Based on recent history and forecasts, there’s no end in sight for the growth of e-commerce. In fact, shoppers spent more than $517 billion online in 2018, up 15 percent from the previous year, according to the 2019 Internet Retailer Top 1000 Report. However, some of the challenges that lie ahead may surprise you. Here are the biggest barriers–and how to overcome them.
Data analytics is needed to keep your company agile and responsive. However, those insights are only helpful if your team knows how to apply them and shares them across departments.
Take for example Adidas, which saw a surge in demand for apparel in North America but was unable to meet demand. One possible reason for the shortage may have been that, despite the ability to predict a surge in demand, the supply chain wasn’t flexible enough. It’s not enough to just have data; you must also have a plan for that data and communicate those insights throughout your company to help you be better able to meet your customers’ wants and needs.
Walmart, on the other hand, used data analytics to pinpoint that customers were buying Pop-Tarts at seven times their normal rate in preparation for Hurricane Frances, enabling them to put enough of the product on shelves.
One solve for this is to partner with existing companies to help you reach more customers and share services that would be too expensive to do alone, such as smaller companies’ using Amazon’s logistic services (think: Levi Strauss & Co. selling directly through Amazon in addition to its own platform).
Finding ways to scale, innovate and apply data insights will be key to overcoming some of the biggest challenges e-commerce companies will face in the upcoming years. Collaborating with partners to expand your reach and resources, as well as upskilling your team to know how to use data, will help fuel your success.