Category Archives: Outside the Box

Systems Thinking for Online Sellers


Everything in your business is connected. Everything that happens has an effect on at least one other thing, positively or negatively.

For example, if you invest in fast order processing then your customers will get their orders more quickly. They’ll be pleased that they bought from you, and more likely to buy from you again. They’ll also be more likely to give you good seller feedback, which helps convince others to buy from you.

That’s the essence of Systems Thinking – understanding how your business works as a whole. In this post I’ll explain how to use Systems Thinking in your business to help uncover problems and find new opportunities.

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Failure: The Key to Online Retail Success

Vintage Sports Equipment

In this post I look at how a friend of mine radically changed his approach to online selling, and introduce principles of an ecommerce philosophy that I call Lean Commerce.

Tom’s Store

Tom owns a sports equipment store.  It’s a small shop, but gets a lot of repeat custom. Most of his customers are buying kit for their school children, and that’s often left to the last minute. High-street stores still have something over internet shopping for rush purchases: fitting rooms and no wait for delivery.

Tom has also been selling online — mainly eBay — for around four years. He figures that if he already has the stock in-store he might as well put it online too, and it’s handy for selling off old product lines.

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