Guest contributor |
Premier UK digital retailing show InternetRetailing Expo (IRX) returns to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on 24-25 May 2023.
Although IRX has been running for 17 years, it has arguably never been more relevant. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, online sales in January 2023 accounted for precisely one-quarter of all retailing in Great Britain. Pre-pandemic, in February 2020, that figure was 19.8 per cent.
There are obvious reasons for the change. The lockdowns implemented to reduce the spread of coronavirus forced retailers to shutter physical stores and triggered an e-commerce explosion. But now, post-pandemic, consumer trends are evolving, and those operating in this space must elevate their digital retail offering or miss out. Here’s where IRX and eDX (the eDeliver expo) can help.
Networking and interaction at IRX
Attendees will be informed by the latest trends and innovations shaping the industry, influenced by talks from over 100 thought leaders and speakers, and inspired by pioneering technology and solutions providers.
With ‘networking’ and ‘interaction’ the watchwords, attendees are encouraged to listen, learn and share. From 5pm on 24 May, directly after the formal agenda has been completed, things will become more relaxed. Free networking drinks will be poured at the IRX bar in the centre of the exhibition floor until 6.30pm, providing an ideal opportunity to unwind and chat with fellow retailers, sponsors and exhibitors.
By attending workshops, IRX visitors will also gain valuable insights and hear applicable, practical advice to enable businesses to thrive.
IRX always attracts the biggest names, and the lineup for 2023 is no exception. For example, this year’s conference will feature various household brands, exhibitors and sponsors, including Unilever, Selfridges, Boots, The Very Group, JD.com, River Island.
Conference tracks at IRX
Sessions across four conference theatres include keynotes, panels and fireside chats. Meanwhile, three workshop theatres will provide practical and applicable advice on a range of subjects.
The conference tracks reflect the most relevant topics for digital retail professionals. For 2023, these include digital marketing, customer experience, customer obsession, and omnichannel innovation.
To provide prospective guests with an idea of what will likely be discussed in these four tracks, below is a selection of working-agenda items.
Digital marketing – As well as providing the stage for the initial plenary sessions on 24 May, Theatre 1 will feature sessions on how to market during the downturn – to help customers make the right purchases during the cost-of-living crisis – and how to capitalise on consumer browsing trends and impulse purchases. The track will also offer tips to succeed in Gen Z and Gen Alpha markets, plus advice about how best to use machine learning to improve conversion rates.
On 25 May, Theatre 1 will feature sessions looking at how to stay competitive by creating brand authenticity, and how to drive revenue through gamification, storytelling and influencers, among other trends. Attendees will also learn about the benefits of investing in a data-driven loyalty strategy to improve conversion rates and boost customer satisfaction.
Customer experience – In Theatre 2, guests will discover insights about how to use gamification and immersive shopping in the metaverse to enhance customer experience and improve all-important loyalty. Speakers will also shine a light on building and engaging online communities by investing in artificial intelligence on social media channels to boost brand awareness.
Customer obsession – Visitors to Theatre 2 on 25 May will learn how to sell during an economic downturn – specifically how to respond to changes in customers’ buying behaviour – and tips for creating personalised shopping experiences that improve loyalty. There are also sessions on optimising the checkout experience to reduce basket abandonment, capturing Gen Z and Gen Alpha markets, the pros and cons of subscription-based services, and the future of online shopping.
Omnichannel innovation – Topics of Theatre 3 include maintaining a consistent experience when shifting from a multichannel to an omnichannel approach, tips to build a marketplace strategy into a business model and increase customer reach, and tapping into the circular economy.
Registration for IRX and eDX is free at the IRX website.
Louise Smith is the event manager for IRX and eDX