They say it takes a village and eCommerce Week LA™ 2021 proves that.
eCommerce Week LA™ is the product of Hawke Media’s experts collaborating to produce an event experience that none of us could have created individually. Our stellar host Chidi Ezemma, countless members of the Hawke Media Team, our sponsors, and our partners all made the second annual eCommerce Week LA™ a smashing success.
Our mission at Hawke Media is to create accessible marketing for everyone. We also believe that every company deserves to have a CMO-level professional in charge of its marketing. In today’s COVID-19 landscape, virtual events like eCommerce Week LA™ truly provide accessible marketing and eCommerce advice for businesses of all sizes.
This year’s eCommerce Week LA™ was different from last year’s iteration, and as we continue to host this yearly event, we look forward to accommodating the changing marketing and eCommerce ecosystems.
This year, we have a blend of in-person and virtual events and we think that going forward, hybrid conference models will create accessible experiences for everyone, which very much aligns with our lofty aims here at Hawke.
Each of the sessions we put together reflects our brand values, which are:
- Get sh*t done
- Learn quickly
- Be cool
eCommerce Week LA™ is the result of those values, with sessions designed to help you network (be cool), provide relevant information (learn quickly), that you can act upon (get sh*t done).
Here are some of the highlights and insights from eCommerce Week LA™ 2021, compiled for your reading pleasure. We’ve embedded the daily playlists, as well as linked to specific sessions for the insights we share.
We kicked off a week of virtual content at eCommerce Week LA™ with ClearCo’s Pitch Competition.
It featured three incredibly relevant brands. They were:
- Kind Laundry — A eco-friendly, detergent sheet company
- Zenimal — a meditation and white noise device for improved sleep
- FitVille — An athleisure shoe company designed for wide feet
All three brands did an incredible job, but there could only be one winner. Find out which brand won by watching “Clearco ClearPitch at eCom Week LA™ 2021”
Some of the key insights from Monday’s eCommerce Week LA™ sessions included:
- In “Celebrity Power and Brand Partnerships: The Entourage Story,” we learned that organic-feeling product placement is the most effective way to create effective campaigns that sell lots of products.
- We learned that eCommerce and marketing can bring more than money and products from “Building Brand Loyalty Through Lifecycle Marketing with Eliza Blank.” She and her team realized they were dispensing both plants and happiness during the peak of the pandemic.
- In “HawkeZ, From TikToks to Tactics: Marketing to Gen Z” Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson shared that Gen Z wants authenticity, which includes not pretending to be Gen Z in your marketing efforts if you aren’t Gen Z. HawkeZ, Hawke’s Gen Z-focused division is run by Richards and Johnson, so you can trust them to be real.
- In “Mastering Memes and Social Commerce with Doing Things Media” we learned how memes and the web provide instant feedback on if an idea works or not.
Overall, Day 1 of eCommerce Week LA™ revealed that organic, authentic messaging combined with listening to both customers and their data is the secret sauce for successful marketing.
Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti gave a short address to kick off Tech Tuesday’s sessions. His address highlighted the partnership between Hawke Media and the city and how they’re working together to foster a sense of vibrancy and community in Los Angeles.
Some of the key insights from Tech Tuesday of eCommerce Week LA™ were:
- We learned there’s a difference between organic and paid social media, and a lot of that has to do with friction. The buying process should also be as low friction as possible according to the experts on “Discovery Commerce with Facebook.”
- While purchase decisions might seem transactional and cold, it is always an emotional process. On “The Non-Stop Shop: Exploring the Live Stream Shopping Boom” we learned live hosts help evoke conversations that spark joy, entertain, and eventually, convert viewers into participants into customers.
- Ann McFerran said understanding what triggers people to take an action is a key aspect of both sales and marketing in “Bootstrapping in Beauty”: The Glamnetic Story.”
- In “The Future of Tech”, Vance Reavie shared how AI helps answer “the why” behind someone’s actions, which increases performance and helps mitigate/avoid risk.
In summation, Tech Tuesday taught us that while we can buy all the tech in the world and use AI and data to make our choices, in the end, we are all humans making decisions (primarily) based on relationships and emotions.
World Impact Wednesday
The middle of the week for eCommerce Week LA™ was world-shifting. Representatives from Shopify and Google taught us how and why eCommerce brands use their tools, especially during the holiday season.
These were some of the most engaging highlights of the week. World Impact Wednesday Highlights included:
- Consumers spent $618.7 billion in August, revealing a trend that they have more money to spend this holiday season, but brands aren’t sure how that extra money will be spent according to Isaac Chevako from Google in his session “Holiday Starts Now!”
- In “Entrepreneurship Empowerment” Shaman Walsh shared that they think humble leaders that see their own strengths and weaknesses will succeed in a future obsessed with authenticity.
- Every brand can’t and won’t be Amazon, shared Katie Rosen Kitchens from FabFitFun in the session “How Brands Can Enhance Health and Wellness.” Instead, brands should find their niche instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
- “People want choice. People want flexibility and customization.” Whitney Tingle from Sakara in “How Brands Can Enhance Health and Wellness.”
- Diverse committees and teams are the key to creating an environment that is both authentic and inclusive. Kristen Elliott shared that the Eddie Bauer team has a committee that switches every year with all levels of employees on it.
- Empathy and love are two traits that tomorrow’s leaders must hold in order to develop people-led brands that succeed, shared Abby Hamilton of LiveIntent on “Beyond the Workplace: Integrating Diversity and Equity”
- Brands need to enable customers and help them find their personal style (Kristy Caylor in “Going Green: Sustainability and Marketing to an Eco-Friendly Audience“) and help them live their personal adventure (Kristen Elliot, “Beyond the Workplace: Integrating Diversity and Equity”).
