eCommerce Expo 2015: Twenga's top five takeaways from Day 1

Olympia London opened its doors yesterday for the first day of eCommerce Expo 2015. With more than 180 e-commerce technologies and product providers, the event promised to offer the widest range of e-commerce actors than any other UK industry event – and it didn’t disappoint.

Herbert Knibiehly, vice president at Twenga Solutions, shares his five highlights from day one of the Expo.

Increasing interest in improving the ROI of ad spend

Speaking with e-commerce professionals at the show, a common theme for 2015 is e-retailer’s interest in improving their return on investment for online ad spend. They are looking for outside knowledge and expertise which at the moment is too time-consuming and expensive to develop in-house.

SMEs are looking for support and insight on how they can further optimise their online ad spend in terms of ROI. Ongoing business pressures and a gap in necessary performance marketing skills, means that external consultancy and support is required for them to drive additional efficiency and revenue from their campaigns.

Cross-border trade and mobile are set to impact e-commerce

Cleverly comparing e-commerce to Game of Thrones, ChannelAdvisor highlighted key consumer behaviour that is impacting the industry. Amongst these changes, Suzanne Miglucci, chief marketing officer at ChannelAdvisor, noted that the rising importance of cross-border trade, where shopping spend is expected to increase 111% by 2018, as well as mobile where 1.8 billion millennials (globally) are currently spending 15 hours a week on mobile.

Considering that UK users are picking up their phone 220 times a day and spending over 3 hours a day on this device, there is no doubt that e-retailers need to adapt their strategies if they have not already done so.

60% of marketers’ time is spent managing digital

Dr Dave Chaffey, CEO of Smart Insights, discussed which digital marketing skills are the most sought after in e-commerce. Amongst these, he highlighted how businesses can use their new free-of-charge interactive digital benchmarking tool to define where they need to improve skills to bridge the digital skills gap.

Particularly interesting was Smart Insights’ finding that 60% of marketers’ time is spent managing digital and that a huge 33% of businesses are doing nothing to optimise their conversion rate. This just further confirms that digital marketing skills are in serious demand and this market remains wide open in e-commerce.

UK mobile users are spending a huge amount of time on Facebook and Instagram

Following the recent announcement to open up its ad business to all advertisers by the end of September with new 30-second video ads, Lynn Sutton, client partner e-commerce at Facebook & Instagram, explored the impact of social media in e-commerce marketing.

An estimated 1 in 4 minutes on mobile in the UK is spent on Facebook and Instagram, supporting the social giant’s case for brands to buy ads from the platform to drive real business results. With the recent addition of buy buttons on their mobile platforms, these players are well positioned to have an increasing influence on ad investments.

Automation is the answer to increasing complexity

A recurring sentiment during day one of the eCommerce Expo, especially for T2 and T3 level merchants, is that they are overwhelmed when faced with the concept of search marketing.

As Google is adding more and more features to its AdWords and Shopping platforms, effectively managing SEM campaigns is becoming an apparent problem and one which automation solutions could help to resolve.

Due to the increasing complexity of online acquisition, there was particular interest in automation solutions. E-retailers are also understanding the increasing importance of Google Shopping and are seeking expert advice to conquer this crucial yet complex channel.

Gael De Vos, VP solutions development, will bring his top five takeaways from Day 2 of eCommerce Expo tomorrow.

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