World Retail Congress
Over the course of 12–14 April 2016, more than 1,000 CEOs, Heads of Marketing and e-commerce professionals from retailers representing 50+ countries will unite for the 10th edition of the World Retail Congress at the Madinat Jumeriah in Dubai.
Attracting and engaging the modern customer
Retailing is changing faster and more dramatically than anyone has ever known. The development of Ecommerce and mobile commerce has started a process of transformation that will lead to a completely different retail business model with many new entrants. We are just at the beginning of this age of change.
2016 will mark the 10th World Retail Congress. Since its launch, the Congress has been at the very heart of the industry’s discussions about the future shape of retailing. In those few years, retailing has had to adapt and survive a global recession, keep pace with the development of major new markets such as China and India and now ensure that they remain relevant in this digital age.
The Congress has reflected these challenges and opportunities each year with a programme of speakers and themes that have been crafted with guidance from our Advisory Board and extensive industry feedback. Recent themes have focussed on “Retailing in an age of disruption” and in 2015, “Retail transformation today, tomorrow and in the future”. They both tracked the retail mood of the moment that has seen retailers recognise that everything is facing disruption through to the need to transform and change the business or else face extinction.
The Congress theme for 2016 moves this forward to focus on retailing’s ultimate disruptor and driver of change. It is not technology or new competitors – it is the customer. Consumers are forcing the pace of change through the adoption of new technology, by rejecting old brand loyalties and shopping habits in favour of channels and services that suit today’s lifestyles and budgets. The World Retail Congress’s exclusive research with Oxford Said Business School and Planet Retail underlined the extent to which consumers in all markets around the world are driving change but each with different national approaches to international trends.
Which is why this simple but complex theme of “Attracting and engaging the modern customer” is so important a focus for our discussions at the 10th annual meeting of the World Retail Congress.
Across the programme, the customer will figure prominently in the session topics and themes. Above all, the aim is to build valuable discussions in the plenary sessions, business streams and workshops on how to place the customer at the centre of a new retail business model.
Taking place against the backdrop of one of the world’s most exciting retail landscapes, Dubai, there will also be plenty of focus on how to create that all important customer experience.
It promises to be an invaluable and important 10th World Retail Congress.
Attracting and engaging the modern customer – the key Congress topics for 2016
Understanding the new retail landscape
To help set out the big challenges any retail organisation is facing, the Congress will ensure that some of the top industry experts and retail leaders will provide that all important context and macro picture.
Disruption and innovation – who’s doing what differently and why it works
Disruption need not be destructive but it can be about changing approaches to serve the customer better. Responding to retail feedback, the programme will feature many new “disruptive” businesses or innovators who will share their approaches to delivering a retail service to help encourage a debate amongst all retailers
Organisational change and leadership – building innovation from within and changing with your consumer
No change will be possible within retail organisations without the leadership driving it but also the right skills on board at the highest level. Learn from how other retailers are tackling this fundamental issue and also hear the exclusive findings of a special report commissioned by the World Retail Congress into what the requirements of the future retail leader will need to be.
Customer experience – from tech to the human touch
From the rise of online to mobile and the re-imagining of the physical store, a critical focus is on how to serve the modern customer better. With the majority of retailers selling similar products, that all important differentiation can only come through creating different experiences. How can this be achieved?
Engaging with your consumer
No business, particularly retailers, can expect to push out messages to consumers in the hope that they will respond like they did over previous decades. Consumers now have multiple channels, conversations and choices to make and as a result are in control of how they want to interact with retailers and brands. So how can a retailer break into these channels and communicate with their customers in a different and more engaging way? Media experts, content developers and retailers will all share their insights.
The international opportunities
On retailers’ agenda since the Congress launched, many emerging markets have already matured or changed whilst newer countries have come into focus such as Iran. Understanding not just the needs of consumers in each of these markets but also the competitive and regulatory framework are vital to success. The Congress is one of the best forums for all retailers involved in international expansion to come together to share their experiences.
Future-gazing: what’s next?
The World Retail Congress serves to bring senior retail leaders together and step outside of the daily, short-term demands of the business. They will be able to hear from those experts from outside of retail who nevertheless have a focus on developing new technologies and services that will change how consumers interact with retailers. Learn about the key trends just over the horizon that you will need to know about as they shape your future strategy.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai