The Internet Retailing EXPO is quite a big eCommerce Event in Birmingham. This year about 5k people visited the expo and conference. You could meet with 300 exhibitors showcasing their solutions.

My takeaways are:

  • The Mobile Web is much more important than Mobile Apps in eCommerce right now. All major retailers are saying this, starting with Argos.
  • Black Friday is now Black Fiveday, which is nearly as big as the Christmas buying spree.
  • For Omnichannel success, Click & Collect is the main driver. You should start here.
  • For Brands doing Digital Transformation, the crucial part is to save the brand experience during this process – LEGO Case Study is a good example. The challenge was to replicate this joyful feeling from off-line stores to the eShop. They succeeded thanks to complex research tools, personas, and customer journey maps.
  • Big Players are happy augmenting their teams with external agencies, software houses and other suppliers. The typical eCommerce department is quite small and it looks like a Project Management Office.
  • User Testing is mainstream now. All big retailers are using many UX Tools. Some of them: FullStory, HotJar,,,, etc.
  • John Lewis is a very interesting Case Study on Digital Transformation.
  • Product Information Management and Content Creation Processes must change to respond to the needs of mobile users.
  • Amazon is setting standards for eCommerce customer care and logistics, they think very long-term and many retailers can’t afford that. This will create a huge gap between the best retailers and the rest of the retail world.
  • Microservices Architecture in eCommerce is a growing trend that helps retailers to build large, scalable and flexible eCom solutions. ps. Our CTO is testing an eBook about this. Just let him know to receive a free beta-copy.
  • Order Management and Logistics Optimization Tools are getting more and more popular. I found 10+ solutions in this year’s exhibition.
  • There is a growing market of software that helps integrate omnichannel systems with quite impressive flexibility and ease of use. You can use one of the cloud solutions to integrate external channels (like marketplaces, product feeds) together with ERP, CRM and eCommerce Platform.
  • eCommerce is a unified market in Europe. We see this same trend impacting all European countries. It looks like the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands are the most advanced markets but gaps between these markets and rest of Europe is smaller every year. We saw this same trend in other European cities this year.
  • Personalization is a commodity right now but the winners are able to create c coherent experience through all channels.
  • The most interesting startups of IRX17 to me are:
    Product Discovery Tool –
    Anti-counterfeit mechanism based on Blockchain for Retail
    Warehouses Marketplace
    ZigZag helps retailers manage eCommerce returns globally


Tomasz Karwatka

Supervisory Board Member at Divante. Leading industry voice who believes eCommerce can improve our world. Co-founder of Vue Storefront and Open Loyalty, angel investor, and founder of Tech To The Rescue. CEO at Divante eCommerce Technology Company | LinkedIn | Twitter

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