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Thought-provoking insights into the future of technology in retail


Cate Trotter

travels from UK

Expert on the future of retail and experienced public speaker helping companies adapt to innovative change in retail

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About Cate

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Retail expert and speaker Cate Trotter was named the 26th most influential professional in retail. Cate speaks about the future of retail and business and is also Head of Trends at Insider Trends. Her keynotes are educating, inspiring and consist of the latest research and knowledge within the retail industry.

“Technology for its own sake adds nothing. Technology is only ever useful when it is used to satisfy human need in better ways.”

Speaker Cate Trotter has helped some of the biggest brands in the world like Chanel, Marks & Spencer, Samsung, Nike, Mercedes and Swarovski discover innovative ways of doing business and creating the best retail ecosystems. Cate was also named in LinkedIn’s top 12 Voices In The UK in 2012 and is regularly featured in big magazines and papers like Forbes. In addition, Cate started two businesses in her twenties which led her to being named a Future 100 and Startup 100 entrepreneur. This background and experience allows her to relate to other startups or entrepreneurs as she knows what a challenge it can be.

Cate Trotter is a very experienced public speaker and is used to present in front of large audiences worldwide. Cate has valuable connections and much experience in the retail world, and through her powerful insights and solid data, she provides her audience with new information that could change their business. Cate is always up-to-date with the latest research and presents it in a way that is easy to follow for everyone.

As a speaker Cate Trotter is passionate, engaging, thought-provoking and to the point. Her keynotes can provide you with the information and insights you need to succeed and get ahead. Cate speaks on a variety of topics and below are examples of her most popular keynotes. She is also happy to customize a keynote presentation to your specific event, audience and organization. Should Cate Trotter not be available for your event, A-Speakers is happy to recommend speaker and senior consultant at Insider Trends, Jack Stratten, as a great alternative.

Watch speaker Cate Trotter in action

See keynotes with Cate Trotter

    Speaker Cater Trotter Keynote Topics

    Keynote by Speaker Cate Trotter

    Key Retail Trends

    • This retail trend presentation outlines the most important changes ahead for retailers and identifies the long- and short-term actions they can take to get ahead. Each trend is brought to life using inspirational case studies of the businesses leading the way.
    • At each point, Cate highlights how the businesses in the audience can profit from these shifts, revealing insights worth thousands to retail businesses.

    Keynote by Speaker Cate Trotter

    The Future of Technology in Retail

    • Discover the most innovative retail tech that can increase profits in two ways – by optimising internal operations and transforming customer experiences.
    • Attendees will also learn a memorable framework to help them differentiate between game-changing and gimmicky technology. This will ensure that any future tech investment pays dividends.

    Keynote by Speaker Cate Trotter

    The World in 2035

    • Do you know which important changes will affect our world between now and 2035?
    • Cate Trotter will explain the most influential megatrends impacting society over the coming two decades.
    • She’ll help you understand what these trends mean for your business, so they can push your business forward instead of under.

    Keynote by Speaker Cate Trotter

    How to Thrive in An Exponential World

    • As the rate of change increases, radically different businesses are emerging – ones that can threaten established giants within a few months of launching.
    • In this presentation, Cate Trotter helps established businesses understand the new mindsets, business models and technologies that underpin this super-fast growth.
    • She will also outline how they can adapt, so they too can innovate in new ways and grow exponentially.

Why Retail Needs a New Mindset

If you want to be a successful retailer, stop thinking like a retailer. If that sounds counter-intuitive, consider this – retail has changed. You can no longer sell to customers, you can only help them buy.

With that shift comes the need for a change of mindset from the retailer. If the way customers shop has changed then you need to make sure your business is set up for that. Retail is no longer a single channel operation. It is an exciting ecosystem encompassing everything from the store to online to mobile to connected devices to advertising to social media. There are more opportunities than ever before to be part of your customers’ lives and you need to be taking advantage of them.

If you’re thinking that this doesn’t apply to you – don’t. Innovation is not just for start-ups and new brands. In fact, well-established traditional retailers can be in a better position to take advantage of it – if you can get your thinking in order.

For a start you need to understand that the store is dead. Or the store as it was. Physical, offline space is still alive and well and a super valuable part of the retail ecosystem. This space needs to be part of a larger, digitally-enabled world though. If you try to operate it as an isolated island, then you are missing out on sales.

