Walpole – where luxury meets ecommerce

I was at the Walpole luxury e-commerce event yesterday and Guy, Julia and the team put on a great event with really high quality speakers. 

There were speakers from many fashion and publishing brands as well as speakers from the technology and social media industries.

Interestingly – and perhaps a sign of the times – Facebook didn’t get a kicking on the privacy front but was instead seen as a valuable tool in customer acquisition and engagement.  I knew we’d get there in the end!

So, what were the snippets from the day?  Here you go:

– they key uses of digital media have been to enable brand aspiration to be wider, which has in turn converted more (e.g. Links of London’s Facebook page has a 14% social media conversion compared to 2% from general web browsing)

– VIP style early access/limited availability (e.g. pop ups, limited editions) driven through the social media base of followers has shown considerable success and does not compromise the values associated with scarcity, but maintains them

– Forrester think the traditional ‘marketing funnel’ is dead and now it’s about cross-channel and on- and off-line engagement, one brand, one experience, etc (I’d agree!)

– some interesting views on value of bloggers with commercial deals with brands (some legal issues there, from a transparency perspective, just so you know)

– big theme of day was handling personal data (which is of course key to the personalisation piece for a brand), not just internally but also the Facebook type conversation

– there is a fundamental difference between how you manage your brand for Google and how you manage your brand for Facebook – Google is all about converting the first click, Facebook not so relevant if converts later but better quality engagement in the long-term

– brand owners seem to be worried about current state of law on google adwords (fair enough, as currently is legal to purchase competitor adwords, subject to being transparent about the destination site – the real business decision is if you’re in or your out, bit like the Cold War really)

– everyone agreed the holy grail was finding how to reward in a non-commercial manner (i.e. through experiences) the super brand ambassador in a brands social circle

– there has been a “seismic shift” in ROI from Facebook over last 3 years, with some brands achieving 90% of traffic/conversions from Facebook (whereas 3 years ago was more balanced over a number of platforms)

– high on everyone’s mind was how to properly leverage expensive sponsorships in the social/digital space – particularly with 2012 coming up

So there you go – it’s game on for making the most of these opportunities now.



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