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IRC 2015 KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne of M&S

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Each week in the run up to Internet Retailing Conference (IRC) 2015 we’re previewing the conference through a series of overviews of the day’s programme and through interviews with key speakers. Today we hear from Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, member of the board and executive director – marketing & international at Marks & Spencer , a keynote speaker at IRC 2015.

Internet Retailing: Tell us about one major driver that has pushed retailers, and perhaps M&S in particular, in the direction of where you are today?

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, member of the board and executive director – marketing & international, at M&S (pictured left): One of the major drivers has been the drive to very rapidly convert from single channel focus into a truly multichannel, or omnichannel, retail operation with complete customer-centricity. This has been clearly at the heart of our transformation journey at M&S, where we have been building and linking all the different platforms that our consumers engage with.

IR: What will be a major driving force of the future, and what effect do you predict that will have?

PB-C: I think this will remain with us for some time. Very much with technology at the heart as an enabler of a very seamless consumer journey across channels. This is something that is challenging to accomplish, that will be enabled by new technology breakthrough and the focus that a lot of retailers are facing behind it. This is one of the very important ones. Another will be at every single moment to capture the attention and emotion of the consumers in a very crowded consumer space.

IR: Retailers must always be adapting to their customers. How do you expect their behaviour will change in the next few years?

I think retailers have always been pretty close to their customers, and pretty instinctive about how they approach consumers but the richness of data now available at retailers’ fingertips to educate themselves about how to be smarter and engage with consumers is in itself a radical transformation, especially when consumers demand and expectations are growing exponentially and there is no patience whatsoever for an average type of experience, whether it’s in store or online.

IR: What are you most looking forward to at IRC 2015, beyond your own presentation?

PBC: I think the theme is a terrific theme, and engaging with the aiudience is something to which I’m very much looking forward. I think the look back to what we’ve all learned over the last 10 years and also trying to somehow predict at a time when the entire retail industry is accelerating. At the same time there are some fundamental challenges that we all have to address. The new capabilities afforded to all of us by the new impact of technology, mobile is fascinating and should keep us all on our toes.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanneis a keynote speaker in the plenary session at IRC 2015. He’ll be interviewed live on stage by Internet Retailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal at 9.30am. Find out more about the event, the conference line-up and the exhibition by visiting

We have 10 access-all-areas delegates passes to give away at IRC 2015. Read this story to find out how to enter.

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