Ahead of the Internet Retailing Awards, we’ve grabbed five minutes with the sponsors of our awards to ask them both about their latest thinking on UK online and multichannel retailing in general and about the Internet Retailing Awards 2013 in particular.
Today we’re talking to Frank Lombos, VP, sales at SDL Fredhopper. SDL Fredhopper is sponsoring the Customer Award.
Internet Retailing: What does the shortlist for the Internet Retailing Awards 2013 say to you about the development of online and multichannel retailing in the UK today?
Frank Lombos, VP, sales at SLD Fredhopper: The development of online and multichannel retailing is changing rapidly, as we see the lines between bricks-and-mortar and online retailing begin to blur. Widespread smartphone adoption means mobile has finally arrived, and retailers are now turning to tablet-focused online experiences as these devices become more commonplace.
IR: Why was it important to SDL Fredhopper to support the Customer Award – and what do you think makes a truly customer-focused retailer?
FL: A truly customer-focused retailer is one that knows the value of listening to its customers and learning from them – a symbiotic relationship between the retailer and the customer brings the focus back to the most fundamental aspect of retail; customer satisfaction.
SDL Fredhopper chose to sponsor the Customer Award because we wanted to support an award that recognizes and celebrates retailers working to provide the best possible experiences for their customers.
IR: What’s your hot tip for the year ahead, whether a new technology, an upcoming retailer or advice on a way of thinking about multichannel retailing?
FL: Behavioural targeting and targeted advertising are likely to become more prevalent in the year ahead, with customers becoming increasingly educated in matters of online data collection methods as well as understanding the benefits of sharing their information to receive tailored content.
IR: What are you most looking forward to about the Internet Retailing Awards evening?
FL: With the best and brightest of UK retail under one roof, the evening promises to be an exciting one – I look forward to the atmosphere.
IR: As a professional, who are you thinking of voting for in the Internet Retailing Award 2013 (the top retailer as voted for by readers of Internet Retailing)?
FL: ASOS has performed remarkably well over the years, and has established its place as a pillar of the ecommerce market. I look forward to its future innovations as a forerunner of UK retail trends.
John Lewis has transformed itself from a traditional British bricks-and-mortar retailer into a hugely successful online behemoth, which goes to show that changes to high-street retail can be weathered with the right online strategy.
IR: What’s your prediction for how industry will have changed by the time of next year’s awards?
FL: It is likely that by next year’s awards, retailers will have come to view personalisation as the norm rather than an added bonus – we can expect to see brands creating dedicated internal teams for the purposes of better personalisation and merchandising as the needs and expectations of the customer evolve.
The Internet Retailing Awards will be held at SushiSamba, 664ft up at London’s Heron Tower on Wednesday June 26. For more information, click here, and to find out about tickets to the event click here.
There’s still time to vote in the Internet Retailing Award 2013, which is voted for by Internet Retailing readers. To cast your vote, click here.