As a Berlin based company specialised in e-commerce software and projects we are keeping a close eye on e-commerce events in our own hometown. Back in April two of our colleagues have paid a visit to a relatively new event called „e-Commerce Berlin Expo“. This Expo is part of a network of events hosted in capital cities of Central and Eastern Europe. According to their website the organizers are hoping to provide a platform for networking and for sharing knowledge and business opportunities. We asked Lucas Dima, new member of our silver.eShop development team, and Frank Dege, CTO, for their impressions of the event.
In your opinion, what was the main focus of the Expo? Was it all about web shops or did it cover a broader spectrum?
Lucas: I got the impression that is was mostly companies from Eastern Europe presenting their software and services to either shop vendors and/or shop owners. The event was relatively small but the exhibitors covered a broad range of topics from server solutions over e-mail and payment solutions up to content services for shop owners, for example content creation, translations or product photography.
Frank: Yes, I second Lucas‘ impression. It was a platform for Eastern European companies to introduce their products and services to the German audience. I discovered a few interesting companies that I hadn’t heard of before, for example the company Marketizator. Marketizator is offering A/B testing, surveys and personalisation with the aim to increase conversions and this for a very competitive price. It sounded like an interesting option for shop owners to get a foot into this whole topic.
Did you attend any talks? What were the most interesting topics for you?
Lucas: There were three auditoriums with a variety of companies and speakers covering all kinds of e-commerce topics. I watched a few interesting product presentations and discovered a couple of new to me e-commerce companies. We had some interesting conversations with service providers, for example with MonkeyData, who are specialising in analytics of e-commerce data in the cloud. That sounded quite interesting and promising to me. Also the presention of OroCommerce was quite interesting because it shone a light on the general requirements for B2B Commerce.
Frank: For me the talk from Yoav Kutner, founder and CEO of OroCommerce was the most interesting. With OroCommerce the former founders of Magento eCommerce are working on delivering a B2B eCommerce platform. On the podium Kutner emphasized how B2B commerce is NOT B2C commerce and how using a B2C shop software to deliver a B2B shopping experience will most likely result in headaches on all sides. He specifically went into detail about the complex pricing logic for B2B customers (which we talked about extensively on the blog back in January / DE) where B2C shops fail on a regular basis. Other B2B requirements include catalogue segmentation or individual products, corporate accounts or sales staff functions. For me this was interesting because all the features that were mentioned – and where OroCommerce is still in the development stages – have been standard with our e-commerce solutions silver.eShop pretty much from day one and are used by many, many customers.
Another interesting talk came from the Otto Group, one of Germany’s leading e-Commerce players. They could not emphasize enough how important relevant and unique content is today to sell products. To actually make the most of the content you’ve so painstakingly created you need a powerful but flexible content storage. It really does not give you any advantage if all your product information is held in one big media container. To distribute your product data and content you need them more structured and in smaller pieces. Which is exactly what we do with our shop, thanks to eZ Enterprise. On their blog eZ explains the benefit of having structured content in your CMS.
Would you like to attend this event again next year?
Lucas: Yeah, it was overall an interesting event and I would like to go again next year, given the chance. I could also imagine for silver.solutions to submit a proposal for a talk for next year’s eCommerce Berlin Expo.
Frank: Even with our busy schedules this was a day well spent. So yes, I think we will keep an eye out for next year’s eCommerce Berlin Expo and see if we can drop in again.
Thank you both for finding the time and answering my questions.