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IRC 2017 INTERVIEW Richard Barnes of Select Research on getting body shape right online

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Ahead of this week’s InternetRetailing and eDelivery conferences, we’re hearing from some of the key speakers who are taking part. Today the spotlight is on Richard Barnes of Select Research.

InternetRetailing: Can you start by telling us a little bit about Select Research and your particular interest in ecommerce/multichannel retailing?

Richard Barnes, chief executive and founder of Select Research: Select pioneered measurement of the body for retail sizing; from initial work for M&S in the 1990s to managing national sizing surveys on adults and children.

Our particular interest in ecommerce and multichannel retailing is how retailers might be able to adapt to the new demands of customers and address the discrepancy between the reality and the perception of their customers when it comes to their bodies.

IR: What will you be concentrating on in your presentation to IRC 2017?

RB: The presentation will focus on the problems of discrepancy between retailer sizing and people with different body shape and show new ways to allow body shape to become integrated into the fit process. I will present the revolutionary body volume system for healthcare, which differentiates between people of different body shape but the same BMI.

IR: Why is that so important?

RB: Retailers have the same problem – 10 women who are a Size 12 or 10 men might have a 32” waist, but have a different body shape. Solving that problem could help returns and customers. The challenge is that there is a chasm between perception and reality for customers in terms of their body shape and the solution is matching perceived body size to the reality. The benefit is the time and money that customers would save if retailers do get this right.

IR: If you had one piece of advice on this for multichannel traders, what would it be?

RB: Forget mean values and treat the customer as an individual and market to them as such.

IR: Beyond your own presentation, what are you most looking forward to at IRC 2017?

RB: Hearing new developments, what the new trends are and how people are changing in an ever-changing world!

Richard Barnes is speaking in the Create & Innovate Conference at InternetRetailing 2017. His presentation, The Shape of the Nation: sizing up the consumer and innovating the buying process, is at 2pm.

The eDelivery Conference and InternetRetailing Conference take place on October 5, at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. One pass gives entry to both events. For further information on the conferences, and to register for your delegate pass, visit

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