Lengow Day 17: Lessons from retailers for global expansion

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I’ve just returned from fifth Lengow Day in Paris and it was a fantastic conference – There was a fair contingent from the UK although that’s not surprising as there were delegates from at least 16 countries, Lengow Day really is an International Conference.

The day started with Lengow’s Michael Froger, Co-Founder and CEO, who revealed that Lengow now handles some 300 billion indexed products for their merchants. Don’t worry though, this wasn’t a day to pimp Lengow’s services but is instead a proper conference stuffed to the brim with speakers from around the world all with valuable insights to share. The day was split into three themes:

Lengow Day 17 Themes

Customer Experience

Retail is going through a process of reinvention with new practices in the sales and acquisition processes. Emerging functions and the development of technologies that are mad available to the end consumer – chatbots, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, social networks, videos and many others have produced a new source of sales opportunities for retailers. The stream explored how to reinvent the customer buying journey and latest acquisition methods to add value and give greater meaning to the act of buying.

Sources of Growth

Immerse in an ultra competitive and constantly changing ecosystem, online retailers are now called to innovate and diversify their offering in order to sustain their businesses. This stream looked at new methods of to achieve this with real life retailers sharing their experiences in data exploitation, business transformation such as advertising, strategic partnerships, deployment of new technologies and in some cases pulling back from previous strategies and innovating by refocusing on their core strengths.


75% of online shoppers check delivery terms before making an online purchase. Quality, price and delivery are among the three main criteria for choosing a service provider. Logistics and delivery are therefore key elements that have an impact on the customer experience and the resulting levels of customer trust and loyalty. This stream explored the latest opportunities in terms of logistics that result in better productivity for presentation, delivery, after sales service and much more. Setting aside the potential ideas such as drones, Lengow Day focused on the current solutions that enable ecommerce retailers to increase their efficiency, credibility and trust with the end consumer.

Who attended Lengow Day 17?

Although there were hundreds of attendees from across Europe and beyond, Helen Chapman who we first wrote about on Tamebay way back in 2009 was there from the UK to share her story, along with Sean McKee from Schuh who had valuable insights into how a real retailer generates new business lines. Sophie Wilson of Mio Destino made the trip as did James Roper from the IMRG.

I met retailers from Italy, Spain, France, Germany and many other countries along with businesses as far afield as China. What really stood out was that anyone seriously considering or already involved in cross border trade needs to tailor their offering for each territory they trade in. For instance whilst Guido Ghedin talked about the Chinese affinity for social media and their ready acceptance of purchasing through WeChat, Eva Linda Rohde of the BEVH pointed out that Germans are particularly protective of their data and would likely resent a retailer advertising to them on social platforms. This was echoed by Ulrich Bartholomaeus of Stylight who assists retailers trade across 17 countries and again insisted that localised approaches are paramount.

Whilst at Lengow Day I recorded a number of video interviews which we’ll be publishing over the coming weeks. If there’s one takeaway from the conference it’s that if you’re serious about expanding your proposition globally then Lengow Day 18 is a conference that you won’t want to miss.



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