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idhl kick things off with the first event of Leeds Digital Festival

Updated: Sep 21, 2022



It’s day one of the Leeds Digital Festival and idhl take the lead in hosting the first event at Elland Road; How to Reach Your eCommerce Goals and Score New Business (I know but we couldn’t resist).


Once everyone had their bacon sandwiches, Dan Conboy, Director of eCommerce Strategy at idhl, led a panel of online retail experts to share their experience and insights and discuss the current challenges online retailers are facing.


First up was Kat Suddaby, Managing Director of Patch Plants, the very first online plant shop. Kat explained how the business soared during the pandemic, but then talked through the challenge you face when encouraging repeat custom, especially when you specialise in unperishable plants! The customer journey is an important part of building loyalty with Patch and they have truly put their own stamp on how they communicate with their core audience, who in turn share their story with family and friends through their personalised gift offer.


Paul Rogers, founder at Vervaunt, shared key insights on how businesses are reaching new customers, at a time when costs are soaring to not only acquire them but to also retain them. Affiliate marketing is having a resurgence as content is getting more creative to help amplify the message and more educated decisions are being made on placement. Some companies are investing in new channels but Meta and Google continue to be the driving force for customer acquisition, Tik Tok is proving itself to be a big player, especially in the fashion space, with Snapchat proving popular in the Middle East.


Now you can’t come to Elland Road and not talk football, that would just be rude. Joy Sitti, Online Retail Manager at Leeds United Football Club (LUFC), shared some interesting insights on how the Club’s eCommerce channels were impacted by the promotion to the Premier League and the investment required to meet the online demand.


It was immediately recognised that they would have to make a significant investment in their online offer to ensure the user experience wasn’t impacted by the volume of traffic. A re-platform to Magento Commerce Cloud (delivered within a timeline of 8 weeks) not only assisted with the user experience when it came to the buyer, but customer enquiries also fell by a whopping 84%.


They don’t have to try too hard with their international audience, with overseas online traffic seeing an organic growth of a huge 45%. In 2018 20% of purchases were made online, now the stats are nearer 50%. As the website gets busier the experience gets faster, with what used to be an average of 400 users online at any one time for a kit launch, there can now be 15,000 people looking at the same item at any one time.


As Simon Moss, Head of Retail at LUFC pointed out, football fans are unique customers, where family allegiance means you automatically inherit a percentage of your fanbase. It’s very important to Simon to differentiate the offer at LUFC and be a leader in the marketplace, they were the first UK football Club to sell on Tik Tok but others soon followed. He talked through some exciting ideas that are currently in the planning stages that will offer season ticket holders and members access to unique activities that ‘money can’t buy’. But if you weren’t there, you will have to wait until the big reveal…


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