing out the three reasons the iPhone will fail. Reason #1: it was late to the party. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
  35. HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE SERVER/HOSTING PAYMENT SYSTEM DESIGN PROGRAMMING DATABASE SECURITY

    MAINTENANCE Sunday, June 3, 12 With an e-commerce project, a lot of your resources are going to go towards hardware and software. Again, this is the area in which I predominately work and write. In my opinion, the decisions you make regarding hardware and software are less likely to impact the level of success and more likely to affect the magnitude of a failure. Many people spend their time and money poorly here, in several ways. And it surprises me, because here’s the dirty little secret of e-commerce, Web development in general, and even mobile development: it’s very cheap. If I came up with a good idea today, I could have a beta version of that online by Monday, and I’d probably only spend $50 in the process. If you want to sell a widget, you’ll need a factory and suppliers and shipping and... If you want an e-commerce site, you need cheap hosting and your next door neighbor’s kid, who has probably already created a site in the time we’ve all been here this morning. In no way am I saying that running, marketing, and maintaining a site is inexpensive, but getting something going does not have to be the economic or time drain that you may think. A couple of specific points here...
  36. SERVER/HOSTING 0 250000 500000 750000 1000000 2012 2013 2014 2015

    USERS COST Sunday, June 3, 12 A lot of people in e-commerce have stars in their eyes and think they’ll have the next Facebook. I see this with readers of my books all the time. Dreaming is all good and fine, but one still has to keep perspective and manage your resources wisely. For example, hopefully over time the number of people using your Web site will grow. Eventually exponentially. Your costs for serving those users will grow, too, although more gradually. Don’t waste your money by buying the hardware today for the number of users you’ll have in three years! I see people making this mistake all too often. What many non-technical people don’t realize is that it’s fairly easy to scale your hardware and software as demand increases. Turning a 5,000 square meter restaurant into a 50,000 square meter facility, that’s hard. Expanding from serving 1,000 users to serving 10,000, that’s relatively easy.
  37. SOFTWARE DESIGN, PROGRAMMING, AND DATABASE EMPHASIZE AGILITY EMPHASIZE FLEXIBILITY STORE

    MORE DATA THAN YOU NEED Sunday, June 3, 12 Next, there’s the software that runs on the hardware. Software for a Web site consists of the design, in HTML and images, the programming, and the database. Most of your software money should be spent on good labor. I said earlier that I could have a Web site running for $50, and I can, although that doesn’t include my labor. But I personally work with open source software, which is free. Which means I can use a programming language, a database application, a Web serving application, and HTML, at no cost whatsoever. Some companies are hesitant to use open source software, thinking that because it doesn’t cost, it’s hard to know what the value is. But why give Oracle 100,000 when you can get the same result for free using MySQL or MongoDB. Next, emphasize agility. You might think that having a site that runs quickly for end users is important, but you also need to be able to update and alter the site quickly. In a presentation given by one of the core engineers at YouTube, they explained that their success is partly because they could quickly fix and overcome problems.
  38. RE-EVALUATE YOUR GOALS Sunday, June 3, 12 After looking at

    the resources required, this is a good time to re-evaluate your goals. Are the goals feasible considering the limitations of the resources?
  39. GET VISITORS TO YOUR SITE Sunday, June 3, 12 Moving

    on, the third step is to get visitors to your site. A common misconception that just building a great site is sufficient. You have to get people to visit. If you have a conventional brick-and-mortar store, or sell products in physical stores, you have the benefit of foot, or car, traffic. Being a physical thing, people will see it. That doesn’t mean they’ll go in, but they’ll see it. There is no foot traffic online. People won’t just happen to come across your site because it was on their way to something else.
  40. 644,275,754 Sunday, June 3, 12 According to Netcraft, as of

