7 Key Takeaways From Ecom World 2021

Ecom World 2021 is the leading e-commerce event with 15000+ attendees. It took place at the end of June. The Scallium team was presented at the conference as a Certified Solution Provider. We enjoyed listening to dozens of innovative entrepreneurs and groundbreaking brands, including Shopify, Facebook, Zappos, DHL, JD.com, Amazon.

Here are seven core conclusions about global e-commerce development.
1. Marketplaces are leading e-commerce
We can scold them for high commissions and strict rules. But let's be honest, it's difficult for brands to be successful without marketplaces. Through the marketplace, you get access to a million audience of potential customers. To get the same traffic on your own website, it will take substantial advertising costs.

A strategy for success on the marketplace is another matter. And most of the Ecom World talks were devoted to this question. For example, Stefan Chiriacescu, Founder & CEO of eCommerce-Today.com, presented a whole scheme for presence on marketplaces. He believes that you need to do this so that marketplaces give indirect traffic to your own website. Briefly, you choose the right marketplaces first (for example, global and niche). Then you test how your presence on these platforms affects your direct sales.
2. Data is everything
E-commerce project has to manage massive amounts of data about customers, products, services, personnel, materials, etc. You must have a source you trust and store, process, moderate, and administer information.

A large e-commerce business uses several IT systems: PIM for product content management, a system for managing a supply chain, an ERP system, an accounting system, a CRM system for storing information about your customers and sales data. It also needs modern e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce; payment systems such as PayPal; order processing modules for combining different sales channels. It turns out a lot of technologies and millions of data from various sources.

Alex Kaliada, director of new markets and strategy development at JD Logistics (JD.com), advises finding a system that would accommodate as many vital functions as possible or one that easily integrates with all the others. If you do so, you will create a single source of truth for your company.
3. Artificial intelligence is our future
These are the tasks for AI - sales forecasting and inventory placement, regulatory compliance, auditing, anti-fraud, transaction verification, and invoice.

We can solve some of these problems with the help of innovative technologies, but not all of them. However, there is a plus in this situation: the first who will use AI for these processes will have benefits in the long run. AI can explore different scenarios for working with customers, which can be used in the future when offering the customer added value. With machine learning, e-commerce executives will predict the impact of various events on the business and figure out which solution will be most effective.
4. Product card is the highest value in e-commerce
It is not enough to provide ads, likes, and reposts to increase sales. A more critical aspect of your e-commerce project development is often overlooked: proper product information management.

If your product cards are not high-qualified, you lose clients, no matter how much money you spent on advertising. When a customer sees incomplete or inaccurate information about a product, he goes to your competitors - until he finds a product card that answers all his questions.

Several reports at Ecom World 2021 were devoted to creating product cards and brand pages on marketplaces. We especially enjoyed the insightful talk by Ezra Firestone, the leading e-commerce expert by Shopify and Entrepreneur Magazine version. He gave 17 steps to create a product card for $ 1 million.
5. You will always have competitors. To defeat them, build an authentic Brand
Any large marketplace is oversaturated with your competitors. Therefore, it is important to think about being unique among the rest and gaining customers' trust.

The deeper you go through all the stages of creating a product page, the higher is the likelihood of a purchase.

Emma Schermer Tamir, CEO & Co-Founder Marketing by Emma, offers to answer five questions to motivate customers to buy your product among dozens of similar ones. They are standard but no less vital:

  1. Who is your client?
  2. What worries him?
  3. What can make him excited?
  4. What is your advantage, and why is it important?
  5. Do the actual functions of the product correspond to descriptions on the site?
Kian Golzari, one of the world's leading purchases experts, advises you to be the first ambassador of your brand. So, developing a product for sale on marketplaces, you have to test it personally, then ask to test your friends, collecting feedback.
6. Logistics is one of the big e-commerce challenges. Digitize it!
Logistics providers' core value proposition is not moving goods from point A to point B. It is about providing customers with real-time data. Freight forwarders' have to track the item at the SKU level and dynamic shipping costs for each of those SKUs. Sellers need to know when each item arrives and how many units they can sell to profit. And here, artificial intelligence comes to the rescue (see point 3).
7. Eco is still a trend among manufacturers
A whole session of discussions was devoted to this topic. In particular, manufacturers reflected on the trade-off between a product cost and its eco-friendliness.

The conversation was that ten years ago, eco-materials were much more expensive than traditional ones. Cornstarch, for example, cost eight times more per package than a plastic bag in the nearest past. However, most brands have found out that customers do not want to overpay for packaging. Thus, some manufacturers switched from corn starch to paper bags.

However, you always have two options — either set a high price or come up with how to make it lower.

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