Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Timely Shoptalk Europe conference

Mark Fletcher
October 11th, 2017 · No Comments

I have been in Copenhagen this week, immersed in the Shoptalk Europe conference, which brought together attendees from high street retail, online retail, tech companies and venture capitalists.

The conference has been especially timely given the intensification of focus online in Australia as a result of the Amazon move.

The most interesting presentations were by retailers outlining how they are using tech to drive innovation in their businesses. Most are quite candid about their experiences and results.

Speakers included folk from plenty of retail sectors including flowers, bikes, services, gifts, fashion and homewares.

There were some terrific presentations on how businesses have transformed from traditional high street models to omnichannel.

Not one presenter spoke negatively about investing in online. While that might match your expectation for a conference like this, the environment was open and candid. Successes were detailed from revenue growth to something and basic as neutering the impact of the decline from a legacy part of a business by growing i a new online-focussed area.

Stephen Lowy from Westfield was a speaker on Monday, talking further about the expansion of Westfield beyond its traditional property play and into a collaboration-focussed data / tech play. This week Lowy went further than I have heard him speak in this at past conferences. If you think about it, Westfield has similar challenges to newsagents, but win a bigger scale.

Every speaker was from a business that invested in their future. They had gone out and pursued new traffic and more efficiency shopper engagement. They were not sitting and waiting to see what happened. They were making it happen. It was invigorating.

I am not sharing specific insights here as this is not the place. I plan on leveraging what I have learned for and with those I work with in the newsagency channel and elsewhere.

There is no time to waste. Every retailer needs to be online, so they can be found by anyone, anywhere, and shopped 24/7. Think of business today as a race to cash. Whereas in the past you might think about another shop in town or in the next town that a local customer could purchase from. Today someone who could spend money with you could easily do it anywhere at anytime. You have to match this pitch.

Regulars here would know that through newsXpress I have driven an advanced online strategy with several customer-facing websites. That is on track to expand shortly. Shoptalk Europe has helped to flesh out my 2018 planning.

These are exciting times for anyone who enjoys change.

Footnote: The conference opened with a performance by the Copenhagen Drummers. Their performance set the tone for energy, focus and enjoyment.

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Category: Newsagency opportunities

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