    March 2012, there are 644,275,754 Web sites. I’m online A LOT, and I doubt I’ve seen more than a few thousand. Even if you take the 193 million so-called active sites, that’s still a huge number. And these numbers are still growing, up 5% in March alone. http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2012/03/05/march-2012-web-server-survey.html
  41. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Sunday, June 3, 12 For brick-and-mortar stores,

    one way to get visitors is location, location, location. There is no location online. It doesn’t matter where you’re located. This is great for the little guy, the start-up. It means the dominant company has no inherent advantage. Look at Microsoft and Google. Microsoft was the most dominant IT company and a couple of grad students from Stanford beat Microsoft. But the fact that you can’t start by picking a good location is a hindrance, so what can you do?
  42. ONLINE LOCATION Sunday, June 3, 12 There are only a

    couple of locations online that count. One is the first page of Google! But do you pull that off?
  43. MARKETING Sunday, June 3, 12 One way to get onto

    the first page of Google is to buy your way on, but you have to have the resources to do that. The fact is that some sites will fail due to a lack of marketing, or a lack of good marketing. But spending money on marketing is expensive and won’t solve all your problems. Similarly, you can also use Search Engine Optimization to help your cause. Search Engine Optimization is the process of fine tuning a Web site so it’s more likely to be ranked higher in search results. Keep in mind that I’m a developer talking here, not a marketer, but SEO is truly overrated. SEO is the art of spending a lot of time and money to make a slightly little difference. There are situations where a little difference counts, to be sure, but remember that SEO is a good coat of polish, not a well-made shoe. So what does work without spending a lot of time and money? Without wasting your resources.
  44. CONTENT IS KING! Sunday, June 3, 12 The best thing

    is to have a site worth visiting. This is one of those cases where old rules still apply: if you want people to buy your product, start by making a good product. If you want people to find and use your Web site, create a good, useful Web site! It’s that simple and many people forget this. All the marketing and SEO is a waste of time and money if you don’t have a good e- commerce site at the other end.
  45. BE SOCIAL! Sunday, June 3, 12 Although I focused a

    lot on Google as the best online location, specifically the first page, there are other locations that matter, grouped under the title Social Media.
  46. TURN VISITORS INTO CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 The fourth

    step to e-commerce success is to turn visitors in customers. Frankly, this should be easy at this point. It’s relatively hard to get people to your site. If they do get to your site, it’s presumably because they have some interest in what you’re selling. The next step isn’t as much about getting them to buy, it’s about removing the barriers that would prevent them from closing the deal. Again, there are a lot of technical considerations that apply here.
  47. CONTENT IS KING Sunday, June 3, 12 To reiterate the

    obvious, have a good product. Have something worth the customer’s money. Everything else is meaningless without this. The visitor has gotten to your site because they’re interested in what you have, now give it to them. Having said the obvious, there are plenty of things you can do with your e-commerce venture that improve the odds.
  48. UX Sunday, June 3, 12 UX stands for User Experience

    or User Interface and it’s a big topic in Web development worlds. A good user experience makes it easier for a use your site and helps turn visitors into customers. The general rule of thumb is: less is more. quickly find products: sort, filter quality pictures and multiple pictures Also make sure that visitors can easily find the product they want by either searching or browsing. Both should be always obviously available and easy to use.
  49. UX LESS IS MORE Sunday, June 3, 12 UX stands

    for User Experience or User Interface and it’s a big topic in Web development worlds. A good user experience makes it easier for a use your site and helps turn visitors into customers. The general rule of thumb is: less is more. quickly find products: sort, filter quality pictures and multiple pictures Also make sure that visitors can easily find the product they want by either searching or browsing. Both should be always obviously available and easy to use.
  50. UX LESS IS MORE QUALITY PICTURES Sunday, June 3, 12

    UX stands for User Experience or User Interface and it’s a big topic in Web development worlds. A good user experience makes it easier for a use your site and helps turn visitors into customers. The general rule of thumb is: less is more. quickly find products: sort, filter quality pictures and multiple pictures Also make sure that visitors can easily find the product they want by either searching or browsing. Both should be always obviously available and easy to use.
  51. UX LESS IS MORE QUALITY PICTURES QUICKLY FIND PRODUCTS Sunday,

    June 3, 12 UX stands for User Experience or User Interface and it’s a big topic in Web development worlds. A good user experience makes it easier for a use your site and helps turn visitors into customers. The general rule of thumb is: less is more. quickly find products: sort, filter quality pictures and multiple pictures Also make sure that visitors can easily find the product they want by either searching or browsing. Both should be always obviously available and easy to use.
  52. UX LESS IS MORE QUALITY PICTURES QUICKLY FIND PRODUCTS SEARCH