When we say digitally-enabled this doesn’t mean that you can just litter your store with touchscreens and consider the job done. Are touchscreens the future of retail? Absolutely not. Some of the best digitally-enabled stores don’t have any visible tech. It’s all in the back-end, working behind-the-scenes to make for magical, wonderful retail experiences delivered by humans. If it doesn’t truly enhance the customer journey, then it shouldn’t be there.

Think about some of the biggest names in retail – Amazon, Apple, Nike, Alibaba, Walmart, IKEA… there’s a reason that they dominate the conversation. They don’t think like traditional retailers. They have a mindset that is closer to that of a tech company.

They don’t spend all their time thinking about Christmas promotions and visual merchandising. They also think about robotics, 3D printing, cryptocurrency, AI, VR – they may not use them all, but they’re at least thinking about them. They are not preoccupied with what retail was or is, but what it needs to become.

It is this mindset that you need to adopt. You need to be aware of the new tools available to you and to think about how they might benefit your customers. How can you open up that ecosystem more? How can you create more ways to help your customers buy? Your job doesn’t start or end at the door of the store. It starts when a customer first thinks about buying something and it doesn’t end because with the right ecosystem that relationship keeps on going and growing.

But you must be ready to build it first. It’s time for you to start creating the future of retail, not just thinking about it.


Interview with Cate Trotter

What got you interested in retail and retail trends? 

My background is in design, marketing and branding so trends have been a vital part of my work for a long time. Retail became my focus after I founded my previous company Insider London, which was London’s first alternative walking tour company.

Through that business, I became very familiar with London and I couldn’t help but notice what was happening in retail and how I saw things changing. I saw there were a lot of gaps between customer habits and expectations and what retail was offering. I’ve now been running Insider Trends for more than 10 years and I’m still as in love with retail trends as I was when I started.

How did you begin your speaking career?

I really started speaking as an extension to our retail safaris. Those sessions often start or end with a mini-presentation to get the client thinking about the trends that they’re about to see, or have just seen, and how they apply to their business. These help provide a framework and some context for the day. From here I started being approached for other speaking opportunities, and presentations are now one of my core focuses.

Describe yourself in 3 words – why these words?

Curious. Down-to-earth. Invested.

I think these are all key qualities to my work. Being curious is a vital part of trend forecasting – you have to be out there poking your nose in things, asking questions, researching, talking to people doing exciting new things, making connections.

At the same time, I pride myself on being accessible in my presentations. We don’t hide behind big words or industry jargon. We talk about trends and the future of retail in a way that demystifies them, that is easy for anyone to follow and understand, and doesn’t make the audience feel intimidated.

I’m very invested in my work and the work of my clients. Helping retailers to navigate the future of retail is very important to me, but I also think that I’m invested in asking how can the industry change? How can retail be different? Why should things stay the same?

How are your keynote presentations unique?

An Insider Trends presentation is ‘fat-free’ which means every part is value-packed. Our clients learn more in an hour-long presentation with us than they do in other sessions twice as long because we make our content and insights the focus, not us. We take potentially complex subjects and boil them down into a handful of powerful and memorable takeaways that people can actually take action on.

It’s not just about theory, but actual practical implementations and examples. Every presentation is also bespoke to the client so there’s no filler – everything is tailored to be valuable to them.

What are your biggest goals in your life/career currently?

I want to keep on improving and growing the Insider Trends business. In the last year, I’ve spoken to bigger and bigger crowds all over the world and I’d love that to continue. There are definitely new places that I still want to visit and I’m already lining up some interesting opportunities along those lines. I’d also love to keep helping and inspiring retailers to see the future as one of opportunity, rather than something to fear.

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

I enjoy connecting with people and speaking is a great way of doing that. It’s great sharing my thoughts and insights via my blog posts and articles, but there’s another level of human connection in communicating those via a presentation. Public speaking is also very motivational and I always learn a lot from the people I meet after a presentation. I find myself being more inspired in my day-to-day work through my speaking, and of course, it makes me better at talking to people on retail safaris and workshops as well.

See keynotes with Cate Trotter
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Keynote topics with Cate Trotter