Once upon a time, a man wearing pink shoes called Dirk said to me “Hey! Come over to Holland and tell our retailers all about your innovation lab thing”. So who am I to disagree. Last week, I spoke at the Emerce Retail Conference in Holland. And, my respect for all things Dutch is high (no pun intended). Let me tell you all about my trip…
How it started
Back last year, when we did the Retail Hackathon, the team that won was led by a company called Kega, and fronted by our pink shoe-wearing friend, Dirk (yes, he’s the one in tropical shirt). During the event we all got to chatting and turns out Kega do what we do – design solutions for a multi-channel world in Holland. And, I’ve since found out, they are the top dog out there. Scroll forward to January this year and Dirk got in touch and said “Hey! Come over to Holland…”
The talk I gave is based on the best practice paper we wrote for Econsultancy, Innovation Through Rapid R&D & running your own in-house lab.
(Image source: Econsultancy)
One of the great things about running a conference talk about our approach was the chance to skip the history-setting and just summarise it down to the key points. But there’s the rub: trying to explain it in 20 minutes! Anyhow, here’s my presentation, you can decide for yourself:
Related posts about our approach
What I learnt
Back to Holland…on the day itself, I had the chance to see some of the other conference talks. Highlights for me include PJ Verhoef from Adobe’s talk on the developing ‘Marketing Cloud’. His point “85% of consumers demand an integrated shopping experience…and only 50% experience it” (see my tweet for slide image) really resonated with me. Critically I only think its as high as 50% because of low expectation – which I firmly believe is shifting. Quicker than retailers believe. In addition, Emmas Enkel talk on their new approach to grocery shopping in Germany was a breath or fresh air. A recent start-up, now funded, their local approach but with a clear multi-channel set, setting up small stores that only display examples of the stock, but deliver locally was intriguing.
But I have to mention fellow speaker, @MauriceCroon and his excellent start-up, Yippie! We got to chatting in the evening (the event organisers Emerce put on a lovely dinner, big thanks guys!) Maurice has the startup patter down and I expect him to at least take over Northern Europe. His product is a no-brainer. I expect to see copycats imminently and Maurice to get ‘super-funded!’ as he would say. Its a simple web browser plug-in, that when you look at products on websites, will offer alternative websites offering the product cheaper. And better yet, he’s giving retailers the chance to offer better pricing on the spot to the user. Oh yes, dynamic pricing here we go. I’m really looking forward to the day he wanders over to the UK and makes a diabolical child with a cashback, discount site!
The following day, Dirk showed me some of his favourite forward-thinking retailers they’re working with in Amsterdam – and I gotta say, impressed. Especially the new Bilder & De Clercq grocery store. Designed for the busy worker, stock is displayed around meals which change weekly. With the ingredients packaged in measurements required to make the meal – for him and her (…not him, her and a brood of kids! But hey, families have their own stores, they’re called supermarkets). This is local grocery shopping for the busy urbanite. And quite groovy it was too.
(Image source: Author's own)
Many thanks to Kega, Emerce and all the other Dutchies who were so inviting to me over in Holland last week. But lets not forget what its all about. Dirk’s shoes! Look at these puppies he wore to the conference….
(Image source: Author's own)