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Start Investing in 2021

The holiday selling season has just begun, albeit a month earlier than ‘normal’ times, but it is not too early to start thinking about 2021. We have already started our 2021 planning. I am not a big fan of a year long plan as you must be nimble, but for big picture items it is important to keep momentum and start investing.

The 2021 ecommerce landscape is set to be another great year, likely not as crazy as 2020 but I will withhold all predictions as I certainly didn’t see 2020 coming. If you’re a retailer, you likely didn’t have a lot of time to get projects done in 2020 and you were thrust into a whirlwind. Many of you probably weren’t staffed for the volumes and had to scramble to hire on key positions. I follow some of the top ecommerce recruiters on LinkedIn and they had a banner year. At one point, 100+ Director or higher level jobs were getting posted each week as brands and companies scrambled to staff a vertical that had been on a nice path and suddenly jolted.

Some things to consider in your 2021 planning and investing, to address and handle once the dust settles:

  • Renegotiate your shipping fees. If your volumes are up significantly don’t waste any time and get FedEx/UPS to give you a better discount, focus on the dimensional weight modifier.
  • Consider hiring an agency to manage your PLA and AdWords accounts (I won’t link to my recommendation but reach out if interested to hear my opinion).
  • Evaluate the platform you are on. If you grew substantially, you might have outgrown what you selected when you were smaller.
  • Evaluate your CRM stack. Does your email, livechat, and phone system all sync back to a common record to see one view of the customer?
  • Email optimization. I am tempted to not say more as email is the single best and most abused channel at the same time. Deliver content, not just promotions. 
  • Evaluate your on-site optimization tools. How’s your search and recommendations performing (small plug)?

There are so many more but these are ones that come to mind on what I have done in the past and what I would be thinking about if I still ran an ecommerce company. I am also assuming that you have finished solidifying your team and you have the people in place to do optimization. I can remember all too well trying to be the one person juggling. Don’t let the momentum of 2020 go to waste, never a better time to be investing!