PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show Review

PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show Review

Time is precious and time is money. Attending a trade show needs to be worthwhile. There are plenty that are not worth the effort. So, is the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show worth the time and money?

I attended the shows to keep myself up-to-date on affiliate marketing, in particular to check out what was new, if anything. The other main reason was to gain a greater understanding about influencer marketing.

As soon as you walk in the friendly, yet professional atmosphere’s there, everywhere. Yes, it’s about showcasing, but you immediately feel like you are among like-minded professionals. There’s little ‘selling’, because the tech and services often speak for themselves.

What’s so special about the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show?

The quality of the attendees and the quality of the businesses presenting is definitely confirmation you are in the right place (as it should be). It may sound obvious, but I’ll say it anyway; this is a show whose focus is around performance and measuring that performance.

Marin Dome stage at PI Live & IMS Show

Marin Dome stage at PI LIVE & IMS Show

This is a huge differentiating factor to other shows as they can lose that type of focus…it’s very ROI-driven. As a self-confessed numbers guy, this excites me. This is one of the main reasons I’ve been two years in a row.

Other reasons to attend? It attracts serious digital specialists from all over Europe. You can have engaging conversations with people you wouldn’t normally encounter; digital professionals whose passion equals yours.

Also, it’s enjoyable. This may seem a moot-point to some, but it has a really good vibe. Full of positive energy, full of positive people who are happy to be there. It makes a huge difference when you compare it to other shows. I had to duck out before beer o’clock as I have a young family and wanted to be home for bedtime…but I was enjoying it and wanted to stay, which is rarely the case at shows.

 

Top tips for planning ahead

It was a busy Tuesday when I arrived at 9am as doors opened, queues are organised and moved swiftly but they may delay you getting to the first talk or session. So get there in good time.

I highly recommend you plan your day, especially for the talks. When I arrived the Kindred Theatre was on the 2nd floor and took longer than I would’ve liked to find. The case studies only had a certain number of allocated spaces, arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of schedule to secure your place. Sessions at the Main Stage and Marin Dome are going to be just fine as there’s plenty of overflow space.

What about the quality of the speakers?

There’s a variety of topics and plenty to fill up both days of the show. To that end if it’s possible, attend both days to ensure you soak up as much as you can. You may have to make some tough choices between which sessions to attend though.

As there are so many talks it would be a lengthy article to comment on all of them. The one that stood out for me was the first talk I attended: ‘The coming revolution of immersive internet and dominance of virtual influencers’. This was genuinely impressive innovation I had not seen before and un-questionably the future. Like it or not virtual influencers and artificial intelligence will be a major influence on our children and may already have significant influence on many of us. You could not fail to be impressed with how Dudley Nevill-Spencer presented what this future space is going to look like and what is (surprisingly) already in play.

The icing on the cake

Digital Disruptors Final at PI Live & IMS Show

Digital Disruptors Final at PI LIVE & IMS Show

For me the Digital Disruptors Final was the icing on the cake. This touches on a passion and a frustration of mine:

• The passion is engaging with the youth-of-today who have that digital and entrepreneurial mindset and enhancing it
• The frustration with why large corporates and their out-of-date recruitment processes who seem to struggle recruiting in the digital world. I’ve even written an article about it: 5 reasons why large corporate businesses struggle in the digital world

The aim of digital disruptors is to encourage young people to investigate the online space, empowering them think outside the box and about what is achievable. You don’t need degree to be work within the online ecosphere, and digital disruptors embraces this.

Will I attend the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show again next year?

YES. I found the Influencer Marketing aspect of the shows very strong. I wanted to spend more time being talked through demos. Often you don’t need to attend particular trade shows two/three years in a row, but with the technology moving so swiftly, missing the show means you may well miss the next early stage innovation.

…and some admin points

Lunch at PI Live & IMS Show

Lunch at PI LIVE & IMS Show

Dietary requirements – I have a bit of a snowflake diet these days (Dairy, Gluten, Egg, and Potato intolerances are just a few of the no-go foods), but this is not an issue here and plenty of choice even for me

On tap – Complimentary water, coffee and fruit is provided throughout the day and there’s plenty of it
Cloakroom – Complimentary
WiFi – Complimentary
Places to work while at the show – These are provided in The Nookery

How much does a website cost image?

