It was a pleasure to travel to Baden (not far from Zurich) to present at the E-nnovation Week (https://e-nnovationweek.com/) event. Congratulations to Carlo Terreni and his team for putting on an impressive multitrack, multiday conference and expo.
I took as my theme the growing role of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in multichannel retail… what is it, what are the main elements and how can we use it. I focused on AI in image-recognition and looked at examples from shelf-edge scanners to custom tailoring; checkout-free stores to product search.
If you’d like a copy of the presentation or to discuss further then do let me know.
I was pleased to open both www.edeliveryconference.com and www.internetretailingconference.com and welcome the usual senior gathering of multichannel professionals to our intense multi-track conference and expo.
You can see the write-up of the event and also videos of proceedings on the conference site, but a particular thanks to Tony Rivenell of Halfords who was game enough to do a Q&A on the role of the Chief Digital Officer during our keynote sessions…
I’ve long been a great fan of the IADS and have contributed in the past to their events. I was therefore particularly pleased to be invited to open their conference in London on Omnichannel/multichannel on 15 September, 2016.
Department stores have been at the forefront of multichannel development in the U.K. And Europe and so it was interesting to share with them the research from our IREU Top500 2016 report, which created a performance-based ranking of Europe’s multichannel and pure play retailers. With delegates from the EU, Asia and South America it was an international gathering.
Provided you didn’t blink in the wrong place you may have caught my contribution to a BBC documentary on how John Lewis prepares for Christmas. I had great fun contributing to a topic that we’ve covered ourselves – namely how the elite retailers prepare for peak. An interesting take within the programme was that #BlackFriday had changed the ‘traditional’ Christmas peak, and further looked at the role of eCommerce ‘pure play’ giant Amazon.co.uk in the competitive landscape for John Lewis.
I was really impressed with the research the team did beforehand. We had a number of phone discussions, follow-up questions and a good brief on the ‘arc’ of the show. I had a great time filming my snippets and even though it was a couple of hours the time passed really quickly. I’m sure that TV production crews forget how interesting we find the whole process! Most of the filming I do is around our events and these tend to be one-take-only commentaries. At first I thought that it was a luxury to have more time, but now I simply feel a combination of awe and sympathy at the skill and patience needed to turn hundreds of hours of footage into a coherent, brief broadcast!
My on-screen contribution comprised of a review of the customer expectations on delivery (c 0h24’) and upon the role of SEO in supporting visibility and sales at peak (c0h30’).
We’ve covered John Lewis extensively on InternetRetailing – they’re one of our “Elite” UK retailers in the InternetRetailing Top500. You can see John Lewis’ company listing as well as information on the Top500 on our site.
I’ve spoken in the past at the well-produced E-Handelsforum by Postnord.se and I was pleased to be invited to their 2015 event.
Unfortunately I was travelling in Australia (speaking on the Westfield World Tour series of events) and so couldn’t be at the event in person. Rather glamorously they suggested I do a video covering my speaking points and – since I’d never done this before – I thought it’d be fun! What followed was a real learning exercise as I was helped and shepherded by a lovely producer and videographer to get my thoughts to camera… The following video was shown at the conference.
Thanks to Arne Andersson and the team at Postnord for making this happen.
I was pleased to provide an opening address to Gladstone’s Health and Leisure summit.
I took as my theme some of the lessons that software and services providers to the leisure sector could learn from retail, but as I worked on my presentation it was clear to me that this is not a ‘one-way street’. Gladstone provides the underpinning software for leisure centres, universities and organisations and so is at the sharp end not only of the increasingly digital customer’s demands, but also needs to provide a complex service over time – whether booking and paying for yoga lessons, or accessing your higher education college.
The Summit comprised staff, customers and sector suppliers and we had a great range of interested and challenging questions.
It was an immensely rewarding event and one where my research gave me many new perspectives.
Just back from the rarified atmosphere of Mosimann’s for the Endeca Retail Dinner.
Great group of people – Shop Direct, RS Components, Wiggle, Game, Tui… fun to catch up with people and meet new faces.
Endeca sponsored the last InternetRetailing CEO Dinner (see the photoset of Dinner05) and we had a wonderful and relaxed evening, so I was pleased to accept the invitation to say a few words to open (or delay!) dinner. I covered some topics from recent editorials – changes in retail, the growth of the voice of the customer, the challenges to eCommerce Directors as they embrace multi-channel and move to the Board table, and – of course – my most recent editorial on Total Retail, brining the skills, attitudes and approaches together.
We eat in the “Mappin & Webb” room (goodness only knows why the rooms are named after retailers and brands – the others are Mont Blanc, Davidoff, Bentley, Parmigiani Fleurier…). I had visions of watch salespeople jumping out mid-course, but the goods were locked in glass cabinets around the outer edges of the room. Mosimann’s is in a converted 19th century church and the M&W room was the old belfry.
Great venue, but I wonder why it wasn’t just called the Belfry… 😉 Meanwhile, any guesses welcomed as to how much M&W pay to sponsor the room, whether anyone takes that seriously, and how would you measure the ROI on the cost?
Thanks to Endeca for being great hosts and making the evening happen.
Just back from Wardour Street where I was pleased to have spoken a few words at the launch of TheAppLounge ‘pop up’ experience store.
You can see details at www.theapplounge.com, but in brief it’s a place to meet, socialise, experience and understand software and technology in support of one’s ‘digital life’.
Alexander Grünsteidl (Senior Director of User Experiences at Method), who conceived the AppLounge sums it up:
“The AppLounge is a pilot store that aims to bridge the gap between the in-store and online retail experience. The space is designed to encourage customers to slow down, have a drink, and sample a variety of applications and accessories on display.”
I’ve had numerous discussions with Alexander over the years since we were introduced by Nico Macdonald at an Innovation Reading Circle evening, and he’s been working on ways to change the relationship between brands and customers, and the way products are designed for markets, for a number of years via his Digital Wellbeing Labs.
I was pleased to be invited to the GES in Monaco, an attempt by our friends and Shop.org and BBP of the Netherlands to work with EMOTA and other associations to create a pan-European high level conference in a similar vein to the big US conferences (like Shop.org and Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, IRCE).
The venue was astounding and the weather, erm, “convivial” to say the least. The hotel/resort had much of the US golf/leisure complex feel of Florida-based conferences, but I’m stunned to discover that the costs of putting on an event in Monaco are so much cheaper than London, Amsterdam or Barcelona. Mental note for the future, even if the destination has unfortunate resonances in a time of parsimony and corporate belt-tightening.
The speaker list was excellent, the company stimulating and the conference venue was just excellent, if a little on the massive-and-vacant side. Stepping out onto sun-drenched balconies, of course, removed even the slightest, curmudgeonly tendency to complain 😉