20-22 July 2020
Home & Gift Virtual 2020
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Recent News

Jordan Evans / 01 Jul 2020
Home & Gift Virtual schedule revealed
The organisers of Home & Gift have announced the launch of Home & Gift Virtual 2020, a t...
Celine Dibert, Press Loft / 24 Jun 2020
Getting ready for Christmas PR
Christmas happens twice in the world of PR. Every year, around mid-June to mid-July, bra...
Jordan Evans / 24 Jun 2020
Behind The Brand: Devaiya Oils
After experiencing the benefits of essential oils for herself, Ruby Sagu knew she needed...
Jordan Evans / 23 Jun 2020
Gift of the Year launches Gifts of Hope Awards
The Giftware Association has been so inspired by the specialist products, ranges and he...
Caroline Gardner / 10 Jun 2020
The Art of Journaling with Caroline Gardner
There are plenty of reasons that journaling is on the rise and becoming increasing popul...
Jordan Evans / 09 Jun 2020
#GiftThemThanks: New campaign ‘gifts’ back to key workers
The Giftware Association (GA), is calling on its members and gift companies across the U...
Jordan Evans / 04 Jun 2020
Meet The Maker: Sue Pryke
With a background firmly rooted in the crafts, Sue Pryke has built a career that has see...
Jordan Evans / 28 May 2020
4 Free Tools for Amazing Content Creation
From engaging blog posts to a captivating social media strategy, it’s never been more ...
Jordan Evans / 26 May 2020
NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH: The sculpture celebrating and supporting the NHS
Created by sculptor Thomas Meadows and the artisans in their Exmoor workshop, Clapping H...
Jordan Evans / 21 May 2020
Facebook shakes up the world of e-commerce with the launch of Shops
Shaking up the world of e-commerce with the launch of Shops, retailers will now have the...
Halcyon Naturals / 15 May 2020
The Halcyon Naturals simple guide to lifting low moods
Mood management can be easily done at home as part of your daily routine to stay in happ...
Jordan Evans / 13 May 2020
How Instagram is helping foster small business love
This week Instagram launched their ‘Support Small Business’ sticker, giving its user...
Jordan Evans / 12 May 2020
3 reasons you should have a Pinterest marketing strategy
Used by more than 300 million people world-wide each month and reporting a 60% year-on-y...
Tea Robinson / 05 May 2020
BEHIND THE BRAND Eleanor Tomlinson
With over 200 bespoke commissioned artworks under her belt, Yorkshire born & bred artist...
Jordan Evans / 30 Apr 2020
HOME & GIFT LAUNCHES HARROGATE @ HOME
The organisers of the Home & Gift show have today announced the launch of Harrogate @ Ho...
Kat Maclennan / 24 Apr 2020
How to Plan for an Impactful Re-opening
As a Visual Merchandising Consultant, Kat Maclennan has spent her career collaborating w...
Jordan Evans / 22 Apr 2020
BEHIND THE BRAND We Love Seasons
We Love Seasons focuses on offering contemporary products for Easter, Halloween and Chri...
Jordan Evans / 17 Apr 2020
BEHIND THE BRAND BESPOKE AROMA
Education worker turned aromatherapist, Jo Evans, owner of Bespoke Aroma, launched her v...
Catherine Erdly / 16 Apr 2020
4 steps to create a plan of action to help your business thrive
We are living in extraordinary times. The impact on everyone's lives have been immediate...
Charlotte Simpson / 16 Apr 2020
Top Tips for using Instagram Live and Live Video for your brand
Many may be a bit hesitant as the word ‘live video’ can be out of someone’s comfor...
Jordan Evans / 09 Apr 2020
BEHIND THE BRAND Peper Harow
Ensuring customers are stylish from top to toe, with their lovely range of stylish socks...
Kate Hardcastle / 08 Apr 2020
5 WAYS HOME & GIFT EXHIBITORS AND RETAILERS CAN SURVIVE THE CURRENT CLIMATE
Kate Hardcastle MBE, often referred to as The Customer Whisperer, is a leading expert in...
Kelly Grant / 07 Apr 2020
HOME & GIFT 2020 POSTPONED TO 2021
As a consequence of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Home & Gi...
Jordan Evans / 02 Apr 2020
BEHIND THE BRAND VENT for Change
The brain-child of environmental and social entrepreneur, Evan Lewis, Bristol-based VENT...
Jordan Evans / 01 Apr 2020
A Celebration Of Snail Mail
As we move into April the US is celebrating National Letter and Card Writing Month but, ...
31 Mar 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre commissioned as temporary NHS hospital
You may have seen some media reports regarding one of the Home & Gift Show’s venues, t...
Jordan Evans / 25 Mar 2020
BEHIND THE BRAND Little Blue Nest
Uninspired by the abundance of typical baby textile patterns on the market when she beca...
PR Dispatch / 20 Mar 2020
3 ways for small businesses to move forward in uncertain times
The current challenging and tough climate is forcing a lot of small business owners to f...
19 Mar 2020
COVID-19: Home & Gift 2020 to run as planned
Home & Gift Harrogate has been a key date in the retail calendar for 60 years, bringing ...
Vintage Child / 12 Mar 2020
The Road To A Sustainable Supply Chain- The Story of Vintage Child
Last year, Vintage Child donated enough to conservation charities to offset their CO2 em...
Ian Pattison, Google Cloud / 27 May, 2020
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The Future of Retail: 2020

