Crealytics visited RBTE (Retail Business Technology Expo) this week, held in London’s historic Kensington Olympia venue on 8th and 9th May.
Online marketers instantly felt at home amongst the 360 exhibitors and up to 17,000 visitors, similarly, the aspiring eCommerce executive was well catered to by the conference program of 60 talks and workshops. It was only on second glance that something felt out of place about the context in which the familiar buzzwords were used: Customer journey, touchpoints, and data, data, data were as omnipresent as they were free from any reference to the online space, they were rather used to describe the instore experience. And as surprising as that was to discover, it is as understandable in hindsight.
While eCommerce is very mature with respect to data availability and analytics, the in-store experience has been untouched by modern analytics until recently. What we saw at RBTE was a game of catch-up in the early majority stage of adoption: inferring shopper demographics and interest levels via facial recognition, tracking shoppers’ movements, adapting to changed consumer behavior – all this with a focus on the actionability of data collected. The latter was well illustrated in a joint presentation from ASDA and Profitect that highlighted the additional complexity that comes with hundreds of physical outlets, which over time, added layers and layers of legacy reporting. ASDA cut through the noise by working through the triad of 1) reducing reports and metrics, 2) centrally prescribing actions based on the data and 3) making intelligence accessible beyond the PC.