When you think of careers in Los Angeles, you think movie and television production and the music business. Have you ever thought about e-commerce? With over $5 trillion in funding and over 700 new and established eCommerce brands, Los Angeles has become the epicenter of this ever-evolving frontier.
The more you think about it, the more it makes sense. LA is host to the right combination of consumer goods production, unparalleled marketing talent, and logistics to enable rapid and sustainable growth. In LA, you have access to so many creative people, including many who have worked in the entertainment industry before and will therefore think more out-of-the-box than a traditional product marketer or designer, in addition to a seemingly endless pool of talented copywriters, creative directors, and web designers.
In the past few years, we’ve seen Unilever-owned Dollar Shave Club, the $100 million Foot Locker investment GOAT, vitamin notable Ritual, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, and Adobe-acquired eCommerce platform Magento get off the ground in LA. Access to celebrities is much easier, which explains how we’ve seen BeachMint design apparel lines in partnership with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and TechStyle Fashion Group launch Fabletics with Kate Hudson. Now, LA startups have an increasing availability of venture capital funding, and, in turn, more and more entrepreneurs from tech-saturated cities like San Francisco and New York City are moving to the promised land of e-commerce.
Being surrounded by all of this e-commerce success was part of why when Erik Huberman founded his full-service marketing consultancy, Hawke Media, in 2014, he wanted to make sure that we honed in on working with e-commerce companies, especially ones that were hyper-local to our headquarters in West LA. Since the start of Hawke Media, our company has worked with over 1500 brands, and many of these brands are e-commerce-focused. Six years later, we’re ready to celebrate the progress not only that Hawke has made but also that LA has made as a city of e-commerce, all the while sparking its further and continued growth.
The Birth of a Celebration
It all started last year, right before our annual anti-conference, Hawkefest. We wanted to create an event-before-the-main-event, if you will, and creating a week to celebrate the e-commerce mecca LA has become just seemed like the right fit, especially since we’re a company that primarily works with e-commerce clients and we began to notice that it was also a huge part of the LA business marketplace. To top it off, many of our speakers and guests at Hawkefest were successful entrepreneurs in the e-commerce space, so it ended up being the perfect way to cap off the week.
That was that. We grabbed our friends over at the City of LA and the Mayor’s office, and we inked the deal, officially making the first week of October eCommerce Week in LA.
So What Exactly Is E-Commerce Week?
Due to the global pandemic, there’s going to be no major, in-person event like Hawkefest this year at Hawke Media, but it is the first real year we’ve created an entire week of programming around LA’s newest industry. Last year was just the kickoff announcement, and this year, we get to take it to a whole new level and make it worthwhile for the next ten years down the road. We created a week from Sep. 28 to Oct. 2 that will share ideas from some of the best on how to grow e-commerce brands, create a community where we help each other succeed, and entertain you every day.
Although we focused on the LA e-commerce community, the week was meant to include participants from all over the world. Due to the global pandemic and in the spirit of e-commerce, all of the programs were held online, so anyone could participate in them.
Why E-Commerce Matters Right Now
According to data from eMarketer, since 2017, eCommerce growth rates have been greater than 20 percent year-over-year. Online retail has been really taking off for a few years now, but with the pandemic, Stackline data highlights new areas of e-commerce growth in sectors like home gym equipment, computer monitors, office desks, and even crafting kits. Now, in today’s current climate, Adobe Analytics data shows that e-commerce is ruling consumerism, with a 76 percent increase in June 2020 compared to June 2019.
What You Can Expect From the Week
Besides it being our very first year of programming, one of the main reasons that e-commerce Week LA was extra important this year was because we wanted entrepreneurs who have had success in e-commerce to speak to business owners who may be having challenges shifting their strategies to online during the pandemic. We wanted to load up our attendees from all over the world with tips from the best and brightest in LA, which is why we partnered up with FabFitFun, Genies, Laugh Lounge, MeUndies, Srve, Tamara Mellon, The Bouqs, and more.
E-commerce Week ran all day every day, and attendees participated in events like an underwear design competition with MeUndies, a floral design workshop with The Bouqs, a pitching hour where they were able to pitch to investors, a FabFitFun competition in which the winner’s product will be featured in their subscription boxes, masterclasses with well-known CEOs and entrepreneurs, and storytelling workshops. There was a different theme each day, and we heard from e-commerce pros such as Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of FabFitFun Katie Echevarria Rosen Kitchens, Co-Founder and CEO of Tamara Mellon Jill Layfield, and the man behind “the best account to follow on LinkedIn,” Taylor Offer.
By now, we’re over the typical Zoom conferences, with back-to-back panels of talking heads on a screen, and we designed this week not to look back on the conferences of May but rather to jump ahead to the future—of e-commerce, the way businesses operate, and the way we bring products and services to our consumers. Check out the eCommerce Week website for the full week’s lineup, and, if you missed it, follow @hawkemedia on social for updates on when you’ll be able to watch the sessions on YouTube.
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