Sendlane releases findings on the health of SME e-commerce community

Sendlane releases findings on the health of SME e-commerce community

Sendlane, the SMB e-commerce-focused marketing automation company, has announced the results of its 2021 eCommerce Health survey. A key takeaway is that 2021 was a record year for many SMB e-commerce companies, but some were concerned about the economy and the ability of consumers hard-hit by the pandemic to spend money.

Sendlane launched its survey to gauge the ‘health’ of the SMB e-commerce community. More than 150 sales, marketing, finance and operations professionals in SMB e-commerce companies participated in the study. For the purposes of the survey, Sendlane defined ‘SMB e-commerce companies’ as retailers with less than US$50 million in sales.

SMB e-commerce in 2021: Success and a few concerns

Despite the concerns of some SMB e-commerce companies, 92% of survey respondents said their sales grew in 2021, with 21% saying they were up by at least 40%. A total of 91% said their profits grew too, with 24% saying profits increased by 40% or more. Site traffic also spiked for many SMB e-commerce companies in 2021, with 90% reporting an increase of 10% or more.

An increase in e-commerce staff sizes and tech investments are other examples of the success of the e-commerce category in 2021. A total of 80% of retailers added new e-commerce employees, led by sales, site development and marketing staff. Meanwhile, 85% of retailers spent more money on e-commerce tech in 2021, with 46% spending at least 40% more than in 2020. Email marketing and marketing automation systems received the most investment.

Nevertheless, SMB e-commerce companies experienced several, somewhat predictable challenges in 2021. For example, 35% said cyber fraud has been their biggest e-commerce-related concern, followed by whether financial conditions have made it harder for consumers to spend money (18%). Shipping delays (13%) and e-commerce site stability (8%) have also been top concerns.

SMB e-commerce companies also indicated some concern about how consumers are coping with the volume of online marketing messages they are receiving. A total of 67% of survey respondents said they think that consumers are suffering from marketing message ‘fatigue’ and retailers would be wise to revise their approach next year.

For example, 39% of respondents said marketers should send more personalised messages, 23% said they should vary the channels they use and 21% said they should find new ways to engage customers.

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