May 15, 2024

The Future of Retail Technology

The Data Refinery team headed down to London last month to exhibit at the Retail Technology Show, London Olympia. The event stretched over two days and in amongst many interesting conversations with attendees, the team managed to slip away to watch some of the panels and speakers.
The Future of Retail Technology

It was a jam-packed schedule, but here are some of our key takeaways from the event...


It’s probably no surprise to you that AI was a hot topic at Retail Tech... Day 1 brought us a Panel discussion with key players at Deliveroo, Morrisons, B&Q, Aptos Retail and Morleys Department Stores.

Deliveroo is leading the way on all things AI, and it’s clear that it’s become a pillar for the business. AI is used to schedule and orchestrate rider collection and delivery, which, if this was a manual task, there is no way it could be done at scale. The other panellists all talked about differing levels of AI and Machine Learning adoption at each organisation, and it’s clear that brands are gearing up to start leveraging AI to its full potential, with the main barrier being cost and expertise for implementation required.  

Founder & CEO of Nourished, Melissa Snover’s take on AI was utilising it within the business to reduce manual tasks and increase efficiency.  

Nick Stragnell, Head of Ecommerce & Digital Marketing at Raging Bull echoed that AI is ‘a slow and gradual evolution rather than a revolution’ emphasising that any step, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction to unlocking the potential of AI.


We hear a lot about a personalised user experience, often a buzz word in the industry today, but Janis Thomas (Managing Director, Look Fabulous Forever) took to the floor and explained how they put personalisation into practice, most of which occurs on their website. Depending on A) Who the customer is and B) Where they have arrived from, the website will show different content and offers for said user.  

New customers get a more informative experience, whereas returning customers get ‘cross-sell’ and ‘repeat purchase’ targeted content. Thomas stated that, with this personalisation, most customers make at least 7 future purchases.  


We’ll round off on Richard Lim’s (CEO, Retail Economics) fascinating talk on the Future of Retail, with the team quoting it as “the standout talk of the entire show.”  

The overriding message was that the retail and e-commerce industry is in a tough place right now with consumer confidence low and disposable income being squeezed from all angles. Lim explained how we are now in the second act of the cost-of living crisis, from food and essentials being the first, to now interest rates hitting different demographics. Specifically, those aged 30-45, the ‘aspirational millennials’, are seeing a major hit to disposable income. Of course, there is no one way to segment your customers, but Lim highlighted the 4 quadrant “Wealth Effect” model as below:  


What does this mean, you might ask?  

Retailers who have worked on digital transformation will be able to adapt, to understand their customer and target spenders in the most efficient way, leveraging the highest possible ROI. Lim recommended working hard on caring for existing, loyal customers and really capitalise on the opportunity for repeat business.  

Lim emphasised the potential in using open data and how, when used correctly, you can identify those likely to make a repeat purchase based on their likely income, and  where they live. We fully appreciate the magnitude of open data and adding it to your customer profiles is an extensive investment of time, it’s something we’ve worked on for a long time at TDR to make it easy and painless for our customers to really unlock the 360 degree view of their customers.

If you want to learn how we use open data, how we can help you segment your customers, or even just get a better handle on your customer data in general, click here to book a call with one of the team.

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Operations Manager at The Data Refinery

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