International Business Festival 2018




Ian Hughes
30 August 2017

Here's the harsh truth. If you're not on top of all things e-commerce, you're falling behind, losing sales and waving goodbye to customers, who'll flock to more digitally savvy competitors, without sparing you a thought.

One event can help you. It's free, bursting with great advice, technical expertise and real-life examples of effective e-commerce strategies from global e-commerce companies.

The eCommerce Show North takes over EventCity Manchester on October 11th and 12th. The event is the first of its kind, outside London and it presents the best way to boost your sales now – by selling more online.

We met up with the man in charge, Event Director, Martyn Collins (pictured) to find out why this is a must-attend event for every business in the North.



eCommerce Show Director, Event Director, Martyn Collins


So, Martyn, why is e-commerce so important?

“It's at the heart of every business today. B2C, B2B, it doesn't matter. If your e-commerce isn't working hard for you, you're losing custom and that really does go for every business. I called into to barbers the other day and they asked me to book online!

“The world of e-commerce changes at an incredible rate. Automation, chat-bots, super targeted and perfectly timed e-comms are now all standard for successful online businesses. If you want to sell more and reach new customers, you need slick, sophisticated, well thought-out e-commerce.

Tell me about the event. 

“It's big, it's free and it's already become a major event in the national business calendar. We're covering everything a business needs to take their e-commerce forward. 

“But we're not just about technology, we're about real brands, real issues, and real-life business experiences from e-commerce brands that are really killing it in their sector and they're eager to share their knowledge and expertise. 

What's the format? Do you have an elevator pitch?

 “It's the biggest ever gathering of e-commerce companies, vendors, and suppliers held outside London. 140 exhibitors, presentations from leading e-commerce brands, specialist keynote speakers from top performing industries, covering everything from cyber security to A.I, chat-bots, site search, social networking, web services, online payments and more.

“Our exhibitors, in particular, will cover all of the aspects of e-commerce across two days, illuminating all the ways better e-commerce can revolutionise business, boost sales, attract and secure custom and deliver business growth.

“The world of e-commerce is such a diverse environment but the end goal is the same. To turn a browser into consumer and to make that consumer return again and again. It's just good business.”


Magic Box

Venue: EventCity Manchester: Manchester's biggest and most flexible event venue


You're clearly very passionate about e-commerce. What is it about this sector that gets businesses fired up?

 “It's a very practical subject, with clear, identifiable results so businesses see the benefit right away. They see other businesses, sometimes direct competitors operating in a slick, smart, but automated way and they want to catch up, they want to compete, stay in the running and get out in front.

“We've become a bit of a sounding-board in the sector. We speak to businesses all the time. What's funny is that they don't talk about Brexit. They don't talk about recession or the political landscape.

They just talk about growth. Every business we speak to wants to know what's new in e-commerce and how e-commerce can help them achieve their goals and the best thing is, it almost always can. “

What's the most common e-commerce mistakes businesses make?

“Complacency. It's not enough to have that little shopping basket on your website anymore or to send out the same monthly newsletter to all your customers, no matter what their interest or demographic. 

“To maximise sales, you need to be a bit more switched on and sophisticated with your e-commerce and little changes here and there, simple plugins or the right digital partners can make all the difference.”

Why did you decide to hold the event in the Northwest?

“The North of England is leading the way in e-commerce. Our company, Prolific North, conducted an in-depth study into e-commerce in the North, which, for the first time, ranked leading e-commerce industries in the region by revenue, and it really did highlight the incredible, global e-commerce giants we have here.

“Shop Direct, Money Supermarket, AO World, BooHoo. True market leaders, generating £8.7 billion collectively, so an event like this really should be happening in the Northwest. It's where the industry is. It's where some of the best innovations are coming from and the sector is strongly behind this event.


eCommerce Show North

eCommerce Show North's 2017 exhibitors


What trends are you seeing in the industry?

“Companies are becoming more and more specialist. We're seeing the emergence of really niche, really specialist companies that take care of one very specific area or function of e-commerce and grow through partnerships.

“Very few e-commerce companies can do everything well. In most cases, they outsource and bring in experts, which is a good thing. In the world of tech, especially, partnership just makes sense.

“Our event carries the same ethos. We've brought together the best e-commerce experts, who really know their stuff and when that happens, when people know their subject really well, you know you're in for a really useful, intelligent and informative event.”

That's it. We're sold. E-commerce is the fastest growing tech sector and better e-commerce can pay off big time, for businesses large and small.

One event knows all the tricks and tactics to boost your online sales. One event is designed to help bring your businesses e-commerce bang up to date and make big changes to your bottom line.

Show e-commerce a little more love this October. More than 4,000 businesses are expected to attend. Be one of them. Fill up your little online baskets more and take them all the way to checkout. Sales are growth. E-commerce is money and better e-commerce, for free, is just a few clicks away.



eCommerce Show North

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