- Tech and startup cultures are incorporating greater diversity to reflect the cities they’re located in (Aria Safar, Beyond the Workplace: Integrating Diversity and Equity)
- In “Beyond the Workplace: Integrating Diversity and Equity”, Kyle Hjelmeseth shared that feeling safe in one’s identity at work is the key to quality work and company culture. Company culture should also allow employees the natural shifts in their identities as time passes. COVID helped make this more clear, as the stress of the situation made this issue clear, and harder to hide.
- “Mistakes happen. What matters is how you own up to it!” said Kristin Elliot in “Beyond the Workplace: Integrating Diversity and Equity”
- Intention to make money isn’t enough. Find your why. “Your intention should be to find a community, organization, population of people, who need help and really thoughtfully and strategically take the approach to contribute,” said Scot Tatelman in “Intention and Impact: How Businesses Can Better Our Communities.”
On World Impact Wednesday of eCommerce Week LA™, we learned about the softer side of business. These are the hot topics of diversity, equity, and inclusivity and speakers emphasized their importance.
Those topics are intertwined with the conversations about authenticity and personal identity. The pandemic compelled us all to be more real, to embrace ourselves, and brands need to embrace that both internally and externally.
Team Efficiency Thursday
Hawke Media CEO & Founder Erik Huberman hosted Team Efficiency Thursday, which contained two exciting announcements. The first was the winner of the giveaway to the beautiful El Perdido resort. Congratulations to the lucky winner!
Erik Huberman also made his first on-air announcement about his new book, The Hawke Method, which contains the three pillars of marketing that have helped 3,500+ brands grow their business.
Those pillars are:
He shared some sneak peaks about the book and invites anyone interested to join his launch team for more exclusive, insider perks.
Insights from Team Efficiency Thursday includes:
- Rob Dyrdek dispensed some kernels of wisdom in “Building a Company: Achieving Ridiculous Goals with Rob Dyrdek.”
- Goal-achieving can be approached the same way as learning a (skateboard) trick. You decide the trick you’d like to do, then break down how you learn it.
- Failure can be a lesson, so long as you continue to fail forward in the direction of your objectives.
- You do one thing like you do everything.
- Today’s mobile consumers are different than they were in 2019, according to Alana Corey in “Why 2022 is the Year of SMS Marketing.” 2019’s rules no longer apply, and mobile consumers will continue to dominate going forward.
- Alana Corey shared in “Why 2022 is the Year of SMS Marketing”, that 89% of mobile consumers want to receive texts from their favorite brands.
For Team Efficiency Thursday, we saw consumer behaviors shifted tremendously since 2019, and that mobile will reign supreme in the coming years. We witnessed that failure is a part of success, but making the same mistake over and over is a waste of your energy.
The final day of eCommerce Week LA™ is Finance Friday, where most sessions highlight getting funding, financial responsibility, and more.
Some of the highlights from the final day of eCommerce Week LA™ included:
- Set an intention to know your numbers. It’s not pretty but it is important. Those wise words came from Eric Polatty “Steal Snow’s Playbook: How Snow Made $1.2M from SMS in One Month with Postscript.”
- Creating backups of your online stores is key. You don’t want to accidentally delete your entire eCommerce store the night before Black Friday, like Mike Potter related to viewers in “How to secure your store for BFCM.”
In two sessions focused on women, business, and finance speakers shared these insights:
- For women to be equal in the workplace, financial equity is needed, according to Sallie Krawcheck in her “Financial Literacy” session. Money can either be a source of stress or a source of strength for women. It’s tough for anyone to feel secure and confident without money to back it up.
- Intuition and emotion are the gifts of femininity and humanity. They have a place in the boardroom, the office, and the workplace, expressed Tracy Holland in “Executive Excellence: Lessons from Female Founders.”
- You can’t have feminism and police women’s clothing and expression, shared Tracy Tutor. She asserted women can be sexy, feminine, and business powerhouses in “Executive Excellence: Lessons from Female Founders.”
- Michele Finizio expressed the five F’s that are important for a life well-lived, which are: finance, family, friends, faith, and fitness. She said finance is the easiest of those to measure in “Executive Excellence: Lessons from Female Founders.”
- “Trying to be a man is a waste of a woman,” said one speaker, quoting Sarah Jessica Parker in the session “Executive Excellence: Lessons from Female Founders”
- When purpose reaches passion, you are unstoppable. That hard hitting quote came from Shelley Zalis in “Executive Excellence: Lessons from Female Founders.”
On Finance Friday, we learned that money is power. Many entrepreneurs, marketers, and individuals shy away from handling their finances properly, which is to their detriment.
All in all, eCommerce Week LA™ 2021 was a reflection of what eCommerce, marketing, and business is as we all work in a world reshaped by the global pandemic. Some of the themes of those changes, which popped up across sessions were:
- Authenticity — Both in the workplace and in marketing, individuals want to be seen.
- Transparency — There’s no more tolerance for omission or concealment of mistakes or weaknesses. Today’s customers know better and expect brands to do better.
- Mobile — 89% of buying is now done on a mobile device. Optimize for it.
- Emotion — Hiding your feelings is so last decade. Today’s leaders and brands are expected to show emotional intelligence and sensitivity.
What was your favorite part of eCommerce Week LA™? Did you have a session you enjoyed in particular?
If you missed a session, the week, or want to rewatch a session you missed, you can view the complete list here.
Here at Hawke Media, we believe every brand deserves to have CMO-quality marketing, no matter its size. Reach out today for a free consultation with one of Hawke Media’s digital marketing experts to learn how.
We’re ridiculously grateful to our generous sponsors and partners for all they’ve done to make eCom Week LA 2021 possible. We encourage you to support these stellar brands: