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IRX 2014: PREVIEW The internet retailing in-store conference

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Over coming weeks we’ll be previewing the highlights of IRX 2014. Today we focus on the Internet Retailing In-Store Conference.

The high street is changing fast under pressure from ecommerce, which offers shoppers a more convenient way to buy. One key way that multichannel retailers are responding is by bringing digital into stores in order to widen the range they can offer and to bring the convenience that the internet has to offer to their local branches.

The Internet Retailing In-Store Conference will explore the different ways in which retailers are going about that task through presentations from leading retailers including Argos, House of Fraser and TUI Travel.

The event opens at 10.30am on Wednesday March 26. Following the chair’s introduction, keynote speaker Bertrand Bodsun, digital director at Argos will talk through the ways that the general merchandise retailer, which aims to be a digital leader, is using technology in its stores to improve the customer experience in a presentation, Using technology innovation to enhance the customer experience in the bricks and mortar environment, that starts at 10.35am.

Sarah Baillie, head of multichannel business development at House of Fraser, then follows with a case study, Driving profit through refocusing your stores strategy around the multichannel customer, at 11.10am. In it, she’ll be considering how retailers can gain clearer insights into their customers’ expectations of multichannel commerce and use that knowledge to reengineer their store networks. She’ll also be sharing predictions on the store of the future.

At 11.35am, Doug Glenwright, general manager, retail transformation at Tui Travel, will present a case study of Tui’s digital store experiences. The lunch break follows at 12.05pm.

Then at 12.50pm, Will Lockie, programme head, multichannel, at Evans Cycles, takes to the stage. In his presentation, Building a click and collect strategy that maximises customer convenience and sales, he’ll be explaining how the retailers has created digital links between stores and online.

A presentation, Ensuring customer engagement through personalised omnichannel shopping journeys, from stream sponsor Rich Relevance follows at 1.25pm.

Richard Weaver, ecommerce director at Majestic Wine, will explain how the retailer went about training store staff in order to deliver a more seamless customer experience, and will share experiences and tips with the audience in Upskilling your store staff to improve customer engagement and sales in the omnichannel world. His presentation takes place at 2.25pm.

The IRIS conference closes with a panel discussion focusing on What will retailing in the bricks and mortar store look like in 2016 as omnichannel develops? The audience will hear from Colin Temple, managing director at Schuh, Anne Sinclair, strategy director at Aurora Fashions, Dr Paul Marsen, digital strategist at the SYZYGY Group, and Tom Lodge, senior ecommerce architect at Magento, and will also have the opportunity to ask questions before the chairman’s closing comments at 3.45pm. The afternoon ends with a drinks reception.

The Internet Retailing In-Store (IRIS) Conference takes place on Wednesday March 26. It is one of six conferences that form part of IRX 2014, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham on March 26 and 27.

In coming weeks we’ll be focusing in more depth on different aspects of IRX 2014, and interviewing key speakers from the conference for a taste of what they will be sharing with our visitors.

In the meantime, find out more about the event and register for free at

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