Last week, Entopy attended the Retail Technology Show 2022 in London Olympia. The event was dubbed the ‘great meet up’ considering for the past two years, RTS has had to be cancelled. It’s been a long time coming and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Olympia was packed, full of excited and curious leaders from across the retail sector.
Entopy was attending in support of its partner Infinite Edge, whose innovation stand was attracting interests throughout the event. Whilst we were there with a purpose, that didn’t stop us from looking around and here, we share some of our key takeaways.
The impact of Covid – commerce is now online: Obviously C-19 has had a profound impact on the retail sector, case in point, this was the first RTS in 2 years! But amongst the negative, we heard many success stories. We heard of many businesses who innovated and thrived during the pandemic. Those retailers who were agile and open to new ideas managed to capitalise on consumers changing behaviour. Much of that behaviour was a change in where commerce was done – online. A big theme throughout RTS was helping traditionally physical retailers to transition and stand out in the digital world of e-commerce.
The rise of the marketplace: Choice and convenience seem to be the standout differentiators online. Whilst service is coming, offering greater choice is a major driver in consumer loyalty. Marketplaces enables e-tailers to offer a much broader range of product, leveraging a network of suppliers to increase the number of SKUs available. The technology to underpin these marketplaces was on show at RTS, with providers such as Mirakl demonstrating how modern marketplaces can be established.
Less about point solutions, more about future proofing the organisation: Another interesting theme was the mentality of innovation and IT leads, especially in supply chain. Historically, point solutions have been seen as the answer to achieving visibility, unlocking transformational insight, and driving automation. Yet, at RTS, speaking with many industry leaders, there is a growing recognition to deliver foundational systems that provide much broader capabilities than the restricted, pointed solutions such as RFID and isolated shipment tracking.
Retailers continue to drive innovation, bringing some exciting technology to their customers: The level of innovation on show was immense. From Amazons ‘Just walk out’ stand to the new instore screens bridging the physical and digital commerce experiences. What’s more, the level of excitement and intent to bring these innovations to consumers was clear to see. Retailers really are trailblazers.
RTS you were great. Until next year!