One Simple Chart: Technology and Automation in E-Commerce

With consumer spending shifting to e-commerce, I revisited recent surveys of executives in the e-commerce space. These surveys took place prior to the pandemic and included questions on technology spending and initiatives. A March 2020 survey from YOTTAA included data on investments plans and it includes terms that might not be familiar to those outside e-commerce. The chart below displays the share of respondents who signaled that they plan to invest in a given area:

  • Headless commerce is an architecture that separates the front-end and back-end of an e-commerce application. This lets retailers publish to and from virtually any platform, and provide a dynamic and unique UX for shoppers. This approach also provides flexibility to upgrade technology in smaller segments.
  • Third-party tools and services remain important, but e-commerce sites increasingly need to take into consideration privacy compliance, shopper experience, and speed (site performance).

A separate survey from 2Checkout looked into more specific technology initiatives:


The same survey also included a question on automation and machine learning: a majority of respondents plan to apply ML to email and advertising.


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