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Premiere in London: Tradebyte issues invitations to the first ECD Global

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23 Aug 2022

Business

Image: Tradebyte

September, when ECD Global is held for the first time in London, will mark the sounding of the starting pistol for a new international networking format for the fashion e-commerce sector.

The ECD, which has been regularly held in May for years now, is one of the major networking events of the e-commerce sector in the German-speaking region. Launched in 2015 by platform specialist Tradebyte, from the outset the conference was always more than an information event about e-commerce developments in the fashion sector. “Platform business is people business”, says Alexander Otto, the initiator of the ECD and Head of Corporate Relations at Tradebyte. “It was clear to us that we had to bring people together face to face and with regard to content. You need a good, highly concentrated, multilayered programme and opportunities for exchange.” The high level and the informal atmosphere among like-minded people are part of the DNA of the networking day. At the ECD there are traditionally no information stands, no keynote speeches from the sponsors, and no sales pitches. The focus is on the topics that Tradebyte itself compiles, the exchange between participants, the learning. In other words, a networking event by the sector for the sector. The last ECD in Munich in 2019 had about 500 participants. After that, the event had to be postponed twice because of the pandemic.

ECD Global London launches in September

Tradebyte now wants to extend the success of the Munich event to the international stage. On 15 September 2022, ECD Global London will be held for the first time in London’s Tobacco Dock. This event, which is also set to be held once a year, will focus on globally relevant topics and will target international speakers and participants. Since last year, when Tradebyte took over the British company Anatwine with its 70 staff, which operates - like Tradebyte - as an integrator in the platform business, London has become a second home so to speak. As Otto explains, “we have suddenly become an international firm and we are naturally asking ourselves what that means for us.” The move to London is intended to supplement the Munich ECD, which from now on will largely specialise in topics relevant to Central Europe. In the future, Tradebyte intends to continue building additional small local events that will concentrate on individual markets and their special focuses.

Image: Tradebyte

These topics are currently defining the global platform business

The global fashion online trade has had several challenges to overcome in recent years - from the boom created by the pandemic to the current slump in consumption with all its sideshows. What are the real burning issues for the sector in view of this dynamic? We asked Alexander Otto.

Mr Otto, what topics is the fashion sector currently dealing with in the area of e-commerce and what will ECD Global London be focussing on?

Alexander Otto: At the moment there are of course an incredible number of topics that we have to discuss and that we could pick out. But for us and ECD Global London right now, there are two topics above all that are the focus: One of these is the subject of internationalisation or global expansion and the other is next level merchandising. In all likelihood we will cover other important topics with interview formats, that is to say ECD Global will of course provide answers to as many current questions as possible.

It’s not immediately clear what next level merchandising refers to: What exactly is it all about?

The Panel is called Next Level Merchandising - what are the next “big things” in digital commerce? Ultimately, what we are concerned with here is the question of how brands and retailers have dealt with their experiences in the last three years. E-commerce has certainly mainly enjoyed success stories. Now the sector has reached an initial plateau and it’s no longer about growth. But where shall we apply the leverage that enables us to become better, faster and more innovative? “Doing” alone is no longer the key to success. That phase is over. Well that’s our theory, at least.

Image: Tradebyte

The topic of global expansion also sounds important. What needs to be discussed in that area?

People can have varying opinions on whether global expansion makes sense in the current situation and if so, how best to implement it. Of course, the digital retail trade operates not just domestically but also beyond borders. But the question is whether and how cross-border electronic trade can be successfully conducted at global level too. How broadly can logistics networks and supply chains be extended? What should brands and retailers also do to make international expansion work?

Which keynote speaker can visitors look forward to?

Tiankai Feng, Head of Data Governance at Adidas, will provide the keynote speech. He is someone seldom seen on a podium, but who can give incredibly interesting insights into his work as a “data processor”.

The registration phase for ECD Global London is still in progress but there are surely some major players from the retail sector and industry who have already announced their attendance?

Although it is in fact our first event in London, a number of major players have already registered. These include About You, Zalando, Trendyol, Asos, heyconnect, Douglas, Marc O’ Polo, Tiger of Sweden, Adidas, Wolverine, Naf Naf, hummel, La Redoute, Guess, Seven of All Mankind and many more.

REGISTER HERE.

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