Here are 4 Important Lessons We Brought Back From IRCE 2015

The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition of 2015 came to a close on Friday, June 5th. The convention itself was a mixture of fun, excitement, knowledge passing back and forth, and constantly being busy! All in all, it was definitely a success, and well worth the trip, including the long days and longer nights. Having the luxury of attending the Yahoo! summit, and rubbing elbows with several Yahoo! store owners was just one of the many highlights of our trip. We were also fortunate enough to hear very informative lectures from Alexis Ohanian Co-Founder, Executive Chairman- reddit, Michael Aki Director of Digital Marketing- Aeropostale, and Katie Laird Director of Social Marketing-, just to name a few.

Surely, with an agenda that kept you busy from 7am to 6:30pm, there were truckloads of information to take with you. From the Social session to the Global E-Retailing session, this was the event you did not want to miss! Here are 4 Important Lessons We Brought Back From IRCE 2015:

User Generated Content
Studies show that User Generated Content (UGC) is becoming more popular, with social media playing a huge roll in generating additional sales. Some of the best ways to get your users to become more interactive is by enabling your user reviews and displaying them on your product page, allowing comments and testimonials, social media, and holding contests and giveaways. You need to take the time to interact with users, even if their reviews or comments were less than pleasant. If performed properly, UGC can help to give SEO a boost, make users more aware of your brand, and ultimately turn them and their friends into customers.

Social Media
Social engagement is now in! Simply adding a post onto Facebook and leaving it to fend for itself is not considered engaging the user, nor is it a successful way of bringing in the customers. Where Facebook was the ‘Go to’ social site, at one point, it now has to compete with the likes of Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and any other new platform that may pop up. Because of this, retailers are now having to think more outside of the box to get UGC going. One thing that some retailers have to realize is that you do not have to invest in every platform. If one platform brings little results, while another brings major results, that is the platform that you want to invest in.

Mobile Commerce
Although more orders are placed via desktop, mobile commerce has certainly surpassed desktop in terms of shopping and has “overtaken desktop,” according to Andrew Lipsman, vice president, marketing and insights, for the internet traffic research firm, comScore Inc. Mobile accounts for 59% of online shopping time in the first quarter of 2015, while desktop accounted for the remainder 41%. Having your site mobile and tablet optimized is important, as search algorithms such Google’s Mobilegeddon update, will penalize you by pushing you lower in the rankings for not being mobile friendly. Sales from mobile devices are also expected to increase. When online shopping initially made it’d debut, many people had fears of shopping online. As those fears relaxed, online shopping surged. Shoppers are also becoming more comfortable with shopping on their mobile phones, which has surpassed desktop purchases according to Google.

Video Content
Because mobile devices are equipped to record good quality videos, 64% of user traffic is being generated by video. It’s quite easy to quickly grab your smart phone and record something about an item that you’ve purchased, quickly uploading it onto Facebook and other social channels. Many of these videos can even go viral. Video is also an efficient and effective way to raise your organic search rankings. Retailers and marketers should put a focus on creating not only knowledge based, but fun videos as content for their own sites. These videos can also be shared to other channels as well, such as Facebook and YouTube.

IRCE 2015 was everything that I expected it to be. It was fun, educational, informative, and very busy! If you have not had the chance to attend, do not miss next years! Rub elbows with likeminded individuals, learn what is trending, and stay on top of what’s new and hot. I had a blast, and hope you did too!