April was a busy month for the retail industry. Retailers, technology vendors, analysts and thought leaders across the world flocked to global’s major cities to attend various retail events such as Drapers Digital Festival in London, Seamless Festival in Singapore, Retail Marketing in Hong Kong, C-Star in Shanghai, World Retail Congress in Dubai, and Internet Retailing in London.
An industry under pressure to make massive change, discussions on the role of digital disruption and shifting business models ranged from supply chain to the customer experience. While many retailers are still finding it challenging to adapt to baseline expectations of unified commerce and omnichannel fulfilment, others offered showcases as potential models and trends for the future.
Here’s a roundup of topics emerged and proved to be the most interesting to the attendees and to be noted about for the year ahead:
The goal is predictive personalisation, says Sailthru
“Personalisation is an evolving journey with the maturity curve starting from basic field insertion [using someone’s name] through to behavioural recommendations and omnichannel optimised communications, which can give a lift of 20% in customer lifetime value.” said Jason Grunberg, vice-president of marketing at technology firm Sailthru.
Full Story: Drapers Online
Making each customers feel valued
“More and more businesses rely on analysing different consumer patterns and utilising machine learning to provide more personalised products or services. However, not everyone makes use of all the available information provided by the customers, and those businesses can be missing out on numerous potential transactions.”
Full Story: Degree53
Retailers should embrace AI, not fear it
“Retailers should embrace it as we move from internet-based businesses to businesses led by AI. It is like a new resource or production tool, like the steam engine was. The internet will go down as the infrastructure, like the road.” said Dr Jia Wei Gu, founder of Ling Technology and formerly of Baidu Research.
Full Story: World Retail Congress
Improving Customer Experience Through Customer Data
“More than half of customers today say they’ve switched companies solely because of poor user experiences. Companies who fail to embrace CX as strategic path to growth won’t just be lagging, they’ll get left behind.”
Full Story: Forbes
Google brings augmented reality to Lowe’s stores
"Our research shows that helping make it easier for customers to find products in stores not only makes for a better shopping experience, it allows our associates to spend more time advising on home improvement projects," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Labs. "With Lowe's Vision: In-Store Navigation, we've created a more seamless experience using breakthrough technology so customers can save time shopping and focus more on their project."
Full Story: IoT M2M Council
Is in-message chat the future of shopping?
“The shopper is in control; they decide how they interact when they do it and where they do it. In the future, however, that will be more of a two-way conversation enabled by technology.”
Full Story: Media Lounge
The rise and rise of pop-up shops and what it means for retail
“The retail landscape was perhaps contracting, and that “physical stores as a show room rather than a selling space might be a way forward” said Gary Warnaby, a professor from Manchester Metropolitan University business school.
Full Story: Retail Gazette