So at last I, and we in Lingo24, can take a breath. We have had a crazy few weeks attending, sponsoring and exhibiting at a number of ecommerce events. See how we got on…
It all started in Chicago at IRCE where we had a stand and had a fantastic week meeting people with as much excitement about online retail as us. If you haven’t been to Chicago then I thoroughly recommend it. The event was great and we stayed true to our Scottish roots by wearing kilts the entire time while talking translations, indeed #translatorsinkilts was trending at the event, all down to the fantastic legs on show as well as the great advice we were able to impart.
It was a great success and it was interesting talking to our US cousins around translations: obviously the perception of a single English-speaking market is out of date with Spanish and Canadian French essential for maximising sales in the Americas before even looking at Asia and Europe.
There were lots of ancillary events post show time and this gave us a chance to get to know partners and customers in slightly more relaxed surroundings. We certainly made the most of the opportunity to make new friends, obviously still in our kilts for continuity.
We talked to all sorts of brands, retailers and technology providers showing the breadth of the ecommerce boom but the overriding memory was of friendly and open people interested in what they could do to open up new markets.
So upon our return; with a small breath to try to follow up with all the people we talked to in Chicago; we were at Demandware Xchange in London. We proudly sponsored the show bags, which all delegates received, and we immersed ourselves in the sessions which were highly topical, diverse and far reaching.
The two recurring themes that I picked up were of Demandware’s continued march as a dominant player in the platform space, with high profile brands and retailers abounding in all of the sessions. The other, happily for us, was the global aspirations of the Demandware customers and the associated challenges of realistically achieving them.
Obviously we were really excited to be part of the event and the broader Demandware ecosystem, with our translation integration hopefully going some way to address some of the challenges discussed in running multi-language versions of ecommerce sites.
Following on from this we have started an exercise in mapping our translation management process, strategy and best practice to simplify going global.
So, with a brief interlude of cycling in the Alps, I was back at the Park Plaza Westminster for the Magento Live event –it was almost as if I had never left! If I am honest this event didn’t quite live up to the standard of either of the other two events, but we did get to see lots of our partners and some customers and prospects, and were able to hear what is coming up for the future of Magento and eBay enterprises generally.
Another hot topic was Magento 2.0, which looks very real with beta testing well advanced and a full release date confirmed. This should see the end of any future developments on any of the versions below. It will be interesting to see what the take up will be upon release and how soon people start migrating across.
So, as lists are all the rage these days, here are the top 5 things that stay with me from these trips:
- E-commerce plays a major part in an overall retail strategy and businesses need to embrace the opportunities to drive sales in all channels through innovation online and in store. These should include multiple points of contact and personalisation becoming a more significant part of customer engagement. Seeing it only in isolation doesn’t reflect the consumer’s journey.
- There seems to be a shift as businesses re-platform away from proprietary systems to the ones that can offer multiple touch points for PIM, marketing, testing etc. beyond having to build each integration themselves.
- There is a shift in the way brands use e-commerce to engage with their customers across the piece. This was partly prompted by a discussion around a standalone transactional site selling a specific brand of mustard, with FMCG moving more into this space.
- Selling internationally is becoming the norm rather than an exception.
- Wearing kilts is very liberating, while being a great way to make friends and meet people in the US, I thoroughly recommend it!