In the world of ecommerce things can change in day, let alone a year, so it was really fascinating this week to be able to compare the main issues raised by our speakers at this year’s Drapers Ecommerce Summit with those from last year.
It was clear from the very start that mobile is dominating the space in 2013, with most of the attendees and speakers keen to share best practice for building mobile sites and capitalising on the meteoric rise of the smart phone. Did you know that the UK leads the world on smart phone usage with 75% of the population now hooked up, for example?
In contrast to last year, when commercialising social media was still much talked-about, most businesses this year said they were not prioritising this side of Twitter and Facebook, focusing instead on their use as promotional tools.
There was much discussion around data this year too, with most businesses seeking that elusive ‘single view’ of both customer and product, and many have spent a lot of money in the last 12 months on systems and processes to allow them to get instant reports on both.
Almost without exception the businesses at this year’s summit now see ecommerce as a thread that runs through their whole operation, and most are operating in an ‘omni-channel’ way, with a pool of product sent out to consumers through whatever ‘channel’ they like.
Skills that were bought in in the past are now home-grown and the impression I got this year is of a sector that is leading not following the global digital revolution – a significant step forward from last year – with a more strategic view of the future.