eCommerce Influencer Series: John Lawson
Welcome to a brand new feature on eSellerCafe which is our eCommerce Influencer Series. To mark our one year anniversary we have reached out to some of our high profile friends in the eCommerce industry to ask them some questions relating to the world of eCommerce.
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To kick things off we are joined by the one and only John Lawson, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Best Selling Author. Let’s hand over to John.
Q. For anyone who doesn’t know you yet, who you are and what do you do?
A. I am John Lawson. I am an eCommerce industry panelist and keynote speaker.
Q. Looking back over the past 3 years what do you think have been the biggest changes in eCommerce?
A. I think probably the biggest change in eCommerce will have to be Amazon’s dominance. It’s just been talked about, but the rapid rate of how it is dominating not just eCommerce but voice search, processing of shipments, distribution, all of these things have just been unprecedented in eCommerce, and what that is doing is both positive and negative.
The obvious negatives are when you go through the entire holiday season and nearly 50% of all purchases are done on that one platform. That’s kind of a negative but at the same time if you look at the number of people that it is bringing into the world of eCommerce and that are starting to trust eCommerce and do business through eCommerce that’s been a good thing. So the tide now of Amazon is rising all the boats.
Q. Amazon obviously cannot be ignored in eCommerce anymore, do you believe they are largely friend or foe to SME’s and as Amazon continues to grow does this change?
A. It can’t be a friend and it can’t really be a foe and the reason why it can’t be is because it’s an entity, it’s not a human. So Amazon is going to always flow in its business model. They’re going to do what is exponential for them and if that helps you and I, and we’re on the same side of the boat, then that works.
When we’re on opposite sides of the boat, then Amazon will always follow the money. And if you understand that, then you don’t get too locked up in the person taking it personal when you talk about Amazon and whether they’re our friends or our foe.
Q. What is the biggest opportunity that you see for SME’s in 2018 and beyond?
A. The biggest opportunity that I see is to brand yourself, brand your products, brand your business, and make a direct connection with your consumer. That is your biggest opportunity right now is being able to make a direct connection with your customer.
It’s not always about marketplaces.
Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, all of that are great, however you also have a direct line, thanks to social media, to your customer so bring them inside of that circle so that when they think of that product, they think of your brand and of course, your brand is their experience shopping with you.
Q. What emerging technology do you see as the biggest game changer in eCommerce?
A. It’s probably not the game changer that you would think it is yet but voice is going to be the biggest game changer in eCommerce because of what voice does – being able to talk to a device and order a product.
It reduces the amount of friction in the ordering process, but part of reduction and friction is going to be reduction and selection. So when you order, for example some more toilet paper from your voice device, like from your Alexa or your Google Home, it’s going to give you the same toilet paper that you had last time. So you’re not going to keep choosing which brand. You’re just going to get the brand that you chose the last time.
Q. Where can people find out more about you and what you do?
A. Just go to my website johnlawson.com. Also I’ve got a great video on Facebook, it’s called Watching Amazon. Just go to watchingamazon.com and it’ll take you there.
And we are watching Amazon from a whole list of perspectives and how it is impacting everything from eCommerce to voice search to digital storage space, all of those things and areas even in the healthcare industry now. All of those places where Amazon is starting to make inroads we’re watching it.
Connect with John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
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Dave is a Co-Founder of eSeller365. For over 10 years he has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant, he built an education platform called UnderstandingE that showed the world how to utilize Magento as the “Third Generation of Multi-Channel software”.
Dave has also created a YouTube channel dedicated to entrepreneurship and eCommerce as well as a podcast dedicated to mental health awareness. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include learning and playing Chess, researching the Crypto and NFT space, and trying to find the nearest beach.
This article is a part of our Leadership Series, which features industry experts sharing valuable insights for small business owners who sell online. The opinions expressed in this contribution are solely those of the author(s).