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What online shopping can do for the high street

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The debate over the future shape of the high street is fascinating and one we often return to in the Internet Retailing newsletter. This week we’re reporting on the need for the high street to adapt to the growing consumer choice in how they buy. That’s been underlined by two events in the second half of this week. First, the Government’s launch of the Future High Street Forum, which involves leading multichannel retailers and will advise retailers on how to respond to the growth of online. Second, the launch of a report by Conlumino for retail property owners Hammerson, looking at the need for shops to give shoppers, who can buy online, good reasons to go to their high street or shopping centre instead. It’s timely, then, that today we also cover the launch of a new collect-from-store UPS service – an example of just one practical way that retailers of all sizes can leverage online services in attracting shoppers to their stores.

In today’s newsletter we also report on Ocado’s full-year results. We preview Internet Retailing Expo (IRX 2013) through a preview of new launches set for the show, and an opinion piece from SoLoMo speaker Andrew Moss, of Secret Sales. Last but not least, our guest comment today comes from Andrew Kokes of Sitel, who guides us through three steps to an omnichannel customer service strategy.

We have four upcoming Internet Retailing webinars to flag up this week. As always, it’s free to attend our webinars, and you can find out more on our webinar page.

On February 12, at 4pm, we’ll be joined by Don Bush, VP, Marketing at Kount, for a webinar that explores how retailers can Boost sales, beat fraud and reduce chargebacks. Featuring a case study from CD Baby, the session will explore ways that traders can make sure their sales are both safe and profitable. Find out more here, where you can also sign up to the webinar.

On February 14 at 11am, we have a webinar that explores the world of returns. It’s linked to our recent research into the field, in which we worked towards a joined up view of multichannel returns, looking at how large a problem returns can be, and how retailers can go about improving their returns rate. To find out more or to register click here.

On February 20, at 11am, Matthew Curry of Lovehoney and Chris Edge of SLI Systems join us for a webinar, If they can’t find it they can’t buy it – importance of site search for online retailers. During the session the two speakers will examine how site search is used on the Lovehoney site, while Chris Edge, head of customer success UK at SLI, will also give broad advice on best practice use. To find out more about this webinar and to register, click here.

And on February 28 at 11am, we’ll be joined by Tim Pickard, chief strategist at NewVoiceMedia and Martin Hill-Wilson, chief executive of Brainfood and a long-standing member of the UK customer service community, for a discussion on how retailers can connect their CRM data with telephony to recognize and respond to individual customer situations and so offer a truly personalised customer experience, in Customer experience: making it personal. For more information and to register, click here.

Our stories:

High streets ‘must change to prosper’

UPS launches delivery to convenient store service

IRX 2013 THE HIGHLIGHTS: The technology

GUEST COMMENT Three steps to implementing an omnichannel customer service strategy

Ocado looks forward to opening of long-awaited fulfillment centre


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