Tech by Retail Week - Review

Elliott Winskill, Product Manager for Store Enabler, talks about his visit to Tech by Retail Week.

Between the 13th and 14th of September, I attended the Retail Week Tech: Transform Together conference at Here East, London. With amazing attendees like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Oracle, IBM and an array of start-ups and tech companies, I was in good company.  I went there to understand the impact of technology on the retail market and how advanced into the mobile revolution retailers are currently at.

I learned a lot about the current mindset of the retail market, the importance of innovation and the evolution of the on demand. Amazon was the common theme throughout the conference and clearly are currently the innovation leaders.

Below are a few things that I took away from the conference, these are very much my interpretation others will have different views, which is exactly why the conference was such a success.

  • Cards of all kinds whether payment, loyalty or identification are on the way out over the next 5 years.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality will take off in next 2 years, with mobile set to grow in parallel.
  • Start-ups are making up most of the market now due to their ability to innovate and big companies are just waiting till they are big enough and then buying them out.

These views do not give justice to the level of the information, knowledge and great debate that was held at the conference and the following is my review of the event itself.

  • Excellent location and could see the effort made by Retail Week to create an exciting conference environment.
  • The mix of stands at the discovery was good, giving a good variety.
  • The different stages were well set up and configured, each with a distinctive style, this was a fantastic way of ensuring each talk/discussion was varied, using different techniques.
    • Main Stage - all the main speakers and big flashy presentations.
    • Track 1 - Next to main stage and all people were given headphones which the presenter's mic spoke to, none of the talks tried to compete to be heard.
    • Track 2 - in the main area and focused on panels and discussion - perfect use of the area.
    • Discovery Area - another presentation stage, but slightly smaller and good for the more unique presentations.
  • The paperless mobile application approach worked perfectly, allowing for questions to be easily asked without the hassle of a microphone. This was genius and the application was easy and intuitive.
  • The day was filled with back to back talks, which while a couple ran over causing challenges to getting to the next, this was a minor fact and overall worked perfectly.
  • No talk was too long or too short and I never got bored or tired of watching talks or listening to panels.

Overall the event was brilliant and was a worthwhile two days, having come away with many questions about how we can evolve to meet future retail needs. The event brought together the major technology firms that are changing the face of retail and I am determined we are going to be a part of that revolution and Store Enabler will have a major part to play.

Taken from the presentation of Paul Misener (VP Global Innovation and communication, Amazon):

“All leaders make bad decisions and not all innovation works but never stop trying something new because when it works it pays off. Just never bet the company.”

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