Every Etailer Should Consider the Three "Cs"

By Matthew Ledford, FastPivot CEO

Today I’m going to talk just a little bit about connecting, converting, and committing: the three Cs of online business.  Essentially, every online business has to have each of these three working to some degree to be successful.


Connection is the one that most people think about.  How are they going to find me?  How are they going to hear about my website?  Will I be found in Google?  Will I actually connect emotionally when they come to my site and make the kind of impression to connect with the right customers as we engage an interactive, online interactive experience.


Converting can be about dollars or it can be about exchanging information.  It can be about exchanging a “like” or a fan or giving permission via Facebook Connect or storing some login in a system that helps create value in the process.  The transaction may be to generate a phone call that can be measured that then can result in a sale or it could be an actual online transaction as captured via the website in real time, as we do with so many catalogs from 3M to World Soccer Shop.


And then commit. Many people don’t talk about committing in E-commerce. But think about from Zappos and their customer service to the way that certain airlines handle their repeat customers with loyalty points.  One of the things that you want ideally are loyal customers.  At FastPivot, our goal is not just a transaction but a good long-term relationship with great people building great businesses that make a difference.  And so that’s a key part of our businesses: looking for good people, building great businesses that want to make a difference in the world. And so, that’s one of the things that’s a distinctive kind of a hallmark about FastPivot compared to some other vendors that may be in a similar space or a similar position.

We all know the cost of acquiring a new customer is far higher than retaining existing customers.  And so you grow the commitment–especially if you’re not in a commodity business–by the way that you conduct your service, by the way that you engage, by the way that you help create a repurchase stream. All these things factor into your long-term revenue.  We have clients that because of the repurchase cycle, they don’t necessarily have to be acquiring new customers all the time, having a huge burn rate of new customers and new clients.

Trust is the essence of the three Cs and confidence is the foundation.  If we don’t have confidence, if we don’t trust a website we’re not likely to invest our time beyond just the first few seconds or engage more deeply. And so connecting, converting at some level and then commitment are the three pieces that provide differentiators from the competitors.

So if you begin to build steadily by connecting with the right customers, by converting them to engage in a relationship with you, and then by working to help give them your commitment– to give them great service and hoping to have their commitment to be of a repeat customer– you ideally create a life long customer.  And that’s what the power of your brand is about, really.

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