It’s been over a week, and we have just about recovered from Retail Recharged 2017 – what an event it was! We have had some great feedback from the event (some are saying it was our best and we have to agree!) so we thought it was time to sit down and write down our thoughts from the day.
The aim of Retail Recharged is to bring together some of the best brains in business to facilitate meaningful conversations about innovation in an interactive and relaxed format, allowing the worlds of technology and retail to work together to create something pioneering. And boy did this years #RRLDN deliver!
We kicked the day off, as all good events do, with a buffet lunch (or dinner for our Northern friends) and some networking. It was great to see so many of you chatting and sharing ideas and experiences, especially so early in the event.
The themes for this year were Global Expansion, Personalisation and Brand Engagement and each area had a panel and our innovator pitches. We felt that this was the perfect way to discuss what is currently going on in the industry, and then see some handpicked start-up breakthroughs show us how they want to shake each topic up and make it better!
Every delegate was given a Blackberry-looking device for the conference which they could use to vote on our innovators, make selections on live polls and even ask questions of the panelists without the awkwardness of having to speak into a microphone. We think these worked really well and we ended up having a lot more handed back to us than we did with the iPads the previous year…!
Our compères for the day were Tom Woodnut, the Founder of Feeling Mutual, and Consumer Psychologist, Patrick Fagan. They covered a whole host of interesting ideas such as whether glasses make us look more intelligent (might have to dig out those old frames!), and that shortening our name makes us more likeable, and how we all subconsciously sniff our hands after we shake hands with a new person because of our weird, but fascinating monkey brain… although this one made networking hand shakes a tad awkward! We looked at how to turn “mind into money” and how studying psychology can help make us better at servicing our customers.
We started with the Personalisation Panel, chaired by Reef Knots Founder and Creative Director Patrick Dudley Williams. This panel touched upon the current demand for personalisation, and the pros and cons of having a more tailored experience around your customers. Joachim Ardent from Lego (who, by the way, has the coolest personalised business card – it’s literally a Lego man!) explained about how when Lego offered personalisation software for Lego sets, the general experience that comes with buying an official Lego set was lost, so it did not work as planned. Nick Popovici from Vita Mojo on the other hand explained how being obsessed by a tailored customer solution has created a unique experience and point of difference. The winners of our first innovation pitches were Flux who, in a nutshell, are aiming to digitise our receipts and offer loyalty cards built right into your debit cards – our delegates loved their slick pitch, and we are excited to see what is next for them!
For our second section, the panel, chaired by Dan Burnham, Director of Account Management at Rich Insight looked at Global Expansion. Zak Manhire form Costa Coffee explained to the group that Costa is looking to expand globally as the footfall on the British high streets has declined so much that it is their only choice. James Storie-Pugh from Pivot International explains the merits of online marketplaces when expanding internationally, offering a lower risk strategy and working with pre existing online traffic. This was backed up by Graeme Smeaton from Royal and Awesome, who as well as having the loudest trousers there, also has been growing around 80% year on year and much of this has been driven by international marketplaces.
On to our second lot of innovator pitches and this time Trail, the smart daily checklist for effortless operations won! Trail’s manifesto is simple; they believe that efficiency is the key to a business servicing and they want to help free up staff and resources to focus on growth, which our delegates clearly liked.
The final panel of the day was chaired by Yasha Estraikh from Piper and looked at Brand Engagement. All of the panelists discussed how social media is a great way to engage with potential customers, especially through influencers, but that offline engagement should not to be forgotten and is often overlooked. Ellie Howard from Heist also talked of the power of PR when coupled with online, and sure enough was on a double page spread the very next day in the Evening Standard!
Duel won our final pitch of the day, with their tool that allows customers to become content creators through their testimonies, by offering incentives for them to promote the business to their friends and family. Our delegates saw how great this idea was and they were our final winners!
The obligatory glass of wine and nibbles with some end-of-day networking really finished off a great afternoon. The audience was made up of c. 40% CEO’s/MD’s and 30% marketing and digital, with the rest from a mixture of senior functions. We are sure that everyone in the room came away having learnt something new (even if that may include that we are emotional creatures, powered by our monkey brains!).
To read more about exactly what went on during the day, head over to our Twitter account (@RetailRecharged) where we tried to live Tweet as much as we could!
A huge thank you to our partners, sponsors, speakers, and delegates for making #RRLDN our best event yet! See our sponsors and partners here.
We are already planning our next event and, as always, we are going to step up the game so watch this space!
2018 & BEYOND
Do not miss the next year’s Retail Recharged event. In just a few years, Retail Recharged has established itself as the not-to-be-missed afternoon, highly curated and invite-only Retail event, which attracts a fantastic crowd.
Retail Recharged puts retailers and learning at the centre of the event. Every year there are talks, panel discussions and debates on specific topics. Some of the best start-ups showcase their products.
Unlike many other events, Retail Recharged is all about helping retailers surf the continuous waves of innovation.
To hear more about the people behind Retail Recharged, check out the Rich Insight website.