As an eCommerce & digital marketing professional, it’s very important for me to attend numerous industry events throughout the year. Stepping back from day-to-day operations for a couple of days allows me to evaluate the business and ensure we’re aligned with our goals and objectives.
Attending eTail Canada is a must for me and I’m sure it’s the same for anyone selling online in Canada. This event is like a yearly family reunion. I get to see old friends and meet new ones. It’s also a great way to learn about new trends and tactics being implemented by experience retailers.
This year, the Etail Canada team has truly delivered an exceptional show. It was jam packed with amazing speakers, valuable insights and forward thinking retailers. In case you want to attend upcoming eCommerce events, make sure to check out my list of eCommerce Conferences in 2017.
Here are 3 things I’ve learned during my time at Etail Canada in Toronto:
1. Turn Vendors Into Partners
In order to achieve long-term success in eCommerce and be able to meet customer expectations both online and offline, you’ll need to turn vendors into partners. That’s exactly what Johnny Russo helped facilitate as AVP of eCommerce & Digital Marketing at Mark’s. In order to align everyone around its organizational goals, Mark’s decided to gather all its key digital vendors in one room during their strategic planning process.
This initiative helped add a layer of accountability for all as well as gaining senior executive buy-in for a digital transformation.
2. Know your customer
Online analytics only give you one side of the story. The key is to talk and listen to your customers both online and offline. You need to understand the customer journey beyond the purchase. Make customer data at the center of your organization. While a single view of the customer can certainly help with efficiency and personalization, do not neglect consumer research. Consumer behaviours are changing daily and you gotta stay on top of them if you want to win the game in the long-term.
3. Understand the Influence of Each Digital Marketing Channel
Every year, we add new digital marketing channels to our online strategy. Instead of adding new ones, it’s more important to understand each channel’s influence on customers and their shopping behaviours. With mobile devices interrupting the shopping funnel, retailers should focus on trying to understand how customers are being impacted by their digital efforts be it email, social media, videos, podcasts or paid media.
2 Exciting Retail Brands Showcased at Etail Canada
Surmesur.com offers made-to-measure suits and custom shirts for men (online and in-store). I was truly impressed by how Surmesur has grown to be and how they leveraged technology to help create a unique in-store customer experience.
What differentiates them from other retailers is not only how they use augmented reality in-stores or having a custom online experience, but it’s also their culture. Be creative, take action and have fun. That’s what co-founder Vincent Thériault believes in. I also liked how they leveraged Pinterest Boards in their stores when helping customers figure out what their fashion style.
Men are visual and want a simple shopping experience. Surmesur seems to understand that very well. They put customers first, followed by staff and finally the brand.
Rent frock Repeat solves the problem of “not having anything to wear” by providing women an easy way to rent designer dresses and accessories for any event. What I learned from this session is the importance of listening to customers for both online and offline initiatives. There’s so much to learn when you start dealing with customers face-to-face. The offline store experience will provide you additional customer insights that will help spark innovation.
Favourite Quote at the Event
Book Recommendation at eTail Canada
One book was recommended at the event by Christy Wieber of Rent frock Repeat and that seemed interesting is called: