Early April sees leading retailers and industry suppliers return to Birmingham’s NEC as the InternetRetailing Expo opens its door for a seventh year. Chloe Rigby, Editor, shares what visitors will find at the 2017 event.
MORE THEN 5,000 visitors will be able to see, touch and feel the future of retail at the seventh InternetRetailing Expo (IRX) this April.
Delegates from across the retail industry are expected to visit the free-to-attend event, where they can learn about the latest ecommerce, mobile, marketplaces and fulfilment trends, see and test for themselves the latest technologies, and meet leaders in the field at a series of networking events set to be held at the show.
A key attraction at the event is the broad range of senior industry figures who will share their experiences and insights on the stages of eight free-to-attend conference theatres.
IRX, co-located with eDelivery Expo (EDX), and billed as the UK’s biggest multichannel and fulfilment event, will take place on April 5 and 6 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. For the two days of the show this will become the meeting place for the retail community with more than 90 key influencers and members of the IRUK Top500, InternetRetailing’s performance-based listing of the 500 most significant retailers in the UK and Europe, set to attend.
From digital payments to customer experience and cross-border expansion to mobile growth, the Expos will focus on the industry’s most pressing issues and concerns and how overcoming these will be essential to driving multichannel retail performance and excellence.
This year IRX and EDX will continue their rich and varied peer-led educational programmes, with more than 100 hours of structured content led by key decision makers and C-level executives.
Retail brands from Sainsbury’s [IRDX RSBR], LEGO], Harrods, John Lewis [IRDX RJLW], M&S [IRDX RMAS], Alibaba Group and Ocado [IRDX ROCA] to Schuh [IRDX RSCH], Vodafone [IRDX RVOD], Specsavers [IRDX RSPS], Volkswagen, GAME [IRDX RGME] and Made.com will take part in the eight conference tracks. There, they will analyse what 2017 will bring for ecommerce and multichannel, particularly in the wake of Brexit and the resulting shift in the commercial and political landscape, and share their own experience and best practices to capitalise on change and opportunity.
Attendees can take part in 20 workshops for hands-on, practical, training and address their own personal ecommerce doubts and questions in exclusive one-on-one 30-minute clinics. All are delivered by leading companies and retailers in the industry.
For those particularly interested in the last mile of omnichannel retail, the eDelivery Expo (EDX), will have its own two dedicated conference tracks – The Final Mile and Operational Excellence – looking in depth at the delivery and distribution side of Internet Retailing and, ultimately, how to fulfil the future of the retail nation. Service and solution providers will also showcase the latest technology in packaging, parcels, stock management, warehousing, logistics end-to-end, and many more areas to help retailers improve their operations performance at the show.
A key aspect of this year’s exhibition will be the focus on interactiveness and immersion. The show will unveil exclusive demos of cutting-edge technology to be showcased by 300 leading solution providers such as Ingenico ePayments, Monetate, Klarna and SLI Systems.
New for 2017, will be the Omnichannel Theatre where industry experts will aid brands in dealing with the struggle of supporting consumers across numerous channels and delivering consistent and relevant customer experience. Furthermore, visitors can continue their journey across the show floor taking in the latest innovations, initiatives and technology within the Innovation Pavilion and Digital Payments Theatre.
In addition, the show will have special networking events and dedicated spaces within the Expos where leading retailers, entrepreneurs and suppliers will gather, connect and conduct meetings in a professional but relaxed atmosphere. Two of them are the Top500 Lounge, and the IMRG Lounge, where the UK’s Online Retail Association will be sharing their insights and statistics on the UK market and the performance of the multichannel industry there.
Sam North, portfolio director, said: “IRX and EDX are established as the must-attend events in the multichannel calendar. Not only because they bring together the most ambitious retailers and the leading suppliers, but because they provide a platform for attendees and multichannel retail innovators to connect, interact, experience and learn, all under one roof. We’re looking forward to hosting a record numbers of visitors this year, all wanting to learn how best to sell online.
Ecommerce is one of the few industries which has seen sustained growth in double-digits in 2016 and it is expected that acceleration in online sales growth will continue in 2017. For the industry to continue progressing, innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing is key, and this is the success behind our Expos.”