28 April 2022
After 3 years the Retail Technology Show was finally back – and back to its best! The sun was shining and the show was lively with great insight from the keynotes, meeting exhibitors and catching up at the Big Retail Reunion Party. I really enjoyed being back and seeing innovation from across the retail tech spectrum. Here are some of my highlights from our two days in London Olympia.
RTS IRL (in real life)
What was immediately apparent was everyone’s excitement surrounding the show being back in person. Most talks I attended started with a comment about how nice it is talking to real people and not screens! Despite the hype surrounding VR, AI and the Metaverse alike, it’s still face-to-face interaction that excites people…
The future of retailing
Speaking of VR, AI and the Metaverse – questions surrounding the future of retailing were particularly prominent. Especially the relationship between the two: how can we make the synergy between the digital and the physical experience more seamless and more sustainable?
The ‘Future Gazing’ talk at RTS examined this gap and points out that “physical retail is all about experience.” As we all know, eCommerce is becoming increasingly popular, so, retailers must be prepared for the evolution of the store experience in the future – both to support their digital channels and ensure future profitability. A future which some suggest is already here, with the heightening importance of omnichannel shopping.
The need for speed, but with a watchful eye on the mental health of frontline retail workers
‘The Need for Speed’ was another thought-provoking session. The pandemic has certainly allowed retailers to shift their perspective to truly see the importance of speed and agility. The raised expectations for speed cannot come at ‘any cost’ especially if increased demands for speed impacts retail teams’ mental health.
This connected well to Chris Brook-Carter’s talk on the importance of supporting the mental health of your teams: “it is the moral responsibility of business to do good.”
According to retailTRUST’s research, did you know:
Chris advises teams to give line managers the necessary tools and training to support their team’s, and their own, wellbeing. In doing so, managers can spot what’s wrong and signpost help accurately and promptly. Afterall, employee experience defines your customer experience.
You can expect deeper analysis on these topics over the next two weeks – so keep an eye out.
RETAIL THRIVES AGAIN
#RTS2022 also marked the launch of StorIQ’s new book RETAIL THRIVES AGAIN, which is designed to help retail teams:
This book was a passion project for everyone involved and it was exciting to truly communicate the role of the store in the future of retail. Receiving the book in print and watching attendees at RTS read it was brilliant – sometimes you just can’t beat a book!
RTS Innovation Award
Finally, ahead of the show StorIQ were shortlisted at the RTS Innovation Awards. It was such a thrill being awarded a certificate and to feature on the Innovation Wall at the show. We’ve sent our congratulations to DayRize, the worthy winners of the award overall. But it was still a privilege that our product at StorIQ is recognised by retailer leaders and experts.
We all had a great time at RTS this week. However, to echo Andrew Busby’s wise words: while it’s great to be back, it has also never been more uncertain. Look at all your options, digest, and most importantly, don’t stop moving 🚀
Looking for ways to see how StorIQ can assist in your retail operations? Click here to see what our platform could do to streamline operations, increase store profitability while improving your retail employee experience.