Tradeshow recap – Internet Retailing Expo, Birmingham

As expected, over 5,000 visitors attended the Internet Retailing Expo this week, held at Birmingham’s NEC with the 2 day event playing host to over 200 exhibitors, focusing on the latest in retail and supply multichannel products and system solutions.

Bringing together over 60 speakers from the biggest retail names, the conference programme was divided into 6 streams, providing those attending with valuable insight and advice in the key areas of ecommerce, mobile and multi-channel retail:

Internet Retailing In-Store – IRIS, Sponsored by richrelevance explored the use of the latest technology in improving the customer’s experience in-store, and the impact of multi-channel growth.  With a focus on building and benchmarking strategies such as Click and Collect and options to enhance multi-channel customer in-store journeys, speakers included representatives from Argos, Evans Cycles and TUI.

Customer Experience and Journey, Sponsored by TrustPilot provided insight into ways of understanding cross-channel customer’s motivation and buying behaviour, and methods to engage and maintain contact with your customers.  It also explored the use of technology and social campaigns with a view to turning one-time customers into loyal repeat business through ecommerce, mobile and multichannel activity.  Boden, Homebase and Wauwaa all participated with a closing panel discussion also featuring representatives from the BBC, Rackspace, Fat Face and dotMailer on New Innovations to Drive the Customer Experience in the OmniChannel Marketplace, including mobile and tablet innovation, social media developments and key mistakes to avoid with new methods of engaging the customer.

International Retailing, Sponsored by Trusted Shops included input from Clarks, RS Components and Bugaboo on strategies for cross border selling, with Professor Dr Jonathon Reynolds, from the Oxford Institute of Retail Management also explaining Successful Multi-Chanel International Expansion Strategies.  The BBC discussed building global platforms through their case study on challenges faced with taking consumer brands to the global market.

Operations and Logistics, Sponsored by wnDirect explored the crucial subject of ensuring what is promised is delivered, and focused on Delivery Strategies, Efficient Online Returns, optimising your business in the multichannel marketplace, as well as opportunities for independents and online marketplace collaborations.  Contributions to this agenda were made from Mothercare, John Lewis, Shop Direct and MyHigh.Street

Digital Sales and Marketing, Sponsored by dotMailer featured even more leading retailers such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer discussing how to drive online sales through digital marketing.  From the best and worst email strategies to using Social media to make your customers happy through the latest innovations, discussions also looked to identify which strategies are set to offer the best ROI.

Mobile and Mobility, Sponsored by ZAPP explored payment technologies as well as the role mobile devices will play in 2016, with the impact of innovation and technology such as G4. Facebook’s Head of Luxury and Apparel presented on the fundamental importance of mobile being at the centre of your marketing strategy, and Google’s Industry Retail Leader discussed ways to refine your mobile strategy through a deeper understanding of the mobile customer, including what can be learnt from mobile customer data as well as evaluating mobile customers in different countries.

With 12 hands-on workshops also on offer, the show offered an excellent opportunity to identity ways to expand and benefit from ecommerce and mobile channels.  With the Innovation Studio came presentations on real-time retailing by digitalelement, as well as click and collection solutions with InPost’s automated parcel lockers.  With an Experts Clinic and the Multichannel Performance Index on the Top 500 Retailers also featuring in the show, the Magento Pavilion offered visitors assistance and guidance from the fasted growing ecommerce platform.

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