Web Summit 2021: Takeaways and topics to dwell on

The annual Web Summit is one of the biggest and boldest technology conferences in the world. It brings together groundbreaking startups, Fortune 500 companies and splendid speakers to (re)define the global tech industry.

This year was no exception. With 40.000+ people, 700+ speakers, and topics ranging from Facebook’s metaverse to Black Lives Matter and sustainability, the conference yet again led the way in putting important headlines on the tech agenda.  

As our Technology Director, Peter Sølling, happens to be working remotely from Lisbon these weeks, it was only natural to ask him to be our boots on the ground during this year’s three-day conference in Portugal.

We’ve collected his key takeaways below: 

Much in line with what we’re experiencing internally in IMPACT, this year’s conference put a significant focus on sustainability, flexibility and diversity. The pandemic has forced us all to take a few extra-deep breaths, reevaluate our goals, and ensure that our company values reflect what we truly value. We see a lot of companies acting on fundamental societal questions like the ones above these years, and the conference was a perfect mirror to that

Peter Sølling, Director, Technology, IMPACT

Peter Sølling participated in Web Summit 2021

Four technology speaks made it to the list of takeaways:


The future of checkouts

Domm Holland from Fast, the world’s fastest online login and checkout platform, discussed the future of checkouts and shared his vision for it: Fast, frictionless, headless checkouts that go far beyond the merchant’s own website.

With retailers starting to make the most of their revenues online (much due to the pandemic), streamlining the digital shopping experience, especially the payment and checkout process, becomes crucial.

In Fast’s view, revolutionising customer payment and online checkouts will translate to decreasing cart abandonment rates and increasing conversion rates, ultimately fueling e-commerce growth.


Scaling in a post-pandemic world

Sachin Dev Duggal from Builder.ai, a leading no-code software development platform, took on the stage to talk about how to scale technology, people and culture in a post-pandemic world.

As businesses look towards growth, they need to do more than just react and adapt; they need to rethink how they operate and what’s important to them while creating a healthy mix of whys, hows and whats.


The hidden power of live e-commerce

Dragorad Knezi from Eyezon, a human-centric live video sales tool, caught the audience’s attention with his take on the hidden power of live e-commerce.

In today’s digitalised world, unique customer experiences are often replaced by unified and uberised e-commerce experiences, and while automation, big data, and AI help transform businesses digitally, it might also turn valuable brands into pawns of fast-growing marketplaces and social media platforms.

With Eyezon’s video platform, Dragorad demonstrated how the live commerce tool can foster sustainable and independent relationships with customers and de-uberise relationships with IT giants.


We all need to talk less to Alexa

Lastly, Tom Taylor, SVP of Amazon, made a surprising entrance, stating that we all need to talk less to Amazon’s AI voice assistant, Alexa. Why? Because Amazon is working on a future version that’ll be able to anticipate what we want – when we want it – based on more advanced AI, rendering interactions with Alexa superfluous.

Instead of having to make a request, AI will automatically turn off the lights before bed and adjust the thermostat when we’re away. In Tom Taylor’s words, “that means you’ll reach for your phone a little less and talk to Alexa less”, giving us time to do more of what we really want. 

When looking at it from a convenience perspective, there’s little doubt that a more foreseeing Alexa will be able to make our everyday lives easier. The question is whether we’re okay with AI doing the decision-making for us?