On Thursday 24 January 2019, I attended the Webwinkel Vakdagen (Ecommerce Expo). Held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, this two day event showcased everything about ecommerce.
Attendance is free, and I went along both out of personal interest but also to research the latest trends for the modules I teach at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (ebusiness and digital trends).
It was a cold, snowy day in the Netherlands, and when I discovered the main parking was full and I needed to park some distance away and catch the bus, I was wondering if it was all worth it….but it certainly was, both in terms of information and also as I ended up winning an Amazon Echo (Alexa)! More on that later…..
There were lots of keynote speeches and smaller presentations over the two days. Depending on when you visit this link below, you can possibly still see the full program and list of speakers. It included Pim van der Feltz, CEO of Google Nederland and many other big brands such as MediaMarkt, Marley Spoon, The Walt Disney Company, Bol.com, UberEats and lots more. Unfortunately I had limited time so didn’t sit in on any of these, though even just scrolling through the list and topics is interesting to see what is relevant in the field right now:
Overall, though it wasn’t officially presented this way, I found that stands and information fell into these categories:
- Software and Platforms
- Strategy and Marketing
- Photography, video and other content
- Packaging, Postage and delivery
Each of these is important in running a successful ecommerce operation. I’ve already taught the first three for some time, but as I personally am more focussed on the service industry, had neglected the last a little in my ebusiness classes….I’ll make sure I include them in the future.
Something I’ve always found really interesting when attending fairs and expos is how companies try to grab your attention in a highly competitive environment. The first stand that “got me” was Post NL with one of these machines….remember these?
As I explain in the video below, another thing that grabbed my attention was a huge antelope….I’m glad it did as you’ll see….
I was thrilled to win what I called an “Alexa” in the video, which is actually the operating system, it’s called an Amazon Echo. Voice is becoming big in marketing. We’ve had a Google Home for over a year, and now Alexa has joined the family. I’ll write another article about these soon.
The Ecommerce book is well worth a look too:
Here I am with the antelope, book and Alexa….
Really enjoyed talking to the CEO of Spryker about the story behind his logo:
Spryker Commmerce OS goes beyond a shop and desktop, offering full modularity, limitless scalability and vast agility. They have ready to use B2C & B2B demo shops, and offer an entire ecommerce ecosystem. I particularly like that they realise you need to be where your customers are (including the new trends of Voice, Smart Home, Bots and IoT)….
… and offer a wide range of OS capabilities a little beyond my own personal needs or understanding, but no doubt very convenient for larger companies to have this all in one place:
For more visit spryker.com
Another few stands I visited were Datacentrics who are a data management platform for marketers, creating personalised customer journeys and increasing online conversions (and yes, they had a great frozen fruit stick that got my attention too….)
I also followed the DHL Effibot around, which is a fully automated trolly that assists packers:
I found the Bztrs stand interesting – this retail innovations agency offers a full range of services including strategy, branding, web development, online marketing, business intelligence, retail automation and service/support:
A trend I’ve noticed in the Netherlands already is cycle delivery (of course the Dutch would have to be world leaders for this!) and Fietkoeriers.nl was there showcasing this:
I also had a chat with an astronaut at ec manager and picked up some digital commerce case studies to share with my students.
A couple of other companies I chatted to were:
- Blog Brains: bringing together bloggers and brands, something I think is a great idea but unfortunately for me only in Dutch.
- YOP (Young Online Professional): an innovative concept supporting both young digital marketeers and companies who would like to employ them, where YOP works with both to increase their skillset and experience.
- Dutch Web Design: a digital agency taking care of online marketing with WordPress and Magneto websites, who can also help with SEO, SEA, SMM and more.
- WooCommerce: I’ve used this before on my own websites
- Bol.com: I knew of this huge online retailer in NL, but didn’t realise you can also set up your own webshop on their platform
- Creative ICT: Full service digital agency
- Unique Design: WordPress web agency
- Dappre: an app that offers messaging, ecards and “tribes” such as the official Webwinkel Vakdagen tribe – but after playing with it for about 15 minutes I still can’t figure it out so doubt it’s a very active tribe…or if it is, I guess I’ll miss out!
I also picked up a few interesting publications – as they are in Dutch, it will take me a little while to get through these (mijn Nederlands is ok maar ik lees langzaam!):
- Online Retailer Magazine
- Twinkle Digital Commerce Magazine
- Retail Trends Magazine
After a few hours at the Webwinkel Vakdagen, I left for a quick visit to another interesting expo right next door:
You can visit my Google Photos album of the Webwinkel Vakdagen 2019 here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3x7FN6Ggb6aG4HJL9
Their own official after movie is here (in Dutch):
I hope to attend again next year on 29 & 30 January 2020!
For more information: