The InternetRetailing Conference is taking place in London on 5 October. Emma Herrod shares a preview.
The InternetRetailing Conference 2017 (IRC) is the 12th annual edition of the event and this year focuses on energising retail. It runs alongside sister event the eDelivery Conference (EDC), and will be held at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London.
The theme of Energising Retail provides a platform for well-established retail concepts to be questioned as leading retailers discuss how the industry can meet the needs of the modern consumer. The IRC and EDC conferences bring together UK and European Top 500 multichannel retailers to share insight into how they are running their businesses to meet the needs of today’s consumers online, on mobile, in store and across all touchpoints. Presentations will be given by professionals who have led and delivered significant projects for globally-renowned retailers, brands and services with speakers focusing on what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and how they assess the results.
The format of presentations and round tables provides digital leaders opportunities to share, learn, network and continue developing their digital retail and multichannel strategies. One pass gives entry to both events with speakers including Giles Delafeld, global CIO, Clarks; Bill Hopkins, executive director of operations and logistics, Trainline [IRDX RTRN]; and Regis Koenig, director of customer services, Darty.
Create & Innovate
The Create & Innovate Conference at this year’s IRC 2017 will focus on the need to cut through the noise of competition and customer choice in order to stand out from the crowd. It will explore how leading internet retailers have done just this, considering too, the traders that are taking a leading role as the opportunities that technology has to offer change fast. The conference will ask how these ‘pioneers’ are incorporating technological advancements and with what results? What are the processes of decision-making leading up to such changes?
Topics are set to include online shopping in tomorrow’s world, explored through themes such as how technology will give the consumer greater options in search and buying strategies, how to encourage a creative culture in marketing, and how new technologies or innovations have benefited the bottom line, as well as how the retail sector will change over the coming 10 years. The conference opens, following the morning plenary session, at 12 noon with an opening keynote address, from Alexander Bartholomew, director of multichannel, The Range, [IDRX RRNG]that explores online shopping in tomorrow’s world, considering issues from voice recognition to virtual reality.
Speakers throughout the conference will include Dave Elston, digital director, European region at Clarks [IRDX RCUK], on building in-house teams of experts to carry organisations into the future (4.15pm), Richard Barnes, chief executive of Select Research on sizing up the consumer and innovating the buying process, and Katie Woodhead, head of business consulting at Attraqt [IRDX VLOC], while Jim Butler, head of global web sales at Games Workshop [IRDX RGWS], will give the closing keynote address, in which he’ll consider how leading retailers are attracting and retaining the next generation of thought leaders (4.50pm).
Reflecting the state of the industry, the opening debates aim to clarify exactly what the modern landscape is. How have consumers evolved in terms of their expectations and demands and how can retailers respond profitably? The plenary session also explores the possibilities in new talent and working methodology. What is the perfect blend of age and experience, and how can traditional labour be reconciled with new opportunities in technology? Plenaries to look out for include:
- The modern consumer demands a modern approach to ecommerce. What defines the new modern? How are innovative retailers keeping pace?
- How will the retail sector change in the next ten years? How can retailers brace themselves and be prepared so to keep pace in a highly competitive industry?
Following the plenary session, round tables give the opportunity for delegates to share and discuss aspects of interest to their current business need. These will be led by industry figures including Alessandra DiLorenzo, Chief Commercial Officer – Media & Partnerships, lastminute.com. A panel discussion with InternetRetailing Top 500 retailers follows. This looks at ‘Emotional Commerce: Putting the E into ecommerce’. Sean McKee, Director of Ecommerce of multichannel shoe retailer Schuh [IRDX RSCH] will join Ian Jindal, Internet Retailing’s Editor-in-Chief, on stage with other panellists.
Analyse and Conquer
The Analyse and Conquer conference stream at InternetRetailing Conference 2017 will focus on customer understanding and satisfaction. In this stream, speakers will not only explore current analytical processes but also expand on traditional customer analysis by discussing holistic approaches to consumer understanding. Other speakers will investigate advances in technology including AI, big data, and machine learning. Questions will include how big data is being managed and converted into new marketing strategies and how new technologies can better serve both the retailer’s understanding of their market as well as the delivery of customers’ expectations.
The opening keynote address of the conference stream is Daniel Infanger, vice president, international, of Conrad Electronic International, who looks at different approaches to analysing the customer. Speakers in the stream also include Kieron Smith, digital director of Blackwell’s Bookshops [IRDX RBLA], Giles Delafeld, global CIO at Clarks, and Johan Riis Johansen, head of ecommerce services at Coop Danmark.
“A very good, concentrated, intense day of best practice”
Adapt and Expand
Growth into international markets is the focus for the ‘Adapt and Expand’ conference stream. Internationalisation is a major concern for many retailers since to succeed over multiple markets, companies must prove themselves to be adaptive both in terms of their resources, staffing strategy, contingency and preparedness for unexpected challenges. Topics will include defining action points and strategies that satisfy future Brexit restrictions and challenges, agile team structures and modelling when under-going expansion processes, how to develop digital agility in order to structure and accelerate international business, coping with nuances in different international markets whilst sustaining operational efficiency and SEO, in order to maintain high hit rates when entering new markets. The opening keynote, at 12 noon, is OK Google – What’s the future for retail? This will cover technologies that will be shaping the retail landscape over the years to come; what Google is focusing on in these areas and examples of retailers doing a good job in this space too.
