I think I should get out of the business of ecommerce, and instead turn into a psychic. If you are wondering what has gotten into me, well, for three years in a row I have managed to guess the Cyber Monday sales figure with increasing accuracy.
- In 2011, I predicted $1.2 billion and the actual number was $1.25 billion (96% accuracy)
- In 2012, I predicted $1.5 billion and the actual number was $1.46 billion (97% accuracy)
This Monday morning I decided to hazard a guess for sales on that day. I say "hazard" as there really is an element of crystal ball gazing. But it is not a random guess. Cyber Monday sales do not exist in an economic vacuum. Based on the sense I got from industry, I predicted sales of $1.7 billion, and the actual number ended up at $1.735 billion, representing 98% accuracy.
Frankly, I am not looking forward to beating this next year. Once you are at 98%, there is very little room left.
Ok, now I am getting nervous. It's time to make my annual Cyber Monday sales prediction.
- In 2011, I predicted that Cyber Monday would clock sales of $1.2 billion and the actual number came in at $1.25 billion.
- In 2012, my corresponding prediction was $1.5 billion and the actual number was $1.46 billion.
As you can imagine, I have been in a pretty self-congratulatory mood. But now it is time to predict this year's number. I am going with $1.7 billion. Let's see how that pans out.
Note this only includes online desktop US retail spends, and excludes travel, auction, and large corporate purchases. Like the last time around, I will be back -- either to gloat or to eat humble pie.
Immediately after I wrote the affiliate marketing blogpost yesterday, two people contacted me -- one called me up and the other emailed me. Both were of the opinion that they liked my thoughts, but found them incomplete. They almost demanded that I cover some more areas of affiliate marketing by ecommerce vendors. As a writer that pleases me immensely. So, I went ahead and wrote up a few more articles:
Are discussions about affiliate marketing in season right now? For some reason, I am coming across several ecommerce business owners who want to discuss their experiences with affiliates. Often these experiences are not positive. Then of course there are those have not yet ventured into ecommerce marketing, but would like to. These discussions have encouraged me to increase the amount of affiliate marketing content I have on this website. Here are four of my latest pieces:
Recently I wrote a couple of articles about various dimensions of writing sales copy for your ecommerce website. While the articles were largely appreciated, they created a need for more specialized articles on the topic. That is what encouraged me to write the following four articles:
Over the past few weeks, I have had a lot of opportunity to work with ecommerce startup founders. One recurrent observation was that though these entrepreneurs spent a lot of time perfecting their technology, sourcing, and logistics, they did not pay adequate attention to the sales copy on their website. With an eye on "scalability," they demonstrate an over-reliance on marketing material, and tech-specs provided by vendors. That is what motivates me to present a couple of articles about writing sales copy:
If you are here just to read articles on ecommerce, several of these discussions will be merely academic. But if you run a high growth ecommerce website, you know that there are many obstacles along the way. Some of these are:
- How does one deal with very painful customers?
- How does one conduct market research such that it makes sense?
- What is this "responsive design" all about?
- How can I go about pricing my products in a way that maximizes my value?
- Are there situations in which discounts make sense?
And while we are talking about practical situations, here is an article I recently wrote about the future of daily deals websites.
Ecommerce is a little crazy, isn't it? Just when you think that you have it all figured out, it throws another curveball at you. An article on Mashable a few hours ago, mentioned the top 10 promising countries for ecommerce. Some of the names on that list are surprising. But when it comes to international ecommerce, I am sure that there are many more surprises in store for us.
You are really going to think that creating new acronyms is my favorite hobby. Just days after I was agonizing over the term "Tcommerce" -- is it short for the very rapidly growing tablet commerce, or the promising new Twitter commerce? -- today I bring you Wcommerce.
With more manufacturers, notably Samsung, announcing smart wristwatches, is it likely that this develops into a significant wave that ecommerce players have to take note of?
Ecommerce writers, such as yours truly, still expend energy convincing merchants that we need to ensure that web design is suitable for smartphones. Now if smart wristwatches become popular, then we will all have to rush back to our drawing boards. The small wristwatch screen will create serious challenges for the designer of websites as well as apps.
Let's wait and watch. I am not convinced that smart wristwatches will turn into a big market, but I often been wrong before.