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IRC 2017 PREVIEW Countdown to the conference

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Hundreds of retailers and industry experts are expected at this year’s InternetRetailing Conference.

This is the twelfth year for the event, which takes place this Thursday in Hammersmith. Its focus is this year on Energising Retail, and it aims to inspire creative retailers to discuss how the industry can meet the needs of the modern consumer.

Well-established retail concepts will be analysed and debated over four conferences, as well as a series of workshops and round tables. Key speakers at the event include, in the opening plenary session, Daniel Infanger, vice president international B2C at Conrad Electronic International on innovative consumer profiling (9.10am), Anna Bance, founder of Girl Meets Dress, on adaptive retailing (9.35am), and, in a panel discussion on emotional commerce, Simon Bell, founder and managing director of Diligent Commerce, Sean McKeen, director of ecommerce at Schuh and Philip Driver, head of ecommerce EMEA, Canon Europe.

InternetRetailing Conference and sister, co-located event eDelivery Conference, brings together UK and European Top 500 multichannel retailers to share insight into how they are running their businesses to meet the needs of today’s consumers online, on mobile, in store and across all touchpoints. The interactive and networking-rich formats offer excellent opportunities to mix with and learn from peers. Presentations will be given by professionals who have led and delivered significant projects for globally-renowned retailers, brands and services with speakers focusing on what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and how they assess the results.

Four streams

The InternetRetailing Conference then focuses on four streams of activity. The consumer’s profile has never been more complex (partially due to the industry’s strengthened ability to analyse the modern consumer). Retailers are also aware that the consumer has more and more possibilities at their fingertips. They can behave instinctually; they may be impulsive, or react predictably to well placed online presentations. But always, the reaction is a direct consequence to the consumer’s personality profile and cultural exposure. To address this challenge, IRC is effectively looking at consumer analysis and profiling, internationalisation and the successful management and integration of new technologies and working methodologies.

The ‘Analyse and Conquer’ conference stream will focus on customer understanding and satisfaction. In this stream, speakers – including Giles Delafeld, global CIO at Clarks who will speak on Winning the next generation of buyers & understanding millennial trends – will not only explore current analytical processes but also expand on traditional customer analysis by discussing holistic approaches to consumer understanding.

Relevant advances in technology including AI, big data, and machine learning will be incorporated into discussions. How is big data being managed and converted into new marketing strategies? How can new technologies better serve both the retailer’s understanding of their market as well as the delivery of customers’ expectations?

Smart growth into international markets is the focus for the ‘Adapt and Expand’ conference stream. Internationalisation (and the coping mechanisms in order to deal with this challenge effectively) is a major concern for many retailers. To succeed over multiple markets, companies must prove themselves to be adaptive in the process; adaptive in terms of their resources, staffing strategy, contingency and preparedness for unexpected challenges.

The ‘Create and Innovate’ stream focuses on managing competition and new trends. Competition is vicious and the volume of opportunities for the consumer is huge, so how does a company cut through this and win the modern consumer over? This stream will explore some of the most exciting and innovative case studies of how the leading internet retailers are able to stand out from the crowd; proving themselves adaptive, and forward thinking.

Additionally, which retailers are leading, responding or following the technology opportunities? Most importantly how are these ‘pioneers’ incorporating technological advancements and with what results? What are the processes of decision-making leading up to such changes?

The fourth stream looks at defining operational efficiencies that match modern consumer demands. Never has operational performance been more scrutinised. Consumers expect seamless delivery on their terms. How can this be enacted in a profitable and efficient fashion? How are working techniques and strategies amended across international borders? Ultimately how is an adaptive and coherent model of operating developed that suits specifically your company profile?

Speakers in this ‘Stand Up & Deliver’ stream include Philip Green, chief financial officer at Deliveroo.

The InternetRetailing Conference and eDelivery Conference are this Thursday, October 5, at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. One pass gives entry to both events with speakers including Giles Delafeld, global CIO, Clarks; Bill Hopkins, executive director of operations and logistics, Trainline; Philip Driver, head of ecommerce EMEA, Canon Europe; and Regis Koenig, director of customer services, Darty.

For further information on the conferences, and to register for your delegate pass, visit

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