The recent Retail Week Ecommerce Summit highlighted just how important e-commerce has become to retail. In fact, it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that e-commerce is the future of retail. Every retailer needs to work out their strategy in this area – now. And with some of the industry’s leading players gathered together for two days, the Summit provided a unique opportunity to get a little help with that.
It was a fantastic event, packed full of high-profile speakers and brimming with practical advice about how to tackle the challenges dominating – or about to dominate – the e-commerce world.
Ish Patel from Aurora Fashions kicked off the whole thing in style with the first presentation of the event, speaking about the company’s Anywhere Everywhere initiative that we were heavily involved in. We then had a bit of everything – from dealing with x-rated online questions to Tesco’s invasion of Denmark.
But, for me the three main themes that came out over the course of the two days were
1. The move towards mobile
Retailers need to be designing for new consumer gadgets, rather than PCs, and be clear about how their customers use the different devices to interact with the brand – particularly the tablet, where customers are looking for the most involved and lengthy engagement.
2. Customer service is still king
Getting it right at the back-end is vital to deliver on the brand and service promise. So we heard Mothercare discussing the (destructive) power of loyal customers who have a bad experience and use social media to spread the word.
3. Several areas still evolving
Payments, delivery options and interaction with customers’ mobiles, for example, are all still in flux and retailers need to be prepared to innovate, experiment and then learn in these areas – either ‘fast rollout’ or ‘fast fail’.
Everything’s so new just now and it’s moving so fast – these kinds of get-togethers can really help to see what the leaders in the field are doing. The Summit was a great place to kick around new ideas, with so many people sharing experiences and discussing the future of e-commerce.
There was certainly a lot of interest in our own exhibition stand at the event, where we demoed our e-commerce platform and multichannel capabilities, and even managed to entice Gordon Ramsay over. At least he swore it was him…
Posted by Jason Shorrock, Business Development Director, BT Expedite & Fresca