With more than 120 exhibitors and up to 4,000 expected attendees, the inaugural eCommerce Show North is poised to be the largest-ever gathering of e-commerce companies, vendors and suppliers held outside London when it takes place Oct. 11-12 at EventCity in Manchester.
Here, director Martyn Collins explains why it’s high time England’s north-west had its own expo.
xSellco: Why did you decide to launch a new e-commerce trade show in Manchester?
Martyn: Manchester—and the north-west of England in general—is known as the UK’s capital of e-commerce because there are so many online businesses here, including Boohoo.com, PrettyLittleThing, Missguided, Sports Direct and JD.com.
In fact, eBay did some research in 2015 and found that Manchester had a greater concentration of online businesses than anywhere else in the UK, followed by Lancashire and West Yorkshire. London was No. 26 on the list.
xSellco: What makes the north such an attractive place to do business?
Martyn: With e-commerce, it doesn’t matter where you’re located because everything you’re doing is online, and the most successful e-commerce businesses are the ones that keep their costs low. In the north, rents are cheaper, wages are a little bit less, transport is just as effective, warehousing is cheaper, there’s more land, there’s a better quality of life. There are more compelling reasons to have an online business in the north than anywhere else in the country.
xSellco: What can online businesses expect to gain from attending eCommerce Show North?
Martyn: We want to offer a platform that recognizes the value of this sector but, more importantly, we want to offer a platform that’s a networking point, where the sector can come together at least once a year, hear from industry leaders, learn about the successes and the failures of online businesses and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
At the moment about 100 companies have signed up to exhibit, including xSellco, UK Fast, Microsoft, Oracle, WorldFirst and Payoneer. We’ve also got a range of speakers from some of the biggest brands in the north: David Lawson, managing director of AO Retail UK; Missguided’s head of commerce, Mark Leach; and David Pert, head of e-commerce at DW Sports, to name just three.
xSellco: Why might an online seller choose to attend this show over one that’s happening in London?
Martyn: Not every business that’s based in the north wants to travel down to London to attend an exhibition. As we see from the research, the power base for e-commerce is not in London, it’s in the north, so it makes sense to offer something locally.
Not to mention, we’ve got a different narrative. For example, eCommerce Expo in London is quite technical, they talk about the science of e-commerce and they have a lot of quite complex, detailed subjects that they’re covering. We’re offering an element of that but we’re also concentrating on real people and real stories of how they made a success of their business. It’s a bit more human.
Attending eCommerce Show North? Here’s the full list of speakers and exhibitors. Be sure to stop by stand 116 and speak to our partnership manager, Aruna Anand, to learn more about how xSellco can help grow your business.