As you can see, the contents in this month’s issue are quite operations-heavy. We’re always trying to balance our coverage, and with a more general focus for our big double-issue next month, as well as a broadly focused June issue, we’ll turn to technology-related issues in July.
Perhaps the most interesting thing we found in putting this month’s issue together was that, although there typically aren’t a lot of drastic changes in the whole area of catalog/multichannel operations, fulfillment and management, there are nevertheless noteworthy changes taking place.
For instance, take a look at consultant Liz Kislik’s feature on necessary changes in catalog order takers’ approach to multichannel customers. It took years for catalogers to refine their upselling approach on the phone. But today, customers can be looking at your Web sites on their PCs while they call in their orders and suddenly, it’s a whole new dynamic.
‘What Web Page Are You Looking At? How About Now?’
Order takers now have to find out many things well beyond a print catalog’s source code. They need to know what Web page(s) customers are looking at, whether customers want a product that’s only offered online or in the print catalog, and whether customers are responding after receiving a print catalog. The list of questions call center reps need to ask these days can be endless, particularly if you’re looking to improve your upselling. For more on this, I encourage you to check out Liz’s article.
Also in this issue, Nick Isasi of DM Transportation Management explores how the growth of e-commerce as a viable element in multichannel marketers’ arsenal has changed the whole fulfillment process. While there may not be as extensive a question list for operations chiefs to ask customers, there’s plenty they need to ask their equipment and shipping services suppliers.
As Nick explains, the whole fulfillment center dynamic has changed with regard to necessary technology. Beyond one of the most apparent e-commerce-spurred developments — speedier and sometimes guaranteed order delivery times — advancements in warehouse technology are rampant these days, and catalogers mustn’t be left behind.
What’s More …
In addition to the operations-related article focusing on product returns, you’ll find articles on search engine optimization, postal affairs, creative and click fraud. I don’t ordinarily like to turn my column into a “what’s inside this issue” promo, but I wanted to add that there’s plenty more inside, if ops isn’t your thing.
As with every issue, I know you’ll come away with plenty of money-making ideas.
Paul Miller, Editor in Chief
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