How 5 companies at the Retail Design Expo are using technology to digitise in-store experiences

It was an incredible couple of days at London’s Retail Business Technology, Retail Digital Signage and Retail Design Expo. The focus this year was squarely on solutions that empower customers – and how retailers can offer them with the least effort. The average shopper is getting savvier, and more than half of consumers rate their in-store experience as the most important factor whilst they shop.

Your competitors know this. 56% of businesses rate experimenting with digital as highly important. 45% will be prioritising content & experience management this year.

This is why events like the Retail Design Expo are so important. They’re an opportunity to unite exciting technology with forward-thinking retailers. With over 18,000 attendees and close to 500 exhibitors attending, there was an overflow of innovation. Whether you couldn’t make it this year, or couldn’t take it all in, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our rundown of the most exciting technology solutions we came across at the event.

1. Kino-mo’s HyperVSN holograms

One of the most stunning visual showcases of the Expo, HyperVSN’s holograms are a taste of the future. Kino-mo are a British success story, endorsed by Richard Branson. Their exciting tech is pushing the boundaries of display technology, and picking up accolades worldwide.

Their holograms are created on spinning blades, which can be used as single units, or as part of a bigger display. The graphics are fairly crisp, and float in the air. Its 3D without the glasses, and its advertising that attracts consumers. In fact, their stall saw a steady stream of by-passers with their mobile phones at the ready to share. The novelty of these holograms ensures huge coverage, as shoppers are in awe at these displays.

In an increasingly crowded world of advertising, having the power to stick out is going to remain key to being memorable.

Photo via Unsplash

2. Omnico Group’s Self Scan solution

Omnico Group draws on 25 years of experience to offer a portfolio of software solutions for each step of the customer journey. Serving retail, hospitality, and theme parks, their dashboard helps to manage the entire visitor experience; from stock management and promotions, to loyalty and ticketing.

Described by their leading client Coop Denmark as “a more realistic Amazon Go,” Omnico were showcasing their self-scanning app at the Retail Business Technology Expo. It lets shoppers scan and pack their goods as they make their way around a store, then pay with their mobiles as they leave. For customers, cashier-less stores embody the future of shopping, as they want to experience it. Nearly twice as many shoppers prefer checking out with their phone, compared to a staffed till.

It fits comfortably between the cutting-edge of Amazon, and the accessible but faulty tech that currently sets the standard in supermarkets. Think, no more “unexpected item in bagging area.”

3. Yoyo’s payments and rewards platform

Whilst winning customer loyalty is becoming harder in a saturated marketplace, consumers are still loyal to brands that reward them. In fact, 74% of shoppers specifically choose to spend their money with retailers carrying strong loyalty programs.

That may well be why Yoyo is the fastest growing mobile wallet in Europe after 3 years in operation.

Yoyo offers secure mobile payments, digital loyalty cards and personalised offers to its users. Users can store multiple loyalty cards on their phone, and be rewarded with specific and targeted promotions. It almost removes the need for a physical wallet entirely. For retailers, there’s the ability to analyse customer data at a granular, basket level, which enables better segmenting, and next-level personalisation.

Customers are clearly comfortable interacting with shops on their phones – mobile payments have been tripling year-on-year. So if you haven’t rolled out your mobile strategy yet, this is the time to do it.

Photo via Unsplash

4. Foko Retail’s operations dashboard

The focus at these events is often on what the customer sees. But achieving a frictionless and personalised experience can’t be done without a lot of work behind-the-scenes.

Canadian Foko Retail is tackling this with a clear user interface for store staff.

With giants of retail like Nike and Billabong already signed up, you know they’ve got the goods. Their all-in-one dashboard makes it easy to share images and best practices between stores. Store performance and stock can also be monitored, and tasks can be set within the platform. This streamlines shop management whilst ensuring a consistent experience across stores.

64% of businesses directly correlate employee engagement with customer satisfaction. The financial case for better coordination is clear, and business applications like this make it easy to execute.

5. Pointr’s Indoor Wayfinding Solution

Brick and mortar stores have a lot to contend with, often focusing on providing the human touch a website lacks. But this could be harming your business. An overwhelming 95% of customers only want help from store staff when they need it, and are likely to look for answers online, whilst in-store.

Pointr’s solution lets customers take control of their own shopping experience.

Just like online cart abandonment, customers lose interest when facing an unexpected hurdle. Pointr’s Deep Location Platform provides accurate indoor navigation, that lets customers find their own way to items or points of interest. With turn-by-turn navigation, and AR maps, shoppers are able to find what they’re looking for, at their own pace.

This tech also provides the kind of exciting personalisation and analytics you’d expect. There are huge marketing opportunities in being able to send personalised offers as a customer enters a store or specific area. Loyalty can be rewarded with instant discounts.


The technology on display at the Expo shows how some tech is really pushing the boundaries, whilst others are focusing on nailing the basics. We like to think we sit between; offering the foundations for incredible customer experience, and optimised store management.

If you’re looking to level up your in store offering, we’d love to hear from you.