Speaker Q&A with Anthony Long, Global eCommerce & Digital Marketing Lead, Kimberly-Clark
With online shopping becoming more of an option than the high street alternative, Kimberly-Clark's Anthony Long talks to John Bensalhia about what the future holds for this sector...
1. Who or what has been your career inspiration and why?
Damon Albarn from Blur and Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen. He just goes out and does projects and produces work without any concern for being rich or famous. Also the late John Peel, because he proved that if you do follow your passion, the money will come.
2. How have shopping habits changed in the last 50 years, and what are the current major trends?
Thanks to mobile technologies – specifically the internet-connected smartphone – consumers shop entirely differently than ever before. Shopping historically has been a focused effort for people. It was focused on a person or family visiting a small handful of retailers, focused on a particular time of the day or week. It was compartmentalised because it needed to be; shopping prevented you from doing anything else, so you wanted to get it over with so you could get back to whatever else it was that you wanted to do. Today, shopping can happen anywhere, and it does. People are no longer limited by opening hours or their need to dedicate themselves to the task they shop anytime of the day or night, while they’re doing other things that have nothing to do with shopping, like being in a line at the airport or at a kid’s sporting match. I call today’s consumers “connected/disconnected shoppers”.
3. What are the key advantages of Blockchain with respect to eCommerce?
Blockchain emerges as a vital part of the continued growth of today’s widely distributed shopping environment because it solves many of the problems that plague e-commerce: the lack of direct connection between a buyer, a seller, and the thing being bought.
4. What are the issues and/or obstacles for Blockchain and eCommerce?
Spreading out the risk and increasing transparency doesn’t prevent or even reduce the opportunity for fraud. Everyone in digital commerce has heard stories of dishonest players in some of the world’s biggest marketplaces who take content from a legitimate manufacturer, open their own store advertising that item for sale at an attractive discount, take money from unsuspecting shoppers, and either fail to ship or ship a different, lower-quality product.
5. Can you see a point in time when all shopping will be done online? If so, what are the main implications of this?
I am of the opinion that practically all shopping currently is being done online, it’s just that most buying isn’t. People today use their phones to continually browse, even if they have no intention of making a purchase. For retailers, bands and marketers to be able to better understand and serve people today, I believe they need to separate the notion of “shopping” from “buying”.
6. With eCommerce Expo joining with Technology For Marketing and ad:tech this year, what are your opinions on this all-new connected event?
It seems quite logical to connect these three mega-topics because they are, indeed, connected in the real world. Increasingly, the tech stack that handles programmatic buying should be receiving inputs from the CRM system in order to deliver a truly personalised message, which in turn should be fed by the e-commerce system to ensure that consumers are being treated individually.