Business fundamentals including, customer service, flexible delivery and transparency are vital in order for SME’s to survive in eCommerce, according to a steering group of eCommerce specialists at Cartologie’s roundtable, held in Manchester last Thursday.
The Cartologie Network, an initiative set up by Manchester Digital, is the regional platform that supports all aspects of ebusiness and champions the North West as a centre of excellence for eCommerce activity.
The roundtable was attended by members of the steering group of the Cartologie Network including Glen Richardson, chief marketing officer, Fruugo; Mark Leach, head of eCommerce, Graham & Brown; David Edmundson-Bird, senior lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University; Rob Smith, strategy director, Blueleaf; Gareth Williams, business development manager, Metapack; Robert Fernandez, company director, Rattan Direct.
Amongst the topics discussed were customer acquisition, multi-channel retail careers, international expansion and the subject of how smaller etailers can compete with the dominators of the market, such as Amazon.
The round table discussion really clarified the big issues that will be tackled at the bi-monthly Cartologie events, the first will be on held on July 22nd and called ‘Technology v Learning.’
Katie Gallagher, business development director at Manchester Digital, chaired the event. She commented: ‘Cartologie allows some of the most prominent online retailers to come together and discuss issues facing the sector. By bringing together a variety of eCommerce businesses as well as an educational representative, it enables them to share knowledge and delve deeper into the local eCommerce economy.”
Also during the event, Manchester Digital announced that MIDAS – Manchester’s inward investment agency, are to be sponsors of the Cartologie network.
Tim Newns, chief executive at MIDAS, said: “Manchester has a strong and long established eCommerce cluster with numerous high-growth companies based in the area such as Kitbag, Laterooms and Misguided. Boohoo and AO together employ over 1,000 people in the city and their recent valuations on the stock exchange of £500m and £1bn respectively shows the strength of the sector.
“Of course, the eCommerce sector is also complemented by the growth in the mobile payments sector and there are a number of home-grown companies such as App 55 who are leading the way in this area.
“With so many opportunities for growth MIDAS is delighted to sponsor the Cartologie network. We look forward to working with Manchester Digital and the many companies that are helping to champion Greater Manchester’s thriving eCommerce industry. This also offers a great platform to promote Manchester internationally as a location that can deliver on demanding expectations of high growth, leading innovation and best-in-class talent.”