This year, physical eCommerce events returned in a big way.
The influence of lockdowns saw thousands of attendees flocking to some of the best shows in the eCommerce calendar.
Our team traveled to over 30 eCommerce events across 10 cities, including New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Austin, Barcelona, and Santa Barbara. We called it ‘The World Tour’, handing out branded merch at every stop.
ECommerce events are always a meeting of minds. Simply asking an attendee why they made the trip provides fascinating insight into their top priorities.
We learned so much about the state of online retail during our conversations at each eCommerce conference, exhibition, and networking event. So, with a view to sharing some of our ‘tales from the road’, we thought we’d condense our key learnings.
AOV becomes the top goal for brands
If you dropped by the RevLifter stand at any of our eCommerce events, we probably asked you a certain question: what’s your top goal?
There was a clear (surprise) winner in 2022: increase average order values (AOV).
It doesn’t seem like yesterday since the majority of retailers were heavily prioritizing sales and new customers. Short-term gains were favored by brands in order to grow their customer base and unlock fresh sources of revenue. It’s now more about maximizing investments of time and money. We’re all for this for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it shows retailers that retailers are looking at the bigger picture. Chasing AOV means investing in ways to maximize the spend of each customer, rather than simply converting more of them. To do that, you have to deliver tailored recommendations (you know, the ones customers actually want) as part of a refined experience.
It also goes to show the impact of wider economic trends. We’re constantly told that it’s more cost-effective to increase the value of your customer base rather than expand it. Faced with lower acquisition budgets, retailers are seemingly waking up to the reality.
‘Resilience’, ‘challenges’, and ‘choppy waters’ dominate the conversation
Sadly, there was a high supply and demand for eCommerce content geared around helping retailers battle through a steady decline in consumer spend. We’ve picked out a few of the phrases used repeatedly in the title of those sessions, but you’ve probably got a few more in mind.
RevLifter even pitched in on the subject – our Co-Founder and CEO Simon Bird featuring on the panel ‘Affiliate Marketing: The Resilient Revenue Driver’ at PI LIVE.
One of the most important pieces of advice we heard was to incentivize customers on a case-by-case level. The logic is that every customer and cart is different, so they don’t need the same discount.
We raised a similar point around targeted promotions in our recent virtual panel: ‘Driving eCommerce Success When Trading Is Tough’. If you’re in charge of eCommerce for a brand and want to hear our two cents on how to survive and thrive, you can view a recording of the session.
Transparency gets put on the back burner
Pre-COVID, transparency was never far from the agenda. Any eCommerce event involving partners revolved heavily around an industry conundrum – partnerships are built on data, but brands aren’t playing ball.
Good news – we can see that this is starting to become less of a talking point. Why? Again, we’ve got a few theories in mind.
- Tag-based solutions (like RevLifter) make it simple to pass over the data required for data-led activities... The process is no longer clunky and demanding. We’re talking about a single line of code, with no tickets to the tech department. This has made brands more open to sharing their data.
- Affiliate networks are greasing the wheel… Platforms like Awin and CJ have become trusted ‘middlemen’ by helping tech partners go live. The most popular process is having certain technologies pre-loaded onto their own tag, clearing the way for rapid launches.
- We’re doing what we said we should do three years ago… An obvious point – partners themselves campaigned about transparency for years. We saw compelling case studies into the benefits. Now we’re seeing progress.
Partnerships are in vogue
The impact of influencers appears to have fired ‘partnership marketing’ into our dictionaries and conference agendas. Once a fairly quiet sub-section of the wider performance mix, there are now full session tracks devoted to brand-to-influencer/tech partner/brand partnerships.
Speaking on the tech side, there’s the opportunity to branch outside of the cost per acquisition model (CPA). This in turn breeds more flexibility in terms of monetization, activities, and the expansion of mutual benefits.
On a personal note, it was great to see Eve Hutchison from fashion giant Boohoo citing RevLifter as one of its top partners in 2022 during a panel session at one of the best eCommerce events around: PI LIVE. Long live the partnership!
Face-to-face wins out
There was something noticeably bigger at the eCommerce events of 2022 vs 2019 – the crowds!
Many events appear to have benefited from the theory that absence makes the heart grow fonder. While virtual gatherings serve a necessary purpose, it didn’t take us long to realize that face-to-face interactions are hard to beat.
We made the most of the facetime by giving out thousands of RevLifter swag items, providing demos of our technology, and catching up with our valued clients.
Buoyed by a hectic yet rewarding 12 months, we’re already planning our eCommerce event calendar for 2023. We’ll see you on the road!