Thanks to Brand Quarterly for publishing my article on the challenge of ‘silos’ in retail. Charged with being simultaneously agile/flexible and stable/optimised, organisational silos were an answer to the latter, yet create a barrier to the former. In this article I discuss the balance that retail leaders must strike in order to benefit from flexibility as well as efficiency.
Provided you didn’t blink in the wrong place you may have caught my contribution to a BBC documentary on how John Lewis prepares for Christmas. I had great fun contributing to a topic that we’ve covered ourselves – namely how the elite retailers prepare for peak. An interesting take within the programme was that #BlackFriday had changed the ‘traditional’ Christmas peak, and further looked at the role of eCommerce ‘pure play’ giant Amazon.co.uk in the competitive landscape for John Lewis.
I was really impressed with the research the team did beforehand. We had a number of phone discussions, follow-up questions and a good brief on the ‘arc’ of the show. I had a great time filming my snippets and even though it was a couple of hours the time passed really quickly. I’m sure that TV production crews forget how interesting we find the whole process! Most of the filming I do is around our events and these tend to be one-take-only commentaries. At first I thought that it was a luxury to have more time, but now I simply feel a combination of awe and sympathy at the skill and patience needed to turn hundreds of hours of footage into a coherent, brief broadcast!
My on-screen contribution comprised of a review of the customer expectations on delivery (c 0h24’) and upon the role of SEO in supporting visibility and sales at peak (c0h30’).
We’ve covered John Lewis extensively on InternetRetailing – they’re one of our “Elite” UK retailers in the InternetRetailing Top500. You can see John Lewis’ company listing as well as information on the Top500 on our site.
Pleased to have been invited to speak at the spring 2014 ‘eCommerce Trends’ conference in Warsaw. You can see the programme and information about the other speakers here: http://2014wiosna.ecommercetrends.pl/program The topic is “Connecting with the Connected Customer” and I’ll be covering:
The digital customer is becoming more knowledgeable and more demanding. Even as retailers rush to catch up with eCommerce, mCommerce and multichannel, the Customer already takes this for granted. Not only do our Customers expect everything to ‘just work’, they want the best prices, the best range, the best service and – most amazing – the very best entertaining and memorable experiences. In this interactive session, Ian will consider the successful retailers in the UK and Europe and draw out 10 important trends that you should consider for your business. Covering the range of digital marketing, operations, multichannel and technology these trends will be illustrated with case studies and review of the key considerations for ADOPTION and Implementation.
Very much looking forward to my first visit to Warsaw and chatting with ecommerce and multichannel professionals in this very dynamic and fast-growing market. UPDATE: here are the slides from the session – with my thanks to everyone for such a warm welcome and great discussions.
In the article I mention the MSc in Internet Retailing – a commercial qualification, academically assessed and accredited.
Applications for the MSc are now being accepted for September 2011 start: information at http://econsultancy.com/uk/training/qualifications/retailing. Open evenings on 26 May (Manchester) and 14 June (London) can be booked online . You will have a chance to chat with us, the academic staff from MMU and the Econsultancy trainers, as well as speaking with current students from the first and second intakes.
A while ago we launched the Post-Graduate Diploma in Internet Retailing. The programme was developed, in conjunction with Econsultancy.com, to support the skills and career development of multichannel retail professionals. The qualification spans the gamut of etail activity – from buying, sourcing and category management, to online marketing by route of operations, IT and logistics.
On Tuesday we were challenged by the accreditation board of Manchester Metropolitan University to assess whether the programme was at a sufficiently high level and with a suitable supporting academic framework to be worthy of being awarded Masters status.
After three and a half hours of grilling by the panel and external assessors we were incredibly gratified to be told that we had been approved as a Masters programme.
Congratulations are due to David Bird, Director at MMU’s Business School and Craig Hanna, Training Director at Econsultancy.com, both of whom worked incredibly hard to make the programme ready for assessment.
We’ve now got to update the webpage and revise marketing materials to reflect that this is now (we think) the UK’s first and only…