- 24 Sep 2012
The Retail Assist Client Day
Last week we held our client event at the very impressive Skyloft in Millbank Tower, London. We invited both our Managed Services and Merret clients with the aim to provide insight, innovations and updates, and so I wanted to share some of the interesting highlights from the day.
After taking in the very impressive view from the 28th floor we were ready to kick off the day with Alan Morris, Retail Assist’s Executive Chairman setting the scene. He talked about change. Retail Assist exists because of change and the changes that retailers face. The ever growing consumer demands impact on the solutions we build, implement, and support for retail. Therefore the day was about ensuring we embrace the changes ahead and try and identify what some of these changes might be.
We then heard from Professor Joshua Bamfield from the Centre for Retail Research, who shared with us the position of the UK economy and retail trends. Some of the insight from this revealed that as we all know customers spending habits are changing. They are now more frugal with their spending patterns, which therefore impacts on retailers. Instead of people purchasing a dress in three different sizes to try on knowing they would take two back, customers are now just purchasing the one dress. Another thought was that of ‘show-rooming’, and the concept proposed that some bricks and mortar stores are now becoming a showroom for purchases then made on Amazon after research had been done in the store.
Then came Hash Ladha, Deputy MD of Oasis. Hash shared a very interesting concept, Generation X and Generation Y. For those of you who haven’t heard about this, essentially you are in Generation Y if you were born after 1980, and obviously Generation X if before this year. At this point I would like to add I am part of Generation Y….just! Generation Y are very different to X, and are always connected via their smart device, they are in an always on world. They are less loyal, value the views of the friends, and like to share option and thoughts. Generation Y are Oasis’ target market and therefore, to understand the mind set of this market segment Oasis decided to set up a shadow board made up of Generation Y members. This is to understand the behaviour, views, opinions and ideas from the Generation Y shadow board, to ensure the company understands the market which they are trying to target. This was a very interesting way of understanding your market segment and one which Hash said has helped them to better serve their target customers.
Borys Krywyj our Head of Sales then provided us with an update for Ra-X, our data polling solution built for retailers. Borys demonstrated how retailers are using this solution to transfer sales data globally, with concessions, partners, and to take on other challenges such as the polling of payroll, website sales and more.
After a tasty lunch clients then split into the Merret or Managed Services sessions. In the Merret sessions our clients worked on a number of areas. The first involved the Merret roadmap, to discuss the future development plans, then came buying and merchandising, SKU Picking and Omnichannel question and answer sessions. This saw the likes of Harvey Nichols, Whistles, Paperchase, ASOS, and Jacques Vert discussing the challenges they face and ideas for future innovation.
The delegates in the Managed Services sessions enabled clients such as SuperGroup, Selfridges, AWear, and Whistles to discover what the future of retail might look like. The presentations looked at how the changes are being supported, and which innovative solutions are we putting in place in order for transactions to be a personalised experience. With live content on Aurasma the Augmented reality app, AV solution and touch screen technology, comms technology in store who knows where the future of retail will take us, and what we will be discussing in the coming months. The pace of change and adoption of technology is something which is going to continue particularly as Generation Y eventually become the customer of every retailer. Understanding the Generation Y consumers will ultimately set the changes for retail.
Should you have further views, or were a client who attended this event, please feel free to share your thoughts below.