Retail solutions company Starmount is returning to RBTE, and it will be showcasing its range of products at the two-day event at London Olympia between 9-10 March 2016.

Essential Retail caught up with Jerry Rightmer, EVP and chief product and strategy officer at Starmount, to find out more about the company and its plans for the spring show.

Why have you booked for RBTE 2016?

We chose to come to RBTE for a couple of key reasons. First, we see it as a great venue to connect with European retailers and plug into the emerging trends that are reshaping the retail industry in Europe and in other markets. Second, Starmount has built a reputation as a leading provider of innovative technology to North American retailers since 2006, and RBTE marks the launch of our international expansion efforts. In addition to seeing an uptick in interest in omnichannel retailing internationally, a number of our existing customers are deploying our solutions in their own international operations this year, and some are planning rollouts of our latest enhancements this year, so we’re working to meet the demand. 

What new technology will you be displaying at RBTE 2016, and why is it relevant?  

We will be showcasing the Starmount Customer Engagement Suite, which is one of the leading omnichannel platforms in the US, but still relatively new to European retailers. We’re also planning a couple of key product launches early in 2016, and we’ll be demonstrating these new solutions at RBTE. 

Name some of the retailers that you are currently working alongside?

Starmount’s customers are some of the marquee brands of US retail, including Urban Outfitters, Perry Ellis and Abercrombie & Fitch. We work well with the retailers that recognise that their stores can be an asset in an omnichannel world when they incorporate the best aspects of the online shopping experience into the store environment - and build on the inherent strengths of the store as a destination. 

What's the best customer service you've experienced this year?

Our solutions help retailers use product, inventory, and customer information to personalise the shopping experience, so I tend to hold retailers to some pretty high service standards. Here’s one experience that stands out. I like to hike in the winter, but the weather in Texas is unpredictable, so I needed more flexible outerwear options. As I was looking at what was on the rack, an associate started a conversation about the locations I hike and the typical conditions, and he offered some anecdotal feedback from other shoppers available on a mobile device that helped me pick the right style and brand over others. It turned out to be the right choice, and the interaction made a great impression on me. It was the kind of experience that highlights what can make the store visit unique and worthwhile.  

Quick-fire question round: Do you...

Shop in-store or online? I do online research for items I’m looking to buy and then head to a store to try on or test the product and complete the purchase in the store. I’m also a big fan of click & collect, so it’s not an either/or choice for me

Prefer tea or coffee? I’m a coffee enthusiast. I roast it, grind it, and can drink it all day!

Use Facebook or Twitter? I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but I do use it to keep up with my children. As for Twitter, I can highly recommend the Starmount feed.

Use iOS or Android? I’m an Apple/iOS fan.

Rate beacons or digital signage? One size doesn’t fit all with beacons and signage. Beacons can be a great way to personalise offers and differentiate the store experience, but it depends on the retailer and if they can make the technology non-intrusive and relevant. The same is true for digital signage. Both technologies have a place — but they need to be backed by the right omnichannel technology.

Use contactless or cash? I prefer contactless because it’s more convenient and it provides a paper trail.

Visitors to RBTE 2016 can meet with Starmount at Stand 400.