December 03, 2015

Cyber Monday, Peak Desktop/Laptop, and Your Career

It's hard to know specifically what happened on Cyber Monday. Every number conflicts with another number. Every number is wrong. Every number is based on a small and biased sample of information.

So we have to make some assumptions. Most important, however, is to put context around information we see.

Let's make three assumptions, based on everything we've learned this week.

  1. Let's assume that Cyber Monday grew by 10%, this year vs. last year, to $3.1 billion.
  2. Let's assume that Mobile represented 30% of this year's sales total.
  3. Let's assume that Mobile grew by 50%.
You may disagree with the assumptions ... but your disagreements won't make much difference, when analyzing this table:


Regardless what assumptions you make, Desktop/Laptop demand is peaking ... and is on the verge of no longer growing.

Do you understand what this means?

Catalogers went through this, between 2001 - 2005. Phone (call center) demand stopped growing. Everything about how the business was managed changed.

The e-commerce folks are about to go through the same thing, between 2016 - 2020. Resources will go away from desktop/laptop - they'll move to mobile. Tactical approaches will change, a "mobile first" mindset will pervade meetings. This means that a different set of employees ... younger employees ... will be given much more responsibility. When this happens, those currently holding the keys (traditional e-commerce leaders) will seek to "integrate" processes, much in the way that old-school catalog pros tried to hold on to the business back in 2001 - 2005.

From 1986 - 1990, credit cards transformed how we shopped, and changed how direct-to-consumer businesses were managed.

From 2001 - 2005, e-commerce transformed how we shopped, changing how direct-to-consumer businesses were managed.

From 2016 - 2020, mobile will transform how we shop, changing how direct-to-consumer businesses will be managed.

In other words, there are generational changes that simply happen. We're about to enter a new phase, one that impacts a new generation of shoppers. This will lead to a new generation of professional leaders. It's about to begin.

Much is gained, and much is lost, when businesses transition to new channels.

Proactively manage your career now, so that you are not caught unprepared when change hits your organization.