RBTE 2016: Ipsos returns to expo floor for fourth time

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 is running a series of Q&As with the early re-bookers over the coming months.

Today it is the turn of Ipsos Retail Performance. The company's head of sales and marketing, Tim Joint, explains how the business has seen the show "evolve, expand, and improve" in the three years it has been involved.

What were your highlights from RBTE 2015?

The highlight for us at RBTE 2015 was the opportunity to hold face-to-face dialogues with both new and existing clients. Visitors to our stand engaged with our core people counting solution, as well as enquiring about our thoughts on the recent Wi-Fi vs beacon technology discussions in the market.

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

2016 will be our fourth year exhibiting at RBTE, so we have seen the show evolve, expand, and improve over the years. The seminars have swelled in popularity with thought leadership topics setting the scene for the exhibition. Last year's BBC Breakfast interviews are testament to the shows reputation and the growing impact technology has on the day-to-day lives of retail shoppers.

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

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

Our focus has always been to help retailers make informed business decisions based on reliable insights. The year ahead is all about building the bigger picture for retailers. Footfall and conversion KPIs will continue to be at the core of our solutions, strengthened from consultative behavioural insights that unlock the customer experience throughout their in-store journey.

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

With the pace of technology, changing so rapidly predicting how things can change is a tricky task. Fundamentally, retailers will need to interpret and harness the magnitude of data at their fingertips to compel shoppers to spend in their stores.

A recessional market tends to focus on retail efficiency and the technologies that enable this process. As the market conditions continue to recover, the focus will shift towards technologies that benefit the customer. This has proven true in the current Wi-Fi or beacon technology debate. Initially Wi-Fi systems were installed in-stores to benefit the tech savvy consumer. Wi-Fi analytics technology soon followed offering retailer’s rich benefits such as patronage. However, as the customer becomes more economically confident, beacon technology will add additional value to the shopper’s perspective.

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

(a) Retailers have a magnitude of data available to them. For us, it’s all about enabling retailers to gain valuable and actionable insights as opposed to just supplying meaningless streams of raw data to them.

(b) The forecasted demise of bricks and mortar stores due to the world wide web has fallen short of its prophecy. Instead, investment is being directed back into traditional stores, as retailers recognise shoppers want to experience products first hand. As the two channels coexist, retailers will need to keep pace with technology and evolving consumer habits. What were once motivating factors such as click and collect or even free delivery are fast becoming hygiene factors.

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

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Ipsos Retail Performance

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