As announced on our Facebook page, our team is present these days at the most important E-Commerce Summit in Eastern and Central Europe – GPeC. For 3 days, professionals activating in the emerging online industries are gathering to discuss on the hottest topics and innovations in the field.

The first day was centered on the understanding of the consumer and its agenda closely followed the steps involved in building an online marketing strategy from the initial market research stage to the actual launch of the product.

One of the highlights of the day was the market research presentation prepared by ISense Solutions, focused on understanding the online consumer behavior. The study tackled the online decision-making process by identifying the different triggers and barriers when it comes to online acquisition, the willingness to pay for online products and the main categories of products bought.

If Romanian’s lack of trust in online purchases and their preference towards the traditional payment methods in cash were not surprising findings, the relatively small number of online shops visited throughout one year was clearly a surprising fact. It seems that out of 5000+ Romanian online shops, a regular customer visits an average of only 9 per year!

GPeC online purchase

The second highlight of the day was definitely Karl’s presentation focused on how to convert your online visitors into actual clients. Karl Gilis is the founder of AgConsult, an agency specialized in web strategy, and one of the funniest speakers I have ever seen! The main topics approached were on using the right words/texts for every page and button of your website, applying different pricing psychology techniques, as well as empathizing with your visitors and understanding their needs with the help of online analytics tools. Karl’s presentation was strongly focused on the power of example, many of the above-mentioned tactics being already used by major players in the online environment, such as Booking.com.
As Karl’s clearly stated in a subtle way, it takes time and attention to details to do good marketing.

The third highlight of the day was the topic of digitalization in payments talked through by many of the present speakers. The message across the presentations was clear: one should not think about involving mobile as a media channel as well, one should start directly with mobile since its golden age is now. Today is the best day to be mobile. From NFC and mobile wallets to bitcoins, a new era of digital payments is emerging.

The second day consisted of several workshop discussions focused on sharing different tips and tricks for e-commerce companies, especially newcomers.

Usability” is the main term that should stick to online sellers when it comes to their website: everything needs to be user-friendly and should always take into account visitors’ experiences. From traditional market research to A/B testing, websites should be under a continuous evaluation process, so that they would best fit users’ needs. From design to copy tactics, the workshops gave pertinent pieces of advice to professionals on how to streamline their clients' experiences in their online stores.

The icing on the cake was Ioana Barbu’s (Marketing Director & Managing Partner Bright Agency) presentation on Online and Social Media Marketing Strategies. Keeping in mind that all brands are interested in increasing ROI, Ioana tackled, step by step, the process through which clients can achieve successful numbers. And music to my ears: everything starts with a good consumer research! Further on, the insights gathered on customers’ needs are key to any communication strategy on one’s website or social media accounts.

The next step after research is the understanding of one’s brand and its persona. One should try to draw the main traits of the brand, in order to close the loop and have the whole needed picture – the consumers' perceptions tackled through market research and the brand persona, the company’s perception. By matching these two views, one can start working on the digital marketing strategy and adjusting it so that it reaches immediate success.

Gpec digital marketing

The last day consisted of several workshop discussions focused on how to generate meaningful and targeted online content and why does consumers’ feedback matter. The day started with Matei Psatta (Marketing Manager Vola.ro) sharing some of his thoughts on optimizing the content provided online. One of the main topics approached was the “Facebook bubble” we live in, which is most of the times not relevant for the important things happening at social, political or business levels. Keeping this aspect in mind, Matei proposed different other tools helping professionals doing relevant content. Before starting working on a relevant content marketing strategy though, my favorite step appeared again into discussions: “market research needed!”

However, my favorite speaker of the day was definitively Raluca Radu (Country Manager Answear.ro), who focused her presentation on busting some of the most frequently met myths in marketing. Over 30 myths were deconstructed, starting from the “death of Facebook” as an online marketing tool to the Romanian consumer always looking for bargains and offers. Raluca’s arguments were pertinent and based on her long experience in the field, offering useful “do's and don’ts” for newcomers. Again, getting to know your customers was one of the key pillars discussed for an effective marketing strategy.

Last but not least, the Trusted.ro team organized an interactive discussion focused on audience’s WOW experiences with online acquisitions. Besides the hygienics expected to be met by the e-commerce industry (e.g. delivering the products in time, delivering exactly what the customer ordered), most examples were referring to people’s needs of personalization. Many online customers are surprised when they receive a handwritten, dedicated message along with the product they bought or when the actual seller delivers your order at home when the courier does not manage to respect his commitments.

Summarizing the main ideas discussed at GPeC, it is worth mentioning that almost all speakers emphasized the importance of a market research study as a starting point for any future marketing strategy campaign.

Stay tuned to Questia Group for more insights and updates from most important events!