My day at the Internet Retailing Conference 2010

The Froggers had a really interesting time at the Internet Retailing Conference in Hammersmith yesterday; a packed day of workshops and presentations from inspirational brands sharing their ideas and experience, there was loads to learn.

Dave Hughes from Marks & Spencer gave us an insight into his approach to innovation; less of the formal ‘product, process, positioning and paradigm’ and more of an informed, gutsy and collaborative ‘don’t unless your customer wants it’, ‘leap of faith’, ‘test’ and ‘stealing of good ideas’!

Rob Silsbury and Oliver Elliot from Boden, talked about how they are working towards a more intuitive way of reporting the engagement of their customers along the route to conversion, instead of the traditional acquisition channels.  It was music to our ears that big respected brands are starting to change how they perceive and report online success!  At Leapfrogg, we believe successful retail brands need to have a relationship with customers at all stages of the online buying cycle: from product awareness via social media and online PR, to the final conversion from a natural or paid, brand search.  Boden’s specific approach is even more exciting when you consider that they only really started investing in a non-brand, keyword SEO strategy a couple of years ago.  It shows what can be achieved by a brand when you have a marketing team with passion and ambition.

Another fascinating presenation was from Tesco.  A brand that has put what its customers want at the very heart of their online strategy.  Not just in terms of product, but with tools that neatly fit the behaviour of their three identified shopper types.  With a combination of different mobile apps, site tools and functionality that combines easy ordering functions with support and inspiration they have genuinely made the chore of the grocery shop an efficient and pleasurable experience.

Tesco also host TJam – which made a geek like me (I used to work at Yahoo! and also got a huge kick out of our 24 hours hack days!) very happy.  An event for the public and developers, Tesco throw the creation of shopping solutions open, which results in hundreds of ideas that they are currently implementing.

We also had a lovely chat with Sarah Lynch, development director at Snow Valley about breaking down the digital silos.  The team at Leapfrogg believes that we can only provide genuine online solutions if we interrogate a brief at the very beginning of a project to find out what is at the heart of a digital objective and then work hard to provide holistic and results driven consultancy.  Sarah agreed with us and we had a good old natter about how the digital industry should be combining expertise and working collaboratively to achieve the best possible results for clients.  So watch this space!

We also spent what free time we had, catching up with clients and trying to avoid the tempting pastries on offer at each break!  Phew!  All in all, an inspirational day.

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