Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 - A Year of Difficulty or Opportunity?

Whilst finishing the last box of Celebrations and watching The Battle of the Bulge over the Christmas break, one wondered how we would fare in 2009. It is clear that, almost without exception, bricks and mortar retailers are suffering in the downturn. However, the picture amongst pureplay eCommerce retailers is a little more hazy. Virtual operations come and go without the recognition of a boarded-up high street store. So is there an appetite to invest in IT and webstore overhauls at this time? Let us be positive and say that high-quality and integrated trading platforms pay for themselves. Many businesses make up for IT deficiencies by increasing human labour. In difficult times, labour becomes a dispensable cost. To an ecommerce retailer, IT is indespensable. It is for this reason that I am actually very positive about 2009. Smarter systems will help companies retrench and survive without damaging the customer experience. The challenge is to make quality IT accessible in the way that, say, broadband has become to every household in the UK. The answer is to make the case for software-as-a-service or SaaS, on which our business has been modelled for over 8 years. We know that it works from both a supplier and client perspective - maybe the invention came before the necessity in this case?