- Posted by Pierre Dupuis-Blankevoort
- On May 31, 2018
- brands, content, e-commerce, egrocery, FMCG, future, Grocery, Online, retail, technology
Forward-thinking leaders in Ecommerce are continuously on the lookout for new ideas and trends that can inspire their strategies in this fast-paced environment. Over the last few years, “My Digital Shelf” has organised the Online and Digital Grocery Summit, an event taking place in London that acts as the ideal meeting place for both Retailers and Suppliers to discuss and exchange about the latest opportunities in the online grocery sector. Expert speakers discuss and debate how brands can optimise Ecommerce strategies and take advantage of grocery’s fastest growing sector.
Given Syndy’s role as a leading technical tool connecting both Retailers and Suppliers, it was natural for us to attend this event. Here you will find a quick write out about some key insights from the conference, and its resonance with the services we offer at Syndy.
Key Ecommerce Insights
The presentations at the conference were focused on five themes:
- The importance of building trust in partnerships
- The efforts needed to build capability
- International perspectives in the ecommerce field
- How to win in omni-channel representation
- The future of ecommerce
- Adrian Percival, the chairperson of the event and head of ecommerce at Kimberly-Clark, gave an interesting first point, discussing how Kimberly-Clark first saw ecommerce as an easy-win sales side channel in the early days of online developments, and how they soon saw the countless opportunities of expanding this to a full-fledged and well-funded channel. A key aspect discussed here, was of the importance of having rich content, and how such content expertise could be brought to the United Kingdom.
- Campbell Ettinger of Waitrose shared some key retailer insights, explaining how their mentality was to win alongside suppliers, through building trust in these relationships. Their vision is that human connections are critical in order to build more trust, and that the digital element serves as an enhancing tool to enhance sales across all channels. They thus also focused on building fewer but more qualitative relationships with suppliers, to make sure that the digital evolutions will happen smoothly from both sides.
- David van der Lei, head of global ecommerce at Perfetti van Melle, argued that ecommerce developments are high on the agenda for the brand, agreeing with Kimberly-Clark that it is more than a simple channel and that it needs a multi-disciplinary approach to make it work. He also added that manufacturers are not yet structured to support this and fully exploit all the opportunities. The fast-paced developments of ecommerce can be seen as a new digital ecosystem where new partnerships arise and supply chains need to be reorganised. David also wrapped up his presentation with an interesting outlook on the future, where the offline shopping experience will still exist but integrated with all digital advantages.
Resonance with Syndy
Some comments made during the presentations were especially relevant for what we do at Syndy. Syndy acts as a platform where retailers and suppliers can upload and share rich content. The roots of the company can be found in content creation, as it was a trailblazer in identifying the need for rich content.
- Comments made by Adrian Percival echo these needs, as he mentioned several times that ecommerce today is still focused on getting content online, and that great content management tools are of critical importance and often overlooked by companies.
- At Syndy we often talk about the flexibility we offer with filling local needs through global solution, especially from the retailer aspect of things and the organisation of content that fits retailer specific needs. David van der Lei also mentioned this, and argued that brands and retailers need to do local and learn global.
- Clodagh Moriarty, Online Director at Sainsbury’s, gave a very interesting presentation about their strategies to bring the digital realm to the store in omni channel activation. One of her key points was that the technology infrastructure needs to be able to back up the ecommerce frenzy that is growing, or severe risks of project alienation exist. Suppliers need to be aware of this and trust 3rd party ecommerce specialists like Syndy with content and technology to ensure that the technological infrastructure remains sound.
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All in all, both suppliers and retailers insisted on the fact that the digital world is a shop window to in-store sales, and that online sales are a proven driver of offline sales.
In the end, ecommerce is a marathon and not a sprint and should be treated as such. Getting the right content is still a major need that acts as a prerequisite for ecommerce, even if some actors still do not see it as such. Given the trailblazing and innovative aspect of ecommerce, there is much room and opportunities for trial. Trends in the coming years will most likely come from unforeseen developments, but the end goal should always be kept in sight: ecommerce exists to simplify the customer’s lives.
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