Webiz is probably the most consistently well-attended event around internet business in Serbia and we’ve been supporting it at Netokracija for years now. Which is why when Webiz’s Vladimir Kovač asked me to moderate the Ecommerce track as well as do a talk on the topic, I couldn’t say no. After all, only weeks had passed since Netokracija’s own OMGcommerce conference and I had a lot to say about what needed to change about ecommerce in Southeastern Europe.
What Does E-commerce Have To Do With The Serbian ‘Alps’?
Webiz Edukacije or ‘Webiz Education’ series is a – you guessed it – series of educational presentations that took place in Zlatibor, an important tourist area of Serbia, honestly, I’ve not heard about before. Not well known in Croatia which was made obvious by our car’s plates being the only non-Serbian ones, Zlatibor is actually known for its hiking trails and has a cool alpine climate. If you like hills, you’ll love Zlatibor, although keep in mind that the town is a couple of hours drive from either the Croatian border or Belgrade.
The module on E-commerce featured three speakers: TakoLakoShop’s Marko Ilić, Planeta Sport’s Zoran Bošković and myself. While Zoran Bošković talked about his company’s experience in switching from a regular retail to a multichannel approach in selling sport’s gear, Ilić defined the landscape of e-commerce in Serbia based on his vast experience. Ilić, for all intens purposes, is one of Serbia’s e-commerce experts, having established Serbia’s first ‘click and mortar’ web shop E-Dućan, while later launching the NonStopShop e-commerce brand for publishing giant RingierAxelSpringer.
It was down to me to give a regional perspective on what has changed in the regional e-commerce scene. Thankfully, the great sessions of OMGcommerce gave me lots of material, including: the move from pure players to enter the ‘offline’ retail space, launch of Agrokor’s Abrakadabra brand as an Amazon-like regional webshop as well as using drones in the delivery of goods. In the end, it gave a good overview for participants before both Marko and Zoran’s detailed talks, as well as a discussion with participants on what was most important in their shift to selling online.