Energy and enthusiasm were in abundance at the first day of the inaugural Retail Week Tech event. Hosted at the former broadcast building for London 2012 there was a buzz and chatter about the place akin to that of the Olympics. The first event by Retail Week to exclusively focus on technology didn’t disappoint and created a positive setting for retailers, brands and technology businesses to collaborate.
We were delighted to be part of the launch day, with Hero Founder + CEO presenting to the Tech audience on reinventing the role of the sales associate through technology.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from day 1:
Thriving tech scene
It’s no secret that the UK’s tech scene is thriving and this was evident at Retail Week .Tech, with a wide range of technology businesses out in full force. It was encouraging to see retailers keen to learn, share and collaborate as they look for new ways to enhance their businesses and improve the experience for their customers. We’re keen to see more of this throughout the event.
Voice of the future
Along with VR and AR, voice was one of the dominant themes from day 1, with everyone from Google and Amazon to John Lewis and Tesco’s sharing their views on the future of the technology and how it might shape the future of retail overall. Still developing as a tool for retailers, the important next step for ‘voice’ is to enhance the experience to include more human emotions in order to reach more customers and in the words of Alice Zimmerman of Google to “become better at empathy…focus on emotional needs and move us as consumers”.
Looking to Amazon
Amazon is a dominant topic across every conversation in retail, and that was no different at .Tech. It’s often said when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold and the same could be said for Amazon and the retail industry, such is their influence. With retailers looking to the commerce giant for its next move, Paul Misner, VP Global Innovation Amazon shared the company’s philosophy for innovation. Encouraging retailers to experiment, test and accept failure as a means to progress, he assured the audience that “Its okay to be wrong, its okay to make mistakes and that its okay to fail” and employed retailers to try new things in the pursuit of success.
We can’t wait for day 2.