How much does a Website cost? Brochure Site

How much does a Website cost?

Before we tell you how much a website costs we’re going to start with what a brochure website is first, just to add some clarity. A brochure website (loosely speaking) is a website that acts as a brochure and does not have a checkout. The reason for the definition is just to add some clarity on what we’re going to talk about later in this article.

….and before we get to the actual bit about the what a website should cost, we also need to clarify the standard you should look for. This is not to frustrate you (I know you just want to know the £ and you can just scroll down this page) but to guide you on what you can expect from a decent functioning website. It is important, because you don’t want to be plagued with issues later down the line or tied to an agency for eternity.

With this there’s some criteria you need to bear in mind…

Key Website Criteria you must not forget

 

  1. Do you need a website?

Obvious question perhaps, but do you actually need a website? There are platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which mean you do not need to go to the expense if you’re only a small business. For example, We would argue a one-person cleaning business, or a community coffee shop does not need a website. Set up Google business to run along you Facebook or/and Instagram page and your good to go.

Top Tip – For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) make sure you include the town if you’re a local business. i.e. watford-cleaners. You might be surprised how high you appear in the Google search results

 

  1. Is the Content Management System (CMS) important?

Oh yes, very important indeed. A Wix or Squarespace website will perform poorly in the search results compared to a WordPress or Magento website. Albeit a super easy CMS to set up. A Wix or Squarespace website is suitable for businesses that are not concerned about Search Engines and just need a very ‘basic presence’ online. If you’re serious about growing your business you will need to make sure you get the right CMS.

Top Tip – You can have the most beautifully designed website, but if no one can find it then what real use is it. Make sure you future proof your business’ web presence.

 

  1. Which CMS do I go for?

If you’re a brochure website, then WordPress is the default go to CMS and for very good reasons. There’s plenty of support from forums and plenty of web developers. It is free to use the open source platform and easy enough to set up if you have some patience. It is also a reasonably cost-effective solution.

Top Tip – whenever you get a quote for a website build ensure you ask what the agency/designer’s hourly rate is. You don’t want to get stung on high fees later

 

  1. What else is important when building a Website?

    • Content, Content, Content – you need to have great content and plenty of it. This is what Google crawls to see if your website is relevant. Make sure you don’t skimp on content
    • HTTPS – You must be secure, or search engines will punish you. So, ensure you are HTTPS secure. The ‘S’ stands for secure and gives your site a padlock. It also helps with your GDPR compliance as does a Cookie Policy
    • Google Set Ups – Setting up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Maps and Google Business are all free and will really boost your online presence
    • What action do you want your visitor to take? – Make sure you are driving your visitors to take an action and make it super easy for them. i.e. to call you, sign up for your newsletter, contact you by email
    • Testimonials – enhances your trust factor and conversion rate
    • Ownership – Make sure you own the website and have complete control over it. WordPress and most CMS make this easy. However, over engineered bespoke coded website’s that are not open source (such as WordPress) make you reliant on the developer. So, you need to think this solution through carefully

    This is obviously not an endless list, but will give you a good sense of areas you should consider.

     

    How much does a website cost?

    All our website quotes on the button below are based on a Bespoke WordPress Websites. This type of website future proofs you and offers you added security. The main cost to any website build is the number of pages you want, and the number of pages that need ‘designing’.

    CLICK HERE to view the How much does a Brochure website cost? PDF

     

    We also offer Content, SEO and Blogger training service as well. This is vital for your site to perform well in search engines like Google. Hence why the service is so popular.

The best e-commerce platforms for a web shop

Which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop? There’s a large choice of e-commerce platforms available, also known as Content Management Systems (CMS). So the choice can be vast. However, we always recommend to go with those platforms which are best supported by the online community and with plenty of talent available should you need support.

In this article we highlight the main contenders with the above in mind. Ensuring you’re future proofed and not tied in to a developer or agency that only operates on the CMS they’ve chosen for you.

