Ecommerce Expo, co-hosted alongside Technology for Marketing and ad:tech London proved to be a smash hit this week. Attendees queued around the block to get in on Day One, Wednesday 25th September, and the crowds still filled Kensington Olympia’s cavernous halls right up to end of play on Thursday 26th September. We’ve been to countless trade shows over the years, and this was one of the busiest and buzziest we’ve ever witnessed!
As a media partner of this mega event, Retail Connections was present on both days to learn and network. Here are some of the interesting companies, innovations and seminar subjects that caught our attention!
Behavioural science can take UX and personalisation up a level
Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science from Warwick University explored ways that retailers and service providers can engage more meaningfully with their customers by using data to understand cognitive behaviour patterns. Research has shown how consumers are drawn in when offered a large choice – of say, 24 jam flavours – but when it comes to actually buying, too much choice is a turn-off, so a limited range of 6 will drive more conversions. “Diversity is often your enemy when offered with choices,” Chater said. He demonstrated how people choose to buy in a step by step way, with price typically the first step in ecommerce shopping decision making, followed by user experience (UX), exclusivity of offer and then consideration of tailored elements. Fascinating stuff!
Getting payment technology right is more important than ever
Darren Abbott, a Director at fashion retailer Joe Browns gave a detailed account of the company’s recent re-platforming project to Magento 2. With online sales responsible for 90% of its business and sales rising by 15% last year alone it was vital the project went smoothly and didn’t disrupt operations. “Payment technology can be difficult to handle,” conceded Abbott. “We had previously faced payment gateway issues on certain cards and this was something we wanted to iron out with the new platform. If you get it right you can increase repeat business and boost Average Order Values.” He warned that “payment is very hard to test until live” and said that choosing the right technology partners, and properly resourcing the project are vital for success.
Retailers need lots of help with cross-border selling
“Cross border ecommerce selling is now mainstream with Accenture predicting sales will reach $1 trillion by 2020 ,” said Patrick Frith, Business Development at Avalara speaking at the Cross Border Theatre. But there are pitfalls. Shipment delays, additional supply chain costs, complexity of taxes and duties across regions and customer communication issues are rife and all pose a risk to business. Thankfully this is where the latest software solutions for managed VAT services, and duty compliance come into play. For busy retailers the good news is that manually assigning codes and actions for each product can be taken out of the equation with the latest technology.
‘Tactical discounting’ is planned this Black Friday says IMRG
Black Friday (29th November 2019) doesn’t begin on Black Friday, Matthew Walsh, Director of Data and Retail at IMRG pointed out in a popular session. It’s likely that 2019’s tough trading conditions may encourage retailers to begin discounting even earlier the beginning of November this year, in order to maximise traffic. It’s also worth noting, says the IMRG, as Black Friday occurs after pay day, there may be a boost in consumer confidence. Retailers might opt for tactical discounting as opposed to catalogue-wide sales, and shoppers may notice an increase in social media ads and a move away from TV marketing.
IMPRESSIVE: Stand-out exhibitors with something to say:
We loved talking to experts on the exhibition stands and wanted to give a shout out to the following. All had a focus on solving the challenges that ecommerce retailers are facing right now:
Already chosen by hundreds of global retailers, Global-e has deep understanding of cross-border ecommerce, operating in over 200 worldwide destinations. The team on the stand spoke passionately about their remit to help retailers offer a seamless, global yet localised shopping experience to maximise sales growth.
Reliable ecommerce payment tech is in demand. Elavon says it builds payment gateways to seamlessly, securely connect the online journey from homepage to checkout. It offers flexibility as retailers can choose from a variety of hosted gateways or a fully integrated, customisable solution so that the payment experience fits customer needs.
Selligent Marketing Cloud
Customer relationships are hard to maintain in digital commerce and this is where Selligent really supports retailers. The enthusiastic Selligent teams told us that this B2C intelligent marketing platform allows brands to manage personalised relationship experiences at scale and across multiple channels.
Increasingly merchants want to help their customers spread the cost of shopping, and fintech companies are making this easier and easier. New Zealand based PartPay (now owned by Australia’s Zip) attracted attention at the show with its Buy Now Pay Later 0% interest solution for ecommerce and instore shoppers. The typical 10% – 20% lift in conversion rates and AOV achieved by offering this service can give the bottom line a welcome boost.
A gorgeously green and leafy stand hammered home the Adyen message of growth! This is a truly specialist payment platform provider, which is geared up for the modern needs of global ecommerce. We loved their USP of offering an all-in-one payments platform that “grows your business from day one”.
Ecommerce Expo took place at Kensington Olympia on 25th and 26th September.