Ahead of this year’s Internet Retailing Expo (IRX 2015), we’re running a series of interviews with key speakers taking part in the event’s conferences. Today we hear from Eddie Woffinden, head of digital merchandising at QVC.
Internet Retailing: At IRX 2015, you’re speaking on the challenges and opportunities of multichannel merchandising. If you could only give one piece of advice to retailers looking to improve their merchandising across channels, what would it be?
Eddie Woffinden, head of digital merchandising at QVC: Focus on what the different channels are used for and how your customer uses them. Study the data to see the differences. Don’t just assume an ‘omni-channel’ approach for merchandising your channels and simply put the same message on them all. They are unique devices and understanding that is important.
IR: What’s the biggest challenge and the biggest benefit that QVC has encountered in its own multichannel merchandising, and how did the organisation deal with them?
EW: The biggest challenge has been keeping up with the speed of change. For us our new platforms have been a key driver in this. We have looked to use technology partners to enable us to deliver changes quickly. Whilst being a global company has its benefits in terms of getting some great technology, we’ve found it’s also important to be able to deliver market specific updates quickly. It’s important you have the right staff and structure to deal with this, enabling people to be creative to drive and react to customers’ changing behaviours – something we’re getting better at.
IR: In your view, what’s the most important upcoming trend in multichannel/ecommerce that is set to change the way we shop – and sell. Why do you think this is so important?
EW: For QVC it’s customisation and personal selling. This is what we’ve based our business on, connecting with our customers and making them feel like they’re getting a personalised and content rich experience. While this isn’t necessarily a new trend, I think it’s one that hasn’t been utilised fully anywhere. We’re looking at how to connect with our customer digitally and welcome new customers with that great personal experience you’d get through the TV. At the same time improvements to our site will mean customers will be able to get a more personalised experience and choose how they interact with TV.
IR: What are you most looking forward to at IRX, beyond your own presentation?
EW: I’m really looking forward to hearing about mobile and personalisation, looking at what innovative ways other retailers are using these devices to complement their main channel or stores. Previously there has been a lot of natural growth from mobile, in the upcoming years I think retailers are going to need to be a lot smarter to find that incremental revenue.
Eddie Woffinden is speaking in the Multichannel Merchandising and Selling Conference on March 26 in Theatre 3 at IRX 2015. His presentation, Multichannel merchandising – challenges and learnings from a different type of retailer, is at 12.30pm. To find out more about the conference and to register for the free-to-attend event, visit the IRX 2015 site here.