Shopify

When it comes to which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop? Shopify is a great e-commerce platform for ‘start-ups’, and for a number of reasons which include;

  • Cost effective
  • Looks professional and very smart
  • It’s very easy to use, not just in setting up but also for processing orders and the day-to-day running of a website
  • Has a 24 hour support team and equally as important it has thriving community of independent developers

There are more plus sides than noted above, but these are the key for consideration. However, with all the plus sides there’s also the not-so-great aspect to, which are:

  • Shopify is not open source and as a result you don’t have complete freedom to do what you want. Ultimately, the site doesn’t truly belong to you
  • For products and main pages SEO is okay but you will have to deal with added terms being added to some URL’s, which limits some of your SEO
Sknhead London uses Shopify and looks awesome

Sknhead London uses Shopify and looks awesome

I almost always recommend Shopify for ‘start-ups’ because you can build out a really clean looking, easy to navigate online shop with ease. One thing that can make your shopify store look truly awesome – although you could say this of all stores – is beautiful imagery. So, it’s worth the effort and a little more spend to acquire some wonderful images.

It’s easy to use from a back-end point of view too. It will last you for quite a few years and you may never need to change CMS. In the future you may feel you need to move to another platform like WordPress or Magento.

Big Commerce

Now I have a confession, we mostly work with Shopify, which is Big Commerce’s direct competitor. There’s not much between them so I’ll not go in to too much detail here. Big Commerce is a another solid and easy to use platform, similar to Shopify and you can have more Staff Accounts.

Pricing is practically identical as are many other features. Big Commerce does not have a proposition to match Shopify’s cheapest offering ‘Shopify Lite’, but then if you’re serious about your e-commerce offering, you would not use Shopify Lite anyway – it’s actually too basic.

Design options, User Experience and Extensions on both platforms are very good and in equal measure. Shopify’s just been around longer and is used by online retailers, ‘considerably’ more often. These are the main reasons why we lean towards Shopify over Big Commerce, but you won’t go far wrong with Big Commerce. Ultimately, it comes down to a personal preference.

WordPress & Woo-Commerce

Woo-Commerce is WordPress' answer to the World of e-commerce

Woo-Commerce

WordPress, and of course Woo-Commerce, cover almost every scenario, present and future…and this is why we like it. Your practically future proofing your business. Unless you’re going truly Global with franchise stores then WordPress & Woo-Commerce more than have you covered. You could argue WordPress is better suited to businesses that are no longer start-ups, and are in the SME space.

This is because it will be more expensive to set up and a little more complex, but that’s the price you pay for future proofing your business. You should definitely choose a Bespoke solution. It will make your website more secure and less likely to crash or be hacked. Even more importantly you’ll spend less time and money on needing to update templates etc

Here’s some other good reasons to use WordPress:

  • Easy to use and navigate through the CMS
  • Arguably the best Search Engine Optimisable (SEO) CMS out there
  • Bespoke can mean both beautiful and unique designs
  • Has a 24 hour support team and equally as important it has thriving community of independent developers
  • Open Source and you own all the code

Here’s the downsides:

  • It will take more development time and therefore cost then the Shopify or Big Commerce solutions
  • If it’s not a bespoke design, then you will need to keep on top of updates

If you have a little more budget and you’re certain of success, then a bespoke WordPress & Woo-Commerce is an obvious choice.

Magento

Mothercare ecommerce store on Magento content management system

Mothercare ecommerce store on Magento

There’s nothing you can’t achieve with the Magento e-commerce platform. Especially from a customer perspective.

You can tailor product pages, even create service pages (offering a paid service). With the new (not-so-new) community version 2.0 it’s much improved on the older version. Magento is far more heavy weight then perhaps you need though, which is important to bear in mind. Global

franchise company’s like Mothercare use Magento providing their franchises with the correct CMS to use and all its plugins. Samsung, Nike, Harpers Bazar and Olympus are just a few other big hitters using Magento.

Magento was built for e-commerce and e-commerce is its raison d’etre. Fully equipped with a plethora of features where other CMS lack.

Here’s just some of the reasons to use Magento

  • Very customer focused
  • Fast load speeds and high performance, especially compared to the competition
  • Loads of plug-ins for almost every scenario you can imagine
  • If there’s not a plug-in you’ll be able to create customised extensions and work flows
  • Excellent for SEO
  • Multiple stores from one login/back-end making it easier to manage your content
  • It’s Open Source meaning you can modify it to your hearts content

And of course, the downsides:

  • You’ll need a developer, either in-house or via an agency. Naturally there’s costs involved in this
  • It can be clunky to use, not as simple as the other CMS mentioned earlier, but this is to be expected when it can achieve so much more than other CMS

Magento is good, very good. The main questions you need to ask yourself is do you ‘need’ all the bells and whistles a Magento e-commerce platform has to offer?

