Editor's Comment

Growth at a time of slowing sales? Strategies from IRUK Top500 retailers

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as online – and retail – sales slow in February. While online sales grew by 8% in February, the three-month average is now at 7.7%, suggesting a slowdown in growth in the sector. That may well mean that retailers must work harder for the sales that they do make, whether they are online or in stores.

Today we have the stories of three retailers that are doing just that – and reporting rising sales. Just Eat is focusing on innovative technology that improves the customer experience, while John Lewis is investing £4m in mobile in-store technology, and Dreams, which saw ecommerce sales rise by 34% in its latest full-year figures, is planning a new format digital store.

Alternative ways of investing in retail is a theme for Glenn Shoosmith of BookingBug, the author of today’s guest comment. He argues that Amazon, with its Amazon Go store, is looking at only one vision of the future of shopping.

Today’s preview of IRX 2017 focuses on what’s new at this year’s event, and we also have news from the InternetRetailing research team, with the latest Brand Sentiment Tracker.

Webinars
On March 16, Pitney Bowes’ senior vice president, consumer and merchant solutions Jonathan Kapplow will be looking at practical approaches to selling via the global marketplaces that are expected to represent 39% of the online retail market in 2020. How to expand into high growth emerging economies through global marketplaces is at 2pm on March 16. Visit the Pitney Bowes webinar page to find out more and register for the free event.

On March 21, web performance experts Andy Davies and Simon Hearne of the NCC Group join InternetRetailing for a webinar looking at how retailers can make their sites perform better and faster, and how they can measure existing experiences and learn from that data to make improvements in the right places. Is your site’s speed losing you sales is at 2pm. Visit the NCC Group webinar page to find out more and register for the free event.

IBM’s Neelam Kharay, customer experience analytics specialist, who works on the IBM Watson Customer Engagement project joins us on March 27 for a webinar that focuses on the customer experience. Neelam will show how cognitive solutions are helping brands to develop automated and data-driven customer experiences in a session that features the experiences of retailers Ernsting’s Family and Performance Bicycle. Deliver exceptional customer experiences with cognitive solutions is at 2pm on March 27. Visit the IBM webinar page to find out more and register for the free event.

Sarah Taylor, chief marketing officer at SmartFocus, joins us on April 4 for a session that focuses on social. She’ll argue that this is now the vital channel to reach the digital consumer, and show the role that it plays in an omnichannel marketing strategy. An innovative approach to addressing the modern commercial society is at 2pm on April 4. Click to visit the SmartFocus webinar page and to register for the free event.

Click to visit the Internet Retailing webinar page to catch up on the latest events.

IRX and EDX
Eight conferences packed with retail speakers and covering everything from omnichannel and international to delivery are running at the InternetRetailing Expo, from April 5 to 6 at the NEC in Birmingham. To learn more about IRX 2017, its sister conference eDelivery Expo and to register for free, visit www.internetretailingexpo.com and www.edeliveryexpo.com.

Attendees can also get a 25% discount on their train fare to the NEC when they book through the IRX or EDX visitor information website.

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