Future of Customer Engagement for Retailers Event at Harvey Nichols

Fantastic turn out (in fact, standing room only!) for our event last week, which took place on the 5th floor of Harvey Nics in London and was all about the future of retail. Lovely to see so many trusted partners, customers and friends there, as well as industry analysts and journalists. Thanks again to everyone who attended and thanks to Cisco Systems who sponsored the event. A huge thank you to Graham Franklin from Cisco for organising it with me.

First off we had insight from industry veteran Bob Willett, into the retail landscape and how to ‘do’ good customer engagement. We were pleased to see Retail Week  publish his point about the UK making strides when it comes to joined up retail channels, compared with the rest of the world. We also liked his point that employees are not your cost centre but your profit centre!

Chrid from schuh impressed everyone with her learnings from in-store WiFi; how people like to engage on their own devices and how she uses Purple to faciliate online stock checking in store. Lee from Harvey Nics made everyone stop to think, as he took a stand on the pros – and cons – of using customer WiFi for marketing purposes.

Sarah Eccleston was fascinating as ever providing anecdotes about how we are connecting more and more ‘things’ and why that’s interesting for retailers. She gave the example of the ice cream running out and the freezer ordering you some more…without you even needing to know. Dan in the audience tweeted ‘that woman from Cisco is scaring me. I bet she knows what colour pants I’m wearing’!

Finally Bob Willett hosted Q&A with Sir Terry Leahy, the main draw of the event. Caroline from Retail Week, Teresa from Telesperience and Amanda from Morrisons all got to quiz him on his thoughts on where we are today and where we are going to be tomorrow. I’m not going to give away what he said now – we are making a highlights video so you will have to wait for that! However, one question that we asked them both, was to explain why they both decided to invest in a start up WiFi technology business. Sir Terry answered that Gavin had impressed him with his vision, and that WiFi is the next piece of the puzzle for understanding and engaging customers; whilst Bob Willett commented that he sees many companies with style over substance – but he was impressed by the fact that Purple WiFi has both style and substance.” Thanks Bob. We like your style and substance too!

Finally, congratulations to Eleanor Victoria from Pandora who won the £100 prize for her extremely creative tweet.

See you all at the next one.

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