…and a note on which e-commerce platforms to avoid.

Many people will say Wix or Squarespace are amazing platforms, and in their own way they are. However, When considering which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop you want: your website to have the capability of an e-commerce store and the SEO potential for search engines, then they’re just aren’t going to cut it. By all means use them for a ‘brochure website’, but when it comes to e-commerce platforms you need a CMS with more guts.

 

HTTPS Warning Site Not Secure

HTTPS This Connection is Untrusted – Get me out of here!

HTTP websites are considered untrusted

HTTP websites are considered untrusted

HTTPS This Connection is Untrusted – Get me out of here! Have you seen this message before, worst still is your website displaying this message when visitors try to visit it? From a Brand reputation point of view this is extremely damaging. Not only that, your bounce rate will be through-the-roof, and it needs addressing as soon as possible. The good news is it’s easy to fix.

 

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS

This issue arises because the website you’re visiting (or your own website) is HTTP and not secure. The additional ‘S’ on HTTP stands for ‘secure’. You need to buy an SSL certificate and have your webmaster install it correctly. It shouldn’t take long for them to install it and an SSL is approximately £50 – £90.

 

Example for a HTTPS secured website

Reltonassociates.co.uk is a good example for a HTTPS secured website

 

How HTTPS effects your Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP)

Currently other websites will be deemed more secure and this is therefore reflected positively in SERPs over websites that are not deemed secure. Better SERP means greater organic visits and almost always a higher goal conversion rate.

But there’s more…from July 2018 Google and other search engines will punish you in the search results if you’re website is not secure. Until this time we can only speculate how harsh any punishment will be, but I would expect it would mean you may drop off the search results completely.

HTTPS and GDPR

The World Wide Web is vast and often unsecure. Sadly, data breaches are becoming far too regular. With the likes of even Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter falling foul. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) embraces ‘Security by Design’ and having the HTTPS padlock is one more step towards being GDPR compliant.

HTTPS Summary

Ultimately your website needs to be HTTPS. If you are visiting someone else’s website and it is showing as not secure, then you really should ‘get out of there’! Whatever you do, you shouldn’t click on ‘understand the risks’ and never don’t hand over any data on an unsecure website.

3D technology without glasses

3D Screen Technology without Glasses

3D Screen Technology without Glasses – Give yourself the Advantage

Imagine you’re at the World Trade show for your industry and trying to stand out from the crowd. How do you differentiate from all the other stands? How do you grab attention? How do you project your brand as Cutting Edge above your competitors? What do you have the other brands don’t have? We can provide the answer… 3D Screen Technology without Glasses.

Now your audience cannot pass without noticing your brand. It is quite literally ‘eye-catching’.

Imagine an action shot here in 3D

Imagine an action shot here in 3D – Give yourself the Advantage

About the 3D product of the future

Relton Associates has access to some very new technology that would suit Stand-out High End brands. We have the ability to show film in 3D, without the need for 3D glasses. The technology is in the Screens (mobile phones to big/multiple screens for concerts & shows), the Software that supports it and knowledge & expertise on how to use this technology to produce film. But it doesn’t end there, we have access to drones strong enough to pull a water skier through the waves, to silent running motorbikes to film the perfect smooth moving super car gliding round the mountain passes in 3D.

Where do we see this 3D Screen Technology?
Imagine being given a Coca-Cola in 3D

Imagine being given a Coca-Cola in 3D

We know this technology is sought after in the luxury car market, especially for World shows such as The Geneva International Motor Show or The Salon Privé Supercar Show.

There are other potential markets like; Concerts and Events, Corporate World Sports Events, Military hardware events/shows and Premium Marketing Agencies looking to acquire an advantage for their clients. All seeking to make a real impression on their desired Target Audience.

Relton Associates can give your brand this advantage. We will deliver from start to finish 3D technology and production without the need for glasses. Delivering storyboarding, scripting, shooting, editing, final cut, monitors & video walls, full installation with complete back up support to anywhere in the World.

