The world of ecommerce has come a long way the past couple of years.

We’ve assembled these quotations from various thought leaders and beyond to summarize tactics that have changed the way customers and businesses alike interact in the industry.

The ecommerce industry has been travelling faster than the speed of light. In the past five years, it has shattered expectations, created many jobs, and introduced entirely new selling channels to retailers. 

It’s crazy to think how far the industry has come in such a short amount of time. To encapsulate the expansion, success, and innovation of eCommerce, here are 15 quotes from eCommerce professionals to show the current state of the industry and where it could be going.

Pricing

Prices have become a huge factor in the purchase decision process for customers. With price comparison so popular amongst consumers, competitive pricing has become a main focus for retailers.

Here are two quotes that perfectly sum up the overall sentiment of pricing online and the factors that impact it:

  1. "If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering." - Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

  2. “The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.” - Seth Godin, Founder of Squidoo.com, former VP of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!

The competition

Consumers don’t have to drive across town to visit a competitor when buying online, intensifying competition greatly.

While this does spark ingenuity, an aggressive competitor can make or break a company. 

  1. “You should learn from your competitor, but never copy.” - Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba

  2. “Amazon and other pure plays are driving toward getting both predictive and prescriptive analytics. They’re analyzing and understanding information at an alarming rate. Brands have pulled products off of Amazon because they’re learning more about them than the brands themselves.” — Todd Michaud of Power Thinking Media

Marketing

Thanks to the internet, the way companies market themselves has changed.

On one hand channels such as email and social media have lowered barriers and costs, but on the other have provided more channels that need to be utilized correctly.

  1. “When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.”- Andy Crestodina, web strategist

  2. “[Online] Retailers that go beyond selling a product and tell a story to establish a firm brand identity and to build a one-to-one relationship with their customers are more likely to thrive.” - Jack Lowinger, CEO of Cartonomy

Data

Billions of GB of data is created online every day. Nothing grows quite as quickly and retailers have been taking full advantage of it since the dawn of ecommerce.

It is now crucial for the success of retailers. 

  1. “Don’t obsess over data as a tool, obsess about the future” - Jeff Beaver, CPO of Zazzle

  2. “Data data data, I can’t make bricks without clay.” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author

  3. “While the massive amount of data collected from selling online on numerous platforms can certainly create a challenge, moving forward, it is one that online merchants will need to handle effectively. Learning to translate that data into actionable information for driving future customer engagement could prove to be a significant asset.” - Brett Relander, Founder of Launch & Hustle

Merchandising

The meaning of merchandising has switched from in-store displays to website layouts.

Online retailers need to make sure their merchandising is on point to increase conversion rates. 

  1. “Good merchandising inspires customers to buy if they weren’t going to buy” - John Hazen, VP, Omnichannel Commerce & Digital Innovation at True Religion

  2. "Retailers are always wondering about what or even if they should be investing in technology. Let me put it this way, as you go through your budget process keep in mind that you are not going to out-invest Amazon.” - Joe Dalton, Chief Products and Marketing Officer at PivotLink 

The future of retail

If history repeats itself, ecommerce is in for a treat. The industry has seen incredible growth in just a little over a decade, and many analysts see it overtaking their brick and mortar counterparts in the near future.

  1. “I was reading all these reports that were down on retail brick and mortar, saying it’s all about online… I think brick and mortar is an amazing opportunity to use our stores and our store staff as a vehicle to truly engage with the community in a way no other retailers are doing.” - Jim Brett, President of West Elm

  2. “I can't overstate how mobile is changing how we interact with our consumers,” -Joel Anderson, CEO of Wal-Mart

  3. “Clothes, shoes, glasses and just about everything we thought would never move fully online will all be online. The reason is simple: why leave the comfort of your own home when you can get something custom made to your exact size for less? I believe this is the future.” - Patrick Curtis, wallstreetoasis.com

  4. "The sooner we drop the ‘e’ out of ‘e-commerce’ and just call it commerce, the better.” – Bob Willett, former President of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy

Ecommerce is showing no signs of slowing down. With an impressive holiday season and high projections, 2015 is set to be another year of incredible growth for online sellers.

While there are many potential interpretations of these quotes, but I see two main takeaways here.

First, look to your competitors to build points of differentiation for yourself, not to imitate their business practices.

Second, ecommerce has become the new standard in the way people purchase goods. And if the past is at all suggestive of the future, then it’s safe to say that the future of ecommerce looks bright.

Ari Shpanya

Published 13 February, 2015 by Ari Shpanya

Ari is the co-founder of HomeShare and Zent , Graduate of the GSB Stanford Ignite program, and a contributor to Econsultancy.

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Comments (3)

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Patrick Obolgogiani, Business Development at Nosto

Thanks for sharing, great quotes.

almost 3 years ago

Ari Shpanya

Ari Shpanya, co-founder at HomeShare.com

You're welcome, Patrick!

almost 3 years ago

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Srini Rangaswamy, Director, Commerce Solutions at Oracle Marketing Cloud

Great set of quotes.
Interestingly, early this month I posted a similar blog entry titled "7 Quotes from Highly Effective Retailers" at http://linkd.in/1zawvuh

almost 3 years ago

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