Old tricks for new business

cheerful couple making online purchases at home
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

“AT THE end of the day, you’re not building an ecommerce company, you’re building a brand that has ecommerce as its core distribution channel.”

Andy Dunn

This deceptively simple comment by Andy Dunn, the founder of menswear clothing and accessories brand, Bonobos (sold to Walmart for $310 million), is profoundly important for online retailers.

It changes the view that ecommerce is different from other kinds of commerce to a view that ecommerce is the same but with a different sales and delivery channel.

That means throwing out some of the more traditional business promotion tools is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. 

Don’t trash it, change it.

One traditional tool is the folded pamphlet, or leaflet. They’ve long been handy because they carry a lot of information in a quick, easily read, and visually attractive format.

The power of the pamphlet is that it is low-cost, takes up little space, but gives six surfaces for information which can be combined creatively.

Traditionally pamphlets were used to saturate a particular target market area, or posted to target mail addresses. 

That doesn’t work for ecommerce. Time to think out of the traditional box and into a whole new box: the package sent to customers.

That’s because the pamphlet is no longer useful to attract customers to an online store — but to take the online store to the most important person for a business: a paying customer.

Pamphlet PackAds are package inserts that work to bring customers back for more and strengthen brand loyalty.

The benefits far outweigh costs, especially for online retailers because the retailer is marketing to someone who has already bought or received an item. 

It’s far easier to sell more to such a person than find a new customer.

Just remember what Andy Dunn said. And he should know.