6th October, 2014

A view from the Retail Week Technology and E-commerce Summit. What was yours?

Two weeks ago I went to the Emirates Stadium, not to watch the Gunners but to attend the Retail Week Technology and E-commerce Summit. The event was sponsored by BT and was merged for the first time.

The two day event consisted of an array of supplier stands, seminars to stimulate and create collaborative discussions and a host of networking opportunities. Delegates at the event said they were there to find out what is happening in the retail industry and wanted to learn about emerging technology used on-line and in store. A good example was the UK launch of the Amazon payment services which does not require customers to enter their customer or card details when making a purchase. This is because the customer’s Amazon account is used – to simplify the process and makes it easier for customers to shop.  Delegates were also interested in understanding how the leading retail technologists and professionals implemented solutions to improve the customer experiences and how to make Omni-channel solutions a success.

Kathy Quashie our CEO and John Bovill IT Director of Monsoon Accessorize talked about bridging bricks and clicks: Effectively leveraging technology in-stores which we play a key part in. John talked about how Monsoon Accessorise has implemented an Omni-channel solution. He highlighted it has become an important part of the business because it has driven sales and improved customer experiences. John also mentioned that it’s not only the technological capability that makes Omni-channel solution successful but you should consider the cultural changes for store staff when delivering click & collect and order in store for home delivery services.

Another great session was from one of our customers - Snow and Rock from David Kohn Multi-channel Director. He spoke about how Snow and Rock used our website to engage and enhance customers’ on-line journeys. By making it easier for customers to navigate, find products on the website and off the website. Also how to increase basket conversion by supplying buying guides and live chat to enrich the customer experience.

I spoke to a lot of attendees about the event and how BT Expedite’s retail capabilities could help their business. To make the networking breaks more exciting; we offered attendees the chance to win an iPad Mini. The winner will be announced the end of the week. So keep your fingers crossed for those who entered.

The influence of technology extended beyond retail and I loved using the electronic oneTap badge which enabled people to tap badges together to exchange details, which was great if you forgot your business card. After the event I made loads of new contacts but I didn’t beat the Sales Managers who made over 50+ new contacts.

There was also an opportunity to be part of the first 24-hour Retail Week Hackathon. Teams brainstormed how to “Create the Ultimate Customer Experience”; the winning team was from Kega Retail who claimed they had found a solution to prevent customers from abandoning baskets. We didn’t enter because it wouldn’t have been fair because we always create the ultimate customer experience day in day out with our customers.

The next event BT Expedite will be attending is Internet Retailing on the 14th October details can be found here

We look forward to seeing you there or you can hear more in our next blog.


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