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Keynote for ScotlandIS’s eCommerce Conference

I was pleased to give the keynote address to the eCommerce Scotland Forum on 13 February in Glasgow.

c270 delegates gave a very warm welcome and some direct, tough questioning – both during the Q&A and also over coffee and lunch.

Event details are here: http://www.scotlandis.com/events/event-details/1190

The presentation deck is available on Slideshare:

“Connecting with the Connected Customer” – eCommerce Trends 2014, Warsaw.

ian-jindal-banner-warsaw

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.  

Morrison’s move to online grocery delivery – BBC Radio interview (Shane O’Connor show)

On 10 January, 2014 Morrisons at last joined the ‘club’ of major grocers in the UK who deliver online. Their share price and reputation had been on the receiving end of negative sentiment, and so with the launch of the pilot programme in the West Midlands I was interviewed by BBC Radio, starting with a direct question “They are so behind the game, is that going to be a problem for them [Morrisons]? Coming to the party so late?”…

My colleague at InternetRetailing, Chloe Rigby, covered the story and you can leave comments and join the debate there: http://internetretailing.net/2014/01/one-week-on-how-is-morrisons-online-grocery-service-going/

Chairing ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst EU Conference

It was my pleasure to return as Chair to Catalyst 2013, Channeladvisor’s European conference.

This year the format was a mix of presentations and ‘fireside chats’ (even though we had no fire!).

I had a fun session with the irrepressible Chris Poad from Amazon – candid, engaging and fun as ever, and continuing his track record of never ducking a question.

Ian Jindal and Chris Poad having a ‘fireside chat’ at Catalyst 2013

I then had an equally candid and no-holds barred chat with Ashley Payne of Debenhams and Helena Risdale of Littlewoods Clearance.

Ian Jindal, Helena Risdale (Littlewoods Clearance) and Ashley Payne (Debenhams) having a ‘fireside chat’ at Catalyst 2013

Details of the event are here:

http://www.channeladvisor.com/catalyst2013/

and there’s a live-blog transcript of my chat with Mr Poad here:
http://ebaystrategies.blogs.com/ebay_strategies/2013/06/live-blogging-from-2013-catalyst-europe-amazon-fireside-chat.html

My thanks to ChannelAdvisor for their warm welcome and ever, and for the additional and generous support of my fundraising for Sonia.

“Capability and Maturity” – editorial from the May 2011 edition of InternetRetailing Magazine

I’ve just published the web version of my Editorial for the May 2011 issue of our Magazine, “Capability and Maturity”.

You can see it on Internet Retailing’s site here:

http://www.internetretailing.net/2011/05/editorial-capability-and-maturity/

There’s also a link to the May 2011 Digital Edition of Internet Retailing Magazine (‘page turner’), also available online.

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.

“The Thick Slice” – Editorial from the March 2011 edition of InternetRetailing Magazine

I’ve just published the web version of my Editorial for the March 2011 issue of our Magazine, “The Thick Slice”.

You can see it on Internet Retailing’s site here:

http://www.internetretailing.net/2011/05/editorial-the-thick-slice/

There’s also a link to the digital ‘page turner’ edition, also now published online.

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” – Editorial from the January 2011 edition of InternetRetailing Magazine

I’ve just published the web version of my Editorial for the January 2011 issue of our Magazine. You can see it on Internet Retailing’s site here:

http://www.internetretailing.net/2011/05/editorial-planes-trains-and-automobiles/

There’s also a link to the digital ‘page turner’ edition, also now published online.

“Purchandising” – Editorial from November 2010’s issue of Internet Retailing Magazine

I’ve just published the web version of my Editorial for the November 2010 issue of our Magazine. You can see it on Internet Retailing’s site here:

http://www.internetretailing.net/2010/12/editorial-purchandising/

There’s also a link to the digital ‘page turner’ edition, also now published online.

