The Epic eCommerce Excuses of 2020

For brands who have long diminished eCommerce as meaningful to their strategy, the coronavirus is a train full of chickens coming home to roost. And ooooh the excuses.

Aarron Spinley


In the direct to consumer space especially, there is no greater example of companies being caught with their pants down than in eCommerce. There are some commentators who are much kinder than me, more forgiving. If you know a little about the field though, then you know that there is really no excuse for what we have seen from the likes of some in, “big retail”.

Not in 2020.

Commerce technologies and methods are well advanced and have been for donkeys. I’m not talking about the leading and bleeding edge stuff, like for instance, the AI driven frontier of autonomous orchestration et al. My commerce friends can geek out over that some other time.

Nope. I’m talking about the stock standard plumbing of eCommerce.

Front end design linked to a business logic layer with automation to systems of record, at scale. The benefit to both customer and brand has been undisputed, for years. And companies have been doing it, for years.

So, do I have any sympathy for the major retailer who had to create a holding page on their website, where visitors were asked to wait, while others finished shopping?


I’ve actually seen an email from an executive of that business stating, “this is not a technology issue”.

Yeah, and Pluto is neither a lovable cartoon doggy, nor a gigantic floating mass in outer space.

Now, I wouldn’t name them or that executive, ever. Their customers already know who they are… and besides they’re not alone in the swamp. All over the world, a bunch of very big brands with the very big budgets are right there with them.

“Oh but you don’t understand Aarron. You see, demand went through the roof. We had no way of managing our inventory under that pressure. We didn’t have visibility. The traffic on our website was too high. It is a pandemic Aarron. Be reasonable! This is a black swan!”



Aarron Spinley

Growth & brand theory from a top 10 global thought leader (Thinkers360). SPINLEY.CO