On Thursday last week, we sponsored the Vervaunt Pulse Ecommerce Summit event. A smaller sponsor nonetheless but to be a part of such an amazing list of supporters that included the likes of Shopify, Big Commerce, Yotpo, Gorgias and a number of incredible leading tech providers and agencies put us in great company and we were proud to be a part of the day.
On a sunny East London morning, we made our way to EartH London, famous for music predominantly but a perfect venue for an event such as this. Big shout out to all the Vervaunt team, the event had approximately 700 attendees and a great mix of brands and providers. That number of attendees is hugely impressive and a testament to the quality of the same event last year.
The day was divided into two separate stages giving attendees the flexibility to spend time on content that interested them most, designed in a series of panel discussions or presentations. Importantly most sessions were only 30 minutes meaning the content was always engaging with enough detail but not to the point where engagement was lost. Our UK Lead Chris Emberson on the day posting a video on LinkedIn panning across the audience during one session highlighting how out of 500-odd people only a handful were actually on their phones. A sure sign of quality event content in today’s world. And in reality, most of the handful were actually taking notes on their phone! So 2023…;)
Given our business’ focus on the post-purchase experience specifically returns we were particularly interested in any content that addressed loyalty or retention, customer experience or lifetime value and there was plenty discussed. In the opening statement, Vervaunt founders Paul Rogers and Josh Duggan made reference to the fact that brands are increasingly focused on strategic efforts to improve loyalty and the customer experience for their most valued customers.
In the first panel session we attended, moderated brilliantly by James Gurd the topic fell to acquisition and loyalty, with Nick Paulson-Ellis from The Sports Edit reiterating that acquisition is always achievable with the right investment but brands need to rely on more than just tools to create this and to really provide something unique to the customer that they can’t experience elsewhere. One bad experience as Nick said, can significantly hurt your acquisition effort and CLV.
Another session, also excellently moderated by Kate Walmsley this time saw three huge retailers, Gavin Williams from Creed, Josh Towb from Jigsaw and Sarah Rule from Gymshark. Non-stop great content in this session from these very different but equally iconic brands. Given our focus on switching negative customer reviews to positive, what stood out most to us was a comment from Sarah who said she reads every customer service review posted about Gymshark’s retail operation. Showing the level of detail to ensure Gymshark are always striving to improve the customer experience was clear to see.
George Felgate from Signifyd talked specifically about ways in which brands have to protect important revenue. He pointed out that brands are faced with the counterproductive task of adding friction to the customer returns experience. A dangerous but often unavoidable action by fashion brands especially that macroeconomic conditions have created. He discussed the importance to brands ensuring that actions they take and offers to customers are done in a way that minimises risk on the brand through fraud, or bad returns.
The general mood of the day felt positive with optimism that the macro challenges we’re all facing can be somewhat addressed by some of the great content that speakers and moderators provided. We look forward to attending and sponsoring the event again next year!