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Now and next (IRM53)

October sees the tenth, annual InternetRetailing Conference and the launch of the eDelivery Conference.

Emma Herrod shares a preview of who’ll be there and how you can join in the debates.

On 14 October, the 10th Annual InternetRetailing Conference is taking place in London with a ‘decadian’ theme driving the event as it looks at the fundamentals of multichannel retail. In this fast-changing industry every twitch, innovation and new opportunity is hailed as a trend, but with the benefit of a decadian view we can look above and beyond these to assess the longer term directions and currents.

For 2015, we are going to look at the fundamentals within multichannel – the customer, the product and the order; these three elements define multichannel ecommerce and are the focus of three simultaneously-running tracks at the InternetRetailing Conference. These will all be considered through a decadian lense: what has stood the test of time or not? How do we balance harvesting returns in the short term with building value in the long term? Put simply, how do we move from the ‘transaction’ to the ‘customer’ and then to sustained value?


Hindsight is only useful insofar as it can be turned to future advantage, to set a clearer, more confident direction for the integrated, demanding, international landscape in multichannel retail.

The first decade of ecommerce was the time of learning, of experimenting, of being able to fail and still have the sympathy of the early adopters. The last decade has been that of the ‘working web’ and the journey into multichannel. The coming decade is a time of full integration, of digital leadership transforming the organisation – but a time of customer expectation and intolerance for anything less than excellence. As we look forward, however, the notion of a ‘decade’ might lull us into just awaiting a rosy future. As retailers we know that action is needed on a daily basis and so as we consider the future we’re adopting a ‘520-week’ view that helps us balance the urgency of “now” with the importance of the “next”.

By analysing the past we will focus upon creating the future. This will be the focus of the keynote presentations by Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Member of the Board & Executive Director – Marketing & International, Marks and Spencer and Peter Williams, Chairman,

Following the keynote sessions, the Conference will split into three parallel streams focusing on The Customer; Product and Services and The Order.

Stream 1 – The Customer: Without customers we have no business. How can we gain their interest, take their money and repeat profitably? How has the approach to the customer changed and what new thinking will inform our view of and connection with customers for the coming decade?

Stream 2 – Product and services: The products we offer define us to our customers – their relevance to their needs and desires, and the experience of ownership. How best should we present our products to connect with the customer? How can we source better and expand our ranges while only managing costs? This stream will examine how the best procure, manage, present, sell and exploit their products – for brand, profit and growth.

Stream 3 – The Order: The ‘unit of commerce’ in multichannel is the order. More so than the sale, it is the creation of an order that drives our operations to pick, pack, ship and deliver – whether to home, store or collection point. Customers want more control and information about this unit of commerce and exposing data and control to a customer is a new service frontier. Optimising the routing, the decision intelligence and the service levels is an enterprise-wide challenge, but one that’s tightly bound with profitability and customer-facing capability. In this stream we’ll learn from the silo-busting business-wide approaches to managing the order – from store, warehouse, web and mobile, along with a view on the commercial pressures leading to further change.

At IRC2015, we will draw heavily upon the experience of decadian speakers – those peers who were senior achievers in our industry a decade ago and who still inspire and deliver today. Retailers confirmed to present include: Jack Smith, Group Digital Director, New Look; Paul Coby, CIO, John Lewis; and Aaron Chatterley, Founder, Feelunique.


The inaugural eDelivery Conference will take place on 13 October – the day prior to the InternetRetailing Conference. Again, focusing on the board-level discussion, the eDelivery Conference will celebrate the collaboration, imagination and rigour of supply chain professionals and explore how today, tomorrow and in the coming years they can truly fulfil the multichannel promise.

As ecommerce growth within retail has been enabled by click and collect and cross-channel capabilities, so the focus with multichannel retail has turned to the logistics, operations and supply chain professionals ‘behind the buy button’. Increasingly seen as a service to the customer-facing commercial teams, our focus in our inaugural eDelivery Conference is to consider how the increasingly-demanding promises are made and delivered.

eDelivery Conference is the ‘rosetta stone’ between the hard-iron realities of large-scale operations and the irresistible force of the connected customer. The Conference will follow the Board-level agenda between expert, senior operations and supply chain leaders with their commercial peers on the Board.

However, eDelivery is a peer-led Conference and so we will not only look at the ‘solutions’ offered to the business, but the approaches, challenges and learnings that underpin the successes.

The conference will be keynoted by Shop Direct who will present not just on their experience and achievements but give a three-way view, illuminating how through working across silos they affect change and delivery for the demanding multichannel customer. Three senior leaders – Gareth Jones, Deputy CEO; Dan Rubel, Group Strategy & Communications Director; and Jonathan Wall, Director – eCommerce, will share the retailer’s journey from a giant in the mail order business to a pioneering digital retailer at scale.

The conference then splits into the three, intense parallel streams of Growth, Fashion and Apparel and The Non-stop Sales Cycle to investigate, analyse and debate the learnings, innovations and trends supporting the theme of ‘Beyond the Buy Button’.

See the agendas as they develop and sign up at and

Key dates for 2015 learning opportunities:

InternetRetailing Events

24 September 2015

The Jumpstart Revolver is full of fast paced, best practice presentations straight from the IRTV studio. We have a new venue, which will be live-streaming the event, so pop in and hear from our experts or tune in from your desk. See more at

InternetRetailing Awards

24 September 2015

InternetRetailing’s Awards represent the pinnacle of recognition for multichannel and pureplay retailers. With 3 new Awards in 2015, the winners are nominated by retailers, evaluated with InternetRetailing’s research and assessed by an eminent Judging panel. See more at

eDelivery Conference

13 October 2015

New for 2015, the eDelivery Conference will celebrate the collaboration, imagination and rigour of supply chain professionals and explore how today, tomorrow and in the coming years they can truly fulfil the multichannel promise.

Register at

InternetRetailing Conference

14 October 2015

The 10th Annual InternetRetailing Conference is driven by a decadian theme as it looks above and beyond every twitch, innovation and new opportunity hailed as a trend to assess the longer term directions and currents of online and multichannel retailing.

Register at

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