Bob Group’s Everything Ecommerce extravaganza: A comprehensive event recap

Everything Ecommerce is an event series hosted by Bob Group, designed to provide ecommerce merchants with invaluable networking and learning opportunities. This event is designed to be both educational and inspirational, offering merchants an incredible opportunity to connect with esteemed local ecommerce experts and ambitious entrepreneurs.

Our debut event took place at the Bob Group Menlyn offices on Saturday, October 21, 2023, with a spotlight on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the fast-approaching busy season. Around 40 dedicated attendees came together to learn insights from our esteemed speakers and engage in valuable networking with fellow ecommerce merchants. Jaco Roux, Head of Product at Bob Group, kicked off the event with a quick welcome and introduction to the company, before handing over to our first speaker. 

Digital connections: Mastering authenticity in the age of filters and facades

Kelsey van der Merwe is the co-founder & CMO at Untamed Creative Society in Pretoria. An expert in digital marketing, Kelsey shared her secrets to create a digital online presence across the board, especially during Black Friday. Her tips to strike the perfect balance between making sales and maintaining meaningful customer relationships proved note-worthy: giveaways, early discounts and UGC are clever ways to stand out during Black Friday. Kelsey shared more on the importance of authenticity and discussed simple strategies to remain relatable and transparent as a company in a period where pushing sales is the goal. 

“Black Friday is the sprint; the rest of the year is a marathon”

– Kelsey van der Merwe

Marketplace mastery: Unleashing BFCM potential for higher sales

Our second presentation was a fireside chat, hosted by the Business Development team at Bob Shop. Keagen Fulton and Damon Knox-Whitehead are Bob Shop experts, with great insights into the South African marketplace landscape. The chat began with a discussion about the historical origins and the evolution of BFCM in South Africa, before diving into the recent shifts in consumer behaviour. They thoroughly explored leveraging marketplaces, including the opportunities currently available to merchants. Keagen and Damon also shared their insights on marketing and pricing strategies and how to stand out from the competition. 

Search Engine Optimisation: Opening the floodgates of (almost) free traffic

Brandon Yang is the Director & Head of Acquisition at the online creative powerhouse, Honey Whale Labs, and the third speaker at Everything Ecommerce. Every attendee snapped photos and took notes as he delivered a presentation jam-packed with incredible insights and advice on SEO. Brandon discussed simple and straightforward, yet impactful modifications that merchants can effortlessly implement without the need of an expert to amplify sales. He uncovered strategies on how to maximise the potential of (almost) free traffic during the holiday season and even shared a variety of free tools for merchants to use. 

Secrets to running a successful online store during BFCM

Our last speaker for the day is no stranger to Bob Group. Mario Toscano from AskMario is a Shopify developer and consultant, and has years of experience developing Shopify stores in addition to managing his own ecommerce enterprise. This experience allowed Mario to share actionable and practical insights and advice to help merchants unlock the full potential of their online store. From a developer and merchant perspective, Mario discussed the golden rules of ecommerce and how to get your website visitors to convert to customers.  

To close off an incredible event, Jaco Roux led a short Q&A session with the speakers and attendees, who then had a final opportunity to raise questions, chat to the speakers and network amongst the other ecommerce merchants. 

Thank you to everyone who attended our first Everything Ecommerce event. It was a resounding success, and we are so excited for the future of this event series. The knowledge shared by the speakers and industry experts was unmatched and this setting allowed attendees to learn in a comfortable and informal environment. We hope to continue building this community for Everything Ecommerce in 2024. See you then!