Tuesday was a magical day for Bazaarvoice Europe as we hosted our 1st annual Social Commerce Summit London at The Magic Circle. This prestigious magic society’s club in Euston was the perfect venue in which to reveal the secrets of social commerce and the day exceeded all expectations. This highlight video shows a bit of the flavour of the event but read on for the recap.

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When we first considered hosting this event we figured it would be a small affair for 10-15 of our clients. However, the past year has been a magic carpet ride for Bazaarvoice in Europe, and as our client base and the interest in social commerce grew, so too did the Summit to over 140 clients, partners, and industry leaders. And from the feedback provided by attendees it sounds like folks not only had a great time but also learned a few things throughout the day.

Brett and the magicianThe day kicked off with a magician reading Bazaarvoice Founder and CEO Brett Hurt’s mind to great laughter and applause. However, you don’t have to be a mind-reader to recognize the massive shift in power from brands to consumers. Emma Jenkins, Head of Interactive Marketing at Proctor & Gamble UK, shared examples of this shift while also giving advice on how brands can authentically participate in this revolution. Next up was the always entertaining and often controversial Ian Jindal, Editor-in-Chief of Internet Retailing, discussing the Art of Distraction. Ian painted a vivid picture of where consumer power is heading, a future in which customers own their own web experience and gravitate toward those brands who engage them while also making their lives easier.

Sam Decker, Bazaarvoice CMO, was up next sharing his perspectives on How to Grow Your Social Commerce Strategy, including specific tips on gaining FD buy-in and how to build sustained organizational momentum for customer-to-customer strategies. I followed with Top Tips for Growing and Capitalising on UGC, which included creative ways our clients are building customer engagement, driving high volumes of quality content, and leveraging the authentic voice of customers in marketing on their sites, in natural and paid search, through catalogues, and even in stores on mobile devices. Brant Barton, Co-founder and VP of Business Development then closed the loop with best practices for measuring the impact of social commerce, joined by Sarah Blair Gould of Boden who discussed the multitude of ways Boden is measuring impact through SEO, conversion, e-mail marketing, return rates and customer satisfaction.

Client PanelFinally, our clients Argos, Thomas Cook, QVC and Wehkamp discussed their experiences with Michael Nutley, Editor-in-Chief of NMA moderating. Nothing says more about your business than happy customers so it was incredibly rewarding to hear the perspectives from leaders at each of these brands. Rather than repeat it all here for those who couldn’t make it, wait for videos from the Summit to be published next week to see what you missed!

Videos wouldn’t do justice to the after-party at Absolut Icebar sponsored by our partner Endeca—you had to be there! The champion huskies out front set the tone and the massive ice block with the carved Summit logo was just a taste of what awaited attendees in the Icebar. After donning parkas and gloves, guests were escorted into the below-zero bar in which walls, couches, and even the bar were made from ice. In fact, even the drink Partying in parkasglasses were made of solid ice! After 20 minutes in the cold everyone headed down stairs to warmer surroundings, more food and drinks, and great conversation.Icebar

While there we also gave out our first ever European Social Commerce Awards, with Wickes, Screwfix, Boden, and Argos all taking home awards. However, it’s Wehkamp who will forever be remembered as the 1st winner of the Social Commerce Achievement Award—congrats to them and all our winning clients!

In short, I think those in attendance would agree it was an absolutely fantastic day. Thanks to everyone who participated—and for those who couldn’t we hope to see you next year. In the meantime, check out the highlight video and photos from the event.

See you next year!!

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