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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS Interview with Steve Dukes of PayLater

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Ahead of the Internet Retailing Awards, we’ve caught up with award sponsors to ask them 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 Steve Dukes, head of PayLater, which is sponsoring both the Innovation Award and the DJ and goody bag at the awards.


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?

Steve Dukes, head of PayLater: The names on the shortlist show that innovation isn’t just coming from new entrants to retail, but also those with long histories.

IR: Why was it important to PayLater to support the Innovation award – and what do you think it is that sets retailers apart in this area?

SD: As an innovator in the online payment space, meeting a change in customer demand for a convenient and controlled alternative to credit cards, we wanted to celebrate other innovators within the retail sector. What often sets retailers apart is the speed with which they recognise and meet customers’ changing needs, the speed with which they drive or react to innovation.

IR: What’s your hot tip for the year ahead?

SD: Although retailers have multichannel targets to hit, that can’t be at the expense of choosing best in class solutions for each channel. Pick the solutions that will deliver the best customer experience in each channel, then find ways to make the overall customer proposition consistent.

IR: What are you most looking forward to about the Internet Retailing Awards evening?

SD: It’s always great to celebrate the top performing talent in retail; let’s make sure it’s fun too.

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)?

SD: It’s hard to look past ASOS, which continues to innovate and improve its customer offer despite the scale of the business. Wiggle is worth mentioning as a business where its passion for the product shines through. Made.com is disrupting its space in a way that allows consumers to buy what they want without compromising on quality or style, so I expect them to continue to win awards this year. All of those shortlisted have earned their place on the list; we’ll be watching closely who the readers vote for.

IR: What’s your prediction for how industry will have changed by the time of next year’s awards?

SD: As an industry, we’ll be delivering significantly better customer experience from end to end. The competitive need to keep up with innovation is forcing all players to significantly invest in, and improve, their service this year – customers are set to benefit.

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