Great expectations – here’s why you should attend the InternetRetailing Expo in May at NEC Birmingham

April 4, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

By IRX - Thousands of industry professionals will gather for the UK’s premier digital retail show, IRX – which is free to attend

The InternetRetailing Expo (IRX), considered the UK’s premier digital retail show, returns to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on the eve of summer. IRX and eDX (the eDelivery Expo) take place on May 24th and 25th. Registration is now open for the free, two-day event.

Although IRX has been running for 17 years, it has never been more relevant, arguably. According to the latest Office for National Statistics data, online sales in January 2023 accounted for precisely one-quarter of all retailing in Great Britain. Notably, pre-pandemic, in February 2020, the figure was 19.8% – but there are obvious reasons for the change.

The lockdowns implemented to reduce the spread of coronavirus forced retailers to shutter physical stores and triggered an e-commerce explosion. But now, post-pandemic, consumer trends are evolving, and those operating in this space must elevate their digital retail offering or miss out. Here’s where IRX and eDX can help. 

Networking and interaction at IRX

Attendees will be informed by the latest trends and innovations shaping the industry, influenced by talks from over 100 thought leaders and speakers – ranging from industry veterans to rising stars – and inspired by pioneering technology providers or solutions providers.

Thousands of industry professionals will participate in the must-attend event in the digital retail calendar. With “networking” and “interaction” as the watchwords, attendees are encouraged to listen, learn, and share. From 5 pm, directly after the formal agenda has been completed, on May 24th, things will become more relaxed. Free networking drinks will be poured at the IRX bar in the center of the exhibition floor until 6.30 pm (at least officially). This 90-minute informal session is ideal for unwinding and chatting with fellow retailers, sponsors, and exhibitors.

IRX is a unique event where people can catch up with old friends, make new contacts, and hear about the latest trends – plus find out how to make the most of them. By attending workshops, IRX visitors will gain valuable insights and hear applicable, practical advice to enable businesses to thrive.

IRX always attracts the biggest names, and the lineup for 2023 is no exception. For example, this year’s conference will feature various household brands, exhibitors, and sponsors, including Amazon Freight, Amazon Shipping, Worldline, GFS, and Checkout.com. Also present will be Wunderkind, Shopify, and Klaviyo, among many others.

Additionally, Claire Hennah, Unilever’s Global Ecommerce Director, Selfridges Head of Customer Data, Giles Smith, and Michelle Kearns, Head of IT for Boots, are just three of 100+ speakers sharing their insights on stage at the NEC. Anjali Subburaj, DCX Architect at The Very Group, Nick Bradford, JD.com’s Sustainability and Procurement Director, and River Island CIO Adam Warne will also speak. And these are just the confirmed brands and presenters – many more will be announced before May 24th.

Conference tracks at IRX

Sessions across four conference theatres include keynotes, panels, and fireside chats. Meanwhile, three workshop theatres will provide practical and applicable advice on a range of subjects.

The seven conference tracks reflect the most relevant topics for digital retail professionals. For 2023, these include Marketing, Digital Marketing, Customer Experience, Customer Obsession, and Omnichannel Innovation.

To provide prospective guests with an idea of what will likely be discussed in the four tracks, below is a selection of working-agenda items – please note that these are subject to change.

Digital Marketing

As well as providing the stage for the initial plenary sessions on May 24th, Theatre 1 will feature sessions on how to market during the downturn – to help customers make the right purchases during the cost-of-living crisis – and how to capitalize on consumer browsing trends and impulse purchases. Also, tips to succeed Gen Z and Gen Alpha markets – both essential customers today and tomorrow – will be offered, plus advice about how best to use machine learning to improve conversion rates. On May 25th, Theatre 1 will feature sessions looking at how to stay competitive by creating brand authenticity, and how to drive revenue through gamification, storytelling, and influencers, among other trends. Attendees will also learn about the benefits of investing in a data-driven loyalty strategy to improve conversion rates and boost customer satisfaction. 

Customer Experience

In Theatre 2, guests will discover insights about how to use gamification and immersive shopping in the metaverse to enhance customer experience and improve all-important loyalty. Here speakers will also shine a light on building and engaging online communities by investing in artificial intelligence on social media channels to boost brand awareness.

Customer Obsession

This track is sponsored by Amazon Shipping and Amazon Freight. Following a welcome message from Daniel Evans, CEO of Birmingham Enterprise Community, visitors to Theatre 2 on May 25th will learn how to sell during an economic downturn – specifically how to respond to changes in customers’ buying behaviour – and tips for creating personalised shopping experiences that improve loyalty. There are also sessions on optimising the checkout experience to reduce basket abandonment, capturing Gen Z and Gen Alpha markets, the pros and cons of subscription-based services, and the future of online shopping.

Omnichannel Innovation

Theatre 3’s topics include maintaining a consistent experience when shifting from a multichannel to an omnichannel approach, tips to build a marketplace strategy into a business model and increase customer reach, and tapping into the circular economy.

IRX & eDX takes place on May 24th and 25th at the NEC, Birmingham. 

🔥Register for free here now. #IRX23 #eDX23🔥

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