That’s a wrap. Our first of six livestreamed half-day retail and B2B events for this year, “Leading the 2021 Ecommerce Charge,” took place on Thursday, May 20. If you missed the action live, here’s a brief recap of some session standouts. The event included 13 panels, Q&As and presentations on topics including fulfillment and supply chain, social media and curbside pickup.
Additionally, for all registered attendees, on-demand replay of the entire event will be available until June 3, 2021. For all other ecommerce professionals, Digital Commerce 360 will open on-demand replay of the event in early-June. You can sign up for the on demand replay now.
Here are some session highlights from the jam-packed day:
Jon Abt, co-president at Abt Electronics, shared Abt’s curbside journey. Even though the consumer electronics retailer’s single store remained open during the pandemic, the merchant quickly learned that its shoppers wanted a curbside fulfillment option. Responding to shopper demand, it quickly scaled up its operations to add curbside parking spaces and allowed shoppers to text a store associate when they arrived. The popularity of curbside ebbed and flowed throughout 2020. Shoppers frequently used the service at the start of the pandemic and near the holidays.
One word of caution from Abt, however: If you are just testing out the program, use signs in the parking lot to note curbside areas instead of paint. Signs are much easier to move around as you figure out the best logistics for the program, while paint is more permanent.
Meanwhile, Glenn Edelman, chief marketing officer at Wine Enthusiast, says forecasting for 2021 requires honesty and realism. In his presentation, “Reforecasting the Forecast,” he noted that after experiencing triple-digit growth at Wine Enthusiast during the height of the pandemic, he realized his company needed to set new goals for the year. And Wine Enthusiast had to do so on a realistic comparable for the next few quarters, even if that is flat or negative. Besides reforecasting sales estimates, businesses would also be wise to reforecast their costs, such as material, shipping, and employee wages, which are also increasing compared with last year.
Bob Goodliffe, CEO of J.W. Goodliffe & Son Inc. and Cyberweld.com, a $40 million online distributor of welding and safety equipment, said his company developed a new clientele during the pandemic. Because of loosened restrictions during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, some of the personal protective equipment Cyberweld sells to welders was deemed to be useable by medical professionals. Soon after, the retailer started receiving orders from hospitals and medical practices, Goodliffe said in the panel session, “Focus on Fulfillment: From the Distribution Center to the Doorstep, How Retailers are Delivering the Goods.”
Meanwhile, editor-at-large Don Davis outlined a few trends that he believes will stick around after COVID-19 in his session “Creativity Amid Crisis: 6 Innovations that Will Outlive the Pandemic.” One nugget from his presentation is that retailers should expect and prepare for future supply chain disruptions. Changing suppliers isn’t easy, but an online retailer can change its marketing strategy, Davis said. For example, when Kerrits, which sells clothing for horseback riding, found some deliveries were delayed because of the pandemic, it decided to introduce products as they arrived, rather than waiting for everything to be delivered before introducing for example, an entire spring collection.
He also highlighted the livestreaming product promotions and demonstrations trend. Davis said livestreaming is a hot marketing tool in China, where it’s estimated to bring in $60 billion in sales from shows often hosted by social media influencers. Because it’s online, shoppers can interact with hosts as they would on social media, adding to the fun. Betabrand began last year livestreaming shows about its dress pants made from yoga pant material and reports consumers who interact with the shows convert at a healthy 10% rate and frequent buyers increased by 40% after employing livestreaming.
Don’t forget, for all registered attendees, on-demand replay of the entire event will be available until June 3, 2021. For all other ecommerce professionals, Digital Commerce 360 will open on-demand replay of the event in early-June. You can sign up for the on demand replay now.
Leading the 2021 Ecommerce Charge was the first of six livestreamed half-day events from Digital Commerce 360 slated for 2021. Be sure to check out our next event on June 17, “Breaking the Barriers to B2B Ecommerce Success” and our next B2C retail event on July 29! (Please note that registration does not open until June 2nd for this event.)