Posted by Laura Fitch on September 1, 2009 11:25 AM
There's nothing like a good recession to make an e-commerce opportunist smile.
In today’s brutal economy, resourceful companies can skip building a name from scratch and just buy one. Linens 'N Things has become an experiment in rebranding a bricks-and-mortar store as an Internet-only presence. Gordon Brothers-Hilco have taken over the very publicly bankrupted home-and-bath business, its established brand and – not a minor thing – its database of five million e-mail addresses. All that remains is to convince potential buyers to purchase their sheets with a click of a mouse rather than where they can see and touch the merchandise. Tapio Talvisalo, CEO of the aptly-named e-business solutions company Smilehouse, reckons this shouldn’t be too hard:
Our estimates indicate that the recession will boost the purchase behaviour change that is already in progress. In bare markets, consumers and companies strive towards increasingly sensible purchases, and the Internet and online stores offer particularly efficient ways to support more thoughtful purchasing, both in terms of cost savings and the ability to offer more extensive background information.
We may be on the verge of an online branding war, as companies react to consumers' changing purchase habits and fight for their piece of online sales.