Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Deeptrace, AR and synthetic media drive the future of ecommerce

New Digital Age has partnered with Entropy for the launch of Digital Commerce for the New Decade, a, now virtual, event featuring brands including GSK, Stella McCartney, Pernod Ricard and HSBC.

Ahead of the  event, we talk to speaker Fiona Spooner, Global Marketing Director, B2C at Financial Times.

How do you expect developments in digital commerce will affect your company over the coming years?

The subscriptions economy is booming. At the FT we hit our target of 1million subscriptions last year, our digital subscriptions being a huge part of that success. There’s little you can’t subscribe to these days so for us the competition is continually increasing and can come from anywhere.

Consumers are spending more on subscriptions to services that make their lives easier which is a good thing for us but also means that we’re now competing for a significant share of their subscriptions wallet. 

There’s also a huge opportunity that comes with that as more people are realising that good content is valuable and worth paying for. With more subscriptions and recurring payments to manage, all digital commerce platforms will need to help their customers by making that process as transparent and easy as possible for them.

Buy tickets for the event here.

What do you think the biggest challenges are for the ecommerce sector and how can they be overcome?

The biggest challenge facing most businesses these days is digital disruption and increasing competition. The competitive context for business has become so much more volatile, in the late 20th century, companies had a life-cycle of about 70 to 80 years, nowadays they are down to around 15 years – if companies don’t innovate, they won’t survive.

There are so many new pressures on leadership – it’s no longer all about shareholder value. Consumers are becoming increasingly socially conscious, choosing carefully who they buy from and holding businesses to account.

Recent Deloitte research shows that 70% of millennials are prepared to support brands that match their principles rather than simply provide the best product) and employees are being far more selective about who they work for.

The only way any business will overcome these challenges is to balance the priority of making a profit with having a clear purpose.  

Have you seen any interesting digital commerce innovation recently that you’d like to share with readers?

The innovations I’m really excited by are things like synthetic media, chat avatars, and online learning platforms based around digital events, things that aren’t just transactional. 

Deeptrace – dubbing ads in multiple languages will soon be easy.

We’re seeing some really interesting partnerships develop – platforms such as Deebop are converging social with shopping and also tapping in to trends around sustainability and vintage clothing. 

Also AR, only last year, Gartner predicted that 100 million consumers will shop using AR by 2020, so it will be interesting to see how that develops this year. 

How do you expect developments in machine learning will affect digital commerce? 

Machine learning has huge potential to improve both customer experience and onsite conversion, the impact on search will be really interesting to watch, especially as voice search continues to grow.

Machine learing is enabling more personalised experiences that consumers are starting to expect more of, using more data such as purchase history and personal preferences – increasing conversion for retailers but also providing a faster, more relevant experience for consumers.

Buy tickets for the event here.


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