Transforming Retail Awards: Q&A with Patrick Berghaeger, industry account director at Awards sponsor Talkdesk

1.     What attracted you and Talkdesk to being involved with these Awards?

Having worked with Glynn to sponsor these events in the past, I knew our paths would cross again. Sponsoring these events always brought fruitful conversations with fellow technologists, allowing sponsors to network and connect without imposing attendees with a strong sales pitch, which puts people off. Also, the fantastic evening event, which offers the opportunity to mingle with retailers doing amazing things with technology, proved very attractive once more – albeit this year restricted to being conducted virtually.

Patrick Berghaeger, Talkdesk

2.     How important is it to have such industry awards?

I find it extremely important to have such industry awards. It is a fantastic way of showcasing the best technology has to offer in the world of Retail, and it rewards those that have invested in innovation to stay one step ahead of the competition. It also provides the setting for great minds of the tech world in Retail to meet and discuss ideas and industry trends. These conversations are what fuels innovation and keep this industry at the forefront of technological advancement

3.     What areas of Retail do you think are being transformed the most?

One main area we’ve seen most recently – the workforce. The pandemic has put a sharp focus on the front-line retail employee (store associates, contact centre representatives, etc.), and we are seeing the supply and demand economics of this labour market start to give them more control. Retailers are reacting to this by investing more heavily — adding resources into training, additional benefits, etc… all aimed at empowering and retaining their most critical customer touchpoint.

4.     Any predictions for the way Retail in general and technology is going?

Two main areas: AI broadly and digital experiences. AI will continue to mature and propagate across the organization. It won’t be long before all customer-facing employees are equipped behind the scenes with powerful AI tools that help them provide more personalized, relevant, and even more human experiences. Likewise, other digital technology will continue to blend the in-store and online experience. Shopping in a retail store in the mid-to-late 2020s will be much different than it was just 10-15 years prior.