Then Georges Bergzal, VP and managing director, global ecommerce, EMEA at Pitney Bowes will be speaking on the cross-border opportunity that international selling now represents. He’ll discuss the complexities of the cross-border buyer journey, the current state and future projections of cross-border ecommerce markets, the latest trends in consumer behaviour, and what it takes for retailers to succeed internationally, profitably. His presentation, Understanding the cross border buyer journey – what drives success in international markets?, is at 12.35pm. Andy Ellis, former EVP supply chain for Walmart Canada and Asda will be speaking alongside Paul Harvey, head of retail, Newton in a presentation, Beating the discounters: myth busting and the £4bn opportunity in grocery, after lunch at 2pm. Cenk Dumlupinar, CEO and founder, Everything5pounds.com and Philip Driver, head of ecommerce EMEA at Canon Europe complete the afternoon’s session.
Stand up and Deliver
Stand up and Deliver, which will look specifically at defining operational efficiencies that match modern consumer demands. Never has operational performance been more scrutinised. Consumers expect seamless delivery on their terms. How can this be enacted in a profitable and efficient fashion? How are working techniques and strategies amended across international borders? Ultimately how is an adaptive and coherent model of operating developed that suits specifically your company profile? Topics will include:
- The next generation; a panel discussion looking at how companies are bringing new talent to their logistics departments.
- Labour versus technology; discussed in a series of roundtable discussions.
- International cross border, transportation cost and capacity; looking at the latest challenges and solutions.
- Returns strategy, customer satisfaction, and reputation in delivery; looking at minimising cost and delivering a positive customer experience.
Speakers in this ‘Stand Up & Deliver’ stream include Richard Clark, marketing director, N Brown Group, Philip Green, CFO, Deliveroo, Bill Hopkins, executive director operations and logistics at The Trainline [IRDX RTRN]and Tao Tao, entrepreneurial business development Fintech & TMT at Alipay.
The consumer’s profile has never been more complex (partially due to the industry’s strengthened ability to analyse the modern consumer). Retailers are also aware that the consumer has more and more possibilities at their fingertips. They can behave instinctually; they may be impulsive, or react predictably to well placed online presentations. But always, the reaction is a direct consequence to the consumer’s personality profile and cultural exposure. To address this challenge, IRC is effectively looking at consumer analysis and profiling, internationalisation and the successful management and integration of new technologies and working methodologies. These themes will be the focus of four simultaneously running conference streams.
The ‘Analyse and Conquer’ conference stream will focus on customer understanding and satisfaction. In this stream, speakers – including Giles Delafeld, Global CIO at Clarks who will speak on ‘Winning the next generation of buyers & understanding millennial trends’ – will not only explore current analytical processes but also expand on traditional customer analysis by discussing holistic approaches to consumer understanding. Relevant advances in technology including AI, big data, and machine learning will be incorporated into discussions. How is big data being managed and converted into new marketing strategies? How can new technologies better serve both the retailer’s understanding of their market as well as the delivery of customers’ expectations?
Smart growth into international markets is the focus for the ‘Adapt and Expand’ conference stream. Internationalisation (and the coping mechanisms in order to deal with this challenge effectively) is a major concern for many retailers. To succeed over multiple markets, companies must prove themselves to be adaptive in the process; adaptive in terms of their resources, staffing strategy, contingency and preparedness for unexpected challenges.
The ‘Create and Innovate’ stream focuses on managing competition and new trends. Competition is vicious and the volume of opportunities for the consumer is huge, so how does a company cut through this and win the modern consumer over? This stream will explore some of the most exciting and innovative case studies of how the leading internet retailers are able to stand out from the crowd; proving themselves adaptive, and forward thinking. Additionally, which retailers are leading, responding or following the technology opportunities? Most importantly how are these ‘pioneers’ incorporating technological advancements and with what results? What are the processes of decision-making leading up to such changes?
The fourth stream looks at defining operational efficiencies that match modern consumer demands. Never has operational performance been more scrutinised. Consumers expect seamless delivery on their terms. How can this be enacted in a profitable and efficient fashion? How are working techniques and strategies amended across international borders? Ultimately how is an adaptive and coherent model of operating developed that suits specifically your company profile? IRC and EDC are accompanied by a exhibition area and in depth, expert workshops led by key companies that have delivered significant projects for globally-renowned brands. Experts include Ingenico ePayments, Corra, Barclaycard, and ROI Hunter. Topics of discussion will be conversion on mobile, machine learning software, the digital in-store experience, the principles of personalisation and driving conversion with UX and engagement. To find out more about the event, speakers, workshops, roundtables and the full agenda, visit our website.
Mentioned in this piece…
Attraqt, formerly Locayta, drives online sales for clients including TESCO, Boohoo, Superdry & Paperchase through enhanced Merchandising, Product Recommendations & Site Search. Enterprise scale clients are seeing double digit revenue growth and smaller sites are doubling their sales due to Attraqt Freestyle Merchandising. (more…)
Games Workshop, Limited is a British game production and retailing company. Games Workshop is best known as developer and publisher of the tabletop wargames Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange with the symbol GAW.L (more…)
Blackwell’s is a British academic book retailer and library supply service originally founded in 1879 by Benjamin Henry Blackwell, after whom the chain is named. Based in Oxford, the original Broad Street branch is now part of a larger chain of 45 shops, as well as an accounts and library supply service. (more…)