    AND BROWSE Sunday, June 3, 12 UX stands for User Experience or User Interface and it’s a big topic in Web development worlds. A good user experience makes it easier for a use your site and helps turn visitors into customers. The general rule of thumb is: less is more. quickly find products: sort, filter quality pictures and multiple pictures Also make sure that visitors can easily find the product they want by either searching or browsing. Both should be always obviously available and easy to use.
  53. PRICE CLARITY PRICE DISPLAYED ON PRODUCT PAGE EASY TO ADD

    TO CART EASY TO VIEW CART CART NEEDS TO INCLUDE SHIPPING AND TAXES ALL THIS WITHOUT REGISTRATION! Sunday, June 3, 12 Users need to be able to clearly see the prices, including the shipping. And don’t force the user to register and login just to calculate the shipping. easy to use cart
  54. REVIEWS Sunday, June 3, 12 Reviews and “was this review

    helpful”
  55. MANY PAYMENT OPTIONS PAYPAL GOOGLE CHECKOUT CREDIT CARDS ECHEQUE Sunday,

    June 3, 12 When the user is ready to become a customer, make sure there are lots of payment options, particularly ones that are best for your audience. It’s never to late for a visitor to decide not to complete a sale. In the United States, for example, PayPal is a common choice and it’s easy to use, but many people in my circle hate it. Keep in mind that the payment system you use is going to impact how much money your business makes in two ways: the first obvious way is that the payment system fees add to your costs. The less obvious way is that a bad choice of payment options could cost you sales.
  56. HOW TO LOSE CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 If those

    are all things you should do, here are some examples of what you shouldn’t do. First, there’s the $300 million dollar button. The registration button was called that in an article because it was calculated that businesses lose $300 million per year by forcing people to register. I know some sites do need registration functionality, but think hard about this. You will lose business if people have to register. For example, I was buying cupcake decorations for my children’s birthday party. I found what I wanted at a simple site, but I had to create an account there in order to complete the purchase. I really don’t want to go through a registration process just to spend $7 one time. I’ve had a certain work philosophy for years: my hope is that my work is so good that clients will want to hire me again. I’ll never make any decisions that will force them to re-hiring me, because that’s not in the client’s best interest. The same thing applies here: customers should want to register, but don’t force them to. In my e- commerce book, I do discuss ways to provide a registration option, but still make it optional. Next, if customers see this at any point when they load your site, they’re going to leave. Or at least I hope they will. This is what happens when you cut corners on security, or when your developers just don’t know what they’re doing. Make sure your site isn’t telling your customers not to shop there.
  57. HOW TO LOSE CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 If those

    are all things you should do, here are some examples of what you shouldn’t do. First, there’s the $300 million dollar button. The registration button was called that in an article because it was calculated that businesses lose $300 million per year by forcing people to register. I know some sites do need registration functionality, but think hard about this. You will lose business if people have to register. For example, I was buying cupcake decorations for my children’s birthday party. I found what I wanted at a simple site, but I had to create an account there in order to complete the purchase. I really don’t want to go through a registration process just to spend $7 one time. I’ve had a certain work philosophy for years: my hope is that my work is so good that clients will want to hire me again. I’ll never make any decisions that will force them to re-hiring me, because that’s not in the client’s best interest. The same thing applies here: customers should want to register, but don’t force them to. In my e- commerce book, I do discuss ways to provide a registration option, but still make it optional. Next, if customers see this at any point when they load your site, they’re going to leave. Or at least I hope they will. This is what happens when you cut corners on security, or when your developers just don’t know what they’re doing. Make sure your site isn’t telling your customers not to shop there.
  58. HOW TO LOSE CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 If those

    are all things you should do, here are some examples of what you shouldn’t do. First, there’s the $300 million dollar button. The registration button was called that in an article because it was calculated that businesses lose $300 million per year by forcing people to register. I know some sites do need registration functionality, but think hard about this. You will lose business if people have to register. For example, I was buying cupcake decorations for my children’s birthday party. I found what I wanted at a simple site, but I had to create an account there in order to complete the purchase. I really don’t want to go through a registration process just to spend $7 one time. I’ve had a certain work philosophy for years: my hope is that my work is so good that clients will want to hire me again. I’ll never make any decisions that will force them to re-hiring me, because that’s not in the client’s best interest. The same thing applies here: customers should want to register, but don’t force them to. In my e- commerce book, I do discuss ways to provide a registration option, but still make it optional. Next, if customers see this at any point when they load your site, they’re going to leave. Or at least I hope they will. This is what happens when you cut corners on security, or when your developers just don’t know what they’re doing. Make sure your site isn’t telling your customers not to shop there.
  59. GET CUSTOMERS TO RETURN Sunday, June 3, 12 The final

