Retail technology companies that exhibited at RBTE 2015 have rushed to sign up to next year's event at a record rate, and Essential Retail will be running a series of Q&As with the early re-bookers over the coming months.

Today it is the turn of The Pricing People. Company director James Ussher-Smith explains why the business is returning to RBTE for 2016.

What were your highlights from RBTE 2015?

The quality of visitors keeps improving, so RBTE continues to be a great show for us. The move to Olympia went well and our whole team enjoyed the show immensely.

What were the hot topics at RBTE 2015 compared to previous years and what's your overall view of how the show has developed?

It has developed really well into a "must go" for retailers in the UK and further afield. The range and standard of exhibitors is really high.

What were the top three reasons for re-booking a stand and confirming your appearance at RBTE 2016?

As The Pricing People continues to grow at a fantastic pace year on year, next year we need to raise our game at RBTE. We have always focused on a narrow set of our overall products, so next year we have booked a far larger stand and intend to go all out to impress visitors. We will be enlarging our unique 'real shop' concept and be encouraging visitors to be more hands on with our technology.

What are the main areas of focus for your business in the year ahead?

For us we are constantly seeing evidence that while retailers are doing a lot right, some of the more basic and frequently neglected in-store technology is not working for them. We see people still handwriting sale stickers, counting stock manually, replenishing by phone and email, with handheld terminals that are out of date and unreliable, running software that is not really fit for purpose.

Our focus is on these basic in-store efficiency improvements – where we can make a real difference for retailers from the ground up every single day. For 2015 we are investing heavily in further development of our operational efficiency software suite, and we have a couple of new hardware products to launch and shake up the in-store price labelling industry a bit!

Which technologies in particular do you predict will shake up retail in 2015/16?

It's been the same story for a while now, but it's still mobile point of sale. This could be as simple as building a transaction on a tablet and handing off to the till, or full payment. I made a purchase in an Apple store recently and saw just how well this can be done. The main negative experience for me about shopping is the queue, so anything that can be done to execute the purchase quicker and elsewhere in the store is a great step forward.

What is currently the greatest challenge to (a) your business and (b) the wider retailer industry?

The challenge for us all is simple – keeping up with, and keeping ahead of, technology. Things are moving forward at such a pace at the moment. It's impossible to follow up all the opportunities that this brings, but retailers and suppliers have to be smart about choosing what is worthy of their investment, and implementing to a high standard, so they can keep moving on to the next thing.

The next RBTE takes place at London's Olympia between 9-10 March 2016.

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The Pricing People