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IRC 2013 PREVIEW The Customer stream

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Ahead of our eighth annual Internet Retailing Conference (IRC 2013), we’re running a series of newsletter pieces previewing the event. Today we take a look at Stream one of the conference, which focuses on The Customer.

Arguably no single factor is more important today in driving change in the retail industry than the customer. Internet Retailing Conference 2013 (IRC 2013) takes the demanding, changing, and ever more digitally-mature customer for its starting point in stream one of the conference.

The Customer stream considers how customer behaviour is now changing, and the service customers expect to receive.

“The customer is an individual each with their own wants, needs, preferences and view of your organisation,” said Emma Herrod, Internet Retailing editor and conference director. “This track will cover changing customer behaviour, interaction on an individual level across all touchpoints, customer experience, service, value and their expectations of retail anywhere, product where and how they want it and delivery at a speed they are willing to pay for.”

The stream is chaired by Dr Mike Baxter of Saleslogiq, and starts at 11.20am, following the three keynote speakers.

The keynote presentation for The Customer stream comes from Johan Sävenstrand, ecommerce manager at Swedish retailer Ginza AB, who considers how retailers are using advanced search and merchandising solutions to deliver customer journeys that work for the shopper while also saving their own time. Context, says Sävenstrand in his presentation, Tailoring the online journey to create a personalised customer experience, is key.

Jeremy Fennell, ecommerce director of Dixons Retail, takes to the stage at 11.55am, to share insights into the way Dixons Retail is using customer insight from sources as varied as research, analytics and the store to drive its commercial strategy. His presentation, Joining up the touchpoints and adding value, starts at 11.55am.

Joel Stevenson, managing director of, is the last speaker of the morning at 12.30pm. In, Staying ahead of the online retail game through collaboration, he discusses how online-only retailers and traditional brick and mortar companies can work together effectively. It’s a premise illustrated through Wayfair’s own Get It Near Me programme: in the US the etailer signed up retailers with stores to whom it can direct online browsers who prefer to buy offline.

Following a pause for lunch, between 1pm and 2pm, the conference returns with an afternoon line-up of speakers.

The keynote speaker in this session is Elias Mouybayed, head of sales EMEA at Certona. In Delight your omnichannel shoppers with a personalisation strategy beyond traditional commerce, at 2pm, Mouybayed will give practical insights into the use of personalisation across the customer shopping path.

A panel of retailers then considers the role of Internet Retailing in Store. Speakers Sean McKee, head of ecommerce and customer services at Schuh, Paul Wright, head of ecommerce at FatFace, Anders Dahlberg, ecommerce manager at Intersport Sweden, and David Tarbuck, head of multichannel delivery at Kiddicare, will share what’s worked and hasn’t worked as they’ve brought digital into their stores in a 40 minute discussion that runs up to the afternoon break at 3.15pm.

The afternoon sees Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service returns to the conference for the second to consider the role of Service as a key differentiator. She’ll be arguing that the future is all about anticipating the needs of individual customers in her presentation at 3.55pm.

The closing keynote comes from Brad Little, head of vertical solutions at Facebook. He’ll be looking to the future, asking what will be best practice and the daily experience in years to come in his presentation, Challenging the future at 4.30pm.

The Internet Retailing Conference 2013 takes place on October 16 at the Novotel, Hammersmith, in London. Find out more about the event by clicking here.

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