Brand vs eCommerce: The Debate - London

Tuesday 13th September 2016, 8:30am - 10:30am
One Aldwych Hotel, Aldwych, London

At our unique breakfast seminar series, a panel of industry experts will be debating how to effectively invest your time and money across your digital properties and ultimately get the most out of your current resources without becoming distracted by all the various technology components.

New technologies and tools are constantly being thrown at retailers and brands to both produce and measure business growth online, whilst making working practices more efficient. But these can actually become more of a distraction from the real challenge: building and maintaining a loved brand with a great eCommerce experience?

After much insight gathering, we have noticed a recurring issue that online retailers and brands alike are struggling with – the balance of focus between building a brand people love vs. consistently improving eCommerce revenues. If the balance isn’t found before too long, then consumer brands & retailers could easily compromise their brand image and be left with a disconnected customer base.


  • Howard Harrison – CEO and Co-Founder, Knomo
  • Noel Penzer – CEO, Digital, Time Out Group
  • Nadine Sharara – Former eCommerce & CRM Director, Moët Hennessy

You will notice that our lovely speakers are both practitioners and peers - people who are “doing the job”, just like you. They will suggest and discuss ways in which you can operate truly sustainably online, whilst encouraging audience participation by opening the discussion out to the floor, with Chatham house rules applying.

Who should attend?

  • Brand, eCommerce & Digital Directors
  • Head of eCommerce
  • Head of Digital
  • Chief Marketing Officers
  • Chief Digital Officers
  • Founders, CEO’s & Owners


8:15am - Registration

8:30am - Breakfast and Networking

9:00am - The Brand vs. eCommerce debate – How to perfect the online balancing act

  • Howard Harrison – CEO and Co Founder, Knomo
  • Noel Penzer – CEO, Digital, Time Out Group
  • Nadine Sharara – Former eCommerce & CRM Director, Moët Hennessy
  • Moderator: Jamie Hancox – Founder and CEO, Commerce Futures

Our panelists will be debating the urgent need to balance the focus on building and maintaining a brand, whilst maximizing eCommerce opportunities for growth. 

During this session we will cover:

  • Refocusing on the brand story and keeping your advocates loyal
  • How to run eCommerce in the evironment of a retailer with an optimum sized team
  • How best to leverage your technology with it becoming all-consuming

10:00am - Panel Session Wrap-up & Close

10:05am - ‘Meet the Panel’ and Networking

10:30am - Event Close


Howard Harrison

CEO & Co-Founder, Knomo

Howard has been an entrepreneur for the last 11 years. He co-founded Knomo ( in 2004. Knomo is a global brand of premium accessories for men and women with a mission to create beautiful and intelligent accessories that organise your everyday life. Knomo is a multichannel business sold into over 40 countries in more than 1,500 retailers including Harrods and Nordstrom. Over the last 2 years, the brand has been investing in developing its eCommerce capability with a plan to increase its direct-to-consumer business to more than 50% of its total business.

Howard comes from South Africa and lives in London. Prior to Knomo, he was a lawyer in South Africa and an Investment Banker in London, New York and Switzerland. He holds an MBA from Insead.

Noel Penzer

CEO, Digital, Time Out Group

Noel Penzer is the CEO of Time Out Digital. Time Out is a multi-platform media & eCommerce business with a global content distribution network and a presence in 107 cities & 39 countries. Noel joined the Group as Managing Director Europe in April 2015 from AOL where he oversaw all AOL properties in Europe, including Huffington Post and TechCrunch. Prior to working at AOL, Noel was Business Development Director at Warner Music EMEA, where he was part of the senior management team for the UK and EMEA, responsible for driving new revenues in both traditional and non-traditional areas of the business.

Nadine Sharara

Former eCommerce & CRM Director, Moët Hennessy

Nadine started her career in a marketing role at Ben Sherman in 2002, and has since risen to the upper echelons of multichannel retail. She has 14 years experience across a number of blue chip retailers working both client and supplier side. Nadine now specialises in helping brands maximise online and offline trading and customer opportunities through cross-channel integration.

Since 2011 Nadine has held positions within the LVMH Group, (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) the world’s largest luxury goods group. Most recently as eCommerce & CRM Director at Moët Hennessy, home of the world's finest luxury wines and spirits brands including Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Moët &Chandon, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Belvedere and Hennessy. Prior to this she was Head of eCommerce at shirt maker Thomas Pink where she quickly made a name for herself overseeing strategy, management and developing multichannel growth globally and delivering a greater level of cross-channel integration, including a single customer view.

