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IRX 2013 PREVIEW Interview with Sarah Baillie, mobile commerce manager at Debenhams

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Ahead of our annual expo, IRX 2013, we’ve asked some of our key speakers for a sneak preview of what they’ll be telling delegates to IRX 2013. Today we feature Sarah Baillie, mobile commerce manager at Debenhams.


Internet Retailing: What will you be speaking about at Internet Retailing Expo?

Sarah Baillie, mobile commerce manager, Debenhams : The session, Putting it all together – connecting with the customer across all touch points – Debenhams experience, will cover Debenhams’ strategy to produce a consistent, customer-centric journey across all channels. As the number of brand touch points grow, Debenhams has invested in producing the same brand experience, (in terms of design and functionality), across its estate as well as the ability to join up devices so our customers can move from one channel to the next without interruption.

IR: What challenges do traditional high street retailers face in connecting with customers across numerous channels?

SB: First, integrating backend systems for joined up data across the business. Second, understanding how customers are interacting with our brand across channels. Third, the ability to collaborate across departments to create a true multichannel approach. And finally, introducing new working processes to deliver innovation.

IR: What are the challenges of adapting to new digital customer behaviour?

SB: Customer speed of adoption of new channels; the number of devices/channels used during a single purchase journey, and ensuring store staff are equipped with the same product and service knowledge as customers.

IR: What role will mobile commerce have to play in the future of retailing in terms of listening to, engaging with and analysing your customer’s behaviour?

SB: As mobile is a personal device, predominantly used by one person and which is with the user 24/7, it provides the avenue to engage, track and understand customer behaviour.

IR: What new areas or innovations in your field are Debenhams monitoring at present, and why?

SB: Debenhams monitors all online traffic to pick up new devices to market that could potentially warrant a native application (Kindle, Windows 8, Blackberry 10, Smart TVs). We also look at brands that are digitalising the store experience in innovative ways, like Apple, Burberry and Macy’s, for example.

IR: What else are you looking forward to about Internet Retailing Expo?

SB: Finding out what other brands are up to, understanding industry challenges and discovering future innovations.

More than 150 exhibitors will be showing their wares at IRX 2013, alongside six conferences and 12 practical workshops. Find out more about IRX 2013, register to attend for free, and book a workshop place here.

Follow our series of regular previews of IRX 2013 for the latest on what’s happening at this year’s show.

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