The Future of Retail summit is our big picture, mega-trends event for large retailers from across the UK and Europe. As the impact of new technologies and fast-evolving consumer expectations continue to ricochet through the retail ecosystem, the 3rd annual summit will address the hottest issues through probing interviews and panel debate with the pioneering CEOs and industry leaders reinventing their businesses for the 21st century.
As the retail universe continues to expand, we will explain at this year’s summit why retailers must focus on putting the customer at the centre of everything they do – in store, online, in the delivery context, through the supply chain, and within the retail ecosystem more broadly. The summit will also outline the practical steps that retailers need to take, and the emerging technologies and new strategic partnerships that will help.
Putting the customer at the centre of an expanding retail universe
It’s not enough to compete on product alone anymore. Or price. Shoppers these days want the best products at the best price and they want them delivered quickly to the destination of their choice - and they want an engaging experience along the way. Retailers that don’t fully grasp what their customers want - from the shop floor all the way to the front door - will see shrinking profits at best, closure at worst.
The retail universe is expanding. Gone are the days when retailers had to focus ‘simply’ on getting shoppers into shops on the high-street between the hours of 9-5 to buy their goods. Retail now happens everywhere, all the time; shoppers can be found everywhere, all the time. Keeping a handle on what the customer wants and placing it at the centre of this expanding retail universe is much more complicated and difficult than it used to be, and neither can it be be accomplished single-handedly. To really understand what customers want, retailers need eyes and ears in more places, more of the time. To do this, they are rethinking existing partnerships and enlisting the help of non-traditional and emerging retail players.
Shoppers won’t stop shopping, but they will stop shopping at outlets that can’t offer the right ‘shop floor to front door’ experience. The 3rd FT Future of Retail Summit will look at what practical steps retailers are taking to make the shift from a transactional to an experiential mind-set, and the measures they are taking to really put the customer at the centre of everything they do – in store, online, in the delivery context, throughout the supply chain, and across the retail ecosystem more broadly.