Helping Brands Discover Where to Play in a World Dominated by Global Platforms like Amazon and Alibaba.

On the 15th and 16th May in Amsterdam, I am delighted to be welcoming the great and good from across Europe to our annual eCommerce and Digital Strategy Conference. Since last year, when many brands were at the crossroads of their familiar retail strategies, the pace of change has quickened yet again. So much so that conversations we’ve had since have moved on from what is required to achieve omnichannel. The buzzword and strategy of choice for almost a decade, has become a reality and focus is shifting as a result.

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A highlight of the challenges we will be tackling at the event:

CHALLENGE #1: New Mindsets Not New Buzzwords

Whether you call it Unified Retail, Channel-less Retail, or the truly awful Phygital Retail, I believe that standard shopping processes are ending, and the relationship consumers have with retailers and brands is changing forever. Semantics must now be put to one side, and new mindsets, not new buzzwords, are needed. For me, efforts must switch from creating transaction-focused experiences to creating consumer-focused experiences.

CHALLENGE #2: Brands and Retailers Alike Are Having to Scale up in Both Quantity and Quality

I see retail as becoming disconnected from traditional channels thanks to social commerce, voice commerce, mobile super apps, unified retail operations, and visual search and shop from the likes of Snapchat and Google Lens.

At the same time, growth is becoming harder to obtain and is increasingly found in uncomfortable places, while a large portion of the low-hanging fruit from initial ecommerce strategies has already been harvested. Unlocking new growth opportunities and remaining relevant will be determined by the ability to constantly refine and reinvent for new missions and occasions. In essence, the ask is to redefine commerce by creating seamless experiences across diverse channels, while making more meaningful connections with consumers.

Efforts should be constantly focused on the customer, ensuring they enjoy the ultimate brand experience, with exceptional service, merchandising and range curation across every channel. This requires being precisely where the consumer is, at the right time, in the right channel, with the right product, ahead of the competition. I see retail ecosystems growing in importance in achieving this, and in meeting shopper demands and expectations.

CHALLENGE #3: Marrying Brand Growth Strategies with New Routes to Consumer

Figuring out what customers want and how they experience the value provided across all touch-points, while placing the shopper at the heart of operations, and by considering the end-to-end experience – from awareness to purchase to referral – will create distinct competitive advantage.

A vital component of success is the ability to perfectly blend brand growth strategies with new routes to consumer, leveraging eRetail platforms and new touch-points to identify and build audiences. Remember, a “sales campaign” and an actual “sale” is now separated by merely a click. There is huge potential to reach consumers in new exciting ways. A clear understanding of where a brand’s target consumer finds inspiration, and begins and ends their shopping journey, is central to this.

At our conference last year, we discussed the concept of perfecting experience fundamentals over sales fundamentals, and this is even more true today. Generating smart content to deploy everywhere to create new connections, facilitate sales conversion and boost meaningful loyalty, will become the cornerstone of success. Our brand and marketing experts will provide this essential viewpoint on building winning ecommerce and digital strategies.

CHALLENGE #4: Establishing the Competencies Required to Excel in Retail’s next Evolutionary Phase

The next phase of retail’s evolution is the seamless integration of online, offline, logistics and data across the entire value chain. Success will require brand owners to upgrade commercial operating systems with new insights, new ways of working, new capabilities and new metrics.

This entails constantly refining and reinventing solutions and messaging, and seeking out partnerships to make it happen. It has never been more important for brand owners to ensure their commercial operating system is fit for purpose to unlock growth, and get ahead of the competition.

This has only scratched the surface of the opportunities presented by next-generation commerce, as we do away with buzzwords and focus on creating truly consumer-focused experiences.

I look forward to welcoming you for two action-orientated days in Amsterdam, where, along with industry experts from Kantar Consulting, WPP, Alibaba, Profitero, and compelling case studies from leading FMCG brands, we’ll guide you through the competencies required to excel beyond omnichannel.

Overview of Event:

15 May – eCommerce & Digital Strategy & Execution

16 May – Amazon & Alibaba Strategy & Execution


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