Poor e-commerce planning and execution will cost direct to consumer brands £304k in 2020, study shows


2020 is set to be a dark year for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands if they don’t fix their e-commerce planning and execution, according to a new study 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 D2C sector, found that brands expect to waste £146k on poor e-commerce planning and £158k on poor e-commerce execution next year. 

The survey finds that D2C retailers expect to allocate £1.198m on eCommerce projects in 2020, but almost a third (31%) expect them to miss at least some key objectives. Planning eCommerce projects is a key problem for D2C businesses, with 59% agreeing that their organisation will miss out on key business objectives in 2020 if it is not improved. Better planning is identified by almost half of respondents (49%) as a way to improve the success of eCommerce projects, with 46% highlighting better budget management and 42% highlighting better communication between departments. 

D2C retailers are also struggling with the measurement of e-commerce projects, with a number of organisations failing to measure key metrics. Three quarters of respondents (75%) are failing to measure abandoned carts, 74% are not measuring the return on investment of a project, and 71% do not measure loading times. 

Kevin Murray, managing director at Greenlight Commerce, said: “These survey results are stark in their findings, with D2C retailers simply accepting that over £300k is to be wasted on eCommerce projects this year. Businesses need to ensure they are planning ahead and working with partners that understand their business and the industry, to avoid wasting money on failed eCommerce projects in the future.” 

“The senior management team within an organisation must step up and take control to ensure e-commerce projects are planned, implemented and measured effectively. We have developed The Greenlight Code to address this market need. It’s a framework designed to ensure projects run smoothly and are ultimately successful.” 

Mark Adams, general manager Europe at Big Commerce, added: “E-commerce has changed and continues to change, with more and more retailers taking a direct route to customers. There are a number of reasons behind the rise in D2C commerce, such as ownership of the customer interaction, learning about the behaviour of the customer in online channels, gathering customer data and increased profit margins. It is clear that many brands do not have the in-house teams and skills or the operational capabilities to support direct to consumer selling online.”