Online Retailer New Zealand • Another year, another great show

Online Retailer New Zealand • Another year, another great show

Online Retailer New Zealand is always a fantastic show, with a stellar line-up of leaders in our industry and this year’s instalment was no exception. As we move further away from the show and into our bright future, it is important that we use this time to pause for reflection and therefore, we want you to gauge the insights from a New Zealand speaker who never disappoints. Jason Greenwood, eCommerce Manager,  HealthPost NZ is sharing with us his exceptional insights and takeaways from the show where the customer experience is always first…


Well there goes another year of #ORNZ done and dusted!

As the smaller cousin to its Sydney Australia counterpart, Online Retailer NZ is definitely more ‘intimate’. It also runs for one day instead of two and every two years instead of annually. As a result, there is a slight break in continuity but also a sense of anticipation that accompanies the NZ event. Personally I hope it becomes an annual event as we do not have too many digitally focused conferences here in NZ. One often has to look across the ditch for these.

Jason networking with like-minded professionals at Online Retailer New Zealand

My event actually started out with the speaker’s dinner the night before at Wine Chambers in the city (thanks to sponsor Zendesk for this one). This was brilliant, and actually quite a number of merchants attended, not just the speakers. As such, it was a perfect opportunity to relax, have a drink and bite to eat, while discussing who we were, what we did and what we expected for the next day. There were some familiar faces but most were new to me as I have historically spent more time mingling with the Aussie digital community vs NZ when I worked agency side.

I got a chance to speak at some length with Jane Cay from Birdsnest (Australia) and James Rigden from Superette (NZ). Both were utterly intelligent and dynamic people with interesting stories and background, and it was nice to get to know them on the night. The dinner was a fun affair, with everyone taking turns around the table, telling who they were and answering some interesting questions posed by the MC of the night. I don’t know if the organisers of the AU event run such a pre-dinner but if not, they should – it was definitely a highlight for me.

Jason in discussion  mode at Online Retailer New Zealand

 For this year I was both a speaker and a delegate at the conference – which added a new dimension to the event for me. Some members of my team from HealthPost also attended so it was great to introduce them around and to have their support while I was on stage.

I spoke in a session within the Omni-Channel track and also participated in a panel discussing social media & live streaming at the end of the day. I intended to record my solo session covering customer centric digital transformation but it wasn’t to be as I had a camera malfunction on the day. Still, I had a great time and I didn’t get booed off stage, so I’ll take that as a small endorsement of the content presented. The panel was tons of fun and Hannah Burnard from Issue Clothing who joined me on stage is one very switched on entrepreneur. As a Kiwi married to an American, she splits her time between NZ and Chicago, USA and her global experience really shines through.

HealthPost NZ’s building

In terms of the other sessions I attended, the Booktopia session by CTO Wayne Baskin was a standout. His references to Booktopia hard data and analytics as it related to their testing outcomes was much appreciated. He really opened the Kimono and I think the audience really got a lot out of what he shared. He mentioned that a 1 second faster load time correlated to an increase of .86% in conversion rate. He also showed how their testing led to their mobile category page design being enhanced with advanced product attribute filters to facilitate search/find and product drilldown.

The merchant to merchant sessions always create memorable discussions at Online Retailer and this year was no exception. I attended the table moderated by Aaron Tobin from Bespoke CX and the discussion centred on creating a single data view of your customer. We all shared stories about CRM & Marketing Automation implementations to achieve just that. It’s hard to achieve but there seems to be a MASSIVE push towards that goal in 2017 for NZ retailers. This ultimately spells out personalisation and customer service improvements for the NZ consumer.

The HealthPost NZ team enjoying Chinese New Year

 No event like this can survive without the generous support of the vendors and sponsors that take part. #ORNZ is no exception and many mainstay vendors from the digital space in NZ were represented, including several we work with at HealthPost (eg: Moustache Republic & Cloudzone One). They are there to push their wares, yes, but they also give freely of their time, money and advice on the day to help promote best practice digital execution so I give them a pass for a little self promotion while they’re at it.

All in all, this was a well executed event that serves as a fantastic ‘teaser’ to the main event – Online Retailer Sydney, which I also usually attend. I think these events are very valuable as knowledge sharing exercises for businesses in APAC that want to meet with their peers and share stories from the trenches and hear from some excellent speakers while they are at it.

HealthPost’s brand new warehouse extension in Collingwood

I’d like to personally thank Federica, Alana, Sarah and the entire OR team for putting on an awesome event that I was proud to be a part of.

Until next time, happy eCommercing!

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