Recent store chain closures steal all the headlines.  Perhaps because bad news sells newspapers.  But if you attended RetailEXPO (formerly RBTE) in the UK at the beginning of May, it’s clear that retail is invigorated, while changing.

At the Ivanti booth, we demonstrated Velocity and Speakeasy, and how our Rapid platform is making it easy for retailers to implement the latest generation of mobile technology. They’ve recognized the shift to Android and are progressing faster toward adoption. And we showed how we help: making the migration easy and fast.

But enough about us. Businesses we spoke with were highly focused on how to use tech to improve the customer experience. We heard plenty about the pressures of delivering faster – whether on the store floor or at the front door.  We also listened to stories about improving the output at the distribution center, and making the workflows more flexible within that environment. Raising productivity is fashion that never goes out of style.  These conversations confirmed there is much attention being put toward the solutions that deliver retail into its next generation experience for both consumers, and the associates that interact with them.

Exhibit halls are a great place to see some of the future, also.  What was highly evident was the convergence of technology on and around the worker.  We wrote about this recently, explaining the Bionic Worker, and RetailEXPO reinforced some of our key points: As the industry becomes more demanding, retailers will turn to wearable devices, such as headsets, smart watches, etc. to let warehouse employees automate aspects of their work and take a more hands-on approach which will drive productivity and efficiency. 

Bionic technology ensures greater accuracy within the supply chain and fewer lost or incorrect orders as it is a huge step up from paper-based and manual picking systems. Voice picking software means workers can move around the warehouse unhindered, with their eyes and hands free, which can improve safety and speed, as well as being alerted as soon as a wrong item is picked.

Our team really enjoyed all the conversations about how technologies such as this can integrate with the creativity and experience of human workers in order to improve productivity within the modern supply chain and set businesses ahead of the competition.