UK eCommerce growth predictions drop to single digits for first time ever from IMRG. Mobile sales growth drops. External and political factors hold true. But saturation of product, marketplace have contributed to this.
Next phase of growth will be B2B followed slowly by FMCG. These will be key verticals for global heads of ecommerce realigning financial plans and P & L accounts. As for real transformation, the B2B changes are slowly changing . This mode of thinking will have to change at a rate that most will not be comfortable with. Margin erosion will continue until this happens. Most people will lean on Amazon to enable this - their B2B sales channel will post big increases this year, as will their brand spread.
Also, our method for purchase is slowly shifting and moving to voice and passive buying - think 1 click prime. We have got to prepare our data to be channel agnostic. We will buy anywhere, anytime. The adopters of this only need to watch Amazon and Google's product mix to see where focus is shifting. Google glass wasn't a failure, rather it was a superb experiment in watching the slow erosion of the mobile device and how we could interact with the world in front of us. They just got us hyped for all the right reasons.
2018: The year you focus your attention on performance and control
Despite what people say, the most effective channels for sales are paid ads, email and strong retention. It is the latter that we need to improve on.
Despite what people say, we do not have enough volume of the right type of marketers to build effective campaigns, designed on understanding the needs of the end customer, isn't that partly why over 50% of product searches now begin on Amazon.
We do not do enough to try and manage loyalty - we are disconnected.
I predicted after Black Friday that discounting would become normal. We have said to our customers by adopting this sales practice that we are telling you our best prices and thoughts only happen at this time of year. A dangerous practice by any stretch. It is important therefore to think, what can we learn from BF that we can put into practice year round. Is it any surprise that prime day numbers in 2017 were so high? Did Amazon see something we don't? No, they have just acted.
Key actions to now invest in:
Sell with aggregation partners in niche verticals - think Etsy for jewelry (90% dominated by Chinese companies)
Up-skilling teams or outsourcing to specialists
We are entering rocky waters in 2018, to hear words like "survive and grow" from analysts tells it's own tale. If you think I am wrong, I'd love to hear from you. But can you think for a few moments and tell me about the last time a retailer did something to wow you, to win you for life or delivered an experience that was worth talking about.
Have a read of the IMRG report here.