Wired Retail was a vibrant melting pot of retailers from around the world eager to get inspiration about the future of their business, established players and start-ups discussing the converging trends and technologies disrupting commerce today and exhibits on showcase demonstrating a broad range of modern technology and design, from augmented reality apps and holographic projections to 3D-printed furniture and bitcoin wallets. On the main stage, we experienced speakers from Google, Etsy, Instagram, Lyst, Depop and of course, Valtech and many more. The common message by all the speakers was that now is the time to seriously rethink the retail business model because the world is changing, and it is changing fast!
One way to do that is by thinking orchestration, integration and evolution:
"We haven't scratched the surface of what we can do with ecommerce -- the only constant is that the rate of change is accelerating faster and faster, so there's an awful lot of work to do." Chris Morton, Lyst.
"It is virtually impossible to gain competitive advantage in the modern world unless you orchestrate advantages around the consumer." George Smith, Valtech UK.
"The next breed of successful retailers [...] are going to be the ones who are social media, digital natives." Runar Reistrup, Depop.
"The one key message I have to share… is around payment at the point of sale. The most interesting companies that we’re working with are using data collected at the point of sale [to provide a better customer experience]." Andy Young, Stripe.
"If we have a vision for the future of retail, how do we change it? We change the story people tell themselves about the future they live in. If you can change the story, people will make different decisions.” Brian David Johnson, Futurist at Intel.
"Mobile is now the new shop window and there isn't any disputing that." Tracy Yaverbaun, Instagram.
“Today they're discussing same-day delivery, but soon it will be three-hour delivery and then one-hour delivery. Once people have tasted this, they never go back -- it is marching very much toward that reality." Jack Hidary, Entrepreneur
The Newcomers to the Future of Retail
Besides from the main stage, there was also a start-up stage where 16 entrepreneurs presented their ideas about the future of retail. The most brilliant idea received an award at the end of the day and indeed the winner, What3Words, has a brilliant concept. They have divided the entire world into 3x3 square meters and have named each and every unit with 3 unique words, thus creating addresses for everyone on the planet to make delivery easy. My location as I write this post is: wriggle.extremes.leader! People in the geo industry have already remarked that it's a possible "universal standard for communicating location".
Check out the highlights from Wired Retail:
To sum it up, we live on a new digital frontier and economic era, “The Economy of Experience" where consumers and businesses live online, demanding compelling experiences. Once, the web was a destination and storefronts were only for streets, today the digital world is everywhere and keeps customer conversations connected. The old world of web sites has become a world of multiple touch-points, all connected and enjoyed however consumers want. This is what especially retailers need to understand and accept, and therefore it is important with events like Wired Retail where inspiration is shared. I consider our first event with Wired a success- the speakers, exhibits and attendees all a great inspiration. We can’t wait to do it all again next year. If you want to know more about the event and the speakers, check them out at wired.co.uk. Make sure to connect with us on LinkedIn to stay updated about future events or contact us directly if you want advice on how to prepare your business for the future.