Aislinn Mahon explains how The New Market Entrants Team is currently supporting some of Enterprise Ireland’s most exciting and forward thinking music technology start-ups.
The New Market Entrants Team in the UK office is running an exciting event to highlight the level of innovation present amongst the strong cluster of fast growth music technology start up companies in Ireland.
The Global Digital Music Industry
The global music industry is adapting to the digital age at an accelerated rate, and new models for creating, consuming and accessing music are constantly being introduced into new markets. This digital landscape provides both opportunities and challenges for record labels, producers and artists. The Internet makes the distribution of music faster and easier to access, but issues of piracy have risen here. There is a strong feeling in the industry that artists should be rewarded financially for their work in the digital environment, just as they have always been in the physical world.
Kevin Godley, Founder and John Holland, CEO of Whole World Band
The Innovation in Music Technology Showcaseis being run by The New Market Entrants Team at the end of May in Dublin. Leading UK music technology representatives from companies such as Mobile Roadie, MINT Digital and Music Ally will hear about the impact of digital technology on the future of the music industry and learn about new ways of driving revenue in their business in the surroundings of The Sugar Club, one of Dublin’s most creative music venues. Topics on the day will range from digital fan engagement strategies to collaborative content creation and music discovery to mobile festivals.
Cathal Furey, CEO of 45sound, pictured in the company’s brand new office on South William St, Dublin
Watch this Space!
In the UK, digital revenues stand at one third of music industry income – an important statistic when one considers that this surpasses those of other creative industries (e.g. film, books and newspapers). There is a mood of optimism in the UK music industry, and Enterprise Ireland sees this as an end market opportunity for our client companies to capitalise on.
If you have an innovative solution for retail technology, Enterprise Ireland’s “Retailer Ready Programme” could be right for you.
Despite the doom and gloom, there is opportunity for Irish companies in the UK retail market, which is set to grow to £300.7bn in 2013. Shoppers are increasingly looking online ahead of traditional high street stores, with the online market estimated to have reached a value of £77bn in 2012. This will grow to reach 11% of total retail spend over 2013.
Customers are expecting retailers to go the extra mile to meet their demands of a hassle free, flexible shopping experience.
Where does opportunity lie for suppliers?
mCommerce: Shopping & paying for goods via mobile device. Retailers are encouraging shoppers to embrace mobile through instore wi-fi and offering mobile payment options.
In-store technology: Increase of investment in in-store technology (for customers and staff) will evolve from trials to full store roll out.
Couch commerce: The boom of tablets and smart TV’s opens up further opportunities and market segments to online shoppingin the home. IMRG estimates that 80% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while watching TV so investing in tablet optimised sites is essential for retailers.
Supply Chain Infrastructure: Delivery is a key differentiator for retailers. Customers can avail of click & collect/reserve and same/next day delivery. As cross border growth is a key online strategy, retailers are also expanding shipping options and localising transactional websites.
The Retailer Ready Programme
Although the UK retail market is one of the most vibrant in the world and offers great opportunity to Irish retail technology companies, it is also one of the most competitive markets. The Retailer Ready Programme was designed by the New Market Entrants Team in Enterprise Ireland’s UK office to provide support for Irish retail technology suppliers to ensure they are as prepared as possible in advance of tackling the highly competitive UK retail sector. The New Market Entrants Team works with Irish companies that are new to exporting and has experience in guiding companies in their early stages to ensure a sustainable strategy as they enter the UK market.
According to Allyson Stephen, who leads the Programme; “The UK multichannel scene offers opportunity for Irish suppliers despite the competition; we want to give Enterprise Ireland companies who have an innovative offer the best chance of success”.
The Programme was run in 2012 for the first time, with six Enterprise Ireland client companies (Actus Mobile Solutions, Worldnet TPS, Von Bismark, Touchpoint Interactive Media, Newsletter.ie and Zapa Technology) receiving expert mentoring and support from a Retail Panel that included representatives from the Dune Group, TK Maxx and global provider of multi-channel commerce solutions Venda.
Participants of the Retailer Ready Programme 2012
The Group Creative Director of Venda was impressed with the Programme:
“The Retailer Ready Programme provides unprecedented opportunities for Irish companies to gain a true insight into the current retail and technology trends within the mainland UK. Individuals and companies gain in knowledge of confidence as the sessions progress, the summit of which is a 1 day event providing a platform to engage, interactive, quiz, prod, poke and present to some of the most seasoned eCommerce professionals in the business – you shouldn’t miss this opportunity!”
Get in touch!
The Retailer Ready Programme offers participants unique insights, selling skills and access to this market place.
We are looking for participants for the second round of the Programme, due to begin in February 2013. Please note that places are limited to Enterprise Ireland clients only and strict criteria apply.
