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IRC 2013 PREVIEW The Industry conference stream

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Ahead of our eighth annual Internet Retailing Conference (IRC 2013), we’re running a series of previews of the one-day event in our newsletter. Today we take a look at stream three of the conference, which focuses on The Industry.

The change in the way that customers shop has brought enormous changes to the retail industry in recent years. How the industry is reshaping itself in the light of those changes is under the spotlight in stream three at this year’s Internet Retailing Conference (IRC 2013).

The Business stream looks at how the industry as a whole and individual retailers are working in order to meet – and even exceed – customers’ expectations.

“Technology, business models and customer behaviour continue to shake up the retail industry,” said Emma Herrod, editor of Internet Retailing magazine and conference director. “This track looks past expected practice to the leading edge and next steps that could be the ‘retail basics’ of future years.”

The stream is chaired by Ray Fowler, of Ernst & Young, Russia, and starts at 11.20am, following the three keynote presentations.

Praful Morar, VP global retail at stream sponsor WorldPay, is the first to take to the floor, talking through payment strategies for merchants who are expanding overseas. He’ll consider questions such as what happens when consumers in a new market don’t pay by card. Implementing a global payment strategy simply and effectively starts at 11.20am.

Then at 11.55am, Rob Garf, VP product and solutions marketing at Demandware, joins forces with Alessio Rossi, VP, interactive and e-business marketing at Lancome USA to analyse best practice approaches to offering the joined-up shopping experience that consumers now expect in Creating a seamless consumer-driven shopping experience with omnichannel.

Lloyd Burdett, head of global clients and strategy at The Futures Compnay, then looks to The Connected Future in a presentation that will look ahead to the retail basics of tomorrow. He’ll be asking how shoppers are changing, and when they’ll need help to buy in the future, as well as the all-important question of what a retailer will be in the future in a presentation that starts at 12.30pm and runs until the lunch break at 1pm.

Qusai Sarraf, chief executive of the Ivis Group, is the first speaker in the afternoon session at 2pm, when he’ll be analysing some of the challenges that retailers face in a time of transformation, and how outsourcing can help face those challenges. He’ll be asking when it’s appropriate, and how new technologies can be combined with retail best practice to deliver customer-centric services in How to keep up with customers whilst running to stand still: combining innovation and the knowledge of your people.

A panel of retail experts then turns its attention to m-commerce, in A reality check for mobile. Jonathan Wall, group ecommerce director at Shop Direct, John Gilbert, consulting director at YouGov, Paul Jackson, head of digital development at Argos and Peter Briffett, managing director at LivingSocial UK & Ireland, are the panelists in this discussion. In the 40 minute session, starting at 2.35pm, they’ll be sharing ups, downs and lessons learned in moving to a mobile-centric omnichannel model. Under consideration will be aspects including mobile payments, joined-up data, mobile marketing and the all-important bottom line.

Ashley Payne, head of online trading at Debenhams, considers how retailers can manage the move into different ways of selling. Please sir, can I have more (channels)? is at 3.55pm, following the afternoon break in the conference. Payne will assess whether the pursuit of more is worthwhile, given the increasing workloads that multiple channels can bring, asking: “Do we really need to punish ourselves in the pursuit of new channels?”

The closing keynote speaker is Peter Fitzgerald, country sales director of Google UK. In Challenging the Future, at 4.30pm, he considers how retailing is likely to change as it develops in years to come, highlighting some possible best and common practices of the future.

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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