At Marigold Engage by Sailthru, the idea for a monthly Sailthru E-Commerce Meetup was established on giving e-commerce technology business leaders and digital marketing ninjas a venue to simply connect with one another. The sharing of failures, successes, strategy tactics and everything in between about business challenges defines an opportunity to grow for everyone involved.

We piloted the Meetup earlier this year and saw a great turnout with guest speakers William Peng (Partner at Red Swan Ventures) and Paul Hurley (Founder of Ideeli). Last week we hosted the second installment of the Meetup, and were proud to have CEOs speak from Stylitics, TrackMaven and Clientela (HyphenLab) who all shared incredible stories about their respective businesses and how e-commerce brands should be integrating technology for continued growth and success in 2014 and beyond.

Here are a few highlights:

1) Omnichannel clienteling is benefitting luxury retail staffers as much as it’s benefitting consumers and the brands themselves. Leading luxury brands have seen as much as 27% lifts in annual revenue as a result of clienteling. – Lorenzo Benazzo, CEO of Clientela (HyphenLab)

2) Brand loyalty in fashion isn’t what retailers think it is. While most retailers believe that consumers are loyal to 8-10 brands, the reality is that if you’re not in the top 5 favorite brands, you’re most likely fighting for “closetshare.” Our data shows that most customers are very loyal to 1 or 2 brands, but beyond that there’s a sharp decline. Even if you’re in the top 5, you may still only just 4% of her closet. – Rohan Deuskar, CEO of Stylitics

3) By analyzing 1.2 million blog posts, and all the social shares for the blog posts (over 2 billion social shares), it has become clear that weekends are a tremendous missed opportunity for most brands. The engagement curve for customers and consumers is massive during weekend hours, so every brand should be scheduling posts to appear in feeds all weekend long. – Allen Gannett, CEO of TrackMaven

Telling these stories and opening a dialog will make tackling today’s e-commerce tidal wave less formidable for all of those involved in the group. Equally as important, the Meetup gives access to a team of marketers, individuals from other departments, and to the vision and expertise of both established and emerging leaders in the field. It’s this second benefit that has us thinking that Meetups have value at all levels in the professional food chain. Meetups encourage and challenge everyone to think big and speak up…which also happen to be two of Sailthru’s core cultural components.

Consumer response, the influx of technology, the psychology of customer behaviors and many other factors have driven businesses to respond to the micro (customer service) and the macro (strategy pivots) faster than ever. So how do you build a culture that can quickly make smart decisions and direct at all levels? The solution, in part, is bringing together transformative leaders who have the itch to do more with data and technology. The brands that get it and are actively preparing for the e-commerce tidal wave are the brands that are winning today, and will triumph tomorrow.

If you’re a leader of an e-commerce service provider or company and are interested in our Meetup, let us know. If you’re inspired by our story, we challenge you to start your own Meetup (and to invite us to attend!).