Retail professionals from around the world gathered last week at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona for the 2nd Annual etailcore conference. The event lived up to its billing as a strong community of innovative retail professionals engaged in lively conversation and learning about the future of retail.
The Global Retail Insights Network (GRIN) led a discussion on the laggards vs. the leaders in global commerce, where five retailers provided insight into their struggles and successes in their global journey.
A main point of focus became how culture within a company greatly affects a retailer’s ability to succeed in the fast changing global commerce space. Those with an open culture of collaboration can really more heavily on local partnerships and an extended ecosystem of advisors that help them iterate and adjust their business model. On the other hand, one retailer expressed frustration around their lack of freedom to develop their local business with proven partners in the market as their company structure is very formal and slow moving with top down management styles and a lack of understanding of their local consumer.
“In Europe there are still many retailers who are family owned or have a more traditional structure of doing business.” said Gintare Ziemininkaite, GRIN’s Regional Ambassador “While this provides a strong brand and culture to their company, it sometimes creates a slower approach to the market. As these retailers move outside of Europe they are often confronted with a reality that they must change the way that they learn and develop.”
The retailers also expressed the difficulty of staying on top of localization practices in the countries they are doing business, including the changing regulatory, payments and logistics practices that are often difficult to follow and understand.
“As a global business we realize that it is critical that we develop a process around localization, where we not only develop best practices in the countries where we are in but that we provide leadership in keeping in touch with the consumer.” Said Glen Richardson, the Chief Marketing Officer of the marketplace Fruugo.
The event overall was spot on with content, community and sense of place. After walking the beautiful Barcelona often inspired by Gaudí, the creativity and passion was not lost with the etailcore leadership.
Easy to say one of the best online retail events in Europe.