April 29, 2011, 11:19 AM

IRCE Preview: Hot Spot

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At the Latest E-Commerce Technology Workshop on June 14, Todd Cabell, senior manager of web strategy at Crutchfield, will advise retailers on how to evaluate the wide array of mobile commerce technologies available. "I will share what retailers need to think about in putting together a good long-term plan," he says. "We will talk about soliciting customer feedback and expectations and putting that information to good use."

E-retailers are applying fresh thinking not only to trendy topics like social networks and mobile commerce, but also to the foundations of direct selling, such as customer service. Web-only retailer Hayneedle will discuss why it opened a contact center in Guatemala in 2008, then brought its customer service back home to Omaha, Neb., building a new facility last year that houses 150 agents who handle more than 1 million calls and e-mails a year. Tammy Van Donk, director of customer care, will explain in an IRCE session June 16 how the shift helped Hayneedle improve its agent recruiting and training—and led to higher customer satisfaction scores.

In case all this fresh thinking overloads attendees' brains, in the middle of the four days of IRCE there will be an opportunity for everyone to relax and dance in the streets of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, a short walk from the convention center. IRCE will take over a few blocks in that district Wednesday evening, June 15, and all attendees will be invited to enjoy the music of the high-energy L.A. All-Stars Band, and sample the food, drink and shopping of the historic neighborhood.

Then it will be back for two more days of fueling up with the innovative ideas e-retailers will need to keep up in the ever-accelerating e-commerce race.


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