Retailers talk omnichannel, stores and stories at Retail IT conference

Fashion and lifestyle retail technology specialist, Retail IT recently gathered retail delegates in London’s Covent Garden to discuss omnichannel retailing and its impact on the industry.

Held in mid-November, attendees from start-ups to multi-store independents packed the venue to hear six speakers providing insights and stories about the importance of omnichannel, an area which has undoubtedly changed the face of retailing over the last few years.

James Rodger, managing director of Retail IT, opened the event by declaring that successful omnichannel retailing is no longer the domain of just the larger retailers: “Looking at how large retailers operate their Omnichannel offering is a real motivation for me – it is exactly the type of functionality that I want to bring to our customers. We are able to give independents the features of a larger business so they can offer the likes of click & reserve/collect and loyalty cards to their customers.”

Keynote speaker Clare Rayner, who is well known for championing the success and sustainability of smaller, independent retailers and suppliers to retail, spoke on  how omnichannel is now central to the success of any growing retail outfit, saying: “It is no longer acceptable to be a single channel retailer.”

She added: “You have to be where your customers are – think about how they shop. Even the more mature customers these days expect an omnichannel experience.”

Rayner revealed research shows that, “customers who are able to shop omnichannel and can customise an experience are worth one and a half times in sales and repeat business value than those that can only shop via one channel.”

Retail IT’s Matthew Carlton gave delegates food for thought for their next marketing activity, showing a selection of case studies from retailers that had boosted footfall (or online traffic) through imaginative use of social media, iBeacon technology or in-store attractions.

After a networking break, Laetitia Kotsiopoulos, head of IT at Intersport, gave a compelling presentation about omnichannel retailing at the sports chain network. The final full presentation was delivered by Paul Thomas, a luxury retail consultant at Retail Remedy, encouraging retailers to ensure their omnichannel offering is based around customer experience, customer need and customer wants.

Attendee Coral Turner, of the eponymous Couture label, said of the event: “The presentation from Clare Rayner and the one on marketing were very informative. I came away with a list of things to do and things to look at”.