IRX 2017 PREVIEW Plenty to see for the smaller retailer
Stage 3: Sell
Paul Skeldon
31st March 2017
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Next week the mighty Internet Retailing Expo 2017 (IRX 2017) rolls in to the Birmingham NEC, and everyone connected with ecommerce, from vendors to retailers to even the humble blogger like me, descends on the pallid halls for a dose of what’s going on in the industry.

And it is a feast for the smaller eSeller as it not only gives you a chance to hear what the big boys are up to, but it also gives you a chance to meet start ups and others who may well be the companies that give you the chance to elevate your business to ‘big boy’ status.

Innovation doesn’t just come from the big players with more resources and investment; it also comes from the small emerging start-ups who can spot a gap and quickly develop a product or service. And that is where the Innovation Hub at this year’s show comes into its own.

Here will be gathered some of the most innovative entrepreneurs and emerging technologies in the world (that sounds so much better if you read it in a Jeremy Clarkson voice). TrueStart, Europe’s only independent retail and consumer accelerator and investment fund — along with a tonb of startups — will be presenting new technological solutions and platforms that are disrupting the retailing space.

Covering all things; checkout-conversion improvement, home-delivery, data analytics, search optimisation, bottom-line improvement, supply chain management and anti-counterfeit measures, innovating in the last-mile and data-driven videos, these newbies really need to be checked out – and with an open mind: think how you can maybe turn your business on its head or make it something unique with some new technology.

Six of the key start ups will also be taking part in an elevator pitch battle – chaired by me, you lucky people – on Wednesday 5 April at 14:00. Come along and hear what they have to say.

Elsewhere in the show, there are several key areas that I would advise any eSeller to check out. Chief among these would be the Digital Payments Theatre. Payments is an oldy, but essential and here you will hear the latest on speed and latency, smooth processes, fraud reduction, chargeback reduction, CRM and loyalty and cultural issues with overseas payments. In short, it is the place to get your questions answered about payments.

On a more educational level, IRX 2017 is also running a comprehensive series of workshops across the two days of the show covering everything from packaging (boring but important – and an essential marketing tool) to how to do email marketing so personal it’s like their own mother wrote it. I am particularly looking forward to ‘The most dangerous product recommendation mistakes that hit large retailers – and how to fix them’ – something that all retailers need to learn from.

There are many more across the two days (5 and 6 April) covering just about everything you can think of. But more importantly, they are the place to ask questions and get answers about your ecommerce problems. Come along and pick some of the best brains in the industry.

If you have a really pressing problem and want to essentially see an ecommerce Doctor, then there are also a series of Clinics running too that can help. Cyber surgeons from a range of companies are sharpening their spoons as we speak ready to dissect your problem. Book a slot here.

There are of course many more things going on across the show – conferences, keynotes, lounges to wish you could get in (I know I do) and your chance to meet me and buy me a drink at the official after party. What more could you want? Check out the site and see you there!

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Author: Paul Skeldon
Editor specialising in all things mobile.

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