Editor's Comment

Keeping multichannel strategies on track: M&S and Burberry

railway track picIn today’s Internet Retailing newsletter we have the latest news from retailers including Marks & Spencer and Burberry. The story from both is a reminder that multichannel takes time. For while profits may dip in the short-term, it’s important to keep on investing in the long-term.

It’s that kind of approach that has taken Burberry to its dominance in social media – it now has 15m Facebook followers – and Marks & Spencer to the point where it is taking important steps to focus both its supply chain and its stores on its multichannel ambitions. Such investment costs and takes away from the bottom line, but, as our story on this week’s shop vacancy rates suggest, the future is as much online for high street businesses as for their etailing rivals.

In today’s newsletter we also report on Amazon’s new-found place as the world’s most valuable retail brand, according to a new study, and on Interflora’s keyword-related court victory. We have an extra guest comment this week, which comes from Francis Wallinger of Alchemetrics and considers the importance of Big Data for retailers.

Remember that tickets for the Internet Retailing Awards (more info here) are now available to book. We’ll be bringing the shortlist of award winners to you later this week, so keep watching the site for news.

And a reminder too that it’s catch up time for anyone who missed that vital briefing at Internet Retailing Expo (2013). Presentations and panels from the across the six conferences of the event, the workshops and Innovation TV Studio are now available to view online at InternetRetailingExpo.com.

Jumpstart events

Internet Retailing’s signature JumpStart events offer a chance for retailers to get quickly up to speed on the latest developments in a given area, hearing directly from expert suppliers and identifying and presenting the key questions retailers need to ask when procuring their own systems. Each full-morning event is held in Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London and retailers can register to attend for free here.

On May 29, International and cross border trade is under examination. UK companies are seeing significant growth from trading internationally (outside the EU) and cross border (within the EU) and it’s never been easier to extend your online trading. Presenters at the Jumpstart will highlight the areas of concern, the pitfalls to avoid, as well as new opportunities in an event that will feature leading vendors in areas from multilingual to localisation, from payments to local customs and from logistics to usability.Find out more and register to attend here.

Cross-channel is the subject for the JumpStart event of June 5, where the focus will be on the customer, how they use as many touch points and channels as we’re willing and able to offer and how we combine behavioural data with service values, technology, people and process to deliver for them. Delegates will take away ideas, examples and case studies to extend selling activities beyond the web interface. Find out more and register to attend here.

The customer experience is in focus for the event of June 19, when we’ll be looking at how to provide an enhanced customer experience, not only optimising each channel but also considering how to bridge the experience over time and across channels. Topics will include interaction design, service planning, testing and customer service, delivery and logistics, and extend to how best practice analytics and behavioural tracking can help us towards that elusive ‘single view of the customer’ in order to sell more effectively. Find out more and register to attend here.

Today’s stories

Multichannel sales up but M&S profits falter

Burberry reports record digital engagement online and off, as it reveals full-year figures

Interflora wins five-year legal battle on keywords in the high court

GUEST COMMENT We all have data but how should you use it?

Amazon tops world’s most valuable retail brands, while Tesco comes fifth: study

High street shops must differentiate to survive, say experts as shop vacancy rates rise