With less than six months until Retail Business Technology Expo. Robert Teagle, EMEA IT Director, Starbucks Coffee, shares his thoughts on the future of retail
Q: What’s the next big thing in retail?
A: Context Aware Computing. I think the opportunity for retailers to exploit this technology hasn’t really happened, and it has the propensity to be a disruptive technology for the Retail Industry.
Q: Biggest challenge to current business?
A: Multi-channel retailing – To deliver to the same products and services in as many channels as the customers’ desire.
Q: What is your biggest challenge in your job right now?
A: Adoption and deployment of the right technology to support customer demands. It feels like we’re constantly playing catch up with our technology and applications to satisfy the tech-savvy nature of today’s consumer.
Q: Most exciting or promising technological developments?
A: Nano Technology – The possible applications in the technology space could transfer the way we work.
Q: How important is mobile, social networking, internet retailing and the cloud to retailers?
A: Very important! The first three offer retailers a unique opportunity to enhance their business and engage with customers in channels that suit them. The Cloud opportunity for retailers can help to improve their agility in bringing technology to bear in their business; this ultimately will provide a better experience for all our customers.
Q: What you hate about exhibitions and wish would change?
A: The predatory nature of suppliers as they only get a short time with people on their stands.
Q: What, if anything, do you love about exhibitions?
A: Opportunity to meet peers and suppliers, brainstorm new ideas and see the latest innovations.
Q: What would you like to see at Retail Business Technology Expo?
A: Examples of innovation for the retail industry that are cost effective, implementable, add value and appropriate for today’s consumer.
Q: Whose job would you most like?
A: Sir Norman Foster. If I hadn’t fallen into IT, I would’ve liked to have been an Architect (still do!!)
Q: Best retail CRM example you have seen or experienced?
A: I still think Amazon and Apple provide a simple and effective sales and CRM process.
Q: What is your favourite ‘gadget’ (work or personal)
A: iPad – Great product, easy to use and intuitive.
Q: Your favourite piece of technology?
A: 3D TV – great piece of technology moved from the cinema to living room.
Published October 2010