Your Hosts

Tacit Knowledge

Tacit Knowledge, a Newgistics company, is the digital commerce consultancy that delivers Silicon Valley innovation to retailers around the world. Since 2002, Tacit engineers have worked with nearly every enterprise-class retail technology on the market, implementing packaged applications, building custom software and providing application support, web development, integration and content management for global multichannel retailers. Its flagship product, ncommerce, combines technology from the most trusted and innovative companies in retail technology to deliver a stable, modern, affordable and infinitely scalable platform that’s easy to deploy and manage so retailers can focus their energy on the art of retail. When combined with Newgistics’ fulfilment, parcel delivery and returns management solutions, ncommerce offers a truly end-to-end eCommerce solution, from device to doorstep.

Tacit Knowledge is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in London, New York, Sydney, Mexico and Moldova.

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SAP Hybris

Hybris software, an SAP company, helps businesses around the globe sell more goods, services and digital content through every touch point, channel and device. Hybris delivers Omni-channel commerce solutions: State-of-the-art master data management for commerce and unified commerce processes that give a business a single view of its customers, products and orders, and its customers a single view of the business. Hybris has helped some of the world¹s leading organizations including 3M, ASICS, Bridgestone, EE, Galeries Lafayette, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co, Nestlé, Nespresso, Nikon, Rexel, Samsung Electronics, Ted Baker, Tommy Bahama and W.W. Grainger, to attract, retain, and grow a profitable customer base. Hybris sits at the heart of SAP’s Customer Engagement and Commerce suite of solutions, alongside SAP® Cloud for Sales, SAP Cloud for Service, SAP Cloud for Marketing and SAP Cloud for Social Engagement providing the foundation, framework and business tools to create a holistic customer view across channels, simplify customer engagement and solve complex business problems.

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CyberSource is a payment management company and provides a complete portfolio of services that simplify and automate payment operations. Customers use our CyberSource and Authorize.Net brand solutions to process online payments, streamline fraud management, and simplify payment security. Born during the dawn of eCommerce in 1994, CyberSource was one of the pioneers in online payment and fraud management services for medium and large-sized merchants. In 2007, we acquired the leading U.S. small business payment services provider, Authorize.Net, thus expanding our market footprint to cover businesses ranging from the smallest sole proprietorships to the largest global brands. In 2010 CyberSource was acquired by, and operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa Inc. Today, over 400,000 businesses worldwide use CyberSource solutions. The company is headquartered in Foster City, California, with offices throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and the United States.

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The Sailthru Customer Retention Cloud helps modern marketers at leading retail and media companies build deeper, longer lasting relationships with their customers. Sailthru personalizes individual customer experiences across digital communication channels – in email, on a brand’s website and in their mobile applications. Sailthru powered 1:1 relationships with consumers help drive higher revenue, improve customer lifetime value and reduce churn for the world’s most innovative publishers, including The Economist, Business Insider, and Mashable, and the world's fastest growing ecommerce companies, including Rent The Runway, JustFab, and Alex and Ani. Founded in 2008, Sailthru is headquartered in NYC.

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Social Annex

Social Annex delivers a fully integrated advocate marketing and customer loyalty platform. A best-of-breed suite of products including Omnichannel Loyalty, User Generated Content, Visual Commerce, Login Services, Social Sharing and Referrals helps tackle even the most complex acquisition, conversion, and retention challenges. Our platform helps you take charge of your customer’s journey, turning browsers into buyers, buyers into loyal customers, and loyal customers into advocates for your brand.

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Q: Is there a fee for attending the Commerce Futures event?

A: Attending the event is free of charge. However, because we take great care in how we curate the audience, the event is invitation only and you must register in advance to attend. If you have not received an invitation but would like to attend, please register via the website and your place will be confirmed subject to approval.

Q: Can I bring a colleague?

A: Additional places will be subject to availability. Please ask your colleague to register via the website.

Q: Who else will be there?

A: Senior professionals in eCommerce, entrepreneurial brand owners, marketing leaders including directors of digital, brand, strategy and online.

Q: What is the address of the venue?

A: Rooms 1&2 at One Aldwych Hotel, London, WC2B 4BZ

Q: Is there a dress code for this event?

A: There is no formal dress code. Please come dressed in comfortable attire e.g. business casual. 

Q: Who is Commerce Futures?

A: Commerce Futures is an independent online community for retail leaders and Commerce professionals. We provide a round up of the latest news and information relating to the key challenges in Commerce today, as well as insights into future trends and technologies that are shaping the online retail landscape. And because we believe it's important to learn from our peers, the regular Commerce Futures event series brings in expert speakers from leading brands to share case studies and industry know-how. 

Since 2012, thousands of professionals have attended our events and engaged with our content. We survey them regularly to understand what problems they are wrestling with now and tailor content to help them solve those concerns.