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Meet Chloë Thomas: Globally-Recognised Ecommerce Problem Solver

Best-selling author, international and keynote speaker, award-winning ecommerce and marketing podcast host … Chloë Thomas sure knows a thing or two about the world of online retail.

A globally-recognised ecommerce marketing problem solver, Chloë has worked with a wide variety of retailers throughout her 18 years in the industry, from highstreet omnichannel operations to fresh online-only start-ups. Her career has seen her delve into all areas of ecommerce strategy and marketing, from international launches and subscription solutions, to B2B and marketplaces.

Chloë has authored several best-selling ecommerce books and currently hosts the award-winning eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast, as well as the brand new Keep Optimising Podcast. With these regularly appearing in lists of top ecommerce and marketing podcasts in the world, it’s no surprise that Chloë was named a Top 30 Ecommerce Influencer 2021 by Scurri!

She regularly speaks at new business events, client conferences and webinars, and will be taking to the stage at Ecommerce Unlocked this September to share some of her favourite bricks and clicks success stories, along with the tactics you can use to achieve your own ecommerce growth in 2021 and beyond.

We caught up with Chloë to find out more about her thoughts on the current ecommerce landscape, trends to keep an eye on, and her upcoming speaker session ...

So, when did you first start working in ecommerce and what do you specialise in?

I started out in online marketing two decades ago in 2001, and have been deeply involved in ecommerce since 2003. Throughout that time, I’ve worked client-side, agency-side, and adviser-side. My speciality is solving ecommerce marketing problems, from how to increase new customer acquisition, to improving the performance of email marketing newsletters, or finding the right new website provider.

Like Swanky HQ, you're also based in the South West of the UK. Who are some of your favourite brands in this corner of the country and why?

I'm a big fan of any brand who is already fully embracing sustainability and a bigger purpose, whilst also creating STUNNING products. Both Green and Blue, a Perranporth-based B Corp specialising in sustainable products for nature, and Circular and Co, creators of the world’s first reusable coffee cup made from recycled coffee cups (and also from Perranporth!), are worth checking out on that front.

From your many years in the industry, what's the most important bit of advice you'd give to a bricks-and-mortar retailer who's just starting out with an ecommerce store?

Get your software systems right. Adding an ecommerce store is just as much work as adding a second shop - but you can massively reduce the headaches and the boring workload if you implement software that works together.

After that, it's about replicating the customer experience across both stores - think email welcome sequences, content, and customer services responses.

We've seen a huge acceleration in the growth of ecommerce as a result of the Covid pandemic. What can retailers do to try and differentiate their brand from the competition in today's market?

Make sure your brand and your message is out there - you may know what it is, but is it being explained to your customers? Are the key messages on the homepage? In your shop window? Across all your communications channels? Customers buy your products because of what you stand for and how that's replicated in your product - so you've got to tell them, and keep telling them.

And then once someone's bought, give them a great delivery and post-purchase experience.

Are there any ecommerce trends you think we should watch out for during the rest of 2021?

I think we're going to see a continuing growth in the trends that the pandemic has accelerated - so buying online, seeking emotional connection, looking to do good with purchases etc.

I'm also really interested in the brands who are growing fast because they've found a fresh new channel where their customers are, but other retailers aren't. The most obvious would be Tik Tok - but I've also heard exciting things about Pinterest and Livestream selling recently.

What are you most looking forward to about Ecommerce Unlocked?

The real-world connection with the audience. It will be the first time I've spoken at a face-to-face event since March last year, and being able to see all the people watching is a very different experience to chatting into your webcam!

I'm also excited to learn from the other speakers - I'll be there for the whole day soaking up the learning.

You're delivering the final speaker session of the day, called "Bricks & Clicks Success Stories: Growth Tactics in Action". What will people learn in your session?

I will be sharing some stories of bricks-and-mortar businesses that have successfully and rapidly adapted to become ecommerce-focused over the last 18 months, pulling out the key things that made their journey a success. I'm hoping to leave the audience feeling inspired about their bricks and clicks journey, and clear on what areas to focus on to reach the next level this year.

Hear Chloë speak at Ecommerce Unlocked!

Want to hear more from ecommerce expert Chloë? She’ll be taking to the stage at Ecommerce Unlocked to explore how other retailers in your shoes have plotted their route to success, sharing plenty of case studies and actionable tips to help you grow your business. You won’t want to miss it!