Current and future retail trends – what better place to look for them than EuroShop, the World’s No. 1 Retail Trade Fair.
iXtenso was there and talked to several exhibitors about their visions and their contribution to the future of retail. Three exhibitors stand in for their industry colleagues and have their say.
Click & Collect
Petra Gennoni, Head of Sales at BISON Schweiz AG, sees two clear trends in retail technology: improving efficiency and promoting sustainability. Gennoni maintains that retailers must have a comprehensive strategy for digitization, use artificial intelligence and Internet of Things device connectivity, and networking to remain competitive. “The question is not whether they need this – it’s when. All devices must be able to communicate with each other, even those that are typically dull and dumb from a technical perspective.”
She also sees a clear transition to an omnichannel approach and is certain the Click & Collect model will dominate our shopping behavior in the future. The customer gets product information online and compares prices. He or she requests in-store pickup via Click & Collect, then looks and tries the actual product at the store. Gennoni emphasizes that retailers must adapt to these changing customer needs.
Learn more about the Click & Collect model in our article Click & Collect: more in-store sales thanks to store pickup.
Brick-and mortar retail: One of many sales channels
Karl Forster, Head of Sales and Consulting at TIA A3 Forecast GmbH, puts himself in the customer’s shoes. "I don't care about the channel, I just care about buying the product," he describes his own shopping behavior. He maintains it’s important to be informed across channels and access product information, especially when it comes to brand-name products. And of course, consumer behavior changes depending on the product: “Online stores are the simpler and more practical way to buy ‘easy-to-use’ products, whereas brick-and-mortar stores have an edge with items that customers want to try on or have a closer look at or products that need more explanation.”
As a customer, he appreciates an in-store shopping experience and strongly believes that brick-and-mortar retail will survive. "Brick-and-mortar is and will increasingly be ONE of many sales channels," says Forster. "It is a window display that showcases a product and turns it into a tangible experience for the customer". Having said that, offline retail must and is going to change. Forster predicts a pared-down version of visual merchandising in stores and a decline of big department stores.
Learn more about showrooming in our interview Showrooming – Escaping the one-way street!
Intentional, pared down, top quality
For Stefan Pagenkämper, Managing Director of PMS Perfect Media Solutions GmbH, the next big trend is "reduction", especially in terms of digital media use. His company provides tailored digital signage and display solutions. "We will keep moving away from an avalanche of displays and glaring flashing lights", Pagenkämper explains. “Instead, we will create special highlights and eye-catchers.” The goal is to slow and pare down and achieve visual appeal and quality.
Transforming brick-and-mortar stores intentionally into showrooms where people turn to see, touch, feel, and try out items versus buying things – will it give traditional retail the edge? We can’t wait to find out.