If you’re a retail business that wants to keep its finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry, there is no better opportunity to do so than eTail Europe 2019, a major trade event coming to London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on June 18th and 19th.
The show will welcome thousands of retailers and feature a packed line-up of expert speakers, who will offer their insights into some of the most important trends, challenges and opportunities in retail at the moment. They will also look ahead to what the future could hold for the sector.
Here are a few of the key themes that will go under the microscope at the event:
Engaging the Chinese Market
China is clearly a country that holds great potential for retailers. It is set to overtake the US to become the world’s largest retail market in 2019, according to eMarketer. Online growth is fuelling this trend, with ecommerce sales expected to increase by more than 30 per cent this year to reach $1.989 trillion (£1.56 trillion).
However, it’s also a market that presents many challenges to international businesses, including the need to have a strong brand message to engage with local consumers.
The first day of eTail Europe 2019 will feature a presentation from one of the most powerful players in Chinese retail: Alibaba. Mei Chen, head of the conglomerate’s international luxury and fashion arm, will speak about what UK retailers can do to benefit from this fast-growing, increasingly lucrative market.
Making Local Connections
A vital part of successful overseas expansion is making connections with local audiences and customer segments, which enables you to establish relationships and develop brand loyalty. Market research and testing can help you gain the best possible understanding of new markets before committing to them, while effective translation and localisation are essential to get your brand message across in a way that connects with consumers.
The need to build local relationships and retain relevance while expanding internationally will be the focus of a talk by Elliott Jacobs, director of agency and commerce consulting for EMEA at LiveArea, a global commerce services provider.
Mr Jacobs will discuss how brands can overcome common obstacles such as communicating in local languages and trading in various currencies.
Secrets to Cross-Border Success
Locaria’s very own chief operating officer Lindsay Hong will act as chairperson for one of the three themed tracks on day one of eTail Europe 2019, which will explore the topic of cross-border retail and marketplaces.
One of the highlights of this track will be a panel discussion featuring ecommerce professionals including Richard Flint, international director at HEMA, a retailer with more than 700 stores in eight countries. The panel will discuss subjects including how to use customer data to decide which international markets are best suited for expansion, and evaluating the global appeal of your brand.
There will also be case studies showing how businesses like Holland & Barrett and Camaieu are succeeding in achieving personalisation and relevancy at scale.
Global Growth in an Omnichannel Age
With consumers having more ways to engage with retailers and make purchases than ever before, it’s becoming increasingly important to have an omnichannel presence. Research has shown that nine out of ten consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service across communication platforms, while omnichannel customers typically spend ten per cent more online than users of just one channel.
There is clearly a lot to be gained from omnichannel customer engagement and service delivery, but there are challenges to overcome as well, particularly when the additional complexities of cross-border trading are added into the mix.
On day two of eTail Europe 2019, Martin Preen, CEO of interior design brand Buster + Punch, will talk about how his firm has succeeded in its efforts to overcome barriers to omnichannel growth.
Another session featuring speakers including Andrea Picchi, head of user experience at River Island, will explore topics including optimising your channels for the specific functions customers use them for.
Non-Traditional Fulfilment Methods
Later on day two, Christophe Pecoraro, managing director of PFS Europe, will talk about the value of innovation and non-traditional strategies to solve the logistical challenges of cross-border expansion, such as managing the supply chain and meeting customers’ fulfilment expectations.
One of the key focuses of his talk will be the concept of the pop-up distribution centre and how it can help international retailers.
By the end of eTail Europe 2019, attendees will have gained some invaluable insights into the current state of the retail industry and, more specifically, achieving success on the global stage.
To find out more about how Locaria can help your business achieve its international ambitions, contact us on +44 (0)20 3948 6800 or request a quote online.