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A Review of RBTE 2017

1st June 2017

Earlier this month, we visited the London Olympia for the Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE). Exploring the trade show floor on the final day of the event provided a tremendous insight into the trends and future predictions for the industry from leading experts.

It was fantastic to see the big names appearing at RBTE, it truly epitomised the calibre of the event. While giants such as BT Wi-Fi, American Express and Fujitsu had exhibition stalls; it was interesting to meet some of the smaller, more niche companies too. Over 370 exhibitors were present on the trade show floor, meaning we were spoilt for choice.

As well as the exhibition hall, there were three full schedules of talks and discussions throughout the day. Our particular highlights from the various talks and seminars include the keynote presentation from Paul Wilkinson, Head of Technology Research at Tesco Labs, looking at what Tesco are doing to enhance their customers shopping experiences. It’s clear that the Internet of Things will continue to have a greater impact on the way we live our lives as business managers, and as individuals - retailers and suppliers must continually invest in research and development to capitalise on this.

The talks we were most looking forward to took place within the event’s Payments Theatre, where Nathalie Oestmann, Director of Samsung Pay Europe discussed the company’s new customer loyalty programme. We look forward to seeing the new gamification element incorporated into its digital wallet in the coming months, which is currently only available within the US. It was also great to hear about the latest industry developments and predictions from David Baker, Head of Card Payments Innovations Unit at the UK Cards Association.

Additionally, the joint presentation by Dominic Jordan from Hobbycraft and Paul Seaman at Pennies on the effect charitable giving has on the relationships between consumers and brands also provided a number of key take home messages. Working with a charity can help to not only improve CSR, but to drive engagement levels and improve relationships between a staff and customers, simply because it can provide a good talking point when completing a transaction.

The panel discussion, How Virtual and Augmented Reality is Impacting Retail also stood out for us. It’s clear that the influence of these forms of technology is going to have an increasingly prominent impact across sectors in the coming years.

One of the common themes surrounding the event focused on the importance of connectivity and flexibility for retailers when working to grow their business. Solutions such as our Bluetooth and portable mPOS printers will play a crucial role in helping SMEs to process card payments at a minimal cost, and provide a more professional look to new and established customers.

London Olympia provided an ideal backdrop for the event; with networking opportunities providing a chance to meet hundreds of other UK businesses, meaning the expo had a nice, relaxed feel to it.

We will definitely be returning to RBTE next year!