It feels like we are awash with mentors, gurus, specialists, consultants and myriad other experts proffering their knowledge of varying levels of quality and relevance. It can, therefore, be difficult to cut through to the real insights so help is needed sorting the proverbial wheat from the chaff.
Help is at hand for finding this relevant information that retailers really need in today’s challenging markets with the forthcoming IRX & eDX exhibition and conference at the NEC in Birmingham on May 24 & 25. The conference programme has been designed to provide help, inspiration, and thought leadership.
Spread across the two days it is packed with high-level speakers covering a variety of topics that are of most relevance to retailers looking to navigate through today’s choppy waters. We’ll now take a look at some of the highlights Retail Insider has identified across the four theatres that focus on the themes of Digital Marketing, Fulfilment & Supply Chain, Customer Obsession and Inclusion & Diversity in Modern Commerce.
There is no doubt that retail businesses now live or die by their success, or not, in focusing on the customer. It will therefore be of great interest to hear some of the insights coming from the Customer Obsession stage. Catching our eye is Chris Bishop, e-commerce & digital director at Nobody’s Child, whose theme is ‘Selling during a downturn: responding to changes in customers’ buying behaviour’. With Nobody’s Child’s focus on eco-friendly fashion it will be interesting to hear how from Bishop how customers are buying into this category in the downturn.
Regardless of what category retailers operate within there is a need to deliver high-end experiences to shoppers online. Throwing some light on this topic under the title of ‘Creating luxury customer experiences across your platform’ will be Francis Kassatly, e-commerce & digital director of Omorovicza Cosmetics. Riffing on a similar theme as she looks into the future will be Aurelia Seth, senior product manager at The Whisky Exchange, who is tasked with highlighting what the optimal online experience will look like in 2025.
Integral to all online retail experiences is attracting and retaining customers. But as basic advertising online has become almost prohibitively expensive for many players there is a growing need for retailers to be more clever and creative in this area. Innocent Drinks has been a master of marketing and so it will be fascinating to hear from John Thornton, head of social media at Innocent Drinks, whose presentation is provocatively titled ‘How to cause chaos on social (and get away with it)’.
He will be joined on the Digital Marketing stage by Gavin Williams, global digital director at fragrance specialist Creed, who will discuss building up brand authenticity, and Taher Khaliq, chief technology officer at Trinny London, who will look at data-driven loyalty strategies that drive conversion and customer satisfaction.
Whether it will ultimately bring satisfaction we do not know but it would be odd if IRX23 did not have ChatGPT on the agenda and it will be Maria White, search lead at Kurt Geiger, who will be sharing her thoughts on this incredibly compelling and ground-breaking technology.
This year’s IRX also has a focus on Inclusion & Diversity and on the stage dedicated to this important area Retail Insider picks out the two panels as of particular interest. The first takes a look at Diversity in Leadership and discussing the theme are Miya Knights, publisher of Retail Technology Magazine, Anjali Subburaj, digital commerce architect at MACH Alliance, and Ben Jackson, head of operational projects at Wickes.
This will be followed by Carly Tait, former Paralympian and diversity, equity & inclusion business partner at JD Sports, and Eric Bundy, Google Cloud engagement manager and Pride month programme manager, who will be considering best practice in embedding DE&I into organisations.
It certainly looks set to be an insight-packed Day 2. Running alongside the speaker sessions will sit an Exhibition – featuring over 100 solutions providers – and three Practical Workshop theatres for visitors to get applicable, important advice on their e-commerce operations. To view the programme.
Sign-up for free tickets – https://bit.ly/3IITcTT
Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider