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Dan Hare fo CommuniGator addresses delegates

Retail IT provides topical discussion

By Retail Technology | Tuesday November 5 2013

Click and collect, omnichannel retailing, email marketing, e-commerce web design and stock control explored recently at this year’s Retail IT conference

Retail software and services specialist Retail IT held its annual conference at the Oval cricket ground late last month, where industry specialists shared trends and best practice with delegates. 

Following an opening address from James Rodger, Retail IT’s managing director, email marketing specialist, Dan Hare from CommuniGator, advised retailers, whatever their size, to use email marketing for relationship building with their customers, and not just as a way to sell products. He also advised delegates to focus more on the content, layout and subject line of the email and less on bounces, frequency and unsubscribes. 

Promoting e-commmerce success

Rich Himsworth, from UK e-commerce provider Visualsoft, followed Hare by explaining the anatomy of a successful e-commerce site as being fast, well supported, scalable and on a reliable hosting platform. He talked about the layout of a web page and where messages should go to encourage buying. He also explained why the checkout procedure should be as simple as possible to ensure sale completion

Tania Oakey, retail marketing director for retail software provider Cegid, gave an presentation on omnichannel retailing and how the customer no longer thinks about the channel, i.e. online or instore, but instead just sees the brand. So retailers must bridge the gap between online and instore to give a superior customer experience, using multichannel services such as click and collect. She also spoke about social – such as Twitter and Facebook – as “the new CRM [customer relationship],” and what bricks and mortar stores will look like in the future. 

The day’s event finished with delegates splitting into two workshop groups. Well-known speaker Thierry Bayle from Global Fashion Management discussed the importance of buying the right amount of stock at the right time to maximise profits, and how categorising products correctly is critical to understanding stock control. The other workshop was run by the team at Retail IT and focused on loyalty and mobile point of sale (MPoS). 

Punching above business weight

Rodger commented on the objectives of the event. “The message I was hoping to get across was that our business is focused on leveraging the Yourcegid retail product to retailers of all sizes and enabling them to compete with the bigger companies when their budgets aren’t on the same scale. And I think we did that today,” he said. “It was a really enjoyable event.” 

Shane Fagg, IT director for Garrard and delegate at the event, agreed: “I really enjoyed it today; especially the session on omnichannel retailing. We’re thinking of selling online soon. So the discussion on click and collect might sway us on how we implement it.”

Another fellow delegate and Sweaty Betty operations manager, Hollie Steele, added: “I loved the presentations and the speakers were really dynamic. We recently moved to Cegid so it was good to hear Tania’s presentation. [With Cegid] everyone is really enjoying the fact it’s in real-time. That’s a major benefit for us.” 

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