Blog Post - Patrick Munden, Mar 20 2018

A window into Commerce 2020

A window into Commerce 2020

Another year, another stellar Commerce 2020 event at Google, Kings Cross.

I had the pleasure of introducing some of the most esteemed speakers and experts on eCommerce; leading figures from Google, L2, Unilever, and, of course, our very own experts from Marketplace Ignition and Salmon, now united under the Wunderman Commerce brand.

With customer experiences now a big focus for retailers the world over, it was Google’s Louise Hemming who kicked off proceedings with an astute CX presentation, challenging the audience about what sort of experience and control they wanted their customers to have.

Louise used the barbecue brand Weber as an example of ‘experience’; customers can come into one of its stores in Berlin, browse and purchase barbecues, have their old barbecues repaired, but, most importantly, immerse themselves through watching experienced grill-masters demonstrate the real “Weber way” of grilling. Consumers are now looking for fresh and exciting ways to do their shopping on the high street.

They’re also looking for more ‘control’; In Uniqlo’s flagship store in Japan, radio frequency tags are places on each item, so you don’t have to go to a check out to purchase your clothes. Walk in, walk out and the items are charged to your debit or credit card.

The theme of future trends continued with a trio of Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce Company, presenters, led by Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation, Hugh Fletcher, who covered a vast swathe of eCommerce touchpoints, from the importance of owning the interface with your consumers to retain their data, to the growing dominance of Amazon and the rise of loyalty to service, not brand. Hugh then passed on to his team to deep dive into two interesting topics – Chloe Cox on mindset driven purchasing and the female shopper, and Naji El-Arifi who discussed the growth of voice ordering and devices with Zero UI.

Simon Birkenhead, L2’s European MD, delved deep into the digital sites of some of the biggest retailers across Europe. Optimisation was one facet that Simon looked more closely at, and something which Pretty Little Thing does brilliantly by including terms in their product description that are the most often searched-for terms in Google. SEO, SEO, SEO...

And what of Amazon? Should you compete, collaborate, or both? Eric Heller at Marketplace Ignition (a Wunderman Commerce Company) looked at how retailers don’t just have to go toe-to-toe with the online giant, but side-by-side. Brands are now looking to sell on the very same page as Amazon is advertising their product, particularly for heavier and more cumbersome items, such as dust-removers. Amazon can’t own everything, after all…

We also heard from Cindy Hoots, Global VP of IT at Unilever, who took the practitioner’s perspective on how to leverage technology to inspire exponential business performance.

This year we ran a workshop which investigated best practices across Google and Amazon for growing sales online, with the big takeaway that getting the basics right with search on Google, or operations on Amazon, will have positive knock-on effects across all your online channels.

Overall, a very powerful event in terms of content and strategy. A recurring theme from several presentations was the need to take a balanced approach across all the online channels of D2C, online retailer and marketplaces. Get the balance right, and the right approach to one can be leveraged across all three, where appropriate.

I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

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