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Life in the ecommerce fast lane  

Caroline Nodder

Nothing stands still in fashion, but one of the fastest-moving parts of a fast-moving industry is ecommerce.

Nothing stands still in fashion, but one of the fastest-moving parts of a fast-moving industry is ecommerce. So it was with real fascination that I listened to the speakers and panellists at our Drapers Ecommerce Conference this week as they dissected the latest trends and gave their vision of the future.

Some interesting themes emerged during the course of the debate, with some surprises along the way. Is it, for example, worth jumping onto the app bandwagon – a potentially expensive jump – when most of those at the conference have found that in terms of conversion a mobile-optimised site is far more effective (12 times more effective according to one operator), and some retailers were already getting 20% of sales through mobiles without having optimised at all!

The room was also locked in a lengthy discussion over the pros and cons of on-site editorial content. Too much and you become a source of entertainment not purchase, too little and stickiness on your site is compromised.

We also heard about the internationalisation of many sites, the mistakes made when retailers and brands hadn’t correctly tested their offer for local nuances – be they legal, language or simply customer behaviour. And of course the buzzword of the day, personalisation, kept rearing its head, with most operators still at the initial stages of what can be an expensive process of adapting their offer for individual customers. What is of course vital is knowing and understanding your customer and their behaviour, so you can hook them. With technology and behaviour moving so fast – first-generation QR codes have almost come and gone without most shoppers even using one – you have to keep trying new things constantly. One panellist hit the nail on the head when he advised: “Try fast, fail fast, and move on.”  

Readers' comments (3)

  • Is QR an acronym and if so what does it stand for? Why oh why do you just not say what you are talking about instead of causing this confusion? Surely your job is to inform your readers not make them feel inadequate because they do not understand the jargon you are using.

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  • Apologies Anonymous, I assumed knowledge where I should not have done. QR codes are usually referred to just as QR codes although I believe it does stand for Quick Reponse codes. They are the small pixellated black and white squares that have been appearing on adverts and in retail stores for the last year or so and which can be scanned using a QR code reader on an iPhone to take the user to web content, videos or images. A bit like a glorified barcode.

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  • Mark Ashton

    Q uite R ight ! Please don't ask what a bar code is?!

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