After two years away, our Industry Practice Lead, Louise Fruelund Hermansen and Market Manager, Stig Birger Madsen, were excited to finally travel to Germany to attend one of the leading trade fairs for retail technology - EuroCIS 2022.
There’s nothing quite as valuable as catching up with peers and customers and seeing the latest technology and trends in the flesh.
For those of you who didn't make it to the event, we made a series of videos highlighting the trends and tech that impressed us the most. Find out more about what we discovered below.
1. See tech in action
In-store experience is part of the customer journey, and in-store technology can serve important touch points to customers, as well as assist employees. At EuroCIS 2022, we could finally see a technology retail revolution and in-store technology in action.
We also saw a new tech emerging: cryptocurrency! Crypto is the new black, and retailers like McDonald's and Starbucks, are already planning to use it in the next couple of years. Retailers definitely need to have the disruptive payment option on their radar.
2. Technology potential is huge but there are other considerations too
We saw tech going more mainstream than ever but we also saw useful reminders that there is more to consider than just the technology.
Self-service is coming to a wider audience – this was one of the prime takeaways for Louise: "Self-service and self-checkouts are moving beyond their current concentration on the fast food and supermarket sectors. We will see self-service technology in other retail sectors, like in fashion stores, where the desire for convenience and better customer experience is a huge focus for retailers".
AI is going mainstream – we’ve seen lots of big vendor action around AI but what’s exciting, said Stig, is the use of AI emerging in smaller companies. The adoption of forecasting and demand planning technology has become a necessity during the pandemic, and we see new business applications for smaller companies rising to support this. Tech-giants such as Microsoft are already being some of the key players, working with start-ups and small businesses on implementing this.
Retailers must be disciplined, said Walmart – a session from Walmart delivered 3 key points that Columbus also always stresses to customers:
- People and processes matter – technology can help with many things but won’t solve anything unless the right people and processes are in place.
- Data governance is crucial – AI is a great tool but without the right structure and reliable data you won’t succeed with AI.
- Understanding the business challenge is key – before retailers start looking at software, it's important for them to understand challenges, needs and expectations.
3. New innovations from Microsoft
At the Microsoft booth, Louise was excