Bringing Business Closer to the Customer
I have often used examples of companies such as 1-800-FLOWERS, Ebay, and Home Shopping Club as examples of how companies become very successful simply by making it easier for users to use their services.
Consider 1-800-FLOWERS. This is their telephone number: 1-800-F-L-O-W-E-R-S. Now, forget the number! Get the picture? By making it easy for a customer to avail themselves of its service (floral delivery), the company has become a resounding success.
The Ebay and Amazon models use a different dynamic by enabling their cash register with the Web. Still, there are similarities between the two. Whether fed with a data or voice communications medium, organizations like these depend upon very fast turnover of products in order to be profitable.
The products advertised on Home Shopping Club might reside in the warehouse for only a few days because the money comes from turning them over quickly, not storing them. Ditto Walmart.com and others.
Many times products are advertised using expensive television advertising, which invariably gives the customer a 1-800 number or an easy-to-remember URL.
Once again, consider the dependence on telecommunications! A single cable cut at just the wrong time by a wayward contractor could wipe out a huge chunk of sales.