Wednesday, July 20, 2005

E-commerce turns 10

Ten years ago the first e-commerce sites came online. The Washington Post takes a look at the current state of Internet retailing. Excluding travel, online sales in the United States grew 24 percent last year, to about $90 billion, accounting for nearly 5 percent of all retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation. Highly specialized companies like and offer huge selections in narrow niches. Nine companies had e-commerce sales of more than $1 billion in 2004.

Online retailing is growing up. Find your own niche and expand your market.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sexy ads: Lingo

This isn't a retail ad, but I couldn't resist commenting. What was Lingo thinking when it approved this Internet banner ad? (I chopped it in half to fit this page).

The "Lingo sutra"? Position 69? Cartoon babes?

Just what do sexy drawings and suggestive copy have to do with Internet telephony? Nothing. Click through to their website and you won't find any more positions or drawings. No follow-through. No whole brand image. Nothing.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Retail success: Pearl Paradise

Here's an excellent entrepreneurial success story from the Wall Street Journal: Jeremy Shepherd was a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines on a layover in Beijing. He bought a set of freshwater pearl jewelry at a local market -- earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace -- for $20 and later learned was worth $600 in the U.S. Jeremy was in business. Nine years later, offering a wide line of jewelry from the popular akoya pearls to the more exotic Tahitian and South Sea varieties. Shepherd had $5 million in sales last year, supplying the jewelry to 13 other Web sites that sell pearls around the globe.

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