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Looking back on Internet Retailing Conference 2017

By Dan Wilson October 10, 2017 - 11:49 am

Heading to the Novotel in Hammersmith for Internet Retailing Conference each October seems to have become something of a standing appointment over the last five years or so. The theme this year was “Energising Retail” and the scope and focus of the sessions certainly looked at that idea closely.

And it’s well worthwhile going. In the ever encompassing tasks and activities that take up every day, it’s also vital to take the long view and look ahead. What are the emerging trends? How do you stay ahead? Why should you innovate? Internet Retailing Conference gives you a moment to consider the future.

And over the course of the day in London, there were plenty of talks and seminars that spoke to those questions and more. In terms of futurism, several speakers talked about AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning and the future potential. There can be no doubt the opportunities will be game-changing and huge but it’s fair to say that the ordinary impact we’re experiencing is, so far, minimal. Bigger retailers and organisations are investing heavily. But are we seeing an impact yet?

And there was also cause and opportunity to consider matters specifically related to fulfilment and logistics over the course of the day at the dedicated stream related to postal issues: the eDelivery Conference. In the sessions I attended I was struck by the extent to which consumer expectations are varied. Instantaneous delivery is sought by some and they’re willing to pay. Others, who are price conscious, will cheerfully wait and save the pounds. However, the characteristic shared by all consumers seems to be the desire to be kept informed about delivery times and progress.

And, needless to say, the evening drinks are where a great deal of business and banter takes place. And this year was no different and an entertaining occasion. Next up is Internet Retailing Expo in the spring. Maybe we will see you there?

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