The speakers came from a range of backgrounds including retailers who have worked in eCommerce for many years, fast growing-brands, industry experts, thought-leaders and podcasters.
First up was a talk by Luke Carthy, eCommerce Growth Consultant & Founder at Afro Drops. Luke discussed all things Google Analytics and how this can tell the story of the user journey in a way which identifies faults that lead to a poor conversion rate. The talk was centered around smart, scalable eCommerce growth and SEO disciplines. It was great to hear an example of how a standard error message being replaced with a more specific message could help increase conversions drastically, something we also relay to our clients here at Cake.
In Steve Hewitt’s (Gymshark) talk on Powering Growth, he made the point of brands creating their north star. He asked the audience why do you exist as a brand and an organisation? He then stressed the importance of not trying to be everything to everyone. By changing your positioning constantly, it makes you a meaningless brand.
Steve went on to say how the purpose of GymShark is to unite the fitness community and in doing so they need to be good at effective storytelling. Steve discussed how the average customer of their brand is 15 years old so sending a responsible message is crucial. An example he gave was the Sweaty Selfie campaign where they changed the name from GymShark to HomeShark during the wake of Covid.
Steve was full of advice and tips, stressing the importance of getting your core product right. He said that failure happens mostly in the growth, such as on Black Friday when 45% of consumers are lost within 12 hours.
Steve then broke down Gymshark’s journey to growth.
Factors to growth
Chapter 1 – the start up years
- Gymshark put the brand on the map by exhibiting / bringing influencers into Birmingham
- Launched into the female market rather than just male
- Launched Flex
Chapter 2 – building the foundations
- Introduction of pop up stores
- Built communities – being part of a purpose and movement that you love
- Took time to storytell the values behind the business – which led to great people joining who haven’t left the business
- Took the city events worldwide, built community where you can hang out and work out – leading to high engagement
- Launched conditioning app
- Invested heavily in the data team – learned what turns customers on and off
- Base in Denver to understand the American market better – 45% American customer base
The Key Takeaways from Steve’s talk were:
- Build your north star & stay disciplined
- Ensure the product you offer is scalable
- Control your value chain – work with the right external partners – make sure they understand your north star
- Don’t fear failure… just do it quickly
- Employ people who are better than you – the same people that get you £10,000k may not get you to £100,000k
- Work hard, stay humble