Euroshop is the world’s largest retail trade fair. It’s always a pleasure to attend and 2023 was the first year back in person. Here is a short recap of the major trends and insights we discovered.
It is important to call out that the major development that we are seeing in retail today is the pace at which things are changing. This is in no small part down to the developments in technology, and more specifically AI.
It’s not news that technology revolutionises processes and efficiencies globally. Nor is it news that technology is interwoven into our everyday lives. What was interesting, however, was how these two elements are coming together to not only solve large scale operational challenges, but be harnessed to revolutionise the customer experience.
The digitisation of store environments allows real-time analysis of how people are shopping, and with the use of AI, anticipate how they will shop in future. In the back end, platforms like FreshFlow use AI to learn from and predict sales in all categories.
With frictionless stores in their infancy, and news of Amazon halting their rollout, retailers are weighing up next steps. James Frank of Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions spoke about not all friction being negative. Broadly by generation, James evaluates what value added friction can bring as a benefit to customers.
Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
Calling this a trend feels insufficient, given its importance in shaping the future of our planet. Sustainability is not a choice, or a luxury; it is, and should be, prevalent across all emerging activity in retail and hospitality. The smart use of technology in responsible retailing can create efficiencies that not only reduce waste, but improve customer experience.
Some of the most successful innovations are the simplest. ISA’s Smartflex automatic doors to chilled multidecks neatly open in on themselves to allow as little design as possible to interfere with the customer journey; in fact, they enhance it. At the same time, according to ISA, this arrangement reduces energy consumption by up to 40%. Integration of technology in Purcell’s S1 dispenser makes for an improved customer experience when refill shopping. Digital displays allow retailers to display tailored content, while the consumer can see how much they are spending as they dispense.
Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann – Euroshop – ISA Smartflex
Harnessing advances in technology, retailers can utilise innovations to create environments that can flex with demand. Smart lighting solutions from IMoon, allow retailers to tailor light levels and colour temperatures appropriate to the products being displayed.
The Chronos chiller range from Columbia allows retailers to completely change refrigerated case positions over night, a process historically not possible without major investment and disruption. Cases can also switch from service, to self-serve in one simple transition.
The traditional rigidity of bricks and mortar is evolving to cater for our ever changing needs. Not only this, but the ability to design for change, allows for a more sustainable proposition that is better for customers, retailers, and our planet.
Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann – Euroshop – Imoon
Technological efficiencies are being passed direct to the consumer to remove pain points from traditional customer journeys. Shopic’s smart cart records items as they are placed in the cart allowing customers to pay from the cart and leave without queuing. Retailers can also target advertising prompts on location and data is gathered about customer journey behaviours.
Frictionless stores currently require an app to enter, something that is seen as a barrier to entry. Kende Retail Operations have teamed up with MyPOS to allow customers to tap in to their ‘anti app store’ with just a bank card. Currently a prototype concept, we expect to see more propositions adopting this approach.
Consumer engagement – Slace allows brands to interact directly with customers in their chosen messenger platform offering fast and efficient service, while giving retailers the advantage of turning anonymous offline customers, into known and addressable ones.
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