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IRX 2018 INTERVIEW Stuart McMillan of Schuh on the importance of the seamless mobile experience

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Stuart McMillan, deputy head of ecommerce at Schuh is speaking at Internet Retailing Expo 2018 (IRX 2018). Ahead of the event, he spoke to InternetRetailing about creating a seamless mobile experience.

Stuart McMillan, deputy head of ecommerce of Schuh: I’m on a panel with the subject of “What Does A Great Mobile Shopping Experience Look Like In 2018 And How Can You Deliver It?” It’s a fairly broad topic, covering subjects like mobile [user experience] (UX), mobile in-store and voice. [Some] 75% of the sessions to the Schuh website come from smartphones; creating an effective mobile shopping experience is vital for us.

IR: What would one piece of advice you give to retailers looking to improve site performance and the quality of the conversion across all devices to become the champion of the multichannel operations?

SM: One piece of advice? Don’t forget the basics. Don’t be in a rush to develop all the newest technology if you haven’t fixed all the broken bits of your user experience; while the accumulation of marginal gains can be somewhat less ‘sexy’ than a whiz-bang new feature, it is one of the most consistent ways to create steady gains in your business. You’ll probably need to develop and train your team in some areas so that they know what “good” looks like; so they can bake-in the right controls into your change processes.

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?

SM: It may be a bit meta, but I think the most important trend is new ways of thinking around how we solve the “discovery” problem. That is, how do we get shoppers to the right product easily? There some challenges around voice, which works best on exact-match, canonical content, but as soon as you have to make a selection from a range of options there are challenges. Natural language processing has also some way to go, but obviously, it has come on leaps and bounds; some of the biggest challenges here will also be the metadata we all (don’t) hold about products. Visual search is also going to be more important. So much of the information we create is visual; every minute there are 50,000 posts to Instagram and 136,000 photos uploaded to Facebook. Why bother describing that floral dress when you can upload a screenshot to ASOS’s mobile search and they’ll match it for you? Whatever the solutions, we’re going to have to get better at helping users find the right product.

IR: What are you most looking forward to at IRX (beyond your own presentation)?

SM: I’m looking forward to catching up with industry friends and peers, as well as hearing about the general trends within our busy industry. It’s a great day out of the office, time to think and reflect, some learning time and some social time!

Stuart McMillan’s conference track What does a great mobile shopping experience look like in 2018 and how can you deliver it? will take place at 14:45pm in Theatre 3 on March 21.

There, he will join other speakers including Adam Gore, managing director at, Cally Russell, founder & chief executive officer at Mallzee, Mark Cody, product lead – mobile at Eurostar to answer the topical conundrums on mobile; with questions such as; What does a great mobile site experience look like and how can it best be achieved? and How is voice technology impacting mobile customer experience and how can retailers embrace it? in the Mobile-First conference.

Find out more about the Mobile-First conference here, and find out more about IRX 2018, and register for a free place, at

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