“No more eCommerce – it’s Total Retail” – Editorial from September 2010’s issue of Internet Retailing magazine

Here’s my editorial from the September 2010 edition of Internet Retailing magazine. You can see this article in the digital edition here:

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/bd0ff4ae#/bd0ff4ae/6

We’ve long predicted that multiple channels will give way to an integrated commercial approach, but inspired by the World Cup – and not allowing his utter ignorance of football to stand in his way – Ian Jindal reflects on the lessons from the Beautiful Game’s radical transformation in the 1970s, drawing parallels with today’s changes: welcome to the age of Total Retail.

In January’s column, we looked forward to a year in which Boards would place ever-increasing demands on the eCommerce teams, and that eCommerce leaders will need to become rounded, commercial leaders in order to secure their role on the Board. Since January we’ve also seen the rise of mobile and m-commerce and this has increased the pace of innovation and digital development, further eroding channel boundaries. M-Retailing.net, our new title, charts the increased pace of change, but there remains a nagging feeling that the game has changed.

In our businesses we expect our teams to combine deep functional expertise, with a non-trivial appreciation of other disciplines, and finally an ability to assimilate and master change situations, new skills and the changes in customer behaviour and demands. Admittedly there’ll be training – both corporate and self-directed – but there is also a need to reconsider the way we manage and lead our digital teams, as well as the wider business, to achieve against these demands.

In the 1970s there was a similar need to change the approach to football. With faster balls and pitches, increased professionalism and training demands, the static tactical approaches that ranged lines of offence and defence against each other had become turgid. The insight was to create a system where any player could take over the role of any other player – fluidly, autonomously and to great effect. A multitalented player would be expected to be an attacker, a midfield play-maker and a defender – seamlessly and without pause. A jack of all trades and master of most.

Central to the tactical approach of Total Football were the notions of creating space, flexibility and collaboration, founded upon rigorous and demanding training and a proactive attitude, always seeking opportunity and taking initiative.

Likewise the modern eCommerce team. For ‘creating space’ we have the need to create commercial opportunity – even amidst the mayhem and turmoil of minute-by-minute trading. Members of a Total Retail team are expected to act commercially, create opportunities, despite the pressures of daily activity.

The notion of multitalented team-members is also vital. Not only must there be an appreciation and understanding of other people’s skills, but team members must also be able to make a credible contribution in other areas. No more “I am a marketeer” or “I am a technologist” – eCommerce professionals must be both (as well as operationally savvy and commercially astute). Indeed, we created the MSc in Internet Retailing as a programme to assist the development of multi-talented leaders for our industry.

One aspect not present in the 1970s was “fan power”, or ‘customer power’. Our colleagues in store have the most intimate human contact with some customers, but across the whole business it’s the multi-touch, extensive digital contacts that give eCommerce professionals a privileged insight to the customer’s activities. With social media we have an enviable view of the customer’s attitudes and activities beyond the shopping experience in our domains. Further, considering m-commerce and mobile interaction, we’re increasingly able to gain more insight into customers’ behaviour even when they’re not “online” and explicitly shopping or researching.

Total Retail is the opportunity for us to progress from a simple injunction to ‘be more skilled and commercial’ to an approach of being more engaged with customers – at every stage of consideration, socialising, learning, buying and sharing. Being of service to a demanding, knowledgeable and social customer, at all times, places and points of attention. It’s a fully committed approach. To deliver upon this demand we need both to hone our individual skills as players, and to develop a ‘game play’ that is open, flexible and enterprising. The tenets are skills, flexibility, collaboration and creating opportunity.

This shift will be uncomfortable and demanding, even upon those who believe it to be a necessity (and an opportunity). However, it’s likely that our customers will come to expect this sooner than the majority of retailers will respond – meaning significant spoils for those who can bring sparkle to the retail game, much as the Dutch shook up football 40 years ago. Time for us all to embrace Total Retail, and we’ll return to this theme again over the coming year.