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March 9, 2010

Editorializing the Retail Experience: Increasing customer value & loyalty

(An image of Adelaide's first bidding experience on eBay! She got brave and ventured out of the "Buy It Now" category!)

Another interesting installment in our inFOCUS series with Meredith Barnett! So far we've learned about her role at TIS and detailed why she is really quite unique. Meet Meredith at an end-of-the-month Ladies Lunch on March 24th.

What is The Inside Source and what are its goals?

The Inside Source is a digital magazine presented by eBay about trends in shopping for fashion, home & garden, collectibles and more. The publication is targeted at a fashion-savvy female audience (think Lucky and Domino magazines) and has articles similar to those you'll find in a fashion/lifestyle magazine such as trend reports, style maker profiles, gift guides etc.

The critical difference is that instead of showing merchandise from a variety of different retailers, we reinforce trends by highlighting items for sale on eBay. In that way, we help curate the sometimes-overwhelming eBay shopping experience (200 million+ products available for sale!) to identify the most stylish items for the most fashion-savvy shoppers. eBay has long been a go-to source for fashion types, who stalk the online marketplace for hard-to-find collectibles or new-with-tags designer pieces they didn't get their hands on last season. By editorializing the retail experience, we’re giving a voice to the chicer side of the site. Further, because we are presented by eBay, we can rely on the insights of 90 million users who shop eBay. That means we can use real shopping data to back up many of the trends we assert--so we're uniquely equipped to serve as a barometer of trends.

Can you talk a bit more about the concept of “editorializing the retail experience”? How can others learn from that?

We hear a lot about how businesses are focusing on growing brand loyalty by building relationships with their customers. Customers will choose one company over another very similar one if they feel some affinity towards the brand. One way that many retailers and brands are doing this is by editorializing the retail experience--not just merchandising products according to designer and color like in the old days, but really trying to tell stories around the products sold: Where do these items come from? Who makes them? Who chose them? What important style makers love these items and how do they use them?

These stories can be told through a retailer's or brand's own website or in its stores through displays, etc. Another way to editorialize the retail experience is by creating additional content that lives outside of the point of sale--by creating a magazine, video series, or content-focused site like The Inside Source.

These "media" properties help humanize a brand. And again, as in the case of The Inside Source, the site is also a way to curate the 200m products for sale on eBay for a specific part of the customer base.


* How can you incorporate these principles into your offering or value proposition?

* It what ways do you // can you editorialize your customer experience? What value will it serve?

See other great examples of businesses that "editorialize the retail experience"

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