This past week we hosted the inaugural Garden Gathering event here in Helsinki at the Garden fashion space of Kämp Galleria shopping center together with an amazing retail software startup Pricetap.
Helsinki’s physical location at the ‘heart of Eurasia’ is a key advantage in making Finland a hub for retail innovation, introducing retail-tech across the Nordics, China and the rest of Asia. So we took the morning to bring together a fascinating group of Nordic and Asian retail-tech startups, developers and brand representatives with a goal of creating a community platform for exploring delightful new retail experiences.
Here’s a little recap on the top insights of the first Garden Gathering - event:
Skip the ‘big anxiety’ of not having a clue on retail-tech and get up-close and personal with retail-tech start-ups and learn from them! Don’t try to force-birth innovation only internally - someone has probably come up with a solution to your problem already. But you’re unlikely to come across anything of great value from the safety of your office.
Be transparent with other organisations (in events such as the Garden Gathering) on your biggest challenges - someone might have gone through the same path already and found a pool of good retail-tech options.
Evolving with rapidly changing customer expectations can feel overwhelming, but don’t dive into the first solution you come across. Carefully weight a variety of options and clarify which problems really need solving first. And most importantly, don’t assume things - find out how your customer moves around your omnichannel journey and really expects from you.
And then the money. When it comes to retail innovation, many c-level management, regardless of the size of the organization, will have an initial reaction of ‘nope - we can’t afford it’. But many retail solutions today already come at a much more affordable price than you might think. The more innovative the startup, the more willing they are in making a good deal to get started. They need you as much as you need them. They key is to evolve together, bit-by-bit, step-by-step in the direction that creates more value to the end-consumer. Before it’s too late.
Look beyond your classic ROI when measuring the success of retail innovations. 86% of consumers are willing to pay more if retailers exceed their expectations on the retail experience. The real ROX (Return on Experience) is created by touchpoints within the retail experience (with or without tech) that bring true value to the consumers. The most successful omnichannel customer experiences are the most holistic ones that deliver a consistent and unified experience through all the retail touchpoints.
Pricetap - scan price tags for hidden and future rewards
Easysize - a better way to solve sizing in fashion
iDress - 3D scanning revolutionizing the fashion commerce
Polka Dot Studios - fashion styling game connected to online stores
Audiodraft - (audio branding to enhance the retail experience)
InsightsAtlas - (hear what customers are saying online with Social AI™)
A big thank you to Peter Vesterbacka from Random Ventures, Frank Svenvelt from Samuji and Martta Louekari from Juni for being part of our first Garden Gathering.
Keep your eyes open for the sign up link for the next Garden Gathering!
Photography Jean Munck
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