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What's Hot and What's Not in Retail: eTail Europe 2019 Sizzling Recap

Capture the juiciest of moments fresh from eTail Europe 2019 brought to you by Intellias

June 24, 2019

4 mins read

On June 18-19, London played host to eTail Europe 2019, a major trade industry event that welcomed thousands of European innovators and trendsetters in omnichannel and eCommerce retail. With a power-packed roster of inspiring expert speakers and insightful content lined up for the event, the conference highlighted the toughest challenges and greatest opportunities in the sector as well as the hottest trends in online retail tech.

eTail is the most engaged community of online retail experts. They come together to explore the industry’s most important issues and shape how it evolves.

Rose Hamilton, EVP & CMO at Pet360 Inc.

The true value of eTail Europe goes far beyond the overall vibe and networking opportunities. For over 1100 attendees, it is a chance to keep a finger on what’s disrupting the industry today and look ahead to the tomorrow of retail. Senior executives that are ‘in the trenches’ are sharing their ups and downs and give tons of strategic takeaways to jumpstart growth and improve the bottom line. eTail Europe features a wide array of interactive formats and tracks to choose the most relevant content and have the attendees leave inspired, not tired.

The beauty of the separate subject tracks is that they allow you to get a more focused experience within your field and meet people who actually do what you do.

Charis Marquez, Head of eCommerce Merchandising, Levi Strauss & Co.

If you happened to miss the event and wonder what’s in store for the retail tech, we’ve got you covered! Here are the key trends that will define the future of retail innovations.

From Data to Action

With data goldmines at hand, businesses need to build meaningful relationships with consumers, making data management and analysis their cornerstone strategy. Here’s the challenge from Jeff Winter, who gave the keynote address on the power of data:

The pendulum has swung too far. We’ve lost the connection to the customer. Your marketing shouldn’t be a lucky guess!

Jeff Winter, Global Head of Marketing at Pitney Bowes

Today more than ever, the potential of data-driven retail is incredible. Retailers, however, need to understand the relationships between people, places, and things. Data enrichment can help merchants to:

  • build better consumer profiles, create more personalized experiences, and reach more customers;
  • balance online and offline strategy and drive repeat sales across both channels;
  • provide location insights, including locating stores, deciding what goods to put in stores, and building loyalty programs;
  • develop solutions for more accurate addressing to reduce costs from failed deliveries and returns.

These days, leveraging retail data is key to driving more revenue with less effort, so marketing technologies must change fundamentally to encourage customers engage with the brand and become its advocates. After all, being a data-driven retailer means not leaving things to chance.

AI in Retail: Getting Up Close and Personal

When it comes to the retail industry, personalization is king – that’s a fact! Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are setting the stage for understanding the brand’s target audience and the customer journey of each individual in the whole new light.

In his session, Francois Laxalt, VP at Tinyclues, presented inspirational success stories of two global retailers, Holland & Barrett and Camaieu that are achieving personalization and relevancy with the help of deep learning algorithms. Both brands apply an AI-first approach to create unique experiences for campaign targeting and planning.

The resulting business impact on interaction and revenue speaks for itself. Using campaign intelligence, Holland & Barret excels at finding future clients for its products. The company has increased its online and in-store revenue by 27% while sending 23% less emails. Meanwhile, Camaieu has raised conversion rates by 96% and reduced unsubscribes by -62%.

Another notable speech “Personalization Across Geographies” by Andrew Morris, Global Head of Insight at RS Components, highlights an obvious paradox. While personalization means customizing experiences, AI automation seem to be quite the opposite. However, automated machine learning can be used for eCommerce personalization to identify patterns and develop a set of purposed procedures to customize experiences to a variety of regions, markets or groups.

A Sneak Peek into the Future

A thought-provoking panel on the future of retail innovations was a chance to travel forward in time and get a glimpse of how humans and machines will work in tandem to create the shopping experiences of the future. The panel also discussed the need to build a holistic strategy for a major culture shift from being data obsessed to becoming insights-driven.

Big Changes are Afoot!

Hands down, eTail Europe 2019 was insightful, motivational, and transformative! Learning from top-notch retailers and real-life cases only proves that there’s been a ton of change in the industry and yet much more to come. In order to achieve omnichannel and digital excellence, retailers will growingly need to harness the potential of emerging technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and many more.


Ready to transform your business? Contact the Intellias team to help you out!

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