Speaker Q&A with Deyana Petrova, Director, Digital and Technology
Deyana Petrova, Director, Digital and Technology, Contiki Marketing Lab, talks to John Bensalhia about successful eCommerce strategies and the benefits for businesses and customers...
1. What sparked your interest in the worlds of digital marketing and eCommerce?
I have always been into digital. From the day I graduated, I started working with Paid media, web, email and what Display used to be back then. It fascinates me having the universe at your fingertips via a device, be that a mobile or desktop one. I feel digital is bridging so many gaps in the world and society: providing accessibility to information, knowledge, communities, the ability to buy anything, anywhere, any time and so many more. I also think it is the future, and we have seen very little of what digital has to offer as yet, and I am truly excited to be hands on, part of the world's digital journey.
2. Can you tell me about the background, services and vision of Contiki Marketing Lab?
Contiki Marketing Lab is a new kind of agency, created to deliver a dedicated agency solution to an iconic millennial brand. The environment allows us to attract and retain specialists in all areas of marketing - from eCommerce, to social, print, email, design and UX, digital development, data, content, partnerships, media, production and strategy - delivering strategic direction and global solutions to our regional territories. Our vision is continue to grow the Contiki brand around the world, demonstrating the power and agility of a dedicated agency while we're doing it.
3. What are the benefits of eCommerce for both A. Businesses and B. Customers?
For a business, eCommerce is crucial for survival and market expansion. Most businesses' revenues are growing online. It is rare nowadays, to hear that an offline type of model is the growth factor, especially in digitally savvy markets. Also, even if offline sales are a big factor for a company, everyone researches online and lack of online presence will completely put me off of a brand.
From a consumer point of view, it allows easier access to billions of products. Products that are not physically available in a country for example, can easily be purchased online. I feel it is crucial being able to compare products and prices online, it saves so much time. You cannot physically walk around 10s if not 100s of shops to do the same in the physical world.
4. What makes a successful eCommerce strategy?
Always testing and learning. Listening to the customer, observing behaviour and adapting your chosen eCommerce platform accordingly. The world of digital moves too fast for us to rely on what worked yesterday. Data is one of the most important parts of a successful strategy, it eliminates bias and helps drive results rather than opinions.
5. With eCommerce and online shopping even more popular today, where do you see this sector in 10 years' time? What bearing will this have on traditional high street shops?
I see it growing even further and becoming an immersive experience. I think we will soon start seeing proper AR/VR integrations into eCommerce, where a customer will be able to experience the product/service prior to purchasing. Similar to walking in a store and trying on shoes, I believe we are on the path of recreating that experience digitally. It saddens me to say that I think the days of the high street are probably coming to an end in the way we shop and use them today. I think less brands will be able to afford the expense of maintaining physical stores in prime locations in the future. I think the luxury industry will be the one that will probably continue to hold a stronger ground in the physical world but overall that high street shop presence will be reduced.
6. What are your thoughts on the newly merged eCommerce Expo, Technology For Marketing and ad:tech event?
I think it is the right thing to do, as we are able to get a more well rounded experience in one go, meet suppliers that touch different aspects of the cycle, and have this all under one roof. Looking forward to it.