eComOne Attend The IRX – Speaker Review

IRX Speaker Review for blog

Article Author
Carrianne Dukes

The eComOne team attended IRX at the NEC Birmingham on Wednesday the 13th and Thursday 14th of October. We exhibited, sat in talks and delivered our own Google Shopping workshop!

Our Google Shopping, Play Your Ads Right game went down a hit. We are even tempted to create it and commission it as a real game, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. We are a PPC and SEO agency after all. Only one person in the two days won the game, Chloe Thomas. Credit where credit is due, she knows her stuff! 


As a group, we watched five speakers from Gymshark to Innocent Drinks. The talks were insightful and engaging in their own right. Find out more about what each session covered below.  

Combining Luxury and Sustainability – Sach Kukadia – Secret Sales and REHAUS

Skye Tunks, Account Manager, attended this session and here is what she has to say. 

I listened to a really good talk by Sach which was a great talk about Gold, new eCommerce stores and business failures – trust me, it all adds up! 

Sach is the Co-Founder of Secret Sales and the brand Haus, however, his talk wasn’t really about this, it was focused on his new business venture 7879.co. One of the ever first websites to explore investing in gold rather than stocks and shares etc. The profit margins on gold are better than any share in a company (he claims) and the trend will never, ever end – as some stocks and shares might. 

He discussed how there’s not enough education in this country on topics such as gold and platinum and the money to be made. He found a gap in the market, spent 6 months researching the industry, put together a website which is launching in the next couple of days and now has 4 staff!

Powering Growth – Steve Hewitt – Gymshark

Phoebe Skinner, Project Manager and Carrianne Dukes, Marketing Manager, watched Steve’s talk. This is what they have to say.

The key to Gymshark’s growth is living by their values and listening to their customers. They use the art of storytelling to build a community and share why and how Gymshark became to be. They are laser-focused on the social native. 

Steve expressed the power and discipline needed to know when to say no. Gymshark.com is the only way his customers can purchase his brand. They don’t sell via stockists and have no plans to. He stressed the importance of building your brand first. Otherwise, you will be doing a lot of things average at best. 

steve hewitt gymshark irx

He shared an empowering video of Gymshark and his vision. You can tell Steve lives by Gymshark’s values and that’s empowering to hear and see, even as an outsider. Remember, if you have an ego, leave it at the door. 

The Grenade Story: Building a Successful Brand Across All Channels – Alan Barratt – Grenade

Phoebe Skinner, Project Manager and Sarah Myatt, Digital Marketing Executive watched Alan Barrat’s interview about Grenade

grenade irx

Grenade sells protein shakes, cereal bars and merch. Their focus is on people who love fitness and want to build strength. They sell their products in global retailers and airports.

In late 2019 they replatformed their website and now 25% of their sales come from their online website. Amazingly, they have a number one selling item on Amazon in the UK.   

Building Communities and Social Channels That Create the Digital Experience – John Thornton – Innocent Drinks

Wow. Arguably the funniest talk Carrianne and Skye have ever seen. You can see why Innocent Drinks are renowned for their quick, witty, often sarcastic tweets when John Thornton is at the helm of the “Tweet” button.

irx innocent drinks

He shared the importance of why people go on social media and the three categories your content needs to fit into to add value to the customer. 

  1. Humour. 
  2. Inform. 
  3. Inspire

Nobody likes Ads. So, he could write tweets about why you should buy smoothies or he could send out a tweet that could kill the world by getting them to eat conquers. You know, they both serve a purpose, but the second one got him a 215% ROI. Surprisingly. 

He writes 98% off his content 2 minutes before publishing it and he responds to every engagement. Making sure he portrays the personality of the brand and uses their cheeky tone of voice throughout. 

Oh and he really doesn’t like grapes. 

Real Talk: Lessons in Successfully Scaling up an Online Brand – James and James

Sophie Penny, Digital Marketing Executive, attended this inspiring talk. eCommerce fulfilment services James and James gave a talk on ‘lessons in successfully scaling up an online brand’. James Hyde introduced one of his clients, Rob Forkan, founder of Gandy’s. Gandy’s is a travel-inspired fashion brand. Rob told his story of tragedy and success. After losing both his parents in the 2004 tsunami and becoming orphaned, he and his brother created the brand in their parent’s memory, dedicated to doing good by building kids campuses and giving back to other underprivileged children around the world. 

Beginning in their bedrooms, the brothers began their marketing by handing out flyers at Brixton station. They then began selling wholesale to big brands like Selfridges and Liberty and soon faced struggles as the business grew. Rob stated his biggest struggle in scaling was putting the right team in place, with the right logistics. Whilst the brothers shared the vision, they needed the people around them to help them put it into action. 

Partnering with fulfilment service experts James and James allowed the brothers to grow the business further as they can put their time into branding and telling the story. Whilst branding and storytelling is key to enticing customers, creating a seamless customer experience is paramount. Outsourcing fulfilment services can help create a brilliant experience for your customers.

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