[STUDY TRIP] Back from Euroshop in Düsseldorf
Facing these major changes, how stores react today ?
To find answers, Echangeur by BNP Paribas Personal Finance went to Düsseldorf in Germany to check one more time the alleys of the largest trade show in the world dedicated to points of sale : EuroShop.
Organised every 3 years, EuroShop gathered for its 50th birthday, more than 113 000 visitors from 138 countries who met 2 368 exhibitors spread on 127 000 sqm in 18 halls of Düsseldorf’s Messe. Gigantic ! To compare, NRF Retail’s Big Show in New York only presents 600 exhibitors on 25 000 sqm. Therefore with such a space, this trade show allows retailers to go from an empty space to a brand new store fully equipped in 5 days ! Fridges, floor boards, client tracking and geofencing, electronic tickets, shopping trolleys, mannequins, mPos, welcoming robots, connected light bulbs, coat hangers… we can find anything and everything at EuroShop.
In 2017, the trade show has a clearer setup and it is organized in 7 sections : POP Marketing, Expo & Event Marketing, Retail Technology, Food Tech & Energy Management, Lighting, Visual Merchandising, and Shop Fitting & Store Design. Like 3 years ago, these 3 last zones are dedicated to the physical store layout and attracted the most our experts. By wandering through the alleys of the 6 different halls, it is almost impossible not to notice the efforts of each exhibitors to attract visitors on their booth.
After their huge success at the CES of Las Vegas, Hypersvn has been very popular at EuroShop. Kino-Mo, its holographic projector that creates 3D images, is visually very strikking and lead the customer to stop by to have a look. Indeed there were many visitors who literally blocked in front of the 3D images and then asked for information to the bielorussian company based in London. At least it works also on retailers !
By combining technologies, design, material, lighting, the point of sale makes sense and becomes a provider of pleasure. It is a great way to differenciate itself. Clearly architects integrated the trend 6 of our last Commerce Reloaded report « When digital becomes sensory » : Tomorrow, the store will be a « living space » as well as an experimentation space for consumers.
Besides surfing on the « emotion » side of the shopping experience, the organizers of the trade show put the accent on digitalisation of the store as well as omni channel approach. Therefore, let’s go to the « Retail Technology » hall to measure the implementation of the latest technological innovations instore.
First surprise, there is an impressive gap with the innovations presented at the NRF Retail’s Big Show… It is difficult to find at EuroShop solutions like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Chatbots, Connected devices or even Blockchain.
This gap is even more surprising, knowing that the 2014 edition of Euroshop was clearly in line with the NRF Retail’s Big Show… Indeed, there were indoor geofencing solutions, instore traffic measurement or digital windows… Of course these technologies are fairly recent and their impact on business still needs to be proven. Only welcoming robots were presented. We met the german robot Scitos A5 from Metralabs, the russian Kiki from Alfa Robotics and of course, Nao and Pepper from softbank robotics.
As Pure Players invest the physical world by opening stores, any type of delay can be dramatic for retailers. At the CES in Las Vegas Amazon Alexa was extremely present. In Germany, on the other side, the Artificial Intelligence of the American giant is nowhere. This is very strange to notice that, when we know that they launched Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot last September in Germany. It leaves the door wide opened for IBM Watson with the showcasing of their « Digital Window » developed with the retailer C&A.
Once the visitor has been photographed, the artificial intelligence will analyse the image and will suggest a selection of clothes adapted to his style, his profile as Watson can determine, gender, age and size. The client can of course navigate through the different suggestions and select the products that he likes. He then only needs to scan with his smartphone, the QR Code corresponding to his shopping basket to finish his purchases. If the demonstration still needs some adjustments and improvements, especially regarding the age recognition, this intelligent window remains a great innovation. Indeed, it turns any shop window active and turn them into shopping areas opened 24/7. With its clear « wow effect », the « Digital Window » is a true example of a solution to implement in an ambiant retail environment.
The second surprise of the trade show is the absence of disruptive omni channel solution… If it’s impossible to avoid spotting the electronic price tags, the RFID chips, or the mPOS terminals, the ambiant dimension of the customer journey is almost invisible this year at EuroShop.
Therefore, Virtual and Augmented Realities, the tool of tomorrow’s retail are only presented in a few places. However, their impact on retail is perfectly proven on the booth of Germany company Scanblue. They are a specialist of 3D scan of products for e-commerce websites. With the handles of the HTC vive, the visitor can create in real time his own store. Everything can be customized, from material, to texture, furniture, mannequins, etc. The headset really reinforce the impact thanks to the immersive visit while creating.
This is probably on the booth of Tarent, Bonn based agency, that Echangeur found one of the most interesting innovation in terms of customer journey. If “connected” shopping trolley is not really new, as some experiments have already been ran in Europe, this technology allows the client to shop without having to constantly use his smartphone. It is a good way to fight against “3 hands shopping” : 2 hands to push the trolley, and 1 to retrieve the promotion via the messages sent to his mobile.
Developed especially for EuroShop, this shopping trolley is equipped with a tablet, which allows the client to login by scanning his loyalty card. Then he can retrieve his shopping list prepared at home. The tablet then becomes a GPS and guides the customer in the alleys of the store. It also scans the products and pushes discounts, contextualised and customized. Finally it acts as a payment method as the client does not need to get his credit card out of his wallet.
This Tarent example sum up very well this edition of EuroShop. Technologies are well integrated in the global value chain of the point of sale: from storage to the cash register, from logistics to geofencing of the consumer in real time… There is now a logic of experimental and living spaces. The stores are ready to get to the next level and embrace the future. However the store still needs to integrate properly into the omni channel customer journey. For this last point, the store is now just a single point of contact in the entire customer journey. New comers, such as Amazon or Alibaba (that recently bought Intime Retail and its 29 shopping malls in China), perfectly understood these issues. They offer an ambiant and constant relationship… they already created the retail of tomorrow...
Save the date for the 51st edition of EuroShop, from February, 16th to 20th 2020, in order to measure the evolution of stores and their innovation processes.
Written by Matthieu Jolly, Innovation & Service Manager @ Echangeur by BNP Paribas Personal Finance
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