Live from shop.org FirstLook 2006 – morning

What happens when e-commerce retailers ponder the future of e-commerce?
Mostly, they long for next Christmas and hope to solve for last
year’s problems. Shop.org is a great
and solid trade organization with a unique access to the e-tailers
numbers, and has produced some fine research on e-commerce.

Today’s opening session was a yawner session reflecting on 2005’s
predictions, how they were fulfilled (or not), and what 2006 has in
store. J Gill was probably the most insightful contributor to the
conversation. The analysts kepty to safe generalizations, the Amazon
panelist wasn’t even sharing information that could be found in a 10-K,
and the QVC contribution was solid.

Sleeping through the Home Depot Direct presentation, whilst tempting, was impossible. Harvey Seegers, the Keynote speaker, made a substantial HR pitch for his business. He showed a great command of his business. Why did
his presentation have to be so cheesy and loud? He did confirm that he’s hiring…, and mused about Home Depot Direct might think about auto parts… (because they go in the garage).

Just before lunch, the richness of the content improved with short addresses from Travelocity,  Overstock.com, and CVS.com. The three speakers were equally good and complementary. Travelocity’s CMO gave the bird’s eye view of online marketing and loyalty, Overstock focused on metrics, conversion, and more metrics, and CVS.com outlined the typical problems experienced by established brick and mortar companies.

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