    step is to get customers to return. Getting people to your site is great. Having them make a purchase is even better, but having them return: that’s how to build a business.
  60. CONTENT IS KING Sunday, June 3, 12 Not to belabor

    the point, but once again, the best way to get people to use your e-commerce site is to have something they want.
  61. RESPOND WELL EMAIL A RECEIPT EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR THE ORDER

    LET THEM KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT REITERATE YOUR POLICIES LET THEM KNOW HOW TO CONTACT YOU FULFILL THE ORDER PROMPTLY! Sunday, June 3, 12 As a writer, I’m big on the importance of communication. Early I mentioned the importance of communicating while the visitor is shopping, and communication is just as important after the order has been completed. Make the customer feel appreciated!
  62. CONNECT Sunday, June 3, 12 For all visitors to your

    site, try to establish a connection. This can be Twitter, Facebook, Google+, whatever. Making it easy to connect to your business via social media is an effective technique of turning visitors into customers and turning customers into repeat customers. When the customer is checking out, give the the option of receiving newsletters, promotions, and the like. Make sure the user has to opt-in to this! If you have a blog, you can also provide the option of subscribing to an RSS feed. This is better for more technical sites and users.
  63. VALUE YOUR CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 My last tip

    should be obvious, but unfortunately is not: focus on your customers. What do I mean by this? Sept 6, 2010 New Yorker article by James Surowiecki titled “Are you being served?” Many businesses put more effort into getting new customers than they do in retaining current ones. This is backwards. Perspective
  64. MOBILE E-COMMERCE Sunday, June 3, 12 Having gone through a

    lot of information about how to build a successful e-commerce venture, let’s look at a very current issue: mobile e-commerce. How many people hear have already created a mobile e-commerce project? How many are thinking about it? http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/how-us-smartphone-and-tablet-owners-use-their-devices- for-shopping/
  65. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% Sunday, June 3, 12

    Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  66. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% FINDING A STORE Sunday,

    June 3, 12 Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  67. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% FINDING A STORE CHECKING

    A PRICE Sunday, June 3, 12 Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  68. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% FINDING A STORE CHECKING

    A PRICE RESEARCH AND REVIEWS Sunday, June 3, 12 Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  69. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% FINDING A STORE CHECKING

    A PRICE RESEARCH AND REVIEWS COUPONS Sunday, June 3, 12 Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  70. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% FINDING A STORE CHECKING

    A PRICE RESEARCH AND REVIEWS COUPONS PURCHASE WITH DEVICE Sunday, June 3, 12 Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  71. MOBILE USAGE YES 79% NO 21% FINDING A STORE CHECKING

    A PRICE RESEARCH AND REVIEWS COUPONS PURCHASE WITH DEVICE SOCIAL MEDIA/REVIEWS Sunday, June 3, 12 Nielsen Q1 2012, 79% of US mobile owners used the devices of shopping-related activities.
  72. THE WINNING FORMULA ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES GET

    VISITORS TO YOUR SITE TURN VISITORS INTO CUSTOMERS GET CUSTOMERS TO RETURN Sunday, June 3, 12 Let’s look at the winning formula as it applies to mobile e-commerce.
  73. DEADLY MYTHS OF MOBILE Sunday, June 3, 12 In a

    recent presentation, Josh Clark discussed the 7 deadly myths of mobile development. Four are relevant to what I’m saying here. ----- First, users are on the go and are rushed. Not all mobile users are rushed or even out of their house. In fact, 28% of mobile Web users rarely or never use a desktop browser. 88% of tablet users and 86% of smartphone users use their device while watching TV. Second, is this idea that a mobile version of a site is a lesser version. You have to get rid of that thinking. Third, is the myth that you have to create a mobile version of your Web site, specifically, a separate version of a site. There is a great amount of debate among developers on whether you should create one version of your site or two, but the most important thing is that you make a decision on the matter and not just have an absolute policy one way or the other. I’ll return to this. Finally, a myth I want to debunk: you have to have an app. I’ll return to this momentarily.
  74. DEADLY MYTHS OF MOBILE USERS ARE ON THE GO AND

