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What does multichannel mean for our largest retailers?

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If there’s one common theme running through stories in today’s Internet Retailing newsletter, it’s real importance of multichannel selling to retailers looking for growth both at home and abroad.

This week it’s been the turn of some of our largest and most successful retailers to report on their progress, and today we report on M&S’s clicks ‘n’ bricks approach to international expansion, Tesco’s continued focus on ecommerce as it aims to restore growth to its profits, and the effect of ecommerce on Debenhams’ business. We also home in on the online sector as revealed through the latest ONS retail sales figures, and we have news from Our guest comment today is from Sean Blanks of Read on for more.

It’s catch up time for anyone who missed that vital briefing at Internet Retailing Expo (2013). Presentations and panels from the across the six conferences of the event are now available to view online at

We’re also delighted to announce that the date has been set, the venue has been booked, and nominations are now open for the second annual Internet Retailing Awards. Click here to find out more – and to nominate those retailers you think really stand out.


We have some upcoming webinars to tell you about. Take part by registering for the free events on our webinar page.

Our last webinar of the month is on April 30, Stibo Systems and Bazaarvoice join forces for a webinar on Staying relevant: creating a personal shopping experience that drives sales. In the 11am webinar, speakers Aurelien Dubot, product marketing manager EMEA at Bazaarvoice, and Simon Walker, director, ecommerce innovation, Stibo Systems, will discuss why it’s so important that retailers focus on their customers as they create shopping experiences that reflect both shoppers’ feedback and needs. They’ll be considering how to harness and learn from social data. To find out more about the webinar and to register for free, click here.

Then on May 2, we’re hosting a webinar in association with QuBit. The event, to be held at 2pm, will look at Website Personalisation – the best way to boost your conversion rates. Presenters Graham Cooke, chief executive of QuBit, and Nick Smyth, senior business development manager at QuBit, will show participants what personalisation can now achieve in matching unique variations of a site to different groups of people, whether through content, product information, offers or promotional messages, to drive significant uplifts to conversion. Find out more about the event here, where you can also register.

On May 9 at 4pm we’ll be hearing from Clicktale, in Featuring brilliant web optimisation: Learn how increased subscriptions by 28%. Vassilis Tourtouropoulos, senior conversion optimisation manager, Jellyfish Publishing, Carola York, managing director, Jellyfish Publishing, and Jonny Steel, director of business development, ClickTale will be our speakers for the event, in which they’ll sharing insights into how in-page analytics can be used to generate powerful insights that drive revenue and conversion – and they have some surprising findings. Find out more and register here.

Jumpstart events

Internet Retailing’s signature JumpStart events offer a chance for retailers to get quickly up to speed on the latest developments in a given area, hearing directly from expert suppliers and identifying and presenting the key questions retailers need to ask when procuring their own systems. Each full-morning event is held in Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London and you can register to attend here.

On May 8, the JumpStart focus is on Ecommerce Platforms, with an event that will look at the development of ecommerce platforms, the new technologies which they can now include and the new ways in which they’re being delivered, from owned to software-as-a-service. Find out more and register to attend here.

Multichannel performance marketing is the subject for May 15’s event. From the outset, digital marketing has been focused on performance: whether PPC and affiliates, or vouchers and promotions. The focus of this session is to draw together the various disciplines within marketing and consider not only the individual performance characteristics, but importantly the multichannel view of customer profitability. Find out more and register to attend here.

On May 29, International and cross border trade is under examination. UK companies are seeing significant growth from trading internationally (outside the EU) and cross border (within the EU) and it’s never been easier to extend your online trading. Presenters at the Jumpstart will highlight the areas of concern, the pitfalls to avoid, as well as new opportunities in an event that will feature leading vendors in areas from multilingual to localisation, from payments to local customs and from logistics to usability.Find out more and register to attend here.

Cross-channel is the subject for the JumpStart event of June 5, where the focus will be on the customer, how they use as many touch points and channels as we’re willing and able to offer and how we combine behavioural data with service values, technology, people and process to deliver for them. Delegates will take away ideas, examples and case studies to extend selling activities beyond the web interface. Find out more and register to attend here.

The customer experience is in focus for the event of June 19, when we’ll be looking at how to provide an enhanced customer experience, not only optimising each channel but also considering how to bridge the experience over time and across channels. Topics will include interaction design, service planning, testing and customer service, delivery and logistics, and extend to how best practice analytics and behavioural tracking can help us towards that elusive ‘single view of the customer’ in order to sell more effectively. Find out more and register to attend here.

Today’s stories

Tesco pledges to be ‘best multichannel retailer’

M&S launches ‘world first’ virtual rail

GUEST COMMENT: Postage and packaging all wrapped up

Snowy weather in March boosted online sales: figures

Debenhams reports 46% boost to ecommerce sales wins £5m boost as it plans expansion

Read More

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