David Williams on how to plan for eCommerce success in 2021 (episode 328)

David Williams has been in eCommerce and retail since the 1990s plotting the growth of DTC brands before the phrase ‘DTC’ was even dreamt up. He’s worked for brands including Charles Tyrwhitt, Bowers & Wilkins, Deckers, Aspinal of London; and he’s joining us today to talk about what on earth is going on ineCommerce.

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Adapting for Unpredictable Times

David, like everyone else, has been on a roller coaster these past 12 months — but he The main thing he noticed that set businesses apart was the difference between retailers who had invested in their digital proposition and those who hadn’t.

The ones who had were able to adapt and do well. The ones who hadn’t were really in a tough spot. Being well set up with CDP and email marketing was critically important and David says that those who didn’t have it ready to go are now dealing with major missed opportunities and a ton of lapsed customers. 

Where to Start Planning for Q4?


If you haven’t done it, segmenting your customers is critical.

If you’re worried about losing customers that may have come to you because of Covid, David recommends segmenting that group so you can drill down on what their customer cycle looks like.

Understanding what customers (both existing and new) want is the best way to approach the coming months. 

Implement Agility

Agility doesn’t come from an enormous investment, but rather a way of working.

If you start implementing agile work processes, you’ll be able to make better, more flexible adaptations and leverage quick wins.

Testing, measuring and making decisions based on evidence is a huge game changer.

Pay Attention To Google 

Look at Google Core Vitals Web Update that’s released in May.

Site Speed and User Experience are still crucially important. Google will be ranking your pages from a mobile experience if it’s not optimized.

There will also be a continued focus on data and permissions.

Have a Plan for Your New Customers

How are you going to deal with your new customers?

Make sure you have a plan on how to deal with new customers before they become lapsed customers.

Welcome emails and an approach to understanding what’s driving them. 

Do the Basics Right 

Nothing beats doing the basics right to begin with.

An unexpected silver lining to the Pandemic might be that other parts and people in your business may have become more interested in the digital experience.

David predicts that retailers might come away from this experience with a more holistic view about how to do business generally. Content marketing and content propositions will be key as we evolve out of the huge changes that the Pandemic wrought.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • SEO — Critically important to get right and you own it. 

Tool Top Tip

  • Agile teams and processes hopefully using a tool like Asana or Jira
  • Ubersuggest — Keyword search tool

Growth Top Tip

  • How does your customer proposition differentiate you? If you get that right, you can market around it. It’s not price. What value do you provide to your customer?
  • Once you get that right, have a great value proposition to follow it with.

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