April Ecommerce Digest

When in April, we sweetly showered you with sundry content to seek distant revenue strands well known in distant lands:

Nonetheless, while we have space and time, it seems to us in accord with reason to describe to you the state of the global ecommerce market, subscription management, product adoption, and B2B ecommerce — each of them, as it appears to me, and what is their degree.

Global Ecommerce

The US just overtook China as the world’s best place for e-commerce | Quartz
Across the planet, brick-and-mortar stores are expanding online and vice versa. Both of these groups, the physical and online stores, are endeavoring to grow their sales in new markets. Quartz, as always, marries substance and style to highlight a few important trends in global ecommerce. This article discusses some of the cracks in China’s otherwise smooth growth to ecommerce behemoth, and it also points out India’s stymied growth despite its vast population. Most importantly, this informative article led me to a heretofore unknown resource: The A.T. Kearny E-commerce Index. If you’re an ecommerce professional tasked with expanding your international offering, this article is a must-read.

Subscription Management, Recurring Billing

Just five bucks a month | Gina Trapani
Here is the true story of a business that transitioned from advertising revenue to subscription revenue. The author relates a crucial lesson that all businesses must learn sooner or later: Payments are a necessary evil that distract you from your core product. Although your business depends on the value you offer to customers, you can’t cash in on that value without payment capabilities. But developing those is no simple task. As the online, global and recurring billing spaces grow and converge, the scenarios and tools related to converting and retaining customers only grow more unwieldy. If you’re considering a switch to subscriptions, consider this a cautionary tale.

Product Adoption

Product adoption: different problems for different folks | Seth Godin

Adoption stages
Salespeople are always the least influential in every stage of the purchase decisions

If you develop software, you have a product adoption problem, and “Why should someone buy my product?” is your eternal question. Godin, based on the seminal flannelgraph regarding how farmers adopt the use of innovative seeds like hybrid corn, suggests that those who are launching a new product must carefully understand the different needs of individuals and their sources of information.

Surprisingly, Godin writes that few people are concerned with the specific features of a product they are thinking about buying. Rather, they are more concerned with their own personal narrative and solving a problem related to it.

Tangentially, I’d encourage everyone to read the aforementioned research report about hybrid corn seeds. It’s a 34 year old research paper on the subject of how information is diffused, and will help you understand popular marketing events for the buyers journey like the awareness, interest, evaluation, trial and adoption stages.

B2B Ecommerce

US B2B Ecommerce to Reach $1.1 Trillion by 2020 | Forrester Research
Better start getting that online presence of yours ready for business buyers. According to the research report linked to this blog post, “Forrester believes that B2B companies that ignore their customers’ emerging digital-first research and buying preferences will lose significant share in the next few years.” Becoming more “digitally savvy” also reduces your costs by providing self-service options to your customers. The key to a successful pivot involves an in-depth analysis of the B2B buyer journey.

Do you have any thoughts on B2B ecommerce, product adoption, recurring billing or global ecommerce?

Share them with us in the comment section below.