Aislinn Mahon explains how Enterprise Ireland can provide retailers in the UK, and across global markets, with access to emerging technologies from Irish companies with world class solutions for retail. Aislinn is a member of the New Market Entrants Team in Enterprise Ireland UK, and supports the Retailer Solutions Initiative. For more on Retailer Solutions, check out this short video. eTail, the practise of selling products to consumers over the Internet, is a key area for focus for retailers in the UK and across global markets. The UK is Europe’s leading eTail economy and, at £68.2bn in 2011, now accounts for 17% of all UK retail sales. According to IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), eTail sales are expected to reach £77bn in 2012, and there are now 37m online shoppers in the UK.
Not so long ago, many of the most successful retailers across the UK had little more than transactional websites to offer customers. Nowadays with the prominence of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, customers expect personalised and interactive experiences across all channels, buying when, what, where and how they like.
Bricks and mortar retailing has evolved, and serving this multichannel customer is at the top of retailers priorities. The concept is relatively new in the retail industry, and investment is essential as retailers compete with each other to offer the best multichannel experience for customers. Irish suppliers offer a plenitude of innovative solutions to help retailers in their quest to stand out from the crowd.
Strength of Irish Companies
Every multichannel strategy is underpinned by an ecommerce solution, which enables retailers to optimise the online experience for consumers. Established Irish company Buy4Now, led by CEO Michael Veale, has been assisting major retailers to build this foundation since 2000, and is behind some of the fastest-growing and most successful eCommerce websites.
The 24/7 consumer is always switched on, with touch screen devices such as smart phones and tablets transforming the way consumers interact with brands and retailers. According to KPMG’s latest annual survey, willingness to compare prices and complete transactions on mobile devices has rocketed. Bricks-and-mortar retailers need to respond to this rapidly changing consumer behaviour by directly engaging with their customers using the mobile channel. Tony Burke of Actus Mobile, who have just launched an App for Dundrum Town Centre, Ireland’s largest premier retail location, agrees: “Branded mobile applications built on Actus Mobile’s “Mobishop” platform assist retailers in building customer engagement before, during and after their shopping experience, thus driving footfall and increasing revenue”.
The rate of adoption of tablet usage is on the rise, with retailers striving to optimise this new consumer buying experience, referred to as “couch commerce”. According to Amplience, who has developed a platform for creating and managing multi-channel retail experiences “The rise of tablets is placing demands on retailers and brand owners to create super-rich merchandising experiences in yet another medium, one that constitutes an entirely new channel, with new technology, customer journeys and content and production demands”.
In a world filled with choices, consumers look to their peers for guidance on what to buy online. Customer reviews play an important role in persuading consumers to part with their money. Conor O’Neill, CEO of LouderVoice, the customer reviews solution provider, points to the benefits of investing in this technology: “Reviews grow sales through confidence, feedback, search engine optimization and social media referrals”.
‘eTail at the Embassy’, one of the many activities run by Enterprise Ireland under the Retailer Solutions Initiative
While online sales are on the rise, retailers are still committed to the value they can derive from the traditional, bricks and mortar experience. Indeed the worlds of online and offline are constantly converging, with many stores now offering consumers experiences that are traditionally found online. Eoghan O’Sullivan, CEO of Von Bismark, confirms this; ‘We have developed The Von Bismark Wardrobe platform which allows consumers to physically try on digital clothing, create biometrics profiles and share their experiences via social networks. It allows retailers to lower costs and returns while increasing customer retention and ultimately sales’.
When it comes to paying, customers expect that their experience is fast, secure and convenient, paying how, when and where they like. Realex Payments, who process payments for some of the largest names in retail, help retailers manage international transactions across multiple channels. Consumer payment habits are fast evolving, and managing multiple sales channels is a key challenge area for any retailer.
Not only are consumers becoming more mobile, retailers are too. Worldnet TPS, a provider of multi-channel online payment solutions, has recently developed Payjack, a mobile solution that enables mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets to accept payments. According to Will Byrne, CEO of Worldnet TPS: “This means that now all merchants no matter how big or small can accept credit card payments”.
Retail is a fast paced world, with customers dictating the pace of change. Enterprise Ireland client companies can assist retailers in staying ahead of the game, with a host of innovative solutions that can enhance customer experience and raise the level of innovation.
Retailer Solutions is an initiative driven by Enterprise Ireland. We work with retailers to understand their strategic and operational needs, in order to introduce value-adding, multi-channel suppliers to them that are capable of increasing efficiency, enhancing customer experience, or raising the level of innovation. This post originally featured on www.retailer-solutions.com.
Enterprise Ireland welcomed members of the retail community to the Irish Embassy, London on Thursday, 14thJune 2012 to celebrate the range of exciting technologies coming out of Ireland. Enterprise Ireland is a champion of innovation, and can provide retailers with access to emerging technologies from Irish companies with world class solutions for retail. We call this group of leading suppliers ‘Retailer Solutions’.
The event included the launch of the new short video which gives a flavour of some of the Irish companies that Enterprise Ireland works with.
As the UK isEurope’s leading eTail economy, the focus of the day was on this growing area of retail. At £68.2bn in 2011, eTail now accounts for 17% of all UKretail sales. According to IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), eTail is forecast to grow by 13% in 2012.
