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IRX 2013 THE INDEPTH VIEW The Customer Journey conference

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As IRX 2013 approaches, we’re taking an in-depth look at each of its six conferences. Today the focus is on The Customer Journey conference, to be held in the Customer Theatre on March 21.

The customer has been an important influence through the development of online and multichannel retailing. But now successful retailers are going further and starting to plan their sales channels from the customer’s point of view. The Customer Journey conference at IRX 2013 considers how retailers can approach this task, plotting customers’ experience across devices, touchpoints and locations.

The conference also delves into ways that retailers can gain an understanding of their customers through the way they use their systems in order to better serve them. The conference will look at analytics, insight, testing, optimisation and interesting ways to use big data.

“This stream,” said Ian Jindal, editor-in-chief of Internet Retailing and director of The Customer Journey conference, “will examine opportunities to profit from putting the customer’s journey at the heart of your planning in multichannel.”

The conference opens at 10.30am, when conference chair Steve Goodheart, ecommerce expert and partner at Transaction Partnership, will set the scene for the day’s events. Then the day’s sessions open with a look at The Customer Journey, and the challenge of understanding and serving customers as they travel across a retailer’s different channels, from online to mobile, the store, the contact centre and through social media.

At 11am, we’ll have a panel of experts taking a fresh look at the 21st century shopper and how they are buying, in Putting the customer into the customer journey. The session will consider the use of tools from eCRM and analytics, to behavioural profiling, feedback and social insight to gain all-important understanding into purchasers’ motivation.

Then at 12 noon, Sarah McVittie, chief executive of will take to the stage. In Style by numbers – the data behind connecting customers with their perfect outfits at 12 noon, she’ll be explaining how the company uses different kinds of data to advise shoppers on the clothing buys that match their personal style.

The conference breaks for lunch at 12.30pm, and resumes at 1pm with a keynote session from Don Bush, marketing VP at Kount. In First know your customer, he’ll investigate ways to get to build rapport with the customer, covering subjects from personalisation to understanding risk.

Then at 1.30pm, Sarah Baillie, mobile commerce manager at Debenhams, is centre stage with her overview of how Debenhams has put mobile at the heart of a customer-focused strategy in Putting it all together – connecting with the customer across all touchpoints.

At 2pm, we focus on The Social Customer in Marks & Spencer as a social retailer. Julia Monro, social media manager at Marks & Spencer, is the speaker for this session, in which she explores the way the brand has used social media to develop a voice, giving insights into the way she manages activities and measures effectiveness.

The conference is completed with the 2.30pm session, a keynote from Ali Holmes, global ecommerce manager at Vodafone, who looks at What’s next for the customer journey? The session looks ahead, identifying the top trends, ideas and challenges that retailers are now working on for the future.

To find out more about The Customer Journey Conference, click here.

And click here to find out more about IRX 2013, what it has to offer, and to register to attend for free.

IRX 2013 will be held at the NEC in Birmingham on March 20 and 21. Follow our series of regular previews to find out about the highlights.

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