How widely do U.K. convenience retailers use retail tech?
Shingadia: Currently retailers are looking to the symbol groups to drive technology developments, and some of the changes now with Tesco, Co-op and Morrisons coming into this market might well drive faster adoption of technology, because as multiple retailers they're very used to using technology. For example, Tesco has Clubcard, Payqwik and its own banking services. We may well see these services rolled out to the convenience sector.
Which technologies will U.K. retailers have to invest in?
Self service checkouts are going to be a priority for lots of retailers, collecting good quality management data, because they need to save employment costs and this technology is getting much more effective. I also think social media will need to be used far more to connect with customers and provide them with information relevant to their interests.
Which technologies did you perceive as the most significant at EuroCIS?
We've seen some really interesting things like 3D printing where retailers are making products to order. That's not that directly about the convenience sector, but it could have implications for us.
The key is going to be linking up all the data from all the pieces of tech we've seen here. If we're not careful it becomes a big task to manage all the data.
What impressed or surprised you at EuroCIS?
Store traffic analytics really impressed me, tracking the journey around the store, the peaks and troughs. It's really important for retailers to have this information. Also eye-tracking technology, which I've seen in working with Unilever before this show, but is clearly moving on a lot too.
If you had to describe EuroCIS in three words, what would those be?