The first part of the day kicked off with Michael Ross of eCommera who shared his ‘Manifesto for a ‘metailer’’ with the audience. Michael spoke about recent changes in consumer behaviour, and how this impacts on retailing business decisions. This has moved from the store to the individual: location, location, location is giving way to customer, customer, customer.
Von Bismark was there on the day to showcase its wardrobe platform, which allows customers to physically try on digital clothing, and share their experiences via social networks. Check out our Pinterest account for images of this.
This post was originally published on EI’s Retailer Solutions blog – if you build, supply, or are otherwise involved in supplying next generation IT solutions to retailers, you’d be well advised to check it out!
Last Month 40 senior representatives from a host of suppliers across the retail value chain descended upon the Enterprise Ireland headquarters in Dublin to attend the first Retailer Solutions CEO Forum of 2012. Technology and services providers Actus Mobile,Worldnet TPS, Vision ID and Nualight; and consumer product companies Jack Murphy, The Design Basket and Lifes2Good were amongst those present on the day.
Take a quick look at the video below and see for yourself!
Social Media in a Business to Business Context
“Social media is not a fad, it is a future.”
Michael O’Brien, Head of Marketing at Celtrino, the supply chain management solutions company shared his experiences of the adoption of social media as a strategic part of the company’s marketing mix. “Be unique with your content, try and be different’.
Adrian Goodsell and Pete Wood of Steak Digital were there on the day to add context to Michael’s story: “Social is free to set up but you need to dedicate resources to it”. The full service digital marketing agency specialises in Business to Business Social.
Retail in Germany
“If you want to be successful in German retail you have to be very efficient in your business processes.”
Michael Gerling, Managing Director of EHI, the German Retail Institute, provided key insights into retail in the challenging but potentially rewarding German market.
Multichannel Retailing in Europe
“If you’re a retailer today it’s no longer good enough to just look at the domestic market…there are lots of opportunities to internationalise your brand. How do you engage with your customers-how do your customers want to engage you as a brand?”
Martin Newman, CEO of Practicology, the global ecommerce consulting business was present to address the topic of multichannel inEurope, using practical examples to describe the retail scene in various European markets. We looked at strategies of key European retailers as well as key trends in e-commerce, m-commerce and f-commerce across Europe.
You can look @ the presentations on our Slideshare a/c!
This is a post from Aislinn Mahon, a member of the Retail Team in Enterprise Ireland’s London Office. Together with her colleagues across Europe she recently launched an online platform for ‘Retailer Solutions’ @ www.retailer-solutions.com.
We established Retailer Solutions in late 2011 to connect our portfolio of highly innovative suppliers with multi-channel retailers across Europe, with a particular focus on the UK. In the current retail environment, opportunities lie for those offering innovative solutions and product developments designed to improve competitiveness. Factors such as efficiency, customer experience and interaction will define the winners in 2012.
The group of over 100 companies includes technology providers from across the retail and ecommerce value chain, as well as professional services and a range of consumer product companies.
This week we are launching our online platform for Retailer Solutions, which will feature engaging and up to date content covering the entire breadth of the retail sector. With retailer interviews and guest posts from a host of innovative suppliers we welcome retailers, suppliers and analysts to share ideas, innovations and information to ensure that we all stay ahead of the game in these challenging times.
There are more than 100 Irish Companies selling next generation solutions into the Retail sector – in addition to the many others who sell through retailers as a ‘route to market’. These retail solutions companies provide services such as payment solutions, store interiors, technology providers, consumer products, packaging, marketing, instore systems etc. and are targetting supermarkets, pharmacies, DIY stores and other retail outlets as their clients.
Given the work that EI and its clients are undertaking in the retail solution area, I am delighted to announce that we are holding a second Retailer Solutions Forum on Thursday 9th February in Eastpoint Dublin. It will include the following topics; Social Media, Retail in Germany and Multichannel Retailing and is aimed at CEO’s of supplier companies targeting the retail sector in the UK and Europe.
You can find the agenda for the day below. Places are limited so contact me email@example.com or +44 (0) 20 7438 8714 to book.
‘Social Media in a Business to Business Context’ . Michael O’Brien, Head of Marketing at Celtrino, will share his experiences of the adoption of social media as a strategic part of the company’s marketing mix. Adrian Goodsell and Pete Wood of Steak Digital will add context and background to Michael’s story.
‘Retail in Germany’. Michael Gerling, Managing Director of the German Retail Institute, will provide in-market insight into the German retail scene. He will give a general overview of the German market, type of stores, trends etc. with much opportunity to ask him about this challenging but potentially rewarding market.
’Multichannel retailing in Europe’. Martin Newman, CEO of Practicology, will address the topic of multichannel in Europe. He will use practical examples to describe the retail scene in various European markets, to look at strategies of key European retailers as well as compare trends in e-commerce, m-commerce and f-commerce across Europe.
There will be a chance to interact with and question these speakers through networking over coffee / a light lunch. We will welcome your feedback, and inform you of the planned activity for Retailer Solutions for 2012.
Follow the EI Retailer Solutions Twitter account @retailer_sol for all the latest information about the work EI is doing in this area.