Next week I will have the pleasure of chairing the customer experience theatre on Wednesday at the IRX & eDX conference at the NEC, Birmingham. Over the years, this has become established as the conference to attend if you are looking to discover the latest trends in eCommerce and just about everything online.
And on that topic, it is interesting to note that whilst our post-pandemic world has seen a decline from the peak in 2021 of online sales, all the forecasts predict that as we move through a still uncertain 2023 into stronger growth in 2024, online sales will recover back to and possibly eclipse pandemic levels.
Which means that you do not want to miss this conference and here I have picked my personal highlights from a packed two day agenda.
Let’s begin with what’s on the Expo floor because this year it is packed with leading brands and innovators. Amazon Pay have been making quite a splash recently and they will be at the Expo, look out for them on stand F14. Another to look out for are Amazon neighbours and conference headline sponsors Klaviyo on stand F15. Headquarterd in Boston they provide a marketing automation platform, used primarily for email marketing and SMS marketing.
One that particularly caught my eye is Nibble on stand G3H. If you’re looking for an intelligent chatbot which negotiates the price with you (reducing margin erosion for brands) then Nibble is for you. Or why not head over to another conference sponsor, Shopify, who I will have the pleasure of introducing on stage, where their Director of EMEA Expansion, Deann Evans will be speaking on the afternoon of day one.
But of course the Expo is only part of it, this year there is a fantastic line-up of speakers from the likes of Boots, River Island, Gymshark, Selfridges, The Very Group, The Co-op, Kingfisher, The Body Shop, Google and many more.
Some picks from the sessions which are organised into plenary on day one and two and then individual tracks. Day one it’s the turn of Digital Marketing, Omnichannel Innovation, Delivery & Returns and ‘my’ theatre, Customer Experience. Whilst on day two, Digital Marketing, Fulfilment & Supply Chain, Customer Obsession and Inclusion and Diversity in Modern Commerce take centre stage.
Some sessions to take in: at the customer experience theatre on day one, 11.15, Michelle Kearns, IT Director at Boots will be discussing how to integrate your platform to create the perfect customer experience. Then probably a must attend at the omnichannel innovation theatre at 13.40 with Kingfisher CTO, JJ Van Oosten who will be sharing his thoughts on the key lessons to a successful digital transformation. And then why not round off day one (before the drinks reception of course) by listening to Joanna Yarrow, Chief Sustainability Officer at M&C Saatchi discussing putting people and planet at the heart of your brand. That’s at 15.25 at the delivery and returns theatre.
Day two is also a packed agenda and again, some stand-out sessions include former Selfridges head of buying, Wizz Selvey chatting with Aurelie Seth from the Whisky Exchange, discussing what an optimal online experience will look like by 2025. That’s at the customer obsession theatre at 12.05. And then my personal favourite, because, let’s face it, it’s going to turn retail on its head, make sure you are at the digital marketing theatre at 13.40 to hear Maria White from Kurt Geiger who will be telling us how ChatGPT will work in retail.
And if all that wasn’t enough there’s plenty of other things to see and do such as the workshop programme, roundtables, or trying your hand at pouring the perfect pint with a mind-controlled robot or how about joining your peers at the networking breakfast on day two.
All in all it promises to be a great two days of retail and it all kicks off next Wednesday 24th May. There’s still time to register. So what are you waiting for? See you in Birmingham!