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PREVIEW: IRX 2012: The Mobile and Social Commerce Conference

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In our latest preview of one of our major events of the year, Internet Retailing Expo (IRX 2012), we take a look at our conference agenda. The Mobile and Social Commerce Conference will be held on March 22, the second day of the free-to-attend two-day event and is for all retailers who want to use, or extend their use of, mobile or social commerce in their businesses.

The way we shop is changing, thanks to the growing popularity of mobile devices and social media. More of us are visiting webstores via smartphones and tablet computers, while social media, from online product discussions to consumer reviews, and the use of networks such as Facebook and Twitter in the shopping process, is gaining popularity.

With half of all visits to social media now happening via mobile devices, IRX 2012 focuses on how retailers can use both mobile and social media to boost their bottom lines, whether they’re new to the channels or early adopters who want to extend what they’re already doing. The Mobile and Social Commerce Conference takes place on day two of the expo.

PayPal opens the conference at 10am, offering insights into its data and research in order to explain why it believes mobile will be the future of etail in a keynote session that will lay the foundations for the day’s event.

Then Reevoo founder and chief executive Richard Anson will consider how both social and mobile work to influence retail purchases, arguing that successful use of both can lift sales by 18%. At 10.30am he’ll be sharing experiences from Reevoo partners about how they use their social data across channels including mobile, social and the store.

Mothercare IT head Vic Watson will follow speaking alongside the Javelin Group’s director of technology services, Fraser Davidson to offer a joint guide to the role of mobile in multichannel retailing and the practicalities of putting it into use. Their presentation starts at 11am and is followed by a coffee break at 11.30am.

Then Lee Duddell of, speaking at 11.45am, will look at what works and what doesn’t in mobile retail. Citing case studies from household name retailers, he will be considering best practice, as well as how to avoid some common pitfalls.

Paul Boag, of Headscape, takes to the stage at 12.15pm, and will take a look at how designers for the mobile web need to rethink the process. He will also consider how the use of responsive web design can make a site work on any device, both now and in the future in a session that wraps up the morning of the conference.

Scott Dodgson, director, research, insight and consulting at SKOPOS Market Insight provides the afternoon keynote session at the conference at 1.30pm. He will share findings of consumer research that aims to find out how real people want to use mobile in the course of their shopping.

Then Alex Meisl, chief executive of Sponge, will look at the use of personal marketing and using it over a mobile can drive users to a website or store in the 2pm session. He’ll be looking at case studies of how well-known retailers and brands have used mobile marketing to boost sales.

Following on, at 2.15pm, Anton Gething, co-founder and product director at nTokio, takes mobile and social recommendation for his subject. He’ll be discussing the role that social recommendation plays in the journey to purchase and how retailers can use it to their advantage.

Payments will be considered by the next two speakers. At 2.30pm Chris Newell, chief executive of ImpulsePay, will take an overview of the range of mobile payments currently on offer, while at 3pm Russell Buckley, of Eagle Eye, will examine how mobile coupons and vouchers have been used in retail, how best to use them, and how this sector will develop in the future.

The conference is brought to a close by a panel, Social Retailing: New Rules or New Channels? Experts from retail, social media and mobile, including Richard Anson, of Reevoo, will consider what social commerce is, what effect it has on the customer purchase journey and the role of recommendations and reviews in growing the retail business.

Entrance to IRX 2012, to be held at the NEC in Birmingham on March 21 and 22, is free. More than 4,000 visitors are expected at the event, which features an exhibition of 150 suppliers to the ecommerce and multichannel industries alongside a two-day learning programme, Selling in the Digital Age.

The programme features four conferences, dedicated to M-Retailing, Fast Track, Enterprise and Customer Experience, as well as a series of workshops, learning sessions and demonstrations of the latest technology.

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