However, each bespoke delivery is exactly that, completely bespoke. For example; you may wish your own producer/team to deliver the story boarding, script and to manage the production and just use the glasses free 3D technology with its professional team in support. We can make this happen and deliver the elements of expertise that you need. Allowing you to plug-in just what you require, complementing your team’s set up.

Amplify your brand image with Cutting Edge Technology

Gesturing to control 3D screen

Bespoke also means branded hardware in your desired livery, touch screen or even being able to influence what is shown on screen through ‘gesturing’. This amplifies and re-enforces your brands cutting edge up-to-date technological outlook. Adding even further value to the proposition of glasses free 3D technology in your hands.

Based in the Home Counties and London, delivering Globally. If you are looking for your Brand or a client’s brand to stand out from the crowd and make a truly eye-catching impression then get in touch immediately. Exclusivity is an option, subject to availability.

Relton Asscociates delivers Brand Awesomeness – Give yourself the Advantage.

Get in touch now, complete our contact form or call us on +44 (0)20 3745 2505.

Update  – The Evidence is Clear – 30% more Sales due to 3D tech

3D glasses free technology in action

3D glasses free technology in action

…And in addition to the above blog here’s an update. We now have some

conclusive evidence confirming 3D glasses free technology is making a significant impact. In Solna Business Park, Stockholm featured a wooden Chiquita branded stand selling bananas with a 3D Glasses Free auto-stereo screen.

After 6 months Chiquita reported an impressive increase in sales of 30%. This evidence supports the University of Tilberg’s research, partnered with Red Bull  who tested 3 scenarios in stores; no screen, a 2D screen and a Glasses Free 3D screen.

The research data confirmed customers on average looked at the 3D screen 3 seconds longer then the 2D screen, translating to 45% increase in attention and a 75% increase compared to no screen at all.

The real breakthrough for Red Bull was an increase in sales in petrol stations by another impressive 8.5%

3D technology without glasses

Imagine the future – 3D world seen with your own eyes

 

From Zero to e-commerce Hero case study

From Zero to e-commerce Hero case study

In a recent case study, ‘From Zero to e-commerce Hero’, Relton Associates highlights the e-commerce success of one of its top clients. Projected to comfortably achieve an impressive annual turnover of over £1m from just £11Kpa from it’s online web portfolio this year.

The case study walks you through how it was achieved and some of the strategy behind the success. It includes European expansion, Market Places like Amazon & eBay, and some innovative postal solutions to streamline internal warehouse processes.

Automation is another key contributor within the case study. Ensuring the web portfolio is efficient and free from human error as possible.

And….There was no large cash injection either. Find out more by reading the From Zero to e-commerce Hero case study here

Digital Recruitment for Corporates

5 Reasons why large corporate business struggle in digital world

5 Reasons why large corporate businesses struggle in the digital world The digital world is a funny old place that attracts a funny old bunch who enjoy working in it (and I include myself in that). Those funny people I would argue love playing, testing, creating and…failing, only to get up, brush themselves off and […]

Automation on Amazon with Net Despatch - a UK First

Automation on Amazon with Net Despatch (first for UK)

First in the UK for Amazon product despatch automation. In the next couple weeks we’ll be launching a first in the UK which will streamline the warehouse fulfilment process and save our client a lot of time.

With a new ‘plugin’ supplied by Net Despatch to our middleware, we’re able to automatically allocate postage to each order from pre-defined package rules (less chance of human error). This creates automated package labelling printed straight from the printer ready for Royal Mail to scan and send (includes Royal Mail’s QR codes and easily scannable labels).

Not only that, but it also automatically allocates tracking numbers to all orders, allowing you to mark all orders as ‘despatched’ en masse from the middleware dashboard. This process is applicable to all the client’s marketing channels. These marketing channels include; Amazon, Magento stores [x2 websites] and eBay.

Another big benefit is it gives ‘real time’ despatch information. If the order’s been cancelled we know immediately and can then manage our customer service far more accurately and with speed.

No more: multiple printing of labels, manual intervention, manually marking products as despatched, typing in addresses or inputing of tracking numbers. Now that has to be good news!

I have a very good feeling life’s about to change in the warehouse and they’ll wonder how they ever managed without it!