• Swanky

What’s on at the South West’s largest ecommerce conference for you?

What if the world of ecommerce is never the same and ecommerce managers, business owners and retailers can no longer rely on tried and tested tactics to secure online sales? The impact of COVID on not only the evolution of the sector from a merchant’s perspective, but the ENTIRE customer base of every ecommerce business, has been undeniable.

That’s why Ecommerce Unlocked should be highlighted in every ecommerce manager, retail business owner and entrepreneur’s calendar, especially this year.

A one way growth street

What if the tremendous growth acceleration we’ve seen is a one way street - just one direction of travel? Shopify themselves saw 10 years’ growth in the US in three months last year (Q1 2020)(1) and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of this elevated level of ecommerce activity retreating to pre-pandemic levels. Here in the UK, estimated ecommerce retail sales in 2021 are expected to be £27.5 billion higher than 2019(2), and heading in only one direction - up.

What’s striking is the average percentage of ecommerce sales as part of the total is looking fairly consistent at around 28%. But what if it could be more? It’s something we’re working on with all of our merchants here at Swanky, through tactics such as conversion rate optimisation or internationalisation. One merchant in particular, who flipped their entire business model to ecommerce in order to survive the pandemic, is now consistently performing way above the 28% average even though bricks and mortar sales are returning to pre-pandemic levels. And you’ll hear from them on the day in the panel session

And what we’re finding is that nothing is quite the same as it was pre-pandemic.

The new world of ecommerce

We’ve known for a long time that it’s valuable for both profit and brand equity to keep existing customers, not to mention more cost effective in terms of marketing outlay(3). But in this extreme growth phase that retailers and merchants are now experiencing, it would be naive to think that customer acquisition isn’t hugely important.

What this means for ecommerce retailers is part-evolution, part-revolution. Now, evolution from both strategic and tactical perspectives is something that’s pretty normal for most ecommerce managers or marketing managers, we’re used to that. Test and learn is our lifestyle - but what about revolution? That means big change, which can be tough for all sorts of reasons.

Revolution may mean dramatically restructuring your shop in order to surface product lines that are doing unexpected numbers and giving them better visibility. It could mean introducing a loyalty programme for the first time. What if it means completely restructuring your paid media programme, especially in light of the challenges presented by iOS14(4) and likely future Apple iOS updates that make privacy on iPhone even tighter?

The good news is, we understand these challenges and so do our tech partners and the expert speakers we’ve got lined up at Ecommerce Unlocked.

Practical and tangible takeaways

The aim of Ecommerce Unlocked is to equip you with everything you need to inspire great ideas and help you pinpoint new opportunities, but also to give you the practical tools to affect positive change in your ecommerce business.

We’re not talking about a highly theoretical programme - you’ll come away with practical and tangible takeaways from the five main stage sessions, but also the masterclasses.

If you’re one of the South West’s hundreds of retailers with a successful business but you want to maximise your ecommerce sales potential - now is the time. After COVID scuppered our plans three times over,, we’re (finally) able to present the largest ecommerce conference in the South West and we want to see you there!


1 https://www.shopify.co.uk/enterprise/the-future-of-ecommerce/omnichannel

2 https://www.emarketer.com/content/pandemic-pushes-uk-retail-ecommerce-past-30-of-total-retail-sales-2020

3 https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers

4 https://www.shopify.co.uk/enterprise/how-ecommerce-brands-can-prepare-for-apples-ios-14-update