Business E-Commerce

E-tailers Oblige Customers Who Want to Handle the Merchandise

E-commerce stalwarts are beginning to see the virtues of opening brick-and-mortar retail stores. Andy Dunn, CEO of formerly online-only apparel company Bonobos, told The New York Times that he was losing about half of his would-be customers because they wanted to touch the merchandise before making a purchase. So in 2012 his company opened six retail stores, where the average transaction is double the average online transaction, according to Dunn. Piperlime, Gap's online spinoff, and Warby Parker, an eyeglass company, are opening stores too, and EBay and Etsy are trying out temporary stores. These retailers are not abandoning lessons learned through their online operations: they tend to carry less inventory and employ fewer staff members, treating their new locations more like showrooms than traditional retail outlets.   More

E-Commerce Techonomy Events

Maelle Gavet of Ozon.ru on How ‘Offline’ Ideas Can Help Business

Ozon.ru is Russia's biggest online retailer, but its business is built on an offline foundation. In this video from Techonomy 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., Ozon.ru CEO Maelle Gavet discusses how cultural quirks unique to Russia require offline, person-to-person customer service to drive online commerce. Gavet has succeded in building Ozon's brand by embracing robust offline systems.   More