World Retail Congress – What’s in store?
By Sarah E Taylor-Oracle on Aug 30, 2011
It’s just under a month until the next annual World Retail Congress in Berlin.
The World Retail Congress is the culmination of global retail development, and each year hosts the retail industry to share experience and insight from around the world with other businesses and experts.
The past 11 months have seen some landmark developments in the retail industry, as well as some exciting advances in retail technology and the way people shop. This year has seen the rise of ‘multichannel’ as a retail imperative to become the number one target in boardroom agendas. Mobile technology has finally been embraced by mainstream retailers and shopping by mobile device is a fast evolving consumer trend. As a result of this, retailers are experiencing an increase in operational complexity that they have had to meet head on in order to maintain logistical efficiency.
All of these advances have been driven by the increased perception of data as a valuable commodity within a business. Encouraging consumers to use technology to shop – whether on the high street or online - is not only a strategy to increase sales across all channels, but it is also a way to gather a greater level of understanding about how each shopper behaves. The analysis of this data will in turn drive a retailer’s ability to anticipate supply and demand, assist product development and optimize the way the product is priced and marketed.
In turn, the consumer is becoming more data-savvy. Shoppers are more regularly comparing prices of products online before they buy. Price comparison websites are driving the trend, but smartphone apps that scan barcodes and offer reviews and prices in various shops are also making it easier for consumers to ‘shop smart’. This is putting extra pressure on retailers of all sizes to become more aware of their competitors’ prices and ensure that their inventory is available across more channels.
This evolution is what is driving developments in retail across the world, and we will many examples of how businesses are adapting to this change of pace at World Retail Congress this year. The key topics of the 2011 Programme are ‘Understanding Multi Channel Retailing’, ‘The Rise in Mobile Communications’ and ‘How to deliver international growth through an understanding of shopper behaviour both on and offline’.
It will be very exciting to see what insight the different industry experts will have to offer on these topics, and how pioneering retailers are meeting the challenges head on. Oracle Retail will also be presenting some research we are conducting on the growth of the technology-savvy consumer and what it means for businesses. Stay tuned to the blog for more information about this research.
If you’re heading to the World Retail Congress then make sure you book yourself in for our sessions. Our Digital Natives session will be at 7.45am on Tuesday, and we’re hosting a discussion on Multichannel Retailing at 3.30pm, again on Tuesday.
We will also be hosting the presentation about the winners of the Oracle World Retail Awards on Wednesday morning.
Other key speakers we’re looking forward to include:
Alex Cara, Former Group Franchise Managing Director, New Look
Joseph Gromek, President and CEO, Warnaco
Tommy Hilfiger, Founder, Tommy Hilfiger Group
Ian Moir, CEO, Woolworths SA
Eric Broussard, Vice President – International Seller Services, Amazon
We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, go to http://www.worldretailcongress.com/programme.cfm