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Catalyst Europe 2017: Q&A About ChannelAdvisor’s E-Commerce Event


It’s becoming increasingly complex for retailers and branded manufacturers to stay ahead of the latest e-commerce trends. The industry is constantly evolving and the pace of change is unrelenting. To help retailers and brands prepare for upcoming trends and successfully navigate their e-commerce journey, ChannelAdvisor hosts an annual e-commerce event called Catalyst. At Catalyst, you’ll hear directly from executives who are leading the future of online retailing, and gain unique e-commerce insights into what’s coming next.

Catalyst Europe 2017 will take place on 16 May 2017 at The Principal Hotel (formerly The Palace Hotel) in Manchester. The event features a mix of thought-provoking presentations, educational workshops, access to the industry’s top channels and unparalleled networking opportunities.

To hear more about the event, International Supermarket News hosted a Q&A with Zoe Ripley, international marketing director at ChannelAdvisor.

Q: Why did ChannelAdvisor start organising Catalyst?

Faced with a challenging and constantly changing e-commerce landscape, retailers and brands are expected to stay ahead of emerging trends. There are very few industries that see the rapid changes that e-commerce does, and it can be a difficult task to prioritise what’s important. We recognised this was a challenge for retailers and brands, so we started hosting our Catalyst events. We wanted to help retailers navigate e-commerce, so by hosting Catalyst we’re bringing together some of the top e-commerce channels, industry leaders and experts to present the pressing issues. Although
the event is hosted by ChannelAdvisor, it’s not a sales event. We’re focused on the industry and thought-leadership with this event.

Q: How long have you been hosting Catalyst?

Catalyst began in the US, when the ChannelAdvisor team organised the first event over a decade ago. We’ve been hosting the event in the UK for 8 years now. We also host a similar event in China called Insite, which has the same format as Catalyst. It’s really interesting hosting these industry events in three continents. There’s a lot to be learned – some common themes that come across irrespective of region, while other trends are really unique. It’s useful for us to keep an eye on international trends so we can apply them to the UK event. For example, last year we looked to China a lot for examples of how we think the mobile e-commerce landscape is evolving.

Q: What’s the format of the Catalyst event?

Catalyst Europe takes place over one day. It’s jam-packed, but we always focus on three core areas when planning the event. Firstly, we put an emphasis on our keynote sessions – we secure some of the top names in e-commerce to share insights into upcoming industry trends. Secondly, we host workshops, which focus on practical, hands-on ways that retailers and brands can scale their business. Thirdly, we put a large emphasis on networking. We host regular networking sessions during the day, from breakfast briefings to networking drinks, to ensure people have the time to meet with their peers and important players from the e-commerce industry.

Q: Is there a theme for this year’s event?

“Smart Brands. Strong Retailers. Connected E-Commerce.” is the theme of Catalyst Europe 2017. For branded manufacturers, there’ll be a lot of talk about product intelligence and insights to help them perform better online. For retailers, we’ll be delving into data, and also areas where they can scale their business. And for both retailers and brands, we’ll be highlighting ways to connect their businesses to new sources of demand.

Q: What’s the profile of a typical attendee?

Catalyst draws professionals from all corners of e-commerce who come together to share and discover what’s next for the industry. More than 400 leaders, from marketing managers and marketplace specialists to sales directors and senior analysts attend the event. CEOs, presidents and owners all attend, as do founders and executive directors from the industry’s smartest brands and strongest retailers.

We have strong connections with channel partners, so eBay, Amazon, Google and Alibaba have all participated in our events. Our speakers come from some of the top names including Sainsburys, Dyson, Jo Malone, New Look and Whirlpool.

ChannelAdvisor also has a strong eco-system of partners from logistics companies to VAT specialists who can help retailers and brands streamline their processes. Attendees have the chance to meet with these partners throughout the event.

Q: What sort of topics will feature on this year’s agenda?

The Catalyst 2017 agenda will include forward-thinking, insightful sessions such as:

• Understanding the e-commerce trends of tomorrow
• Creating the optimal customer experience from brand to retailer
• Expanding internationally through cross-border trade
• Reaching customers on mobile, social and next-generation devices
• And much more

Q: What’s the price of attending Catalyst?

We are offering an early-bird registration rate of £99 until 16 February 2017. To register or to learn more about the event, visit

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