Sunday, December 16, 2007

Online Shopping's got everyone hopping...

The press has picked up a few stories about the surge in online shopping this year and of course, the most timey statistics are coming from the US. A quick search for online shopping data shows that the level of online shopping occuring in the US market is up almost 20% on the same time a year ago. Good coverage can be found at and others.

Looking into this statistic a little highlights just how far we have come in a few short years. Do a search on online shopping statistics and you see mention of expectations of daily revenue topping US$800m on a single day before Christmas. This is VERY serious business, particularly when one considers that these growth statistics are being sustained of increasingly higher bases.

You also see mention in some of these articles of some of the consequences of a lack of commercial foresight on the part of some of the participants. There is much talk of sites crashing under the weight of traffic and for me, this is just unacceptable. These companies are IN THE BUSINESS of online shopping and these days of on-demand computing, massive scalability and great advances in software, data management and online marketing, there is just no excuse for your core business platform failing. The only possible reasons could be under investment, holding onto legacy technologies or just bad management.

Thankfully, we are seeing many of our clients getting on the front foot and suggested investment levels for 2008 are refreshing (and exciting for the business). There is growing acceptance of the importance of digital channels as a permanent and significant part of the "go to market" mix now and the strategies, investments and the work at hand ae reflecting this. This is not just an "online advertising" story. The investments are coming in the way our customers, attract, engage and transact with their customers as well has how they maintain relationshps once the initial transaction has occured. The thinking is sophisticated and the business opportunities are exciting.

Every year I look back at this time and think about how far we have come in just a year and this year is no different. Looking forward to next year though, I feel as though we will see even more change and the view back in a years time will contain even more (positive) surprises.

We really ARE changing the world!!

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