Pretty much every night of the week, the glamorous hotels that line London’s Park Lane are filled to bursting with the brightest and best of the business world. Every sector of society has its own awards night when, dressed in black tie or ball gowns, executives from Britain’s top organisations flock with fingers crossed to the heart of the West End. Last Tuesday was our night, the night of the BT Retail Week Technology Awards.
Giving awards in the business world can seem a little trivial at a time of austerity but, with people often working longer hours with fewer resources, there’s no better moment to publically recognise success. And we can testify from our own experience that a sliver-winning project team will return from London brighter and better motivated than when they left, albeit with eyelids propped open with matchsticks for a few days. Trophies look great in the boardroom too.
This is the second year we’ve sponsored the Retail Week Technology Awards. It’s a great hospitality and networking event where we can meet existing and potential customers in informal – but heavily branded - surroundings. You can network equally well in a box at Lords but associating our brand strongly with a leading publication, and with innovation pays dividends. The other positive about awards sponsorship is that we get plenty of brand awareness in the run up to the event, as the organisers crank up their marketing, and afterwards as the winners publicise their success.
This year, there were many worthy winners and you can find out who they were and why they won on the Retail Week Technology awards 2011 website. I’d like to highlight two of my favourites. The first is the surprise success of Whistles (one of our customers) in the Best Project Implementation category which shows that smaller retailers can compete on the big stage. The second is Shutl’s success with Argos. Shutl offer 90 minute delivery of online orders by sending a local courier to pick up the goods from store. This turns shops into a competitive advantage for multichannel retailers versus the pure plays and is the most innovative application of technology to a retail business problem for a while. We’ve subsequently implemented Shutl linking to our Integrated Store product at Aurora Fashions.
So, that’s it for the BT Retail Week Technology Awards for this year but the brightest and best in retail technology will be reconvening in Park Lane in the Autumn for the Retail Systems bash. Maybe we’ll see you there.
Blog post by Geoffrey Barraclough - Director, Strategy, Marketing & Propositions, BT Expedite