Last Wednesday I was pleased to give the keynote at the Buy.at 5th annual “Speakeasy” event, held at 195 Piccadilly, home of the BAFTAs.
It was an eclectic gathering of a couple of hundred people: merchants, affiliates, programme managers and entrepreneurs in a very open, engaged forum.
I spend a lot of time talking to and writing about retailers and the need to engage fully with the digital, demanding customer, and so it was interesting to have an opportunity to examine the role that affiliates play in connecting products and brands with customers’ wallets.
The blend of large-traffic sites, aggregators (like MyDeco or HousetoHome who put a very professional experience design onto the feeds they receive) and very, very niche affiliates (whether MobileShop.co.uk or perfectlyshapedworld) who put retailers to shame in their focus on customers) covered the gamut of retailing.
Given that we had people from the commercial and operational sides of affiliate marketing it was also an opportunity to examine the drivers for profitability, areas of collaboration and the developing needs that affiliates will have from merchants as they seek to remain relevant to customers in an evermore-demanding marketplace.
Following some good questions (both directly, over coffee and then on the subsequent panel discussions) I met some fascinating affiliates and niche businesses who I’m sure we’ll be seeing in upcoming issues of Internet Retailing.
My thanks to the team at Buy.at for their welcome and hospitality. The event was an examplar of stakeholder communication and networking.
It’s also about the only time I’ll ever get to stand on the stage at the BAFTAs…
Update: Ian Jindal’s slides from Speakesy, May 2008 – contents and images are all copyright, but you’re welcome to use with attribution.