In focus: the eTailing Summit 2016

The seismic shift in the way retailers and consumers interact with each other over the last two decades has been nothing short of incredible. You don't have to look very far into the not-too -distant past to find a time when the mainstays of the high-street still held considerable sway and clout in the retail industry.

Twenty years on; working with economies of scale, massively reduced overheads and a logistical, distribution revolution have all helped e-tailers wrestle the power away from the high street and establish themselves as major players on the retail scene – to the extent where 20% of consumers' spend is eCommerce. With constantly changing and evolving technology, we can expect that figure to continue on an upward trajectory. But it won't be all plain sailing for e-tailing firms.

Until recently, it had been a relatively simple task to attract new customers; as long as your search engine optimisation (SEO) was on point, online merchants could rely on a steady increase in traffic to their website. However, with Google – in its infinite wisdom – constantly changing its SEO algorithm, it can be tough for smaller, start-up e-tailers to keep up. And is usually one area where the conglomerates such as Amazon and eBay have no such problems.

With this in mind and with its quantifiable results, social media is becoming an ever-popular tool for e-tailers. Indeed, some 11% of e-marketers consider it to be their most successful tool. Likewise, the key elements of a successful e-tailing outfit remain; a properly navigable homepage, simple and streamlined customer journeys, engaging and inviting products and content. 

But much in the same way as it carved its place in the retail sector, by gaining the upper hand on its more traditional rivals, e-tailing is an ever-changing market. With technology, systems and devices evolving at their current rate, it's important for e-tailers to be ahead of the curve and on top of the latest trends and innovations to not only gain the competitive edge in an extremely competitive field but also see tangible returns.

One such way of doing so is sharing information and meeting with key players in the field. That's where the eTailing Summit comes in. The event offers insight into a wide variety of topics within eCommerce and brings together a hand-picked selection of its senior figures; all while providing unparalleled industry access to the latest products and services to help businesses.

It's the brainchild of Forum Events, a company with more than 20 years' experience in creating, hosting and running a number of successful B2B events. With the launch of its eTailing Summit, Forum hopes to bring its winning formula of pre-arranged meetings with delegates and suppliers to this up-and-coming industry. Indeed, Event Manager Chris Cannon added: "We're very excited to launch the eTailing Summit this year. The eCommerce market is growing at an incredibly fast pace with new trends and innovations almost daily. With more than 30 million domain names online all trying to sell something, we understand the need for etailers to gain a competitive advantage and that's what the eTailing Summit is all about."

Unlike other events, the eTailing Summit is designed to be a smaller, more intimate event, focusing entirely on quality of attendees rather than quantity. The event strives to maximise productivity with pre-arranged face-to-face meetings to bring like-minded delegates and product and service providers together. This year's inaugural event sees the attendance of key decision makers from firms such as B&Q, Hilton Worldwide and Office Depot.

As well as the networking opportunities, the event also offers up some fantastic insight into wider trends across the market. The summit's speaker line-up promises to do just that with industry influencers from Google, ThoughtShift, and many more sharing their knowledge and best practice strategies.

So for eTailers looking for a new and innovative way to see what's new in the industry and make profitable connections difficult to find elsewhere, few could go wrong attending the eTailing Summit. As a representative of Oakwood Media Group and attendee of one of Forum's other key events has said: "This has been an unprecedented opportunity to meet face to face with well-known brands, in our industry this contact could take years to achieve, very impressed." It's hard to disagree.

Attendance to the eTailing Summit, which takes place on 11 July 2016 at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London, is exclusively limited to senior eCommerce and mCommerce professionals and product and service providers in the industry, to secure your place at the event please contact:

Supplier contact: Chris Cannon, New Business Sales Manager 

Delegate contact: Katie Bullot, Delegate Sales Executive