D2C retailers waste 174k in 2019 on failed e-commerce projects, Greenlight Commerce reveals

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D2C retailers in the UK lost an average of £174k in 2019 due to failed e-commerce projects, according to a new study jointly commissioned by digital commerce experts Greenlight Commerce and BigCommerce, the leading open SaaS e-commerce platform for fast-growing and established brands. The study, which questioned 100 UK-based e-commerce decision-makers within the Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) retail sector, found that the main reasons for this were budget/costs (68%), rushed projects (51%) and a lack of flexibility (42%). 

This problem is only expected to get worse, with almost three quarters of respondents (74%) expecting the amount of eCommerce projects their organisation carries out in 2020 to increase, with 31% expecting at least some key objectives to be missed. The survey highlights several ways in which the success of eCommerce projects can be increased. The most common way, identified by almost half of respondents (49%), is better planning. Other ways include better budget management (46%) and better communication between departments (42%). 

The survey finds that almost all (98%) of D2C retailers are facing some sort of eCommerce challenge, with the main challenges being customer retention (42%), finding the right technology and partners (41%), and customer experience (34%). These challenges are leading to D2C retailers lagging behind their competition, with almost half of respondents (47%) believing that to be the case. 

Kevin Murray, managing director at Greenlight Commerce, said: “It is clear from these results that D2C retailers in the UK are having difficulties with their eCommerce offering. Digital has completely transformed the shopping experience and it is a positive to see that D2C retailers understand this and are investing in eCommerce. However, it is worrying to see so much of this investment is being wasted.” 

“There is a huge opportunity within D2C for businesses to connect directly with their customers, however brands need to start making investments that are going to provide a superior customer experience and ultimately improve the bottom line. To do this, retailers must ensure a measured and diligent approach is taken, ensuring projects are planned, implemented and measured. At Greenlight, we have developed The Greenlight Code, a framework based on a set of core principles, to address these requirements within the market.  

The Greenlight Code is an approach we’ve used successfully across a wide range of eCommerce projects, and at its core is a focus on measurement. This method allows businesses to ensure they are maximising results, minimising risk, and ultimately reducing the amount of money wasted on failed eCommerce projects.” 

Mark Adams, general manager Europe at BigCommerce, added: “There has never been a better time for brands to evolve their customer relationship into a more direct one, however it’s evident from these survey results that D2C retailers in the UK are struggling to optimise their eCommerce store. Brands need to focus on finding the right vendors, technologies and partners to help them navigate the D2C journey.”