Key Trends From the MeritDirect Co-op
* There’s a growing realization that outsourcing is a viable alternative for all but the core functions of your business — i.e., the ones that deliver true competitive advantages. Many multichannel merchants believe product development and marketing are the only critical in-house functions. Everything else, including e-commerce, fulfillment, IT, human resources and call center, should be considered for outsourcing.
* Smart mailers continue to mail by finding ways to reduce costs (co-mailing, reducing trim sizes, cutting page counts, etc.). In addition, there’s plenty of testing going on with respect to what to mail an online buyer. Many B-to-B catalogers feel the full-line catalog is no longer necessary and are testing increased frequency of a lower cost mail piece.
* There’s a realization that some B-to-B mailers will fail in this current down economy, while others will grow and prosper. Business cycles are normal and healthy.
I hope you’re one of those that prosper!
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Terence Jukes is president of Ability Commerce, a 140-person firm that designs, builds and runs e-commerce and related marketing programs for catalog companies. He can be reached at TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com.