In September 2017 GDR CEO Kate Ancketill spoke about the future of e-commerce at Shop.org in LA. Here she reveals her key takeaway from the event, which was attended by thousands of representatives of the world’s biggest consumer brands.
This week I spent time with the leading practitioners of digital commerce at Shop.org in LA.
The focus was very much on how to survive and thrive in a situation where a few major online retailers are driving the majority of growth.
Over the course of the conference one word really stood out for me: trust. What does trust mean online? How do you cultivate it, maintain it? Why does it matter?
Given how far the emotional stock of disruptive digital brands such as Uber, Facebook and Google has fallen in recent weeks and months, it’s clear that even the most trendy brands and employers can no longer rely on simply being useful and innovative to succeed with consumers. Brands that employ business practices at odds with societal norms and values will ultimately pay some sort of price for them in the end.
The search for truth
Interestingly, Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart’s e-commerce division, and I both explored how brands must now demonstrate their credentials in terms of:
- The transparency of their practices and products
- The way they crowdsource ideas and provide greater control and sometimes even ownership to their customers
- How they act as ‘citizen brands’ that serve an authentic, viable social purpose; making the world and their consumers’ lives better beyond the products and services they provide
All this is especially hard to convey online, and there lies a real challenge for brands.