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eCommerce Expo 2015 review - Day 2

WRITTEN BY Jonathan Bellwood /

08 October 2015

eCommerce Expo 2015 was just over a week ago and we're bringing you our review of the second day od the event. If you missed our review of Day 1 then you can find it here.

Matthew Walsh, IMRG

Kicking off Day 2 of the eCommerce Expo was a fantastic presentation by Matthew Walsh of IMRG. We picked out lots of facts and statistics from this talk and we'd hate for you to miss out on any of them, so without further ado here's what Matthew taught us about 'current trends and sector performance in online retail in the UK'.

Online retail

The growth of online retail is blossoming very nicely. 24% of all retail shopping is done online and there has been a 10,000% growth since 2000. In 2014, £104bn was spent online, with accessories being the most lucrative showing a growth of 606%.

Mobile growth

42% of sales are made via a mobile device. Generally, tablets see more conversion than smartphones which is likely due to screen size. With the way Apple and Samsung are going, however, this might shift in the near future.

Desktop is here to stay

Yes, mobile shopping is on the rise, but that is not to say that the desktop is on its way out. Far from it. According to IMRG's data, from 6am-9am the mobile is most active. Between 9am and 5pm the power goes to the desktop, and then after 5pm the tablets take over. This is pretty decent information to take on board when considering your marketing strategies.

The last 12 months

Looking back on the last year in eCommerce it's no surprise that Black Friday stands out. More sales were made on that one day than in the entirety of the year 2000. An important insight from last year's figures is that in the week before Black Friday sales took a steep drop. This was likely due to people holding back on making purchases until the deals came in. As a hint for this year, if you notice your sales start to drop off in the build-up to Black Friday then expect a flood of sales on the big day.

Conversion rates and basket value

Conversion rates have slowly been rising over recent years, with the average coming in at around 4.5%, but PurePlay eCommerce tends to see a higher average conversion of about 6%. Womenswear converts much better than electronics, but what you have to see alongside this is that the average basket value for womenswear is £54 while the average basket value for electronics is £145.


Revenue generated via email marketing is at almost 14%, so keep pushing your marketers to deliver the best content to your customers. Social generates a lower percentage of revenue (only 1%), but this does not mean social should be ignored. Quite often social is the first step in the customer journey and is being considered as the modern day shop window as many people see an advert on Facebook or Twitter and then go in store to purchase.


Click and Collect is being used for 12-15% of all orders and this can reach up to 20% during peak. Next-day delivery has increased by 14%, and while same-day delivery only makes up about 0.02% of all orders so far, it is looking like it may be a growth area to watch and plan for.

Another fact to take note of - 52% of people say they would abandon their order because of poor delivery options.

IMRG's predictions

  • Mobile growth
  • Same-day delivery
  • Cross-border trade
  • Wearables
  • Delivery locations

Jeremy Morris, Google

Taking the stage after Matthew, Jeremy Morris from Google gave a talk on 'winning the mobile micro-moments: I want to know, I want to go, and I want to buy'. There has been a 115% increase in shopping searches from smartphones, and now 82% of people use their phones to help them decide on a purchase. 1 in 4 consumers will turn to their phones for further information in reaction to seeing a TV advert each week.

The moral: Get your site mobile!

Google have a couple of new features that are changing the way online shopping is done via search. They have product cards for specific searches (try googling Pink Fitbit), and Google Now, which provides information directly to your phone before you've even searched for it. Are you in Homebase? Look at this, there's a sale on these items here.

1 in 4 customers will avoid going to a store because they don't know whether the product they want will be in stock or not. With Google you can tailor all your online information, including store stock figures, so a customer will never doubt visiting your store again.

Understanding Jeremy's 'I want...' strategy:

  • I want to know - Help Google to show hot content by keeping your profile updated
  • I want to go - Get your local stores online so people will know when they're nearby
  • I want to buy - Reduce friction at the point of purchase to increase conversion

Panel discussion

Once again, eCommerce Expo closed with a panel discussion on the topic of 'B2B eCommerce', chaired by Tom Head (Lab), with panellists Tim Ryan (Kimberly-Clark) and David Ferguson (WebJaguar).

What are the key differences between B2B and B2C?

Tim Ryan

  • They used to be quite different, but they're now actually rather similar.
  • B2C is more advanced, but B2B is catching up - it has about a 2-year lag.
  • Ideally the aim is to create the same customer experience for B2B as B2C.

[Related: B2B eCommerce fulfilment]

David Ferguson

  • What B2B needs is a sophisticated structure to take advantage of developing markets.

Tom Head

  • As Tim said, B2B is starting to look a lot more like B2C today, and that is likely to improve as time goes on.

Is there more appetite for experimentation in B2B?

Tim Ryan

  • Transactional websites are much more innovative than non-transactional websites. In order to increase conversion, they have to be.

David Ferguson

  • There seems to be a lack of sophistication in the back-office systems for B2B eCommerce, but they are becoming more innovative.

Tom Head

  • Historically, B2B has been good with automation systems, making the integration side fundamental.

Is the landscape more complicated now? What advice would you give to B2B retailers?

Tim Ryan

  • Older companies need to start using the newer systems or they'll get left behind.
  • You have to understand your requirements before you go to the market.

David Ferguson

  • Planning is critical and the process has to reflect how your business operates.
  • Talk to someone who understands the pain points - they will offer the best advice, rather than giving a sales pitch.

Are we one of the reasons to blame for a lack of change in B2B eCommerce?

Tim Ryan

  • Generally, the issue is that the decision makers are not the people who should be making decisions - they just control the budget.

David Ferguson

  • B2B companies have to identify where the demand is coming from within the business.
  • Do you want to talk to the budget controller or the department that is actually feeling the pain?

With the growing trend of mobile retail, when do you think B2B transactions on mobile will be the norm?

Tim Ryan

  • A lot of B2B companies use subscription modelling and they are not one off purchases.
  • Mobile is less important for B2B than B2C.
  • You have to ask yourself: Is the consumer going to want to buy this product / service on a mobile or on a desktop?
  • There is a difference between buying on mobile and researching on mobile, however.

End of Day 2

And so that marks the end of eCommerce Expo 2015. We had a fantastic time on our stand and attending the talks and now we're eagerly awaiting next year's event.

Want to know more about the part Peoplevox played at eCommece Expo 2015? Get in touch now.

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