Local webretailers groups in the UK

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jneedham
Kudos: 38
Joined: Jul 8, 2014
Local webretailers groups in the UK
8 Jul 2014
Hi All
Do any of you belong to a local group consisting of online retailers in your area? I know of one such group in the Hereford area but cant find any others online. If you know of one, or belong to one, I'd be really interested to know how this works..is it a success?
Looking forward to hearing from you all
Jayne
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,637
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
8 Jul 2014
Hi Jayne, this is a great topic to bring up - it's something I've chatted to several people about in the past.

I've attended The UK Online Seller Meetup Group in London a few times. It's run by iwoca and they have some good speakers. They don't seem to have another one planned at the moment.

There's also Online Seller Wales run by a great guy called Prabhat Shah who posts here as daytodayebay. I haven't been to that one personally. He was planning to run some in different cities, but I don't know if that's going ahead.

When I've been to the The UK Online Seller Meetup Group I felt it lacked a real community feeling. Perhaps because it moves locations, or because it's run by a company - not sure. That's no reflection at all on the organisers, who work really hard to make it a success.

Would be great to hear about any really buzzing online seller groups. Even if not in the UK, it would be interesting to hear what works best.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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UK United Kingdom
daytodayebay
Kudos: 484
Joined: Jun 24, 2014
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
8 Jul 2014
Thanks "jneedham" for starting this discussion and Andy for mentioning Online Seller events in Wales.

I started these events to help the community sell better online and has been a great success in Newport and Cardiff. I started these events locally in Torfaen and Caerphilly which few retailers and moved to central location to widen the reach.

My aim is to roll it out across UK and due to my commitments in the day elsewhere I tested Saturday in Bristol but did not gather enough interest but I am sure weekday evening would have been better.

I strongly believe its is really good thing to do and if any one would like to jump in and help me out to organise events in your area please get in touch I would love to work together. At the end of the day it is win-win move for all.
DaytodayeBay.Your one stop eBay and Amazon Solution Provider
United Kingdom United Kingdom
jneedham
Kudos: 38
Joined: Jul 8, 2014
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
8 Jul 2014
Thank you both for your interesting and detailed replies. I too believe that regular get togethers would be an ideal opportunity to exchange experiences, and learn from others, but also to invite suppliers to present to the guests regarding all things related to ecommerce businesses. I know many SME's have little time to research and hold countless meetings with suppliers to find out what solutions are in place for them across all aspects of the business. Do you think that this is a good idea?
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,637
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
9 Jul 2014

jneedham wrote:

Do you think that this is a good idea?
Absolutely! Presentations from suppliers are often part of these meetups, although not normally a straight sales pitch - that doesn't tend to go down well.

Are you thinking of starting a new group local to you?
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Supplier
South Derbyshire United Kingdom
eBayAnorak
Kudos: 51
Joined: Oct 2, 2013
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
13 Jul 2014
Local would be good but there's never enough interest. The iwoca Online Seller Meetups are great but I have to travel for them. They are worth the travel cost, I like to share my eBay addiction with people and love to chat. It's a shame there aren't more but I think you have to have a good balance of social and business, if people think they're going to be sold to they won't come but if it's something to improve their business then they will.

Shame I can't make the next one in Wales, I have clients in that area so hopefully they will attend.
Supplier
Birmingham United Kingdom
Kidsontalks
Kudos: 57
Joined: Jul 2, 2014
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
16 Jul 2014
I organise many meet UPS in my local area for various things. Everybody always says they will attend but at times I have ended up sitting on my own.

We have 'entrepreneur' meet ups in my local area but again attendance is lacking.

