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Chatbots, automation and Black Friday: key themes from IRX 2017

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Today’s InternetRetailing newsletter is just a first take on all that we’ve seen and heard at IRX 2017. There was a line-up of impressive speakers and technologies on show at the event that we’ll no doubt be covering and referring back to for some time to come. Our piece features seven themes that kept recurring. Chatbots, voice search and warehouse automation were just three of the subjects that we just kept hearing about. Let us know in the comments which you’re interested in hearing more about.

We could have filled this newsletter with stories from IRX but there was also plenty going on outside the NEC this week so instead we’ll bring you news over time. Today we have the top line on Mothercare’s digital-first strategy, as reflected in its fourth quarter trading statement this week. We also have an interview with House of Fraser’s David Walmsley about how the retailer is working to engage directly with its customers, and we have news of a new approach to trying on clothes virtually, from The Modern Mirror. We cover research from Klarna and Ovum that suggest more than half of retailers are putting basket abandonment down to poor payment strategies.

Today’s guest comment comes from search specialist Paul Rogers, who considers the future of ecommerce site search.


Upcoming InternetRetailing webinars are from Greenlight Commerce, on how BHS relaunched online in just seven weeks, to be held at 2pm on May 4, and from inRiver on how retailers can shape their product marketing for the micromoment, to be held at 2pm on May 8.

Find out more about them 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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