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Blue sky thinking: from AI and mobile to click-and-collect and returns

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In today's InternetRetailing newsletter, we're taking the opportunity of the post-Bank Holiday lull to consider how retailers are responding to some key current Views in ecommerce and multichannel retailing.

Artificial intelligence is a priority for customers, it seems, according to a new study from Vista Retail Services. But the same study finds that many of these shoppers are yet to experience it in real life.

Those shopping with Farfetch and the brands whose websites are on the Farfetch Black & White platform will be seeing it earlier than many others, with news that the company is working with Certona on AI-powered personalisation. Farfetch is far from the first to use AI, but it's up there with a vanguard of retailers, often working in the fashion sector, who are putting these new technologies to work. It seems this will be welcomed by customers. If this feeds into growing sales it's likely to spur interest from other sectors as well.

We've an interview with lastminute.com's Alessandra Di Lorenzo on innovation, a piece that looks forward to this October's InternetRetailing Conference (IRC 2017). We also take the long view on mobile, in a feature that considers how retailers of all kinds have used mobile to change the way they serve their shoppers, and we assess the latest developments in click and collect and returns. Returns remains a theme for today's guest comment, from Mark Thomson of Zebra Technologies, who considers the importance for retailers of offering improved returns across channels.

The Tamebay Ecommerce Cup

The Tamebay Ecommerce Cup 2017 will be held on September 7 and five-a-side teams are now being invited to sign up. The tournament, now in its fifth year, is moving to a new venue in Shepherd’s Bush and promises FA refs and a comfy new players’ lounge complete with screens to keep tabs on competitors’ matches.

“We had a total of 26 teams enter last year, and it was great to have both suppliers and retailers competing, with Deliveroo taking the top spot and runners up Uber narrowly missing out,” says Mark Pigou, founder of InternetRetailing Media. “This year promises to be just as competitive.” To enter a team of up to 10 people (five players and five subs), sign up here.

Sponsorship opportunities are limited to three companies: email Joey Evans ([email protected]) for more.

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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