In September, we sent three members of the Innovation Visual team, Hope, Megan & Kate to the Ecommerce Expo at the Excel London. Taking place on the 27-28 September 2023, the Expo brought together thousands of likeminded professionals looking to grow and stay up to date with the latest ecommerce trends.
With an incredible line up of headline speakers and multi-track conferences across the two days, we heard from industry leaders such as the Global Head of Analytics at IKEA, Chief Digital Officer at Dominoes, Deputy Chief Technology Officer at Sainsburys, the Co-Founder at Candy Kittens and many more! It’s important as an agency that we offer our clients nothing but the most up to date information and being able to attend Ecommerce Expo 2023 provided us with an excellent opportunity to widen our knowledge and learn more about how we can turn the table for our ecommerce clients.
Between us we all took different learnings from the event and in this blog, we’ll take you through our experience at Ecommerce Expo 2023 and share our key highlights that we’ll continue maximising moving forward to help support our current and future ecommerce clients.
The Power of User Generated Content (UGC)
Here is what Digital Marketing Executive, Kate, had to say about her experience:
“One of the most influential talks I attended at the London Ecommerce & Technology for Marketing Expo was from SpaceNK. This talk explored social commerce, and how global beauty brand, Space NK, embraces user generated content as a core component of their digital marketing strategy.
They explained that whilst they used to rely heavily on influencers and celebrity endorsements, they have had more success through an alternative approach. Now, they send out free packages to real people, without the pressure for them to post or do anything in return. As a result, when these people do choose to post about the brand, the content is much more authentic. SpaceNK utilises this authentic content across their website, and unlike many brands, it is the first thing you see when entering the homepage – immediately maximising social proof, providing prospective buyers with validation. After all, people trust people and 93% of marketers agree that customers trust the content other customers create.
My key takeaway from this presentation was that through user generated content, brands can cultivate trust amongst their customers, whilst utilising customer creativity as a cost-effective, efficient strategy that can deliver a substantial return on investment. Going forwards, I am excited to continue emphasising the power of user generated content to our clients and use a plethora of digital marketing tools and strategies to help gather this invaluable content, which can be repurposed across a variety of platforms for optimal return on investment.”
User generated content has proven a big success for our clients, and we look forward to continue driving business growth, for clients from a variety of sectors, through the power of UGC. One notable example is when we ran a recent campaign for one of our ecommerce clients and generated more than 70 authentic images. We repurposed this content across social channels, into blogs and paid ads. The client has seen significant growth and revenue increase and we are continuing to implement campaigns for them, with a focus on generating even more authentic content and maximising social proof.
Putting Customer Loyalty First
Martech Executive Megan then went on to discuss putting customer loyalty first:
“The standout session for me at the Ecommerce & Technology for Marketing Expo revolved around customer loyalty and retention. The roundtable session was headed by senior leaders from prominent brands such as Domino’s, Nestle, The Vitamin Shoppe and more. My key takeaway from this presentation was that customer loyalty strategies should be an integral component of a business’s marketing strategy, not just an afterthought like it often is. I’m really looking forward to exploring innovative methods of integrating customer loyalty into our clients’ MarTech strategies to ensure customer loyalty and retention is front and centre.”
Don’t Underestimate the Impact of User Experience (UX)
Finally, Digital Marketing Lead, Hope Holman, explored her key takeaway from the event:
“One of the very clear key takeaways for me at the Ecommerce Expo was a discussion from headliners from various industry-leading brands who discussed customer retention strategies. At the end of the roundtable, the conversation concluded with a simple question for each of the leaders and this was ‘what are some of the brands standing out to you at the moment with regards to customer retention and customer loyalty?’. The answers included many well-known brands such as Starbucks, Sephora, Dunkin Donuts, Amazon, many that you may expect to hear, however, the most interesting part of their answers weren’t for the reasons you may think. It wasn’t because they are some of the leading-brands in the industry or have the highest turnover and therefore appear to be acing it, it was because they offer an incomparable seamless customer experience and in the experience of these senior leaders, they focus on offering their customers an easy, smooth, engaging and transactional experience so customers return time and time again.
The key takeaway from this was that it can be very easy as an ecommerce brand to overlook user-experience and focus on continuously putting out innovative campaigns or launching your next product, but often what is actually more important to the consumer and what determines whether customers return or recommend you to others, isn’t always your product, but it’s how simple your website is to use, engage with, purchase from and how incentivised they are to return. These incentives aren’t always a discount on your next shop either, they can be loyalty points, customised recommendations, gamification, samples, prompts on your shopping habits or when your previous purchase must be running low, all of these details can be really incentivising your customers to return. There was a statistic shared that anytime an Amazon Prime user visits the app or searches, they are converting those purchases 74% of the time. This is an incredibly high conversion rate and while Amazon isn’t the prettiest of websites and it doesn’t have an innovative design or focus its strategy on campaigns, its functional and the overall user-experience is incomparable.”
Find out more about Innovation Visual’s user experience services and how it can positively impact your online growth.
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As you can see, the London Ecommerce Expo 2023 was a highly valuable event for our team, and reinforced the importance of several key pillars within our digital marketing strategies, including user generated content, customer loyalty and user experience.
As a leading Surrey-based digital marketing agency, we are committed to helping our clients stay at the forefront of the ever-changing e-commerce landscape.
Alternatively, download our free guide and discover the importance of data-driven strategies in e-commerce and how they can be leveraged to lead to tangible results.