Didn’t get a change to make it to Retail Week Tech in London last week (12-13 September)?
You missed out on some interesting talks, great networking, and ground-breaking start-up pitches.
But don’t worry!
We’re recapping all the greatest moments at Tech to keep you up to date.
Check out some of the interesting lectures and topics that pervaded the conference below.
ROBOTS IN RETAIL
The Future of Retail: robots will guide us
Blockchain, is it taking over?
How cryptocurrencies will change retail
Sounds like stuff of the future, but these stores are already being deployed in China.
The Moby Store is open 24/7, has no checkout, no staff and can drive itself around.
The idea is that the Moby Store will bring convenience stores back to neighborhoods and serve as the main grocery store and meeting place for more remote communities.
This shop is unlocked by an app on your phone (after you’ve created an account and added your credit card info). When you’re inside shopping, you scan your items (there are also cameras monitoring what you pick up), and are automatically charged when you leave the store.
There are absolutely no staff members at this shop.
These staffless stores are becoming more popular among consumers due to their cheaper costs, since salaries are eliminated.
A store with no staff isn’t unheard of yet, but how about a strore that senses when it’s stock is low, drives itself to the warehouse, re-stocks, and then drives itself back to it’s location.
Well, that’s the Moby Store.
Hannah and Tomas Mazetti were inspired to create this store due to Hannah’s experience in a town in rural Sweden. Growing up, if her family wanted to get groceries they had to drive an hour to reach a grocery store.
If they got home and realized they forgot an ingredient, though luck, there was nowhere to quickly pick it up.
This inconvenience inspired them to create the MobyStore, which is currently being tested in China and some local universities.
Once testing is finished, these mobile stores will be available for purchase, so they can be placed anywhere. From rural towns to city corners.
Building a workforce of creative thinkers
Creative is a buzzword these days. Everyone wants to be, or hire, a creative thinker.
But how do you build a workforce that encourages this behaviour, or attracts these thinkers? And does having a workforce of creative thinkers actually improve company productivity?
Well, it can since according to a McKinsey Global Institute Study, people spend 61% of their time managing work and only 39% of the time actually working…
Having a team of creative thinkers can help your workforce spend more time actually working and less time preparing to work, which boosts overall output.
Adrienne Gromey, VP of Global Customer Experience, at DropBox let us in on how they’re doing just that.
Instead of wasting months figuring out how to best communicate with your teammates, most teams implement a document called “Work with Me”, a list of a person’s priorities, best ways to get in contact with them, pet peeves, and personality types.
They’re also changing their physical workspace, which is becoming quite common at tech companies.
Some DropBox offices have music rooms, where people can go on their break time to practice, let loose, or get creative.
They’re also working on introducing macro-management, which is where team leaders set targets and let the team figure out the best way to achieve them. This is a much more hands-off management style.
People are encouraged to take some time out of the day to pause and think. This space lets the creative juices flow and is a great way to open the pathway to creative thinking.
This will encourage your team to be open with ideas and will put more creative solutions on the table.
In addition to robotics, the conference focused a lot about the future of shopping; what the younger generation expects in a store and how online shops have to adapt to this.
With the rise in influencer marketing and social media, every brand has to be present on multiple different social platforms in order to reach and interact with their customers.
While Generation Z seems young now, they will soon comprise the majority of your customers.
For this generation, the intersection of the physical and digital world will be all they know.
This forces brands to innovate and find out how to bring their offline presence online.
According to a Pew research study, 45% of this generation are online constantly and 60% want to make a positive impact on the world.
In the future, we will see a rise of social-conscious marketing and companies.
- value individualism
- delay adulthood
- have a backlash toward connectivity
The retail sector is at a defining moment in history with many new trends coming to the forefront.
Retailers will have to jump on the tech bandwagon and update their marketing to appeal to the younger generation.
But as we learned at RetailWeek Tech, blindly adopting tech is a waste of time and money.
Be sure to thuroughly assess whether it’s useful for your business.
See you next year!