Renowned Stanford Economist Paul Romer coined that phrase in 2004, while at a conference addressing the challenges the US companies faced at the time, due to the rising educational levels of other countries.

As we navigate the Covid19 crisis with its human and economic toll, I would like to add, that in this Digital Era, companies must be careful about whom do they send to address this particular crisis.

As I was thinking about the topic of our today’s e-Commerce conversation, I read a really provocative question placed on Linkedin, by the The Cyber Security Hub™.

It asked: Who led the Digital Transformation in your company? And gave the three possible multiple-choice answers:



C: Covid19

Unfortunately, “C” is the correct answer. In 2020, we have seen e-Commerce overall growth with double digits. It was 44% in the US, 32% in Mexico and almost 13% in Europe. China, already light years ahead of the rest of the world, saw an outstanding 27.5% growth. (*)

As cities closed, many organizations rushed to compensate their loss on Brick & Mortar business with an e-Commerce solution.  Some were ahead of the curve due to an informed and forward-looking Management Team; others stumbled right on the starting line. Their ineptitude first manifested in their lack of knowledge about Platforms or Marketplaces, areas in which Digital Marketing Agencies were able help them incorporate and navigates easily, as technology tools are readily available.

However, Technology and Agencies’ support combined, could not resolve deeper challenges presented by the Digital Environment for which many companies were totally unprepared.

First, Senior Management tried to measure the new e-Commerce Business Unit with the same KPIs of the B&M Business Format. Compounding their lack of understanding about e-Commerce KPIs, was their Pyramidal Organizational format.   A classical set up, in which old power structures, were unable to relinquish their old beliefs and let the “new data” guide their decisions.  The end result for that incapable company to adapt was, as expected, a total failure of implementation. Sr. Management Power prevailed taking resources from this noble new BU.  These organizations are following the Kodak and Blockbuster’s trail, were old paradigm thinking, sole focus on Horizon One, and lack of understanding of the new Digital World brought their collapse.

From 2021 forward, e-Commerce will stop being a Nice to Have, to become a Must Have, for all types of businesses.  The ability of Sr. Management to incorporate a Hybrid Commercial and Operational Format in their organizations and their skill to understand two types of data KPIs, will make the difference between survival or oblivion.

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Data Sources

US: Digital Commerce 360

Mexico: Statista


China: eMarketer