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Hi John,

When I look at 7.5% all I see is opportunity, 92.5% opportunity for growth.

• E-commerce is a tiny fraction of transactions. Eg 7.5% of USA retail sales.

If you looked at the graph for ecommerce sales representing this 7.5% (or in the one a few years old below 6%)


you’ll realise there is no telling exactly where it’s going to peak on the right hand side, I will even go so far as to say that when it does peak, it will NEVER curve back down to 7.5% except for perhaps a catastrophic event. The reason I say that is because if there’s one thing we love more than our devices, it’s a good bargain.

Here is also an interesting article about ecommerce sales growth overtaking brick and mortar sales growth


I’ll highlight a section from this paragraph

Online retail sales growth overshadows brick-and-mortar sales growth rate

The percentage of e-commerce sales to total retail sales, increased from 5.5% in 1Q13 to 6.2% in 1Q14. Over the years, consumers have shown a growing preference for online purchases due to the convenience and lower prices offered by e-tailers.

Reflecting the preference for click as opposed to brick, Staples (SPLS), the #3 online retailer in the U.S. (according to the Internet Retailer), announced that it was closing up to 225 stores in North America by the end of 2015 because almost half its sales were coming from the online channel.

The other problems you mentioned I see as teething problems, online marketing is in it’s infancy, as it grows more competitive and your marketing has to be faster and sharper than the next guy, small business will have to take analytics on board or they will fail, a strong statement, I know.

• Online payment functions not routinely offered by many small business categories (Eg. Services and trades)

• Tracking problem 1: Many sites don’t have Analytics installed. (According to Google, it can’t use its stats because too few sites have it installed.)

• Tracking problem 2: Many small businesses are too busy to worry about online stats.

We’ve gone from let’s build lots of links and post plenty of stuff on social media, hooray we’re making money, to each of these areas now evolving into separate specialist areas.

I’m not saying SM marketing does not work but I do believe there are a whole bunch of marketing communications issues that need to be assessed around if, which ones, to whom, how, when, why, etc. to use it.

The answers to “which ones, to whom, how, when, why” varies according to the product, what works for (a), is going to fail for (b), and be mediocre for (c). It is the need to find the answers to these questions that gave birth to testing and measurement. Your answers are buried in the data, data given to you by your users, the only authority you should listen to.

It seems to me that the numbers of folk reading his thread, is an indication of the small business owner’s confusion and perhaps scepticism on the issues.

Agreed and rightfully so, you should be sceptic, until someone can show you mathematically it’s working or it’s not working you are throwing money down the drain. I’ve seen people pull figures out of their ear with comments like… let’s say you make such and such a figure… it makes me cringe and business people are smart enough to know this is not how you run a business.

(sorry for my rant it’s a sensitive topic for me lol)