Americans spent $200 billion online in 2011. The opportunity for retailers is huge--but you're not going to grab it with a DIY website.A report this week from Forrester Research confirmed what just about everybody in business already knew: Americans are buying online and they are buying a lot.The study reported that Americans spent more than $200 billion online in 2011 and projected that total would rise to $327 billion in 2016. The 2016 figure represents 9 percent of all retail sales (up from 7 percent in 2011).Among the report’s interesting findings:53 percent of Americans made an online purchase in 2011.58 percent are expected to make an online purchase in 2016.People believe they get the best deals when shopping online.Tablet devices like the iPad have spurred online impulse buying.If these stats don’t make you want to reevaluate your e-commerce efforts—and perhaps plan a redesign!—they should.An attractive, well-organized website, with a back-end that functions seamlessly and a shopping cart that makes the purchasing process as easy and intuitive as possible will do wonders for your bottom line.Ten years ago, building a quality e-commerce website was a highly expensive proposition. You had to hire an outside firm to do it. Today, businesses can use any number of open-source platforms to build a complex, yet relatively inexpensive e-commerce site.But just because you can do it yourself, should you?I say no
Lack of focus can be a core competency. Here are six principles to encourage innovative thinking, lots of experimentation, and an entrepreneurial spirit.Like many of you, we are trying to build a fast-growing company, which requires us to respond quickly to new market opportunities and changing customer demands. Conventional wisdom tells us that a focused organization is a nimble organization. As a team, however, we’re fairly unfocused–and yet we’ve built an Inc.