Future of Commerce

Retail Tech Show and Retail Week Live 2023: Key Insights and Takeaways

Key insights on the value of in-store e-commerce from our discussions with retailers at London's Retail Week and Retail Tech Show
May 23, 2023
Sofia Rafiq
Retail Tech Show and Retail Week Live 2023: Key Insights and Takeaways

In March, we presented Cloudshelf for the first time to scale up and big retailers during Retail Week Live at the Intercontinental Hotel, O2, London and then a few weeks later at the Retail Tech Show in Olympia, West London. The feedback we received from retailers was super positive, and it was also a great occasion to hear about their thoughts and issues around in-store e-commerce, endless aisles, range extension, and digital visual merchandising.

During the Retail Tech show we had the opportunity to showcase our Cloudshelf Endless Aisle solution at our partner's stands and carried out demos that sparked interesting conversations around Endless Aisle and Omnichannel. Here are some key insights and takeaways from both events.

Insights from the shows

During both retail events, retailers were presented with a plethora of tech solutions and products designed to modernise and innovate their stores. The Retail Tech event in particular showcased a wide range of options, from new POS hardware and payment solutions to digital signage and kiosk providers. 

Adrian Thompson, Founder of imageHOLDERS, delivered an insightful talk on "Digital Transformation in Retail" during the Retail Tech Show, that discussed user experience, the online user journey, and the role of digital kiosks in retail companies of all sizes. The audience was captivated by his discussion, which shed light on the importance of embracing technology in today's retail industry by introducing digital experiences into physical retail spaces. 

Throughout both events, the many conversations around the need for omni-channel solutions were particularly encouraging and highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between online and offline within retail to maximise business potential and create brand awareness.

Photo of imageHOLDERS stand at the retail tech show

Collaboration with Partners:

During the Retail Tech Show, we collaborated with our partners, where imageHOLDERS showcased their range of kiosks, including Cloudshelf, which was displayed on Advantech's All-in-One Ultra Touch Computer running ChromeOS' secure and sustainable operating system. We were also present with Elo on their stand, where they displayed a range of their touch screen devices, including their 43" device which Cloudshelf was demoed on.

Photo of interactive screens at the retail tech show

Retailer Feedback:

Engaging with retailers had to be the main highlight of both retail focused events for us. 

During retailer demonstrations, we were able to show retailers how both our Cloudshelf Interactive and Display solutions are helping retailers to introduce Endless Aisle experiences through creating digital experiences in-store.

We presented our retailer Made The Edit’s digital display where Lizzie, Founder of the boutique in London has created her Interactive display based around her curated shoe collections that are not displayed in-store. She is then able to upsell her additional shoe ranges to offer her shoppers more and at the same time increase sales that otherwise would have been lost due to the shopper leaving the store without purchasing something. 

Retailers were instantly able to see how this type of solution could add value to their businesses by creating engaging in-store experiences for their shoppers.

We also showcased our screen banner feature, which allows retailers to create interactive call-to-action messaging on screen to promote specific collections, sales, product launches and much more. Overall, the feedback was positive and many retailers understood how features like this would allow them to create great in-store content with ease and without having to spend a lot of time and costs on visual merchandising.

The use cases that retailers spoke to us about most were:

  1. Range extension was most common as many of the retailers were adapting to smaller store formats and bigger ranges.
  2. Product demonstration came a close second, using the videos they had created for their website to showcase their products.
  3. Stock turnover efficiency was mentioned by one of the visitors as they wanted to reduce the stockroom levels in each of the stores, and find ways of sharing stock across stores.
  4. Product customisation in-store was mentioned by a couple of the visitors as a solution that they had been thinking of introducing to their physical stores as a way to enhance the shopping experience by offering customers more.
  5. Connecting their online ranges to physical stores to offer customers a brands’ full offering as opposed to shoppers' choices being limited and often resulting in walkouts due to not finding the item they came into the store for.

The reasons they had not already rolled out a solution:

  1. They had tried or found themselves still attempting. None of the experiences seemed to have done well in going from the demo stage, to scaled live in-store. One global fashion brand  talked of the incredibly tense relationship with their supplier, another, a large health and wellbeing retailer told us that they had now gone through 2 pilots, each having cost over £200k and neither had managed to support a usable end-to-end experience.
  2. Payments seemed to be the most frequent hurdle, as they struggled to get from a visual catalogue to something that shoppers could shop.
  3. Cost pressures had led them to use / repurpose the website leading to an unsatisfactory user experience.

The points above are both use cases and struggles that we hear about often from retailers and after listening to much feedback with similar thoughts, it is clear that retailers need endless aisle solutions like Cloudshelf to help increase sales in-store and provide customers with more buying choices through their in-store shopping experiences.

To find out more

To find out more about how to get Cloudshelf for your stores, or to enquire about partnership opportunities - email us at sales@cloudshelf.ai