Showcasing the highlights of the Internet Retailing Conference 2015 - now in its tenth year ... by Chloe Rigby

In the run-up to Internet Retailing Conference 2015 we’re running a series of pieces showcasing the highlights of the event, now in its tenth year. Today our focus is on Stream 1, The Customer. By Chloe Rigby

Just as the customer is at the heart of today’s ecommerce and multichannel retailing, so too the customer is at the heart of Internet Retailing Conference 2015 (IRC ’15).

Technologies are now available to develop one-to-one relationships with the online customer in a way that’s never before been possible, and retailers are adopting them eagerly to develop new approaches to customer engagement. Throughout IRC 15 Stream 1, The Customer, merchants and industry professionals will consider the effect that new tools have had on retail strategy.

IRC 2015 will be held on October 14 at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. To find out more or to register visit

The conference opens with a keynote session featuring speakers including Peter Williams, chairman of and former chief executive of Selfridges.

The opening keynote session of Stream 1 takes a look ahead, assessing how retailers will develop relationships with their customers in the years to come – and how they can plan for that now. Future ball gazing – understanding and connecting with tomorrow’s customers is at 11.20am. The stream sponsor will take the platform at 11.55am.

At 12.30pm we’ll hear from Caroline Rolfe, global director – digital at ghd [IRDX RGHD] with the story of how the beauty brand has approached the challenge of developing new, and deeper, relationships with shoppers. Digital to drive deeper customer connections is at 12.30pm in The Customer stream. Her presentation is followed immediately after by the lunch break.

The growing importance of mobile in commerce is the subject for Jack Smith, group digital director at New Look [IRDX RNEW]. He’ll explain how the fashion fashion brand has developed new approaches to reaching the connected consumer as they move through their day. His retailer case study Capturing the pocket books of customer on the go! is at 2pm.

A panel of industry veterans will gather to discuss the issues thrown up by consumer demand for a better shopping experience that delivers across channels from the store to the desktop, via mobile devices. Their discussion, Adapting your organisation to win customers in the new retail battleground, is at 2.35pm.

Then, Gaetano Sodo, general manager for global Ray Ban direct-to-consumer sales at the Luxottica Group will be the speaker for our next retailer case study. He’ll consider how brands and traders can offer a personalised shopping experience with the wow factor to stand out from the competition. Customer experience – it’s getting personal! is at 3.15pm.

Paul Coby, CIO at John Lewis [IRDX RJLW], offers the closing keynote address with an overview of how the department store group brought together existing and new technologies in innovative ways that have the customer at their heart. Integrating the old with the new for a better omnichannel customer experience is at 4.30pm.

IRC 2015 will be held on October 14 at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. To find out more or to register visit