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IRC 2013 PREVIEW Tanya Lawler of eBay looks to the future of retail

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In our final preview of our eighth annual Internet Retailing Conference (IRC 2013), we hear from Tanya Lawler of eBay on the future of retailing. She’ll be one of the closing keynote speakers addressing this year’s sold-out conference, where she’ll be considering the future of retail.

Internet Retailing: What do you see as a major disruptor for the retail industry in the next few years?

Tanya Lawler, vice president, UK trading, eBay: Omnichannel. It’s already here – it’s the present and the future. Smart retailers are already embracing a true omnichannel approach, enabling shopping to happen anytime, anywhere, via any device.

The commerce revolution has begun and consumers are firmly in the driving seat, more in charge than ever before. Brands and retailers need the tools and platforms to respond to this change and to deliver the seamless shopping experience customers now expect.

IR: If you were to pick one issue that should be on all retailers’ five-year plan, what would it be?

TL: Innovation. We want to drive disruptive innovation and ask what’s next. We have to change the game, and thinking differently about things is what we love to do at eBay. Our heritage as a technology company enables us to innovate quickly. For many retailers that’s a challenge – the ability to move at pace, particularly with technology. Rapid innovation is part of eBay’s DNA, in fact, we’re starting to see our power to innovate as a competitive advantage in itself, one which our retail partners value in their relationships with us.

IR: What do you believe is the biggest technology asset or tool for retailers in coming years?

TL: Winning on mobile is fundamental to success. The devices we take with us everywhere might change in appearance and capability over the coming years, but mobile is transforming the way we shop today at breakneck speed. It’s the glue that brings the best of offline and online shopping experiences together. We expect $20 billion of mobile commerce to be transacted on eBay worldwide in 2013, and last year over 4m customers joined us for the first time from a mobile device, showing the scale of opportunity on offer by getting mobile right.

Tanya Lawler, vice president, UK trading at eBay will give the closing keynote, Challenging the future, at IRC 2013. She will speak in stream two of the event, The Business, at 4.30pm.

The Internet Retailing Conference 2013 takes place at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London tomorrow (October 16). The event, which has sold out for the eighth year, is expected to see more than 500 delegates focus on the conference theme, The New Basics of Retail.

Outside the conference, some 45 exhibitors will showcase the latest ecommerce and omnichannel technology, and there are eight free to attend workshops on a range of issues. Find out more about the conference agenda, the workshops and the exhibition here.

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