The Digital City Festival was held in the Manchester Central Convention Complex, from the 9th to 10th March 2022. Kicking off with a warm introduction from Chris Philip MP, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, on how technology is leading the UK economy.
Panel discussions, case studies and presentations from leaders in the ecommerce industry provided attendees with fantastic insights into how ecommerce technology can help a variety of businesses grow, keep up with tech giants and engage with their customers.
RedEye sponsored the Ecommerce Masterclass theatre, which provided a great platform to discuss the impact FinTech’s, logistic technologies and MarTech can have on business growth. Plus, RedEye’s Head of Marketing Rachael Kotadia shared Data driven ideas to accelerate revenue now
So, what were the most prominent takeaways from the days lectures on how to manage business growth?
Engage with, and understand, your customers!
When looking to grow your business, you’re essentially looking to maintain your current customer base whilst gaining new customers. The best way to find new customers is to engage with current customers, explore the reasons they use your services and purchase your products.
Josh Guthrie, in How to Achieve 10x Growth at Every Stage, reveals the importance of listening to the critical insights from customers directly. What this allows is for your business to maintain a level of democratisation and accessibility for all consumers but can also strengthen your geographic targeting to increase growth across specific regions.
Understanding the needs of customers is also key to ShipStation and Fast, who identified major pain points for consumers in the online retail experience.
Michael Schirrmacher of Fast states that the “traditional checkout is broken” and through understanding the data and reasons behind the high dropout rate on the customer journey were able to look at how to adapt and stay up to date with what consumers need and expect.
Meanwhile, Mike Hayers of ShipStation also highlighted how data and customer research is key in identifying how customers want items delivered and returned. Then you can offer the best services possible, to current and new customers.
RedEye knows all about the importance of data when it comes to understanding your customers, and how to engage with them most effectively.
Rachael discussed how various AI and machine learning models can provide businesses, big and small, with invaluable insights into what customers want and how they behave.
The overriding message from all speakers is of course, that whether it be through data, research or qualitative feedback, to grow your business you must engage with and understand your customers.
Automation and tech is your friend
Coming from the mouths of pioneers in the tech industry this may seem an obvious point, however it is still one that needs highlighting and stressing.
When you introduce tech into your business you can allow yourself growth through removing a strain on resources and personnel, giving you time to focus on long term and macro strategies.
Rachael emphasises this during her talk, Data driven ideas to accelerate revenue now, as you can’t wait a lifetime for LTV… Demonstrating there is a double-edged sword emerging, everyday there are more and more customers using online retail, however how can you get ahead of the game compared to competitors and gain customers?
This question, posed by Rachael, can be solved with tech and automation. Currently there is a high changeover in eCommerce teams and in this post-peak time frame there are many customers floating in between businesses.
Automation, like RedEye’s, can reduce the resources you need for marketing, whilst it’s integration with AI means you can send timely, personalised content to existing, new, and browsing customers, to increase conversions from one-off purchaser to loyal VIP’s.
Reinforcing this belief that technology can improve growth through technology is Ricardas Monvila from MAPP, who agrees that if you market products based upon sectors only you will see meagre results.
“Marketing based on averages, creates average results” claims Ricardas. Introducing tech into your business can vastly improve the personalisation and contextualisation of your marketing, which is necessary as you look to grow your business.
Don’t just throw people at your problems. As your business grows, make sure your marketing software grows with it to ensure you don’t get bogged down by tying resources into unnecessary areas when one piece of technology can solve multiple issues.
Picking the right partners can be make or break
Alongside picking the right technology to help you on your journey of growth, identifying key partners and their channels should be high up on your list according to our presenters.
When you choose the right partner they will be able to seamlessly integrate themselves with your current practices, rather than disrupt your processes.
Rachael demonstrates this by identifying multiple issues that online retailers face, such as stock issues, customer retention and customer expectations in this modern world. When a partner can provide a plethora of solutions and is easily integratable.
For example, RedEye can aid with predictive models or the creation of snooze sites to avoid customers seeing content that may be sensitive to them or of no interest (e.g. Mother’s Day), these examples can aid your growth massively by adapting your marketing to that customer.
Stressing this point was Mike Hayers, during his talk on Diversification to drive scale. When there are multiple solutions on offer from a partner, this can accelerate your ability to grow as you can account for the growth of niche customer groups, and the overarching customer base.
To spot these good partners, you first need to identify your customers’ problems, not just yours as a business. Then you need to ask yourself, can my partner solve my customers’ problems, says Michael Schirrmacher. This will help you identify the partners most suitable for your business and who can help with your growth.
Working with good tech partners makes set up, and integration easy, leading to high performance. It is also important to identify their ability to provide continual support and service after the initial integration states Josh Guthrie.
This was further backed up by Rachael from RedEye who said if you get good strategic support from your marketing automation provider like RedEye, they become part of your team and can provide you with data driven ideas and solutions to help you continually overcome customer challenges, and work alongside you to help you grow and scale your business.
Photo Credit: Prolific North