Unwrapping the Retail Business Technology Expo

The UK’s Retail Business Technology Expo came to a close in London yesterday.

Kelly Ungs Presents at Retail Business Technology Expo 2012

In its second year there is no doubt that the event more than doubled in the number of exhibitors, space and sessions over last year. Aimed at UK and European retailers, the event melds all manner of end-to-end solutions for multi-channel, e-commerce, marketing, merchandising, EPoS, supply chain, store systems, loss prevention, finance, payments and CRM. Phew, that’s a lot of ground to cover!

From futuristic 3D virtual technology called Augmented Reality from Intel and Lego that will change the way you look at digital signage, to the continuing conversation on RFID, the show had it all!  The central theme at RBTE that continues to be on the mind of retailers is that managing the wireless ecosystem, from devices to apps, is still critical. More so, that despite sophisticated technology for ecommerce, the distribution side is still playing catch-up.

With more and more shoppers moving to online purchases, specifically from their smartphones and tablets, it’s not only key to understanding their online shopping behavior, but getting them what they want within the next day or two after hitting “Process Payment.” Customer satisfaction, well let’s face it, instant gratification, is singularly key no matter where you sell in the world. But with a global economy that, for the most part, is still seeing a downturn, saving money within the distribution cycle still remains a priority.

Visiting with Customers

Visiting with Customers

For the majority of distribution centers, paper picking still rules. With e-commerce moving quicker than you can say “Beam me up Scotty,” making updates on the backend to keep up become important. As I’ve said, customer satisfaction still rules. With voice picking technology, companies can see a significant return on investment using existing devices, with little to no modifications or a costly investment, and be up and running in less than 30-days.  With increased efficiency, reduced picking errors, and little to no training, voice adds up to a quick ROI. Plus, the added bonus of customer satisfaction… let’s say, for instance, when a customer opens her next day package to find that the perfect stainless steel Santoku knife has been replaced by 10 steak knives she didn’t order. Not that it’s ever happened to me…

If you attended RBTE, what topics came up that you find interesting? Anything new on the horizon that caught your attention?

-GR

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