Catalyst UK 2014: Marketplace Expansion

Catalyst UK 2014: Marketplace Expansion

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ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst UK conference just wrapped up in London, and although this is our first time sponsoring and exhibiting at the United Kingdom’s Catalyst, we at SkuVault can say we’ll definitely be sponsoring and exhibiting next year as well.

What is Catalyst UK 2014?

The tagline for Catalyst UK 2014 is “accelerate your online growth”, which we feel was pretty representative of this year’s event. Catalyst is an eCommerce conference designed to educate eCommerce retailers and identify new strategies and actions they can take to grow their business and brand. Our product, SkuVault, integrates with ChannelAdvisor, and has international partners, integrations, and clients, so for us it’s a great opportunity to meet up with current and prospective clients in the UK.

Why is Catalyst UK 2014 so Exciting?

We were really excited to hop over the pond for this conference – it was a great excuse for us to visit some of our clients and integration partners we’d never actually met in person; getting their direct feedback and finally getting to put faces to names was a great experience for us. So, there’s definitely that aspect that’s really wonderful for us, as an American-based company visiting a UK conference. Then of course, there’s Catalyst UK itself – the presentation was top-notch, the speakers were incredibly engaging, and there was a lot of great energy from the eCommerce sellers and the solution providers alike. We also got a chance to debut our James Bond-esque SkuVault video, which went over wonderfully!

Some of the More Interesting Topics Covered That I Remember:

  • There’s a tremendous focus on marketplace expansion in 2014. Especially relevant for retailers expanding into China, we learned that 90% of all online sales in China are conducted on marketplaces, and that 50% of those marketplace sales are all made via tmall.com. For those looking to expand into the UK, Play.com was ranked as the most popular marketplace in the UK. Likewise for France, PriceMinister.com is a good marketplace to tap into.
  • Not a single indoor mall has been opened in the US since 2006. In the UK, eCommerce is growing at a rate of 16%, while brick-and-mortar stores are only growing at 3%. There’s a clear trend of moving away from physical stores and personal eCommerce websites, and moving towards online marketplaces.
  • There’s a day celebrated in China called Singles Day, which is celebrated on the 11th of November (11/11 – all ones, all “singles”). Last year, over 6 billion dollars were spent online on this day alone – that’s 4x the size of Cyber Monday. You can see why China is the market that everyone’s eager to get into!

Why We’ll be Going Back Next Year:

Getting to meet up with current and prospective clients, particularly international ones who we don’t have many opportunities to visit in person, is always a great experience for us. We had a blast meeting up with our friends and partners there – World First, InterCultural Elements, Cloud Conversion, and of course ChannelAdvisor. The whole ChannelAdvisor UK team was incredibly welcoming and receptive – and what a sweet office! All things said, we had a blast, and are already looking forward to sponsoring & exhibiting at Catalyst UK 2015!

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