E-commerce must be multichannel

A strategy of content and customer engagement on mobiles, the web and in store is crucial to successful e-commerce, an audience of marketers heard at Marketing Week’s 1-2-1 E-commerce Summit.


Speakers from the UK’s top retailers, including Argos, Marks & Spencer and Shop Direct, argued that a transactional website alone is not enough to ensure sales growth across a business as well a compelling customer experience.

Tesco.com head of mobile and web development Annabel Thorburn commented that mobile e-commerce, for example, should not be thought of separately from other sales channels: “For our customers it is just another route into our shops, just as the web is.”

Providing content on mobile sites, apps and websites is also instrumental in bringing traffic to e-commerce sites and encouraging consumers to consider product purchases, according to Shop Direct head of e-commerce James Balmain.

“Put a content team together and really look at your content strategy,” he said. “You need to invest time and effort into really good user-generated content.”

Delegates heard too that e-commerce strategies should seek to engage with physical stores, attributing profits and losses to those locations. Retailers presented case studies demonstrating that online shopping increases the frequency with which shoppers visit local branches, arguing that e-commerce is often responsible for growing rather than cannibalising sales in stores.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here