Apptus Blog

Reflections on the Drapers Digital Festival 2017

Written by Andrew Fowler | Apr 28, 2017

I spent an interesting and enjoyable day and evening at the Drapers Digital Festival (DDF) and thought I’d share some of my impressions.

When me and my fellow conference goers were welcomed by a robot, my hopes were raised that this was an indicator that we were in for a day of new insights and revelations about the exciting business use cases technology is delivering for retailers.

Sadly, the robot was controlled by someone hidden away from view, so it was just a machine controlled by a human hoping for a selfie – nothing new about that!

So which retailers graced the show with their presence? Noticeably several bricks and mortar players were absent, maybe they were back at the office trying to work out a new campaign to compete in this new cut and thrust digital retail world.  

The new kids on the block, and I include Amazon in that category, were there in droves and had much to celebrate as it was they who scooped up the lion’s share of awards.

Plenty of attention was given from the stage to what Amazon is doing in the fashion and apparel space.

It was evident that the success stories came from retailers who were embracing new challenges, either by seriously investing in technology or looking outside the box for ways of understanding their customers and using new approaches to engage with them. These stories reminded me of our own new kids on the block, young professionals embracing new approaches and succeeding where old school methods are failing.

So the message from Draper Digital Festival 2017 is :

  • Be bold
  • Embrace new challenges
  • Don’t try to control everything
  • Trust that the tech can be your friend
  • Not all technology needs a selfie!

By Andrew Fowler, UK, Country Manager