Interview • 28.01.2015

“We want to introduce visitors to the most innovative products at EuroCIS“

Interview with Joachim Pinhammer, PlanetRetail GmbH

Joachim Pinhammer: It is also interesting for us to get a firsthand account of...
Joachim Pinhammer: \"It is also interesting for us to get a firsthand account of how retail companies respond to the new solutions and ideas in their role as end users.\"
Source: Planet Retail GmbH
For the first time, there will be guided tours for trade fair visitors at this year’s EuroCIS. The Planet Retail consulting firm is the organizer of these tours. Joachim Pinhammer, Research Director for Planet Retail and responsible for organizing the “Guided Innovation Tour“, explains the concept and gives a taste of what the trade fair participant can expect.

Mr. Pinhammer, who came up with the idea of offering the “Guided Innovation Tour“ at EuroCIS 2015?

The “Guided Innovation Tour“ is a response by Messe Düsseldorf and Planet Retail to the many requests by trade show visitors. Given the wide range of topics the EuroCIS offers, a guided tour on the most important topics and innovations of the trade show is an obvious choice. It helps visitors to get their bearings and delivers concrete insights into topics they are truly interested in. Especially trade show visitors from foreign countries are benefitting from our English-language tours. Planet Retail’s retail analysts follow and study industry trends and retail technology trends in particular on a regular basis and are thus able to provide an independent overview of the major innovations at the trade fair.

What particular topics can tour participants learn more about?

One topic that is definitely going to be communication with the digitally connected customer, that being how to address the consumer through different media. We want to show the new available options of supplying consumers with offers and information in real time. This is currently one of the most exciting topics that are also the focus of many EuroCIS exhibitors. This is not just about in-store communication but also about the integration of channels. Today, it is especially important for retailers to meet the customer where he or she wants to make a purchase. This might be both at home on the couch, at the office or when they are traveling and of course when they are at the store.

This is why the store is taking center stage again, because it is back to being a retailer’s “calling card”. Many retailers have neglected this aspect over the past few years, which is why many of them have a certain need to catch up. Options such as Click&Collect make today’s store an equal partner in the multichannel purchasing process. We want to address these topics, because there are many exciting in-store solutions that make the store more attractive again. These can be interactive digital signage systems for example, with which the retailer is able to virtually expand his sales floor. The iBeacon technology is also quite interesting in this context. These solutions can be seen at EuroCIS and are another key aspect of our tours.

What exhibitors are participants going to visit and what is the emphasis in your company choice?

EuroCIS is a trade show that covers a wide range of topics, which doesn’t necessarily make the selection any easier. This is why we decided to highlight the truly innovative exhibits. That means unique, new solutions that are clearly different from the other products and perhaps have the potential of providing alternatives to the current trends in the retail sector.

However, our idea here is not to simply introduce the best and most comprehensive retail solutions. Visitors already know that they can find package solutions that meet all of their needs with the big players of the industry. This is why we concentrate on those innovations and those items visitors have not seen in this way before. Among others, we are going to visit several winners of the retail technology awards Europe with our tour participants and introduce their particularly innovative IT solutions.

What do the tours look like at the trade fair?

Participants will meet at the EuroShop star in the mall at the Messe Düsseldorf North Entrance. A Planet Retail associate is first going to provide a brief overview of the trends and developments we notice in retail and point to where retailers focus on investing. This introduction is meant to provide a context for the solutions and products we are subsequently going to highlight during the tour.

After this introduction, we will visit several booths with groups of ten to twelve participants. The participants can ask questions at any time and get more detail from their tour guide about specific aspects. The individual providers will then have a chance to introduce their products with a short presentation at their booths. We are planning on visiting between eight and ten exhibitors during each tour.

What target audience are these trade show tours aimed at and how do participants benefit from this new service?

Clearly, our target audience is the decision makers of a retail company. We want to give them an overview of the innovations at the trade fair and discuss the questions and challenges they are currently facing. It is also interesting for us to get a firsthand account of how retail companies respond to the new solutions and ideas in their role as end users. We would like to give participants some ideas for their own work. Planet Retail is convinced that IT budgets will continue to increase in retail over the next few years – which is why retailers need consultation and support in their investment decisions. Naturally, we can initially only offer suggestions within the scope of the “Guided Innovation Tour“ at EuroCIS. However, we believe that we are definitely able to offer retailers some important guidelines.

Interview by Daniel Stöter, iXtenso.com

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