Today’s ‘Day in the Life’ features Liat Karpel Gurwicz – Head of Ecommerce Marketing at ecommerce platform, Wix.
We recently caught up with Liat to find out what a typical day in her life looks like. She also reflects on a year of huge growth for ecommerce, what this has meant for Wix, and how it might shape the ecommerce industry going forward.
Talk us through a typical day…
Most mornings I drop my kids at school at 7:45am, and I’m in the office (or these days the WFH zoom office) by 8:00 or 8:30 am, which usually buys me around an hour of focused quiet time before meetings start.
Every morning starts with reports for me – reviewing performance of product features or marketing campaigns and that sort of thing.
Next up is looking at Wix users’ online stores – on a good day I’ll look at 200, and on a busy day I’ll average about 50. I want to see what our users are doing – which features they use and which they don’t. What they’re trying to achieve, what’s working for them and what they’re missing. If I see something interesting, I’ll try to reach out to that user and schedule a chat so I can hear more about their experience with Wix. After that, like any tech executive, I usually have a lot of meetings.
When we were still in the office, I made a point to take time out to eat lunch with my team or colleagues everyday. At Wix, we really believe in building relationships and making work fun, and a good lunch break is one way to do that. Since we’ve been working from home, we actually made it a norm to block all of our team calendars for the lunch hour so that people can take a break from the screen and do something for themselves – make a meal, work out, meditate – whatever floats your boat. I usually use my hour for a quick lunch and a walk with my dog Bailey.
Afternoons are more meetings until my kids get back from school, and then I try to keep a few hours for family time. Since I’m based in Tel Aviv, I usually get back online in the evenings after 8:00pm two or three nights a week for international meetings, or online events and webinars which I have been doing a lot of this past year. I also like to spend some time in the Wix eCommerce community chatting with our users or seeing what they’re up to.
On my best days, I end the evening with a glass of wine and a game of Chess with my husband (even though I usually lose) or a good book in bed (current read is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet).
How do you maintain an effective work/life balance?
Ha – I don’t think I do! I think that being passionate about what you do in life is a big driver in avoiding burnout, and then just prioritising life day by day.
I find that many people talk about work-life balance, but for me it’s always more of a juggle. So it’s about prioritising what’s important each day. As an executive, mom, wife, daughter, friend – every day is different. Some days family wins, some days work wins.
Don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of hard, mixed-up days too. But I really love my family and my job. I feel privileged to be able to enjoy both aspects of life and I feel like there is so much more for me to experience and achieve.
How has the shift to ecommerce since Covid-19 impacted strategy at your company?
2020 was a year that pushed brands and businesses around the world to reinvent themselves and adapt in order to survive and thrive. The pandemic changed ecommerce forever, causing a surge in growth and transforming the way people sell and shop online.
Like so many other aspects of 2020, the way brands and retailers do business changed forever. The result: a year of unparalleled growth in eCommerce sales. At the end of that rollercoaster of a year, we put together a year-end report to share the extraordinary growth of ecommerce in 2020. Spoiler alert—online sales broke records.
As the months of lockdowns and social distancing passed by, we saw significant growth in ecommerce consumption across the globe. Online sales grew 140% YoY (year over year), and sales revenues have increased 114% YoY.
Today, the Wix ecommerce platform which powers more than 600,000 online stores worldwide. In 2020, Wix sellers surpassed $5.4 billion in online transactions, with 140% YoY growth in sales transactions and 114% YoY growth in overall sales revenue.
In terms of strategy, at Wix ecommerce we’ve been focused on continuing to do what we always do – enable businesses to launch, run and scale their online stores successfully. Based on our users’ specific needs this year due to the pandemic, we focused on delivering specific features like additional curbside and in-store pickup functionality, enhanced local delivery functionality, extended fulfillment solutions, and additional product-sourcing solutions like dropshipping and print-on-demand.
How has customer behaviour (or your clients’ customer behaviour) changed during the pandemic?
Global lockdowns led to a massive surge in online shopping, posing major challenges to businesses around the world. Despite the incredibly high demand for ecommerce in 2020, businesses weren’t always prepared to meet it at scale without professional ecommerce and fulfillment solutions in place. Sadly, many brick-and-mortar businesses were forced to close their doors permanently, while others had to quickly pivot, immediately opening online stores for the first time ever. Even those with online stores had to make significant adjustments to manage the challenges surrounding inventory, logistics, shipping and more.
Here at Wix, we’ve been blown away by the resilience of small businesses owners and have proudly witnessed our users reinvent themselves to survive—and even thrive during this time of immense challenges. Throughout the year, we’ve been inspired by businesses who have adapted and succeeded despite unpredictable challenges.
With the backdrop of Covid-19, more businesses than ever before moved online in an effort to stay afloat. The Wix network of online stores selling worldwide grew from 400,000 to over 600,000 active stores this year.
One such example is the story of Evolve. When Covid-19 hit, the Evolve fashion boutique in a small New Jersey town doubled down by investing in their online store. Now, their products sell out nationwide, they offer curbside pickup for locals and their sales are growing 30% every week. Another online store success is Angel Gregorio and The Spice Suite. When the pandemic began, Gregorio turned her brick-and-mortar shop into a warehouse and focused on selling online. Now, every time she uploads new inventory on her site, she sells out in minutes. To date, her spice shop has sold over $2 million.
What do you predict for the future of ecommerce?
I believe that many of the changes in shopping behaviour we saw in 2020 will have a lasting effect and are likely to stick post-pandemic. More consumers are shopping online than ever before. More businesses are selling online in record numbers and are offering shipping, delivery and pickup options to their customers. While most people probably don’t enjoy social distancing, they do enjoy the convenience of ordering online and getting their orders delivered to their doorstep. I think the advances we’ve made in online shopping and shipping and delivery options are here to stay once we’re in a post pandemic world.
2020 was hectic in its demands on ecommerce, setting expectations for consumers. 2021 will require businesses to have a strong ecommerce and fulfillment strategy. To keep up with an ever-evolving market, businesses need to ask themselves what they should do differently this year for success in 2021.
What advice would you give a marketer working in your industry right now?
For any ecommerce business, your customer is your greatest asset. You invest in acquiring every new customer – time, resources and budget. But the real reward is not just closing the sale, it’s your potential to continue earning from that customer for a lifetime.
Customers will keep buying from brands that they feel valued by and get value from. So no matter how you plan to keep them coming back, remember to put your customers at the forefront of your strategy.