Last week, the Bunting team traded sunny Manchester for drizzly London, but all for a good reason: the eCommerce Expo.
We spent 2 days at the Olympia speaking to a wide range of e-commerce professionals, demoing our tool and hearing inspiring talks covering all aspects of e-commerce. It was the first time the expo was co-located with the Technology for Marketing and Customer Contact expos, resulting in a huge audience – and a lot to learn. And at stand Bunting, a lot of chocolate to eat…
One thing was clear: e-commerce is evolving, and things are moving fast. So what were the main themes this year?
One of the big themes of the expo this year without doubt was personalisation. In between eating chocolate bars, we spoke to hundreds of e-commerce professionals asking similar questions. Discussions were based around how to better exploit customer data to personalise the shopping experience. Targeting now needs to be include demographic, behavioural and contextual data. There were numerous talks about how to tailor web content to the needs of your unique buyers. Email personalisation was also mentioned frequently.
Some interesting quotes from the event were:
‘40% of consumers buy more when the experience is personalised’ Matt Banks
‘Personalisation within emails can increase your open rates by up to 83%’ Dani Woolley
‘Customers now expect a personalised experience, and keeping the web experience relevant across channels is now an absolute must.’ Stephen Tucker
Check out our website personalisation ideas here.
Email is here to stay
Rumours of email being a dead channel were certainly put to rest this year. Interestingly, email still brings the highest ROI of any marketing channel. In his talk, key note speaker Joe Pulizzi stated that email subscribers are marketers’ key content metric.
Again, personalisation was a big theme. Yes, email is still an important channel to exploit, but it is now essential to personalise email effectively to maximise ROI. Consumers are now bombarded with email messages on a daily basis so, in order to optimise open rates, relevancy is absolutely crucial.
It was also acknowledged that email marketing can, and often does, go wrong. A number of talks mentioned common mistakes in email that need to be addressed. Poor subject lines, ignoring quality of subscriber lists, lack of re-engagement strategy and poor mobile optimisation were commonly cited errors.
Talks at the expo recognised the growing use of mobile for online shopping. Apple Pay was mentioned a lot as an e-commerce payment method, with some businesses reporting a rise in conversions after implementing it. The benefits of Apple Pay for mobile are clear – avoiding typing out payment details on mobile keyboards is an obvious advantage and it’s likely to become a standard payment method for e-commerce in the future.
Responsive design and optimising mobile sites were also common conversations. Product pages, checkout processes, menus and navigation all need to be optimised for mobile. In the UK, 48.9% of eCommerce purchases this year were on mobile, and it is expected that Q4 traffic will largely come from mobile. Read some of our mobile tips here.
All in all, the eCommerce Expo was a great event, and we thank everyone who came to the Bunting stand to chat with us and try out our tool We’ll be back next year, and we hope to see many more of you then.
Bunting is a powerful data-driven tool that makes e-commerce personalisation easy and enjoyable. Find out more here.