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Commentary by Lee Jones, CEO, Worldline Merchant Services UK Limited

After a two-year hiatus, thousands of retail tech enthusiasts came together at London’s Kensington Olympia for the Retail Technology Show 2022, in an outstanding display of… View Article


Commentary by Lee Jones, CEO, Worldline Merchant Services UK Limited

After a two-year hiatus, thousands of retail tech enthusiasts came together at London’s Kensington Olympia for the Retail Technology Show 2022, in an outstanding display of innovation at the end of April. Putting aside the disruption and negative impacts from the pandemic, the focus was placed firmly on the future of retail and how the industry can get there helped by the latest retail technology innovations.

With Worldline’s own exhibition stand situated in one of the venue’s best spots, our team was able to absorb the full weight of change and transformation in the air amongst like-minded organisations looking to propel the trade forward.

Here is a round-up of this year’s event and some of the key takeaways.

1.     Worldline’s portfolio of innovative payment options

Across April 26-27, a senior team of Worldline representatives, spanning numerous sectors, showcased our most cutting-edge payment solutions during the technology show. The suite of  available products symbolised how the organisation continues to surpass customer expectations around mobility, omnichannel solutions, digitisation, and a unified payment process.

Our experts were on hand throughout the show to share their unrivalled knowledge of Worldline’s innovative solutions which continue to be developed to meet the requirements of the changing the online retail industry and its customers.

Over the two days our focus was to describe to peers, the press and other show participants the ways in which we continue to adapt our offering to meet the unique challenges posed by the accelerating e-Commerce trend. In addition, we held several discussions with merchants, looking at how they can enrich their services and enhance the customer experience through competitive and compelling services. Also on display was our range of payment products including POS terminals, digital loyalty card solutions and self-checkout options.

2.     In-person events still reign supreme

During the COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions and lockdowns meant that virtual events stepped firmly into the spotlight. Some even spoke of a brave new world in which all exhibitions and conferences moved online – forever! However, the Retail Technology Show proved that there is a huge hunger for in-person events as it welcomed thousands of attendees, 200+ technology vendors, and over 90 speakers.

3.     Could check-out free shopping really rival the frictionless online experience?

Thanks to the growing trend of check-out free shops, retailers are beginning to redesign their entire bricks-and-mortar store format. This revolutionary technology  certainly provides the industry with food for thought and allows retailers to reinvent their physical offerings and play around with space within their stores.

With long queues often serving as the greatest pain point for customers when shopping, businesses have an opportunity to bring the same mindset and effortlessness of online checkouts into the physical store, resulting in more seamless journeys for consumers.

4.     Use rich data to win more sales and customers!

One of the keys to achieving retail success is to be much more data-centric, which has long been on Worldline’s agenda. Harvesting analytics and hard data rather than relying on guesswork enables retailers to make smarter decisions that lead to a better customer experience, increased growth and revenue, and a more effective store overall.

Retailers who want to thrive in the coming years must work towards incorporating data into their business decisions and how they run their business. Setting up the right systems, partnering with the right providers and learning how to gather intelligence is no mean feat but the knowledge, insights and efficiency to be gained will make it all worthwhile.

5.     The Metaverse should not be ignored

Finally, another trend on everyone’s lips at the show was the Metaverse. Despite a solid recognition that this new “universe” is coming, the consensus was that it’s not yet a retail priority and won’t be for several years. As retailers navigate the recovery phase of the pandemic, there are several pain points and macroeconomic factors to reconcile with before metaverse mania takes hold.

That said, a critical message for everyone to take away was that, just because this phenomenon is not yet a priority, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Industry players must continue to stay abreast of the trend, monitor what social media giants are doing with it, and think about how they will leverage the Metaverse in their own way – something that Worldline is already prioritising.

For us, it’s not just about using this new technology simply to be a part of the noise, it’s about adding value to the customer experience and enhancing relationships.

In the wake of such turbulent times, the appetite for the Retail Technology Show truly made this year’s event unmissable. The Worldline team was delighted to be part of an important platform for reuniting the industry and setting a course for the evolution needed for retail sector businesses to succeed in this new landscape.

The Retail Technology Show returns on the 25-26th April 2023. Register your interest today: HERE

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