Ecommerce Expo - The Hot TopicsConferences & Events
This week, the Venditan Commerce team jumped on the West Coast mainline from Manchester to London for the Ecommerce Expo. A busy two days on the Venditan Commerce stand, we had the pleasure of meeting many retailers and technology providers.
Much ground was covered, but we’ve narrowed down the six “hot” topics we were asked about during the expo.
Fulfilment, the journey from order placed to out the door, was a big point of conversation for many retailers. Discussions primarily focused on how internal processes could be made smoother and more efficient. We weren’t surprised. As online retail continues to grow, fulfilment management becomes a vital business process and one which must be analysed and improved so as to keep up with demand when order numbers increase. Central to this is ensuring the ecommerce platform used is robust enough to offer multiple order processing, whilst being flexible to accommodate the nuances of individual businesses.
Responsive sites were front of mind again, naturally. Further than this, we were asked specifically about mobile first design. Again, it came as no surprise given the rise and takeover of mobile shopping in recent years. The fact is, all retailers wanting to see revenue growth on a decent scale need to be thinking about their mobile site (and we’re not just talking responsive design). Mobile specific product pages, more digestible content, simplified images/banners to improve speed, easy checkout process, slimmed down menus - the list goes on.
Inventory management across multiple locations was another topic of discussion for many visitors to this year’s expo. Stock/warehouse and inventory management are vital back end processes for any online retailer and the movement of stock between locations needs to be seamless, simple and transparent. If retailers are to offer click and collect, same and next day delivery, it’s vital that at any given time dispatch teams are able to locate and move stock accordingly. As customers become more demanding with regards to delivery options and notifications/communications - retailers need to be on top of stock management, whether it’s warehouse or store.
Data, analytics, behavioural monitoring - all of the above were real “talk-of-the-town” topics. And rightly so. Getting to know your customers online habits is key to dynamic content, targeted marketing and bespoke campaigning. Our message was simple - data is great, as long as it leads to action. Make sure you have a way of extrapolating figures into something meaningful and actionable - don’t get so bogged down in numbers you forget to utilise all the rich data you’ve spent so long collecting.
Amazon, eBay - marketplace integration was still on the agenda with no sign of disappearing as retailers realise the potential revenue opportunity that comes from listing products on trusted sites. We’re in agreement - these channels offer retailers the chance to reach a wider audience, willing to spend if they find the right product. We could go on and on about Amazon and ebay - but we’ll stop there and point you in the direction of our recent "Making the most of marketplaces" blog.
UnifY processes. When it comes to retail, it’s all about the customer - that is clear. But it’s important not to forget the benefits of improving process and efficiency behind the scenes. Integrating technology to help a business work smarter not harder can be the difference between profit and loss - exploring new platform functionality to really effect your bottom line.
We firmly believe a single view/login/platform to manage all channels and departments is the route to take - order processing, inventory management, marketplaces, offers, content, customer details - everything, all under one roof. Why? Because ultimately they are all connected. And at a time when customers can shop from multiple channels, on multiple devices, in multiple locations, understanding what’s happening across your website and platform at any given time is essential.