I would *love* an online seller meet up which is pure networking. No presentations, no sponsorship just like going down the pub after work and talking shop with other people who are in the same industry.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
jneedham
Kudos: 38
Joined: Jul 8, 2014
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
16 Jul 2014
Hi Andy

The reason for my question is that I work for a business operating a multi-carrier routing platform offering dedicated delivery services for online retailers. We have innovative solutions in place for SME's, and find that many business owners dislike Royal Mail but are not fully aware of the alternative options in the marketplace.
We have held localised group meetings for business owners and decision makers which we have arranged, and the feedback is always very positive. I was hoping that we might be able to ask an existing group if we could attend their meeting.
I have seen that other suppliers/providers are members on this site, so I hope I'm not breaking any rules. I would like to reach out to people who have a requirement for b2c deliveries, but not with a 'sales focus.'
Any thoughts you have would be welcomed!
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,637
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
16 Jul 2014
@jneedham thanks for the explanation! Regarding forum rules, please could you add the URL of your site to your profile and also in a forum signature - that makes it clear you are a supplier. You don't have to have the supplier "tag" as your service isn't one we have in the directory - but if you drop me a PM once you've added the URL to your profile I'll check it out some more. I do recommend you get in touch with day2dayebay and iwoca about their meetups as they are are certainly aimed at the right audience for you.

@Kidsontalks I agree a straight social/networking meetup would be great. The contradiction always seems to be positive feedback but low attendance! My thinking is that you have to get the relationships between group members as strong as possible, so people are motivated to attend to see their friends again rather than to watch a presentation. Presentations are mostly passive and can be great but perhaps not a strong enough draw to get consistently high attendance. Perhaps a successful meetup should include activities that really push people to get to know each other, off the top of my head a speed-dating style "5 minutes with everyone" might be the right kind of thing. Makes me cringe thinking about that though!
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,304
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
22 Jul 2014
Meetups would be a great idea. I wish there were some in the Midlands.

Just a thought, the Chamber of Commerce seem to want to promote export, but nothing aimed at the purely online SME.

Had a look at our local CofC events list and it seems to mainly involve a £30 registration fee, coffee, and a load of people who have no idea who you are, what you do or the problems you face. All they seem to look after are the larger businesses who appear to be "bricks and mortar" types.

Is there an "Online Chamber of Commerce" that we do not know about, or would Andy like to start one up please.

It seems quite sad that despite online sales increasing year on year, with exports from the UK increasing heavily, there appears to be very little done on a local area basis to help those prepared to put the hours in and make a success of online selling. Yes, there are a few webinars from government departments, but most webinars regarding online selling are usually from the selling platform providers or from third party software / service providers.

My idea of a perfect meetup would be:

Maximum of one hour travelling time.

Around 50 people in a similar situation to us, an SME looking to expand our horizons looking for help and advice. Learning from each others mistakes if needed.

Reps from the local depot of courier companies who would give advice and prices.

Reps from the major software suppliers to give advice and prices.

No boring "Our product / service is better than theirs" presentations. You can view them online.

Free beer, wine or soft drinks. Pushing it I know !

If anybody can meet the above, I am there.
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,637
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Local webretailers groups in the UK
23 Jul 2014

Bigian13 wrote:

Is there an "Online Chamber of Commerce" that we do not know about, or would Andy like to start one up please.
There are a few organisations around, but I don't think they quite fit what you are looking for:

  • IMRG, UK-based, but focussing on the big players www.imrg.org/
  • eCommerce Merchants - US-based, right kind of membership but doesn't feel very active www.ecmta.org/
  • PeSA - now Australia-based but also active in the US, again the right kind of membership but the focus just seems to be on the conference now www.gopesa.org/

  • What would you expect an "Online Chamber of Commerce" to do? Just local events or more than that?

    Bigian13 wrote:

    My idea of a perfect meetup would be....Free beer, wine or soft drinks. Pushing it I know !
    Ah, sounds good!

    In all seriousness, I am interested in doing more to help sellers connect, grow, talk etc. My current focus is getting this forum as active as possible, and it seems to be heading in the right direction.

    I can imagine in the future creating a local groups system and/or dedicated discussion boards, helping with promotion etc. That's the technical stuff that takes some work, but it's not a huge challenge. The really hard bit is getting (and keeping) the local groups active and enthusiastic - it would certainly take local organisers and a good-sized keen membership for each group.

    If someone popped up and said they had a small but motivated local group of sellers already meeting, and wanted some help to grow, contact suppliers etc, I'd be interested in doing that. If we can get just one successful group that would serve as a template to build out more of them.
    Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
    Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+

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