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RBTE 2014: Innovation Theatre Review

There was little standing room left as Nick Wheeler, founder and owner of Charles Tyrwhitt, opened The Retail Innovation Theatre at RBTE 2014.

Sharing his perspectives on retail innovation and the reasons behind the success of his business, the packed theatre heard the secrets behind the growth of Charles Tyrwhitt from humble beginnings as a mail-order shirt business in 1986 to a multichannel retailer with over 22 bricks and mortar stores worldwide and growing fast.

A strict focus on the customer and the use of innovation such as Feefo's rating and review technology to enable a greater customer experience was the overriding piece of advice from the UK businessman.

Reinventing Physical Retail

The first session of the day was hosted by Kash Ghedia, Technologies Manager at Dixons Retail, and it addressed the reinvention of physical retail.

Highlighting recent research by Eccomplished, BoscaBox kicked off the innovator presentations discussing how retailers, with the right platform, can make better use of in-store digital media to enrich the in-store experience.

MarketHub followed, outlining how pricing intelligence at the shelf edge offers a way for retailers to reduce the need to discount, sell more, whilst driving up profitability.

The poor adoption and provision of in-store WiFi by modern retail was highlighted by Wittos as a big opportunity for retailers to meet the in-store requirements of today’s omnichannel, mobile-engaged customer.

HiperKinetic showed us how retailers can bring big data intelligence into physical world, understanding the customer path to purchase. PMC discussed uniting bricks and clicks by bringing the online experience in-store.

Customer Centric Commerce

Ometria kicked off the second Innovation Theatre session with an entertaining and interactive demonstration of how they can help retailers gain greater online customer insight for better eCommerce decisions, ensuring they sell the right products and driving online profitability.

The value of guided selling in driving conversion and customer loyalty, both online and in-store was addressed by SMARTASSISTANT, whilst Feefo discussed the power of consumer reviews for maximising customer lifetime value.

Atosho discussed how their distributed ecommerce platform can help consumers shop at the point at which demand is created and FrockAdvisor talked about how independent fashion retailers can help their customers find fashion in an omnichannel world.

Customer Experience Transformed

Brian Towshend, a retail consultant currently working with Marks & Spencer, hosted our third and final session on the transformation of customer experience in front of another packed house.

Mobile experts Donky kicked off with a demonstration of how in-app messaging can transform customer experience, drive acquisition, retention and satisfaction. Then, image recognition innovator Style-Eyes showed how to help consumers find products they like from hundreds of retailers simply by taking a picture via their mobile phone.

Qudini addressed the challenge of customer service in-store and how creating an efficient in-store customer experience can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and ultimately, sales.

TalkDesk shared their eight lessons learned from one million support calls and how every customer who calls in to a retailer must be treated like a VIP.

Finally, ITAB talked about the reinvention of the checkout and how with the right technology, retailers can redeploy shop floor staff to more customer experience defining tasks.

RBTE would like to thank the Eccomplished team for their role in organising the Retail Innovation Theatre and thank Epson for sponsoring the two-day showcase.

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