We are just weeks away from our 2016 XChange Conference Europe, where an extended community of retailers, partners, prospects and others come together to learn and share ideas about our incredibly dynamic, increasingly borderless industry.
The event, which takes place in Berlin, Germany June 14-15, will feature a tremendous lineup of speakers; dozens of breakout sessions (some led by the world’s leading brands); and our first European business user ‘un-conference’ where retailers choose a topic and break into small groups to leverage one another’s expertise to solve problems.
If you have already registered for the conference and would like to attend the ‘un-conference,’ you can edit your registration by clicking “Returning Users” here.
As always, our ‘Ask the Experts’ meetings provide retailers one-on-one sessions with our Retail Practice, Technical Support and Product Management teams. Some common topics of conversation: include how to improve conversion rates and streamline navigation, improve, merchandising, or even suggestions from our community about how to improve Demandware products.
This is an incredibly exciting time for digital commerce particularly in the EU, where digital commerce has been growing at about 15% annually for the past four years. This year, digital sales across Europe are expected to reach €540 billion, according to Ecommerce Europe.
Daniel Reckling, Industry Principal for Business Strategy in our Retail Practice organization, will lead two breakout sessions: The World at Your Fingertips; Commerce Around the Globe; and Selling to Your Neighbors; Expanding Your European Reach with Demandware. These are a must for any retailer looking to grow their sales and expand their market.
And of course, no Demandware event would be complete without tremendous evening events. See the short video below for highlights of last year’s European conference.
One of the themes of this year’s event is how unified commerce can help retailers build a sustainable advantage in the face of unprecedented disruption. Today, the ‘conversion funnel’ is being pushed forward to the point of discovery.
One example, a friend recommends a product to you via social media and you buy that product right then, without having to leave for the merchant’s site.
This may cause some angst for retailers, but it is the world in which we live, and evolution is necessary. Tomorrow’s winners will be the ones who best adapt.
Additionally, The Economist Intelligence Unit will present research from C-level retail executives, laying out a roadmap for growth strategies, which include geographic expansion, strategic partnerships, new and innovative store formats, new currencies and personalization.
Underpinning all of these growth strategies is the concept of unified commerce, which empowers retailers to deliver a consistent experience across any channel where shoppers engage, whether web, mobile, social, in-store, marketplace, call center, etc.
A 2015 report by the National Retail Federation, eCommerce Europe and the eCommerce Foundation cited three business benefits of unified commerce: the ability to quickly respond to consumer demands, an increase in store associate productivity; and an ability to support omnichannel strategies – all of which ultimately result in improved profit margins, brand value and revenue.
Finally, the cloud platform that provides an essentially versionless flow of new features and capabilities is another key tenet of our vision, and one that we will discuss in more depth at the event. We aim to free you from maintaining your IT environment and concentrate your efforts on differentiating the shopping experience for your customers. They are driving the unyielding pace of change in our industry.
In a world of ever-changing consumer preferences and technology evolution, our aim is to empower the world’s leading retailers and brands to best serve and grow their customer base.
On behalf of everyone at Demandware, I look forward to welcoming you to XChange 2016 Berlin.