How is physical retail being reinvented?

Customers expect to be able to go online when in-store and are keen to use a range of technologies during the physical retailing experience, according to research set to be revealed in a new report later this week.

The study from retail tech business accelerator Eccomplished found that, although UK retailers are starting to introduce more technology into their stores, there is still a gap between what the consumer wants and what retailers are currently offering.

Matt James, chief operating officer at Eccomplished, said: "The report shows that the customer is extremely willing to share their in-store experiences, but 70% of the retailers we visited don't even offer free Wi-Fi.

"Customers expect to seamlessly move from the online to physical retail world and some retailers are making progress with this, but many still have a massive opportunity to meet consumers' expectations."

Eccomplished is this year working with RBTE to host the Retail Innovation Theatre, sponsored by Epson, where tech innovators will present their ideas and solutions for driving forward the new tech-focused industry.

The first session focuses on Physical Retail Reinvented, which takes place on 11 March between 10:30-12:00 allowing RBTE visitors to discover technologies that seek to blur the lines between the physical and digital retail. Those in attendance will hear propositions aimed at enriching the retail in-store experience and bringing digital in-store.

Having been selected by RBTE's steering panel of retail thought leaders, the innovators presenting during this session are: MarketHub, BoscaBox, PMC, Wittos and HiperKinetic Ltd.

Technologies manager at Dixons Retail, Kash Ghedia, will host the session. Below are some details about the companies involved, who will be tackling the issues surrounding the reinvention of physical retail.

Market Hub

Speaker: Roy Horgan, founder

About the company: Our mission is to deliver a highly intuitive, intelligence based retail platform to make our customers more profitable.

Market Hub is a technology platform that provides retailers with a strategic tool that collects and analyses pricing, product, competitor and consumer social data. We achieve this by working in partnership with our price optimisation team to provide rule based data intelligence to retailers so they can take data decisions to create profit opportunities.


About the company: BoscaBox brings digital media to life in-store, delivered quickly and efficiently across national retail chains, as a key component in delivering on the promise of a multichannel customer experience and re-inventing the retail space.

BoscaBox's powerful Android-based platform enables retailers to deliver a truly multichannel digital experience in the store; efficiently and cost effectively. Clients include Vodafone Ireland and Grafton Group.


Speakers: Huw Thomas, managing director of PMC; Simon Curtis, SVP European strategic business development at YESpay; David Spratt, sales manager business systems at Epson.

About the company: PMC's Store Enabler is a unique application that allows retailers to transform their website into a mobile POS with full capabilities to scan products, take secure payment and print receipts. Store Enabler is the first product to truly unite store and web, providing a completely seamless customer experience and resolving the issues of lost sales due to out of stocks, long queues, customer not present transactions and limited selling space.

The application can run on any Android or iOS device, and has the capability to integrate with the payment, print and MDM solutions of your choice, therefore, the sky is not the limit.


About the company: Wittos makes Wi-Fi a destination for customers in-store, providing mobile analytics and predictive content over Wi-Fi, helping retailers discover meaningful context from the intersection of being online in a store.

The company enables high street retailers to serve and interact with consumers with a whole new level of relevance and creating in-store advantage by knowing what mobile customers want.

HiperKinect Ltd

About the company: Our technology uses 3D motion capture to deliver the most important customer behaviour metrics on the path to purchase in front of the shelf, for all shoppers and all interactions. 

HiperKinetic's technology automates capturing and analysing data about customers' behaviour in front of the shelf. The solution captures all interactions between shoppers and products and behaviour in the aisles, for all customers.

The other Retail Innovation Theatre sessions set to be covered over the course of the two days at RBTE are, as follows: Customer Centric Commerce; Customer Experience Transformed; Tomorrow's Retail World; Delivering The Promise; Unlocking International Markets.

The Innovation Theatre is free for visitors to attend, although pre-registration is recommended to secure your seat in what will be a packed-out theatre. Find out more information on the RBTE website.

Over the coming weeks, Essential Retail will be profiling each individual challenge set to be addressed at the Innovation Theatre.