As the last few visitors left the 2019 Internet Retailing Expo and the doors closed on the conference, few that attended will have left without taking something with them, whether it be real insights that can change their business, goals for the year ahead or new solutions from the plethora of partners that exhibited at the show.
For many, Internet Retailing Expo is an annual pilgrimage to meet up with industry colleagues and forge new friendships and this year was no different. Tamebay’s roving correspondents Jane Bell and David Brackin where there, as were what felt like hundreds of Tamebay readers who came up to say hello.
The conference sessions were many and varied covering every topic from expanding overseas to personalisation and exceeding customer expectations at home. A theme that kept chasing me through the conference was that in 2019 it’s not good enough for a retailer to simply offer superb service, they have to go the extra mile and offer the service that each consumer wants and take into account that they may have totally different preferences with different views of what superb service actually is.
Building an effective strategy for the future was another key topic that ran through 2019 Internet Retailing Expo and it’s encouraging to hear from many suppliers of how they are launching new tools and services both to make existing processes more automated and introducing new features and options to enable retailers to deliver on promises and excel in the areas that matter to their customers.
As always the exhibition was a bewildering array of service providers offering everything from channel management to website services, from building a website to delivering a personalised experience, and from collecting the payment to performing the delivery.
The 2019 Internet Retailing Expo wasn’t all work and no play. Whilst the two days of the show were largely packed with work related activity, the evenings as always evolve into post-show night life as delegates and attendees let their hair down and party the night away. The official 2019 Internet Retailing Expo After Party was rammed with hundreds happily swigging the free beer and wine and this is the time that those who have worked their stands all day can meet up with the friends across the industry as well as many retailers who they’ve known for years and also count as friends.
Don’t think that the day time is bereft of fun however, just about every stand had the obligatory sweets, but there were also hit the button games, arcade games, table football and, perhaps the most entertaining, the Klarna dressing up selfie competition.
Sasha and I, perhaps blinded by the prospect of a potential £500 Amazon gift card prize, convinced Helen from Evolve Retail to join in our effort (she didn’t take much convincing!). We figured that the closer we got to the Klarna name, high up on their mammoth flower wall, the more chance we had of winning so it was shoulder carries and standing on the furniture all the way!
As for the rest of the fun, well you should have been there. It’s a farewell to 2019 Internet Retailing Expo but we’ll be back in the Spring of 2020 to do it all again… hope to see you there!