Savant eCommerce London Advisory Board 2018

Meet our Mediocracy-Fighting E-commerce Experts


We all know them… those overly retargeted adverts that are trying desperately to drive us to buy those shoes we already bought… three months ago. Or those websites that are about as optimised for mobile as pugs are for running marathons. Mediocre e-commerce is no one’s cup of tea, so we put together an elite team of e-commerce experts to help us inspire you to make your e-commerce practices extraordinary!

The Savant Advisory Board has helped us put together a two day programme packed with information that you and fellow senior e-commerce professionals are most eager to learn about, be inspired by, and to share best practices on. They have guided us in ensuring the Savant eCommerce 2018 conference is relevant and valuable for you – so that you can leave with actionable insights and inspiration to take back to your teams and begin implementing straight off the block!

So, without further adieu, we are thrilled to introduce you to the Savant Advisory Board London 2018!

Gracia Amico, Non-executive Director, Ruroc


Gracia is an e-commerce specialist with 18 years of experience under her belt. From being the ecommerce marketing manager at Burberry in 2007, to being CEO of Pets Pyjamas in 2017, Gracia has a wealth of expertise from the fashion, luxury, and petcare industries. Gracia is currently a non-executive director at Ruroc and a board advisor at Bounce X. Gracia will be joining us at Savant eCommerce London to host an executive panel discussion on how retailers can use data-based insights to enhance the customer experience online.

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning– Winston Churchill

Nupur Manchanda, CX Evangelist & Former COO, Practicology


Nupur is the former Chief Operating Officer at Practicology and has more than 20 years of experience that has now positioned Nupur as a CX Evangelist. Her particular areas of focus cover omnichannel strategy, organisational change and any project with a strong focus on delivering customer experience. Nupur will be hosting an expert discussion at the Savant eCommerce London on how retailers can combat the convenience agenda driven by the likes of Amazon through leveraging customer experience.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison

Sayed Gaffar, digital & e-commerce director, Velcro


Sayed has over 20 years of international experience garnered from working in various geographies and functions ranging from Information Technology, Customer Services, Supply Chain & Logistics, Marketing, and eCommerce. He has a passion for using technology in solving business challenges and improving the customer experience. He has worked with and consulted various multinational and local businesses including Mothercare, DHL Express, Toyota, Ford Motor Company, HSBC, Arcapita Finance House, General Motors, the Dubai Customs Authority to name a few. Sayed will be sharing his advice on how retailers can leverage international expansion to combat the perfect storm UK retail is currently weathering.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” –Lao Tzu

Sean McKee, e-commerce and CX Director, Schuh


Sean is an experienced retailer who progressed through a range of operations roles including store, regional and divisional management at Schuh, before getting into Ecommerce in 2010.A long-time advocate of integrating bricks and clicks in the pursuit of an optimum retail experience, in his current role he has, among other things, delivered on growth, mobile optimisation and a clear-sighted cross-channel proposition. He is passionate about offering real convenience to an increasingly sophisticated, demanding and tech-enabled customer. He recently took some study time out to sharpen his pencil at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and on 7th November he will be helping us sharpen ours in his fireside chat on redefining the economics of e-commerce.

“Sales are vanity, profit is sanity” – Colin Temple

Advice on overcoming UK retail’s challenges


Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

To give you a taster as to the types of topics you can expect to hear about at Savant eCommerce London, we asked our team of experts what they think the biggest challenge in UK retail today is, and what retailers should do to combat that challenge:

According to Sean, in the difficult market and uncertain environment in the UK, maintaining profitability when discounting is so high is a key challenge. Competitor discounting puts very strong downwards pressure on profit margins and now that discounting is almost the new normal, growing profitability in this environment is a real challenge. To tackle this, Sean believes you need to know exactly what the key levers to pull in your business are and know what battles to pick in this difficult environment. He recommends understanding the business you are in, understanding what profitability looks like, and understanding the drivers of that profitability. From there, you can work out the most appropriate solution to this challenge that fits within your company’s unique parameters.

Sayed believes that retailers are trying to understand how to engage with customers in a better way and stand out from all the noise in the market-place. This leads them into trying to do too many things and chasing the next shiny solution that is available or just trying to replicate what everyone else is doing. To avoid getting stuck in this cycle, Sayed recommends that retailers need to stay true to what their brand stands for, as this is what their customers’ are loyal to. They need to use customer insights to better articulate a proposition that is keeping in line with the brand ethos and values. They need to communicate with customers on both the logical and emotional levels and this can be done by effectively using the information retailers have at hand to craft the right communication and use the appropriate channels. However, this is only possible if the retailer has meaningful customer data being captured.

For Nupur, the biggest challenge is not specific to one channel or another. It’s about staying relevant to your consumer in a highly competitive environment. Too many established retail brands are struggling to differentiate their brand, product and proposition in a way that is relevant and rewarding to customers. To combat this, retailers need to innovate. They need to invest in innovation. Keep investing in doing new things, and doing things differently and ensure it is informed by customer insight. Whether it’s the range, service, store, or fulfilment. When trading is tough, a short-term operational mindset tends to take over, which is an excellent way for brands to lose their relevance.

For Gracia, businesses are not fast enough in understanding and adapting to new customers’ behaviours. There is too much thinking in silos (ecommerce being one of these silos) and we are forgetting to stand back and observe what’s really going on with the customer. Gracia believes retailers need to start thinking outside the parameters of retail as we know them and become more creative in how we can best serve the (potential) customer. Ensuring we are communicating to a potential customer with the right and relevant messages in real time has to be a part of the fundamentals. To address this, businesses require vision and knowledge from the top. It’s essential that the new digital retail expert has a holistic retail remit and is represented at the board to support the CEO as a true ally.

If you’d like to get the chance to meet with and learn more from these fantastic four, then join us at the Savant eCommerce conference in London on 6 & 7 November! You can find the full agenda, list of speakers, and information on how to book your ticket here .


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