Editor's Comment

The opportunities and challenges of transformation

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reflecting on the opportunities and challenges of transformation. We report on House of Fraser, whose own transformation programme has seen an ecommerce replatforming hit online sales and profits.

When we talk about transformation we often focus on the opportunities that it brings. But this story is a reminder of the challenges, too. Transformation programmes are now commonplace in today’s retail industry: the needs and demands of the consumer means retailers are in turn changing the way they sell. For many, that pace of change has outpaced their technology, making new investment imperative. This story is a timely reminder of the cost this so often brings, and gives those considering their own pause for thought. But the hard truth is that this is a necessary cost. The upside to this story, of course, is that House of Fraser expects its sales to pick up soon, with a recovery ahead of the crucial Christmas quarter – and that it will then be better placed for the long-term future.

Today we’re also reporting positive news on retail sales trends, with ecommerce growing fast in August, according to ONS figures.

And we’re also looking at some of the latest strategies and technologies that retailers are putting to use in their businesses – again, often driven by the demands of the customer. We report as Simply Be and MyTheresa put shoppable video to work in their social media channels, and as eBay extends click and collect to Doddle sites.

Today’s interview in the run up to IRC 2017 is with Gabrielle O’Hare, previously of Argos and now content director at Content Queen, while today’s guest comment comes from Georgina Nelson of TruRating who considers the importance of listening to the customer.

IRC 2017
The InternetRetailing Conference, taking place in London on October 5, is the 12th annual edition of the event and this year focuses on energising retail. It runs alongside sister event the eDelivery Conference, and will be held at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. One pass gives entry to both events with speakers also including Giles Delafeld, global CIO, Clarks; Bill Hopkins, executive director of operations and logistics, Trainline; and Regis Koenig, director of customer services, Darty.

For further information on the conferences, and to register for your delegate pass, visit www.internetretailingconference.com.

Webinars
Find out more about upcoming InternetRetailing webinars and register for free on the InternetRetailing webinar page. You can also catch up with past webinars on the page: recent sessions have come from IBM Watson on using AI to improve the customer experience, and from SmartFocus and The Entertainer on using social to reach digital customers.

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