Megan Kohout is responsible for all digital marketing efforts, including email, paid search, display and affiliates. She is well experienced as a manager, having extensively focused on team efforts, building reporting, driving efficiency and identifying new sources of revenue
1. In light of your experience, what are the trends and challenges you’ve witnessed happening with respect to the E-Commerce space?
One trend in E-Commerce is a proliferation of technology that you can add to your website to enhance site experience. However, this new technology brings challenges as partners often have features that overlap at least partially, so it’s difficult to get the mix that you want. Technology may potentially slow down site speeds. It can also be very difficult to measure the true incremental lift generated from implementing with these partners, making ROI sometimes unclear. And, it takes people to manage all of these vendors and tools!
Mobile engagement currently makes up more than half of our total traffic and revenue
The second trend I’ve noticed is a transition to mobile, mobile, mobile. Mobile engagement currently makes up more than half of our total traffic and revenue. That is a shift in thinking for us as we must prioritize designing for mobile-first. We still work at desktops at the office. We sometimes forget what it’s like to be the customer, and need to be spending more time understanding how the customer shopping on their phones experiences our brand.
And the last growing trend I’ve seen is the incorporation of data-based learnings, such as recommendation engines and personalization engines. To succeed in this trend, we must ensure that we balance the personalized messages and still drive a relevant trend and design story. We must also ensure that the data feeding these algorithms doesn’t sway the findings in a non-optimal way.
2. How do you see the evolution of the E-Commerce arena a few years from now with regard to some of its potential disruptions and transformations?
I see a continued focus on mobile, with advancements in voice-activated search and site actions, and improved chatbot experiences. I see continued movement toward tools that allow personalization at scale with limited resources. And possibly even a return to simplicity – vendors that allow you to consolidate tools and more simplified mobile homepages, once you realized that all bells and whistles isn’t always the best experience. Personally, I am drawn to tools that allow online customers to interact with sales associates, but I’m not sure how this will continue to evolve.
3. What would be the single piece of advice that you could impart to a fellow or aspiring professional in your field, looking to embark on a similar venture or professional journey along the lines of your service and area of expertise?
Be open-minded to innovation. What you think you’ll be doing in the next three years on your website is likely not what you’ll be actually doing. Watch, listen, and learn constantly! And be mindful of analytics. With so many tools readily accessible to us, we should be tracking and measuring as much as we can, keeping an eye on our customer’s needs, and ready to act on them.