#1 Garden Gathering Summary

The first Garden Gathering was a huge success and it was gratifying to see such an interest in the future of retail and the willingness to become more acquainted with new retail-tech potential.

So a good start, but there is always room for improvement; for example, we have learnt that next time there should be more time for audience-driven discussions.

Ilona Oksanen also wrote a nice summary on her Werk website with plenty of videos and one of our guest speakers, Gulnaz Khusainova, made a nice summary of some key takeaways in a series of Tweets:

  • Fashion brands and retailers are keen on learning about innovation and tech, but often don't know where to go. Thus these community events are especially powerful for knowledge sharing and connecting with tech companies.

  • Many brands and retailers often think that tech solutions are not affordable. Advice: 1. talk to startups: many will be happy to have special deals if you're their first customer. 2. there are solutions out there, that are more affordable than you think...

  • Platforms, like @Shopify, have a wide range of apps and plugins for shops of different size and taste.

  • Brick and Mortar: loads of solutions focus on customer experiences, but there is a need from the industry for solutions that will focus on shop/sales assistants: helping them learn faster, be more productive etc.

  • Omnichannel strategies: focus on 1. consistency of messaging across channels – visual, audio etc. 2. storytelling & building a community around your brand both online and offline 3. be customer-centric without being creepy and surveilling.

  • Use ROX (return on experience) instead of ROI, when working with innovation. 86% of shoppers will pay more if customer experience matches or exceeds their expectations. Create memorable experiences and focus on what your customers REALLY want.

To those we would add:

  • Physical location at the "Heart of Eurasia" is a key advantage in making Finland a hub for retail innovation through being able to introduce retail-tech from across the Nordics, China and the rest of Asia.

  • Combining the convenience and speed of e-commerce and authentic 'human touch' elements improve omni-channel experiences for customers.

Many thanks again to all those your participated in this fruitful endeavour!