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A Retale of eTail: etailment Summit 6 & 7 November 2013

It goes without saying that in this everchanging, fast-paced digital world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the latest trends and developments. “Buzz” hardly buzzes for very long before the next best thing comes and turns the hype into old news. The speed of development is very exciting though, always presenting new challenges and with those new opportunities that spark newer developments…and so the circle goes.

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This is why this year’s eTailment Summit 2013 was so great. The two-day event, held at Berlin’s old Tempelhof Airport, summed up all that is happening and all that is to come. Top speakers and professionals from all corners of the e-commerce field shared their strategies and insights. The event was cleverly titled e(motion) commerce, clearly stating where the focus is at today. Forget what you think about it. How does it make you FEEL?

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With 3 stages and many speakers overlapping, we hopped and swopped from stage to stage between couch chats, live pitches, live analyses and exclusive insights. Of course, no networking moment was wasted. In the breaks, over lunch and at the Hanger-7 Party held at the end of the first day, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting the innovators that we did. It is always inspiring to hear what other people are planning, doing or have achieved. Some excellent business contacts were also amongst the pack, naturally.

In case you couldn’t make it, here’s just some of what the experts discussed, debated and shared:

From one to many, and many to one

The notion of multi-channel convergence was probably the buzz word of the summit. Your traditional brick and mortar stores need to work with your TV, radio, online, mobile and tablet platforms if you want to stay in the game. Customers use many different channels in their purchase decision-making process.

For some, multi-channel is so last year. They’re already talking about omnichannel. We’re dealing with hybrid customers here. They aren’t simply searching on all platforms, they are using all channels simultaneously. (So much so that they don’t actually know anymore where they bought their product from.) While in store, they’re surfing your site on their phones. The experience across all shopping channels needs to be seamless. Omni-channel. Remember it. Use it.

Mobile first

You simply cannot disregard the use of mobile in shopping anymore. So much so that you should be designing and programming for mobile before addressing desktop versions. Mobile is not big in the future, it’s big now. If you’re not on it, you’re not adapting fast enough.

Searching for answers

What used to be a normal Google search with keywords dominating results (SEA 1.1), became consumer-relevant and specific, providing the right information to the right consumer on the right medium at the right time and in the right location (SEA 2.0). Here the introduction of Google PLA has urged marketers to trust in Google’s selection of search results. With no influence on these anymore, marketers’ only power lies in providing data feeds to Google in a way that meets the search engines (strict!) criteria. Keywords no longer dictate relevancy. This was of course nothing new to Productsup.

And just when you get used to that idea, SEA 3.0 is born. The world has much in store for us, as users start using voice (eg Siri) and image (eg Google Goggles) in their search queries. All we can say is make sure that you know what’s going on with your data. Make it work for you, not against you. Remember: Content is King. Relevance is Queen – and, well, it’s hard to win without the Queen.

Next day = too late  

This emotional commerce demands satisfaction NOW. In the age of Nowism, Consumers want it all and they demand it now.

In China, the low transport fees (brought about by their scooter culture), have contributed to same day deliveries being the standard there. And in May 2013, eBay now was started in the States, guaranteeing local delivery in “about an hour”. Next day delivery doesn’t seem so impressive anymore now does it?!

Did you know?

The worldwide online turnover last year was $1 Trillion.

All eyes on China

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  • In 2013, the size of Asia’s online market surpassed that of the US.
  • Similarly, the largest online marketplace is Alibaba, surpassing Amazon with their $160 Billion in turnover last year.
  • China, with its new leadership bringing change to freedom of speech and information exchange now, boasts 210 Million online shoppers and 420 Million mobile Internet users. This country is a hot topic in ecommerce news.
  • If you haven’t heard about Yi Hao Dian yet, best you see the video below. The “Number 1 Store” has recently been bought by Walmart. These guys certainly have a few things up their sleeve with this move. We’ll be keeping a keen eye out.

 

Big Data is useless (without analytics!)

Trouble is, we have an increasing rate of data uncertainty. Ambiguous data, uncertain travel times and locations, as well as science and nature are contributors to this.

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It is predicted that by 2015 80% of available data will be uncertain.

We don’t know what the future holds. But if there’s one thing we know at Productsup, it’s how you can eliminate the uncertainty in your product data.

Sum-UP

We would like to have seen a larger focus on product data management, as clean, enhanced and updated product information is becoming increasingly necessary for any online retailer to be visible in first place. Some presentations or talks were a little disappointing by not offering anything new or the speaker did not manage to connect with the audience. Other than that we would say it was an event worth attending. There were some provoking stats and statements shared and given the predictions made, it seems the tale of eTail is only just beginning.


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