Last week, Fourth Day headed down to the Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) at London’s Earl Court. As a retail technology PR specialist, this was massively useful for us. The Expo launched in 2011 to answer the growing demand for an event that would bring the industry together and provide an opportunity to showcase the latest in retail technology. Now in its fourth year, the show has really gathered momentum, with hundreds of exhibitors, four theatre halls and a plethora of seminars and briefings from solution providers and high street giants alike.
As usual, there was a whole host of exhibitors on show and we saw everything from interactive changing rooms and the latest in secure payments to paperless receipts and people counting solutions.
One of the most interesting technologies that we came across was Italian company No Brand Solution. Born out of a 100 year old Milan-based tannery business, the company has evolved to deliver a sophisticated technology that uses a mixture of 3D body scanning and motion detection to digest the customer’s measurements and create one-of-a-kind, made to measure clothing. As well as offering the service in-store, the technology extends to home use as well – customers can sit in the comfort of their own home and use their laptop or tablet device to enter their specific measurements, selecting different fabrics and colours to create a bespoke piece of clothing that is then delivered straight to their door.
Other exhibitors that caught our eye included eReceipts; a digital receipts business that provides data capture and analytics to retailers such as Booths. Strictly opt-in, consumers are given the option of a paperless receipt which they then receive via email or text just a few moments after purchase. For smaller, everyday purchases such as chewing gum, eReceipts reduces the paper trail as well as making it easy for shoppers to keep tabs on their spending. On the retailer-side, the solution helps to build a better picture of who the consumer is. Retailers can then tap into this data to analyse shopper behaviour, using it to build specific loyalty drives for instance.
As well as the hundreds of exhibitors at this year’s show, there was a constant rotation of talks and briefings, with over 100 presentations taking place throughout the two-day event. Retailers presenting included Sweaty Betty, Dr Martens, VISA, PayPal, Clarks, Greggs, John Lewis and Thomas Sabo who presented with our client ShopperTrak.
Next year will mark RBTE’s fifth year and see the show move to a new home at The Grand Hall, Olympia London. The anniversary will also coincide with the launch of the Retail Design Expo; a show running alongside RBTE devoted to the ‘3D store’ – covering design, branding and visual merchandising. We look forward to seeing everyone next year!
Xanthe is a co-founder and director of Fourth Day PR