Too much of a good thing? Pretty much.
Ecommerce professionals are bombarded by companies selling the latest cutting-edge technology to help them keep up with the competition and catch up with Amazon. At Shop.org this year hundreds of vendors staffed their booths in a cavernous hall. There were mind-boggling tech solutions and mind-numbing sales pitches.
Automation is the not just the future of ecommerce, it’s the now of ecommerce. Every step of a customer’s journey — from finding a retailer and product on the web, to contacting the retailer after an order has arrived — has a long list of tech tools promising to make it better.
It’s easy to become paralyzed or to make a snap decision that you’ll regret for years, if your boss or board allows you to stick around that long after you headed down the wrong path. Arthur McManus has seen the evolution of ecommerce; he’s seen fads come and go and he’s seen bona fide breakthroughs that have changed the game, as so many products promised to do.
McManus, senior vice president of the FitForCommerce’s provider program, agreed to talk to me at Shop.org. He offered some practical advice to those who find their heads swimming when it comes to trying to select the right company to tackle an ecommerce challenge in the right way.
The paradoxical problem of too much choice has been well documented. I wouldn’t be the first to use the supermarket analogy: that feeling when you face a shelf filled with dozens of varieties of jellies. Sometimes it just seems easier to get no jelly at all. But ecommerce executives can’t afford to arrive home without the jelly.
Competition is fierce and those who seize upon the right automation and the right technological solutions will be in the best position to survive and thrive. McManus’ approach might be the way to cut through the noise and figure out which jar of jelly will put you on the path to success.