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Independents to receive expert advice on online retailing at PLB Manchester roadshow

Published:  04 March, 2014

Expert advice on the do's and dont's of online retailing will be part of tomorrow's PLB roadshow tasting for independent retailers taking place in Manchester.

Harpers will be on hand to facilitate a debate that will look at the steps independent merchants need to take when looking to run their own online sales operation. 

Steve Mosey, head of BWS at Morrisons, will give his personal experience on the learnings he has taken from setting up Morrisons Cellar, the first online retail service set up by the grocery chain. Mosey will look at the challenges it has faced in starting an online wine offer for the first time and what advice he can now offer to independents looking to start their own online offers.

Ruth Yates, who runs the Corks Out chain of independent wine merchants across the north west, will look at how she has introduced online retailing to her offer and what difference it has made on the business. In particular she will focus on how having a strong, robust online offer can raise a merchant's profile above and beyond being a local independent player and give access to potential customers and sales around the country. 

Ben Stephenson of Hangingditch wine merchants in Manchester city centre will look at how he uses its website, alongside targeted customer newsletters and social media to help promote the business, highlight and sell tastings and events and raise the store's profile in the city and surrounding area.

The session will also look atthe range of online services merchants, retailers, bars and restaurants can now use to provide a better service for customers.

Jamal Hirani or Orderella will look at how it has developed an app that allows customers to pay for their bar and restaurant bills whilst sitting at their table and not having to bother with what can become a prolonged and stressful payment process. Hirani will discuss similar ideas that merchants could use in their businesses to improve customer service through online tools.

The debate, to be chaired by Harpers editor, Richard Siddle, takes place at 2pm at the Manchester tasting at the People's History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER between 10am-4pm.

It is part of activity to support the PLB regional roadshows that has already seen a tasting take place in Edinburgh on March 4, which it co-hosted with Hatch Mansfield, and London on March 6 at One Great George Street, SW1P 3AA between 10am-4pm.

Former World Sommelier of the Year, Gerard Basset MW, MS OBE, will take part in a Q&A session at the London tasting on how wine companies can better engage with the on-trade sector.