Commerce Unbound: 5 Takeaways from Imagine Commerce 2015
April 23, 2015
"We're past the inflection point. We no longer need to be afraid of change...We can be unbound." – Mark Lavelle, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Commerce Technologies, eBay Enterprise
Every day is a new adventure in Commerce. Meeting the needs of today’s customers and building exceptional customers experiences is a great challenge. Imagine Commerce 2015 was all about our vibrant ecosystem of merchants, technologists, and solution providers, who are working to remove the boundaries to our collective success.
Now in its fifth year, Imagine Commerce 2015 bought together 2,400+ commerce experts from merchants, agencies, and technology providers across 45 countries. There were certainly some big announcements, including:
eBay Enterprise taking the lead as the #1 eCommerce Platform Provider in the IR Top 500
Here are the five major takeaways this year:
1. The Speed of Innovation
If you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. We all feel the gravitational pull of the customer experience. Constant innovation is what will keep you ahead of the competition and build loyal brand advocates. The commerce environment is not standing still; it’s rushing forward at incredible speed, driven by new technology and constant innovation in how it’s used. The concept of perpetual beta is one that resonated with our clients this week.
2. Integrated Data Driven Shopping Experiences
Customers are telling us how they want to shop every day. We just need to listen and the customers will drive us to build the right experience. Technology advances in data-driven marketing, mobile and in-store technology have truly transformed online storefronts. Building data-driven personalization into digital experiences is a major driver of brand loyalty and revenue growth for merchants. Showing customers we know who they are, and can create an experience that is relevant and personal is the job of marketing today. It builds loyalty and drives customer advocacy.
3. Owning your own Channel
This is the Holy Grail of commerce today, and it’s both a huge challenge and opportunity for both B2B and B2C merchants. Merchants discussed strategies to remove obstacles of legacy, time, geography, and complexity. Every connection to the customer matters. Merchants are shrinking the distance between supply and demand to optimize the customer buying journey across the entire path to purchase. This means owning the channel and having the flexibility to adjust and respond to customer needs.
4. The Opportunity in Optimizing Operations
How you deliver on the customer promise is becoming just as important as how you engage them in the first place. Front-office innovation is now moving to the back office. A seamless back-office environment is required to deliver a seamless customer experience. Retailers who want to deliver flawless fulfilment and endless aisles will be upgrading their back-offices with a focus on inventory. The store is no longer a physical construct. It needs to be a seamless network—web, mobile, store, customer service, marketplace—connecting to your brand. Seamlessly integrating delivery from any point—store, dropship network, distribution center capabilities—is the name of the game.
5. Seamless Customer Experiences
Mobile first responsive design, cross device, and cross channel capabilities are critical elements of a seamless customer experience. In order to optimize brand loyalty the client experience needs to include personalization. In an era when consumers aren't just looking for "a product" but "the product" that best fits their individual needs, personalizing the omnichannel experience is the only way to optimize the lifetime value of a customer.
Imagine Commerce 2015 truly expressed that, collectively, we are moving at the speed of light to exceed the expectations of our customers. Together, we have climbed a mountain. Together, we’re working to innovate in commerce and to make every customer moment exceed the rising bar of expectations unbound by technology or any constraints to deliver and exceed the expectations of our customers. We are #1 in the IR Top 500 thanks to our active, engaged and talented ecosystem. This success is ours to take and build upon.
For more great insights from our attendees, check out #ImagineCommerce on Twitter. If you were at Imagine Commerce 2015 in person, we encourage you share your pictures!
Recaps from our Partners and Community
(More to be added as we find them)
Fabrizio Branca - 2015 Magento Pioneer Award Winner