Retail Technology Show 2024 – a whirlwind of retail inspiration

We say it every year, but the Retail Technology Show really was huge in 2024. Two days, thousands of people, hundreds of businesses, and so much to explore. As well as catching up with people we’ve worked with across the years, meeting new faces in the sector, and seeing some of the innovations in the retail tech space, we really love the programme of talks and seminars this year.

Like everyone else, we’re all over shopping apps. Mobile shopping apps were all the rage a few years ago for pure play eCommerce retailers and now it is an essential part of all great omnichannel retail strategies as a way of bridging the gap for customers. James Reid presented an engaging session on the strategy and execution of the All Saints customer shopping experience. Key to success is creating a personalised and consistent experience for consumers, and it’s something All Saints do well.

After getting stellar coverage for Visualsoft and their Burnley FC partnership, we’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship between sports and commerce, so it was great to hear Matt Iles-Hunt, Senior Business Applications – Arsenal Football Club and Elliott Winskill, Head of Solutions – PMC discussing how innovative and unique approaches to technology infrastructure are enabling one of the UK’s premier football clubs to deliver retailing in a whole new way. This is one space where loyalty really does go a long way.

Lauren Hanifan, Co-Founder and Head of Branding at sofa brand Snug took us through how they have built a brand online – which can be hard for start up challengers. For them it was all about community and connection, through user generated content, Facebook groups, reviews and social engagement. One insight that will stay with us is their discovery that a 0.1 point increase on their average Trustpilot score equates to a £60k increase every week – evidence to the power of a review.

How should a 175-year-old retailer approach innovation in 2024 for effective digital transformation? This was the question Paula Bobbett, Chief Digital Officer at Boots UK was answering. This high street staple has balanced the tricky tightrope of remaining a solid and trusted brand by generations, and is a staple among younger consumers, and shows no signs of going anywhere. It’s cleverly managed to meet multiple needs for multiple audiences, and does this through a forward-looking approach and an attitude that embraces change.

Social commerce has seen huge growth in the last couple of years, fuelled by the TikTok revolution. Straight from the source, Maddie Forman, Fashion Key Accounts Lead – TikTok Shop explained the growth of social media as an eCommerce tool, how to leverage TikTok to drive eCommerce sales and the use of affiliates and creators to power social media sales. It’s something we’re working on with clients right now, so watch this space.

Artificial intelligence continues to be a hot topic. But where do retailers start? A packed panel of John Bates, Technology Director at Morrisons, Lynn Beattie, Director of Technology at B&Q, Nikki Baird, Vice President of Strategy at Aptos Retail, Paul Wilkinson, Product Director at Deliveroo and Dave Abbott, Head of Information Technology at Morleys Department Stores explored the impact of AI, how retailers can harness it to grow sales, the balance between humans and tech, and how to build an effective AI strategy.

If you were there and we missed each other but you’d love to chat about all things marketing and PR, do get in touch with us at abi@aspr.media