No surprises – rather evolution of known technologies
Being the world's no. 1 retail trade fair, Euroshop took place in Düsseldorf, Germany from February 16th to 21st 2020.
The exhibition, spread over 17 halls, covered various areas of the retail sector. For example, store design, lighting, visual merchandising and of course Retail Technology - the area with the most exhibitors. A large number of them, however, dealt with PoS systems and tracking/analytics solutions. Both are elementary components of a store - but our focus is mainly directed towards technologies that primarily offer added value for end consumers. This report does not cover all facets of innovations in the field of digital retail. It is rather intended to give a quick overview of current technology trends for retail and to help you to assess the developments in this area.
#1 Invisible & connected
A clearly recognizable trend is the further spread of "invisible technology" - such as RFID, NFC or even motion- triggered and interactive projection solutions. Embedding this into products or stores is getting easier, more seamless and isn ́t visible for consumers at first sight. This has advantages both for retailers - and for the end consumer. Exchange of product information, fast payment processes, seamless and sometimes surprising communication over multiple channels are just a few examples of application areas. Everything is connected, adding direct value to the consumer journey in terms of convenience and capturing data allowing brands to constantly track consumer behaviour and adjust store and journey towards their needs. Furthermore, these technologies can elevate unique and personalized services or experiences, that make your brand stand out. It's worth investigating how these technologies can create memorable and shareable shopping experiences around your products, while offering a massive amount of data, insights and operation optimization potentials for your brand.
#2 Modular & flexible
How do retailers stay relevant? How does a store stay fresh, interesting and worth visiting? We believe that ever changing, completely flexible store setups create unique experiences that consumers love and value. Keeping a store fresh requires modular systems that enable store staff to easily adjust layout, merchandising and activations to the current campaign launch. To keep this affordable, the modular systems need to be out of the box rather than customized. Analyzing walking routes and sales data helps brands to change layouts, merchandising and categories frequently – all based on consumer behaviour to better serve their needs. A variety of good tools were shown at Euroshop that enable frequent layout changes to deliver the needed relevance.
Many exhibitors have shown logical further developments of known technologies. Touchscreens in all shapes and sizes, LEDs in a variety of resolutions and brightness, as well as flexible shape LEDs, which are partly sewn into fabric. The well-known Electronic Shelf Labels were either supplemented with NFC or directly converted into a stretched display, which can show prices as well as product videos - of course invisibly connected by RFID. No real innovation – but evolution that can deliver a large variety of use cases, services & experiences to brands in the retail sector.
Conclusion No radical new solutions or groundbreaking innovations were shown that would surprise us, but the logical evolution of known technologies offer brands almost endless possibilities to provide end consumers with a unique shopping experience. And it's the mix that does it. A rich blend of flexible, high-resolution LEDs and displays, as well as invisible technology such as NFC & RFID, can surprise the consumer at the point of sale. Services and experiences can be tailored even better to the consumer's needs and thus contribute to long-term consumer loyalty. Talk to us, to investigate how we can help you to surprise your consumers and provide unique shopping experiences.