Last week we attended Retail Global – one of the largest eCommerce conferences on The Gold Coast. Why does an accountant attend an eCommerce conference? It is because we think it is crucial to learn all about the challenges that eCommerce businesses face, not just the accounting issues. And was it worth it? Absolutely!
We learned all about the challenges of freighting the product – do you drop ship, consolidate in one warehouse, or appoint more than one warehouse in Australia to ship your product. We learned about how big the eCommerce wave is in Australia and how only 10% of all retail products are sold via eCommerce channels currently.
We also learned:
- How to utilize social media channels to promote your product
- How to use affordable, main stream products to deliver amazing video content
- How to use free methods of PR (television, print) to promote your product
- We listened to some amazing success stories from other eCommerce businesses
- All eCommerce businesses fail and learn from these failures
- It takes a LOT of effort to seem effortless in achieving eCommerce goals
- Even the best websites are full of gremlins thanks to Live Site reviews
- Even the superstars of eCommerce are happy to give advice and help the smaller businesses.
One thing we noticed at the conference, was the lack of finance and inventory management vendors showcasing at the Exhibition Hall. It was impressive to see Neto at the Conference, but all of the other big players (Xero, MYOB, Shopify, Trade Gecko, Dear, Cin7, Unleashed) were not present. There was also no content related to tracking financial performance that we could see (hopefully we can fix that next year!)
The MC, Bob Schwartz (Nordstrom, Magento) and Jen Geale (Mountain Bikes Direct) did a great job keeping the content interesting and I really liked their laid back approach. The size of the conference was great – I’d say about 500 conference delegates which made it easier to meet and chat with others.
It was fabulous to see eBay, Australia Post, Amazon, Instagram and Facebook deliver content and to hear the challenges they also face. The audience was varied in age and background. There seemed to be no typical eCommerce business type.
Will we be back – a resounding yes, and we hope to work with more small to medium eCommerce businesses helping them to achieve their financial goals and implement a technology stack starting with Xero.
These days, it is so important to work with service providers that truly understand the challenges your business faces. We are tax agents that speak eCommerce.