The Future of Retail: 2020

Let’s be clear from the outset: the retail industry was going through a significant shift towards new business models before Covid-19, and it will continue to do so afterwards.  Yes, the current global pandemic is accelerating those changes, but it was happening anyway.  Many retailers have been taking steps to transform their businesses, enter new markets and adopt new enabling technologies over the last few years.  Covid-19 means that they now need to do that more quickly.

What does the future of retail look like?

Consumers are still looking for value.  Some are looking for value in pricing, others for experience.  The shift of retail away from the ideal of ‘all things to all people’, towards the extremes of value price and experience, will continue.  Retailers need to focus on either value or experience, or diversify to cover both separately.  Retailers who try to be all things to all people will struggle to succeed.

For experience-focused retailers, it may currently be difficult to provide a good level of in-store customer service, so it is imperative to focus on the touch points that do exist - web, mobile, chat and phone.  Machine learning (ML) and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can help to streamline these channels, for example by helping to understand customers’ precise requirements in a call centre setting, and guiding agents to the right answer.

For value-focused retailers, those same AI technologies can help to optimise pricing, build an efficient routing of delivery vehicles, and ensure the correct levels of stock in the right place,  thereby reducing costs.

How can retailers deliver great customer experience?

Anything which makes shopping easier for consumers, which removes friction and pain points and gives them a more pleasant experience, has the potential to be a game-changer.  If retailers can bring together data, for example, on recipes, trends, and preferences, then they can serve their customers by giving them the things they want, before they’ve even realised they want them.

For instance, imagine telling your shopping app that you want to cook Indian food at the weekend, and based on your previous choices it ships all the right ingredients at just the right time.  Or getting a dress for a party based on the latest fashion trends and the existing contents of your wardrobe, delivered the day before, with perfect fit.

Retailers who can combine the latest tech with a customer-friendly and hyper-personalised approach to deliver innovative service at exactly the right time will be the ones who benefit.
Retail everywhere
The ongoing shift away from fixed computers towards mobile and wearables will have an impact on both consumers and employees based in stores and warehouses.

Connecting with customers is increasingly moving from traditional advertising channels, to mobile, with social media and influencers' YouTube channels becoming a significant part of ‘brand reach’.

For consumers, ubiquitous, always-on technology will allow them to opt in to hyper-personalised offers, delivered when they are in store, to enable them to get the most from their relationship with their favourite retailers.

For employees, having accurate and up-to-date information will help them to give great service to their customers and do their jobs more effectively, thereby improving staff morale.

How can retailers prepare for a post-Covid world?

Terms like omni-channel and multi-channel reflect the barriers that exist in retail today, and those barriers are largely within the retailer themselves.  Online retailing started as a separate entity from bricks-and-mortar stores, and to a large extent those siloes still exist.

Retailers wanting to emerge strongly from the Covid-19 period should think of the customer experience as a series of touchpoints, and it should not matter which channel is being used at that time.  The technology exists to bring all of the data and customer interactions together from across a retail organisation; often it is organisational and cultural constraints that inhibit this. 

Now, more than any other time, we need to discard old ways of thinking.

Ultimately, customers will benefit when they can use a mobile app, speak to a home device, email a request, or go into a store, and pick up their customer journey where they left off, seamlessly.

The best thing that retailers can do for the future is to serve their customers in the way the customers want to be served.
 
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