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 Marcus Law, UK marketing manager at SLI Systems. SLI Systems is sponsoring the London Landmark Quiz at the awards event.
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?
Marcus Law, UK marketing manager, SLI Systems: The majority of the brands that have been shortlisted for the awards are big supermarket chains, popular fashion and beauty brands. This demonstrates that internet usage continues to grow due to the fact that it offers a convenient shopping route for essentials and basics. In addition the ever-connected consumer has heralded the rise of media convergence and fashion brands are really capitalising on this.
IR: Why was it important to SLI Systems to support these awards – and what do you think it is that makes a standout ecommerce or multichannel retailer?
ML: SLI decided to support the Internet Retailing Awards because we believe there is no other award ceremony in the UK that rewards and acknowledges retailers efforts’ and progress in this field. We are aware how dynamic this field has become in recent years due to the changing demands of customers and the evolution of the media landscape. To stand out in this highly competitive space, a multichannel retailer needs to put the customer at the heart of their business, by talking to them in an authentic & transparent fashion via the channels they are engaging in. Retailers need to make sure they are providing relevant products, content and services to demonstrate that they are listening, adapting and evolving to consumer’s needs and desires.
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?
ML: Personalisation is going to be the key driver for multichannel brands in 2014. Consumers’ demands are increasing and winners in the retail space will be maximising on the retail technologies such as SaaS that will provide the data to deliver insight to drive their business forward.
IR: What are you most looking forward to about the Internet Retailing Awards evening?
ML: I am looking forward to networking with like-minded peers and retailers, discussing formal and non-formal issues in a convivial environment and hopefully some of our clients walking away with awards.
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)?
ML: Despite fierce competition from rivals in this space, Topshop and Zalando have been able to maintain a great brand image with interesting advertising campaigns that work across multi-channels, fresh relevant deals, a strong & bold social media communication strategy with the customers. Another brand that I would mention is Amazon, for a consistent approach to customer service and creative use of personalisation apps and innovations in 2013.
IR: What’s your prediction for how industry will have changed by the time of next year’s awards?
ML: High-street brands will continue to close but this will mean a positive shift to increasing traction with multichannel retail brands creating and adapting for mobile devices, a rise in more integrated campaigns with QR codes and video for example and UK brands expanding globally.
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.