NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In March of 1997, after getting laid-off by Netguide Magazine just before it folded, I launched a weekly newsletter called A Clue . . . to Internet Commerce, later called a-clue.com.After the dot-bomb of 2000 realized my worst fears for the space, I moved on to other things, but after doing my Christmas shopping
One idea I advocated in 1997 was that people need a convenient place nearby from which they can pick up online purchases. It's finally here, with Amazon Lockers inside stores like Staples ( SPLS) and Radio Shack ( RSH),
Internet Retailer reports , and ShopRunner buying PickupPoints, turning 7-Elevens into quick storage for online purchases, at $79/year, the same outlet says. So what have we learned? It's what happens before the customer walks in and long after they leave your online store that makes the biggest difference in your e-commerce success. If you're an investor, focus less on start-ups like Sift , that turn your incoming e-mail into a mall, and more on Yoox. Let that be your Clue for 2012. And look forward to a Fab.com IPO in 2013. At the time of publication, the author had no investments in companies mentioned in this story. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.