Keeping the show rolling at RetailEXPO

The worlds of marketing, technology and retail collided on the inaugural Marketing & Branding stage at the annual RetailEXPO show this year.

The show at London Olympia, now owned by Reed Exhibitions, has been overhauled with new stages. I’ve hosted the Shopper Marketing and In-Store Digital Signage stages in previous years at the show but as a former marketing journalist, it was particularly rewarding to tread the boards with brand and customer experience experts.

Over the course of two days a packed auditorium enjoyed listening to speakers from Moonpig, Lego, River Island, Open Table and JLM, among others, on topics ranging from optimising social media channels to generating brand love and from creative design in-store  to leveraging customer reviews for engagement.

One panel, which I chaired, focused on the ability of innovative technologies to help develop the ecommerce customer experience. The panel featured Mike Hines, Developer Evangelist at Amazon, Tom Elkins, Head of Mobile Engagement – Europe, eBay and Angela Cearns, Chief Ecommerce Officer and General Manager for Pizza Hut Digital Ventures.

Key takeaways from the panel were:

  • Stop looking at shiny objects, focus on the basics
  • Executing one idea well is better than trying 100 ideas
  • Focus more on knowing your customer’s needs & behaviour well than on ‘innovation’ for its own sake.
  • If you lack the resources to fully own and manage ecommerce long-term, then look to partner with businesses for whom it is core.