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IRC 2015 PREVIEW: The Products and Services stream

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In the run-up to Internet Retailing Conference 2015 we’re running a series of pieces showcasing the highlights of the event, now in its tenth year. Today our focus is on Stream 2: Products and Services.

It’s what retailers sell that ultimately sets them apart from the crowd and in Stream 2 of IRC 2015 the spotlight is on products and services.

In this stream, leading retailers will consider the opportunities that technology now gives to present products in new and different ways. They’ll ask – and answer – questions from ‘how should best in class retailers be presenting products to make powerful customer connections that generate an emotional response and a call to purchase?’, to ‘how can retailers better expand product ranges while managing costs?’ The track will consider how the best procure, manage, sell and exploit new products.

The conference opens with a keynote session featuring speakers including Peter Wiliams, chairman of and former chief executive of Selfridges .

Then, the opening keynote of Stream 2, Products and Services, suggests new and creative ideas for using digital to fashion a new kind of in-store service and customer experience that will stand out in an ever-competitive world. Digital to revitalise bricks and mortar is at 11.20am. At 11.55am, it’s the turn of the stream sponsor to explain why and how we’re looking at products and services in a new way in a digital world.

Our next speaker will consider ways of bridging the gap between the fixed point of the store and the on-the-go mobile consumer while, at the same time, driving loyalty in a fast-moving world. Beyond the shopkeeper – integrating mobile and in-store is at 12.30pm, followed directly by a break for lunch.

Sarah Baillie, head of multichannel business development at House of Fraser , takes the stage immediately after lunch for a retailer case study examining how and why retailers should manage the customer experience, mapping journeys that increase loyalty, return on investment and customer satisfaction. Walking your customer through their online shoping journey is at 2pm.

Mark Felix, director, online trade at John Lewis follows with a consideration of how traders can make the customer experience across touchpoints a seamless one. He’ll be examining ways that traders can get to grips with the omnichannel journey, and how metrics can be used to assess the efficacy of product presentation in Merchandising for the tech-savvy, modern shopper at 2.35pm.

Customers and their relationship with products will be the subject of our next case study presentation. The effect of omnichannel on that dynamic will be uncovered, with strategies put forward for aligning the online with the store. Connecting the dots between customer and content so products jump from screens straight into your customer’s hands! is at 3.15pm.

The closing keynote takes a look at the future of products and services, considering the evolutionary effect of digital on the things that we buy and use. Future ball gazing: what will tomorrow’s products and services look like? is at 4.30pm.

IRC 2015 will be held on October 14 at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. To find out more or to register visit

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