April showers will hopefully bring May flowers, but if the cold snap we saw in March continues I’m not so sure. We like many of you have been hibernating through the polar vortex and so the team here at VL thought that we would recap some of the interesting stuff that we’ve been up to in March as well as some of the interesting stuff surrounding e-commerce, integration and data that we found on the web during the month.
From the VL Blog
March was a busy month for us here at VL. We began our hectic tradeshow schedule by attending Canada’s largest e-commerce, digital marketing and retailing conference Dx3 Canada right here in Toronto. This year was the second year in a row that we exhibited at Dx3 and once again it was a really valuable experience. Once again we were able to highlight some great partnerships including our partnership with Maps BI who took the time to come down for the conference and work the booth with us as well as our partnership with Canada Post which was established at Dx3 in 2013. This year’s conference was full of great conversations and opportunities to talk about how integration can help e-commerce store owners, agencies and digital professionals move beyond manual processes or point to point plugins.
This year had a bit of a different feel to in than last year. Every member of our team as well as the team from Maps BI had a moment over the two days where we said to one another “people get it, they are starting to understand the need for these kinds of technologies, they are actually getting the value of integration.” This could not be further demonstrated then by the keynote delivered by Duncan Fulton of Canadian Tire about the importance of integration. Read more about his keynote in our 2014 recap.
One of the hottest topics that people asked about at Dx3 was marketing automation and how integration and marketing automation can work together to improve lead nurturing and combat shopping cart abandonment. This month’s instalment of Charting Tuesday looks at the most wanted features in a marketing automation platform and how the top features can be improved by incorporating integration. Take a look at the chart and find out how integration can help improve the listed features here.
In March, we also attended the FABTECH show, also in Toronto. FABTECH is the annual manfacturing show and this year’s event was awesome. Besides looking at some amazingly cool manufacturing technology we hung out with our MRP partner Industrios who was exhibiting and it was also great to see some of our customers also exhibiting.
One of the coolest displays was ABB’s hockey playing robot. Check out the pic below. Watch the video after that here.
From the Web
In March there were some really interesting articles that came our way.
Is the Big Box dead ? Well we think so except for very specific situations. It was nice to see Supply Chain Executive publish an article titled Has Day of Reckoning Come for Big-Box Stores? We agree that a tsunami is well underway. This article is also hard on the heels of one they published earlier titled E-Commerce Boom Hurts Brick-and-Mortar Retailers E-commerce has become a mainstay of VL’s business both in the vendor drop ship model used by retailers but also in the B2C world. Fedex’s CEO also Fred Smith also took aim at e-commerce vendors about bad data and packaging. Bad address data often reflects two things. The first is limited integration and secondly no address validation process.
The hybrid cloud got traction in March with our partner Industrios publishing a really good blog article on why the hybrid cloud makes so much sense when looking at the ERP use case. Microsoft also published a study done by 451 Research on cloud adoption. You can read the report here.
Econsultancy published a great article on integration being the major tech barrier to online business growth. We can’t agree more with the conclusion that “The integration of an e-commerce platform with other areas of a business can often save time and money, as well as improving business performance. For many organisations operating in the world of e-commerce, integration isn’t a nice-to-have, it is actually a ‘hygiene factor’.”
So if you are looking for an integrator with experience we have you covered. Check out our ever growing list of connectors. At the end of March we had build 45 integration connectors. Check them out here.
Finally, VL was profiled in a National Post article on March 31st. As a partner of MapsBI we were thrilled to be included.
Maps BI’s spinoff, strategic partnership was best route for growth