    ARE RUSHED. Sunday, June 3, 12 In a recent presentation, Josh Clark discussed the 7 deadly myths of mobile development. Four are relevant to what I’m saying here. ----- First, users are on the go and are rushed. Not all mobile users are rushed or even out of their house. In fact, 28% of mobile Web users rarely or never use a desktop browser. 88% of tablet users and 86% of smartphone users use their device while watching TV. Second, is this idea that a mobile version of a site is a lesser version. You have to get rid of that thinking. Third, is the myth that you have to create a mobile version of your Web site, specifically, a separate version of a site. There is a great amount of debate among developers on whether you should create one version of your site or two, but the most important thing is that you make a decision on the matter and not just have an absolute policy one way or the other. I’ll return to this. Finally, a myth I want to debunk: you have to have an app. I’ll return to this momentarily.
  75. DEADLY MYTHS OF MOBILE USERS ARE ON THE GO AND

    ARE RUSHED. MOBILE = LESS Sunday, June 3, 12 In a recent presentation, Josh Clark discussed the 7 deadly myths of mobile development. Four are relevant to what I’m saying here. ----- First, users are on the go and are rushed. Not all mobile users are rushed or even out of their house. In fact, 28% of mobile Web users rarely or never use a desktop browser. 88% of tablet users and 86% of smartphone users use their device while watching TV. Second, is this idea that a mobile version of a site is a lesser version. You have to get rid of that thinking. Third, is the myth that you have to create a mobile version of your Web site, specifically, a separate version of a site. There is a great amount of debate among developers on whether you should create one version of your site or two, but the most important thing is that you make a decision on the matter and not just have an absolute policy one way or the other. I’ll return to this. Finally, a myth I want to debunk: you have to have an app. I’ll return to this momentarily.
  76. DEADLY MYTHS OF MOBILE USERS ARE ON THE GO AND

    ARE RUSHED. MOBILE = LESS YOU GOTTA HAVE A MOBILE WEBSITE. Sunday, June 3, 12 In a recent presentation, Josh Clark discussed the 7 deadly myths of mobile development. Four are relevant to what I’m saying here. ----- First, users are on the go and are rushed. Not all mobile users are rushed or even out of their house. In fact, 28% of mobile Web users rarely or never use a desktop browser. 88% of tablet users and 86% of smartphone users use their device while watching TV. Second, is this idea that a mobile version of a site is a lesser version. You have to get rid of that thinking. Third, is the myth that you have to create a mobile version of your Web site, specifically, a separate version of a site. There is a great amount of debate among developers on whether you should create one version of your site or two, but the most important thing is that you make a decision on the matter and not just have an absolute policy one way or the other. I’ll return to this. Finally, a myth I want to debunk: you have to have an app. I’ll return to this momentarily.
  77. DEADLY MYTHS OF MOBILE USERS ARE ON THE GO AND

    ARE RUSHED. MOBILE = LESS YOU GOTTA HAVE A MOBILE WEBSITE. MOBILE IS ABOUT APPS. Sunday, June 3, 12 In a recent presentation, Josh Clark discussed the 7 deadly myths of mobile development. Four are relevant to what I’m saying here. ----- First, users are on the go and are rushed. Not all mobile users are rushed or even out of their house. In fact, 28% of mobile Web users rarely or never use a desktop browser. 88% of tablet users and 86% of smartphone users use their device while watching TV. Second, is this idea that a mobile version of a site is a lesser version. You have to get rid of that thinking. Third, is the myth that you have to create a mobile version of your Web site, specifically, a separate version of a site. There is a great amount of debate among developers on whether you should create one version of your site or two, but the most important thing is that you make a decision on the matter and not just have an absolute policy one way or the other. I’ll return to this. Finally, a myth I want to debunk: you have to have an app. I’ll return to this momentarily.
  78. ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS Sunday, June 3, 12 The goals you

    might set for e-commerce are trickier, in part because it’s harder to get quantitative results. For example, increased sales through mobile devices may come at the expensive of sales through desktops. There’s a very common mistake made when people begin working on e-commerce for mobile devices. Any guesses? The mistake is this: We need an app. We need a mobile app is not a goal!
  79. MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES Sunday, June 3, 12 So you’ve identified

    your goals. Increase sales this much. Get a mobile presence, whatever. Next, you need to manage your resources. The resources, again, are time and money.
  80. APP WEB SITE MOBILE E-COMMERCE OPTIONS Sunday, June 3, 12

    A great way to waste both time and money is to create yet another app. Do not create apps just to have one. First of all, apps require different skill sets than your in-house people may have. And even if they have those skills, being able to create a good app that will work on all the major platforms is another hurdle. For example, you’ll need a Mac and an Objective-C programmer to create an app that runs on iPhones. Then you’ll need a Java programmer to create an app that runs on the Android platform. And these are separate skills than Web development. Even if you have all of those people, keep in mind that by creating an app, you’ve created another hurdle for getting people to visit. This is to say people now have to have a reason to install and then use your app. You’re much more likely to get existing customers to do this than new customers. Apps make it harder for all customers. So what’s the alternative? The alternative is HTML5. HTML5 has great features built into it. And your in-house Web developers should
  81. APP WEB SITE NEW SKILLS MOBILE E-COMMERCE OPTIONS PLATFORM-SPECIFIC HARDER

    TO MAINTAIN HURDLE FOR NEW CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 A great way to waste both time and money is to create yet another app. Do not create apps just to have one. First of all, apps require different skill sets than your in-house people may have. And even if they have those skills, being able to create a good app that will work on all the major platforms is another hurdle. For example, you’ll need a Mac and an Objective-C programmer to create an app that runs on iPhones. Then you’ll need a Java programmer to create an app that runs on the Android platform. And these are separate skills than Web development. Even if you have all of those people, keep in mind that by creating an app, you’ve created another hurdle for getting people to visit. This is to say people now have to have a reason to install and then use your app. You’re much more likely to get existing customers to do this than new customers. Apps make it harder for all customers. So what’s the alternative? The alternative is HTML5. HTML5 has great features built into it. And your in-house Web developers should
  82. APP WEB SITE NEW SKILLS EXISTING SKILLS MOBILE E-COMMERCE OPTIONS

    PLATFORM-SPECIFIC PLATFORM-AGNOSTIC HARDER TO MAINTAIN EASIER TO MAINTAIN HURDLE FOR NEW CUSTOMERS ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE Sunday, June 3, 12 A great way to waste both time and money is to create yet another app. Do not create apps just to have one. First of all, apps require different skill sets than your in-house people may have. And even if they have those skills, being able to create a good app that will work on all the major platforms is another hurdle. For example, you’ll need a Mac and an Objective-C programmer to create an app that runs on iPhones. Then you’ll need a Java programmer to create an app that runs on the Android platform. And these are separate skills than Web development. Even if you have all of those people, keep in mind that by creating an app, you’ve created another hurdle for getting people to visit. This is to say people now have to have a reason to install and then use your app. You’re much more likely to get existing customers to do this than new customers. Apps make it harder for all customers. So what’s the alternative? The alternative is HTML5. HTML5 has great features built into it. And your in-house Web developers should
  83. GET VISITORS TO YOUR SITE Sunday, June 3, 12 Easier

    if you have a site than an app. Tied to other mobile services and apps. Easier with existing customers. In Dec 2011, Facebook had 845m active monthly uses and 425m active mobile users (half). 55% of twitter users access via mobile.
  84. TURN VISITORS INTO CUSTOMERS Sunday, June 3, 12 Great UX.

    Very easy to use. Even if you don’t create app, Apple provides great documentation on human interface guidelines. Create Mobile-specific content or make a site that works well on mobile devices? COPE: Create Once, Publish Everywhere
  85. GET CUSTOMERS TO RETURN Sunday, June 3, 12 Track what

    kinds of devices and optimize the experience. Get feedback to see what they want.
  86. QUESTIONS & COMMENTS TODAY IN THE FUTURE LARRY@LARRYULLMAN.COM @LARRYULLMAN HTTP://LARRYULLMAN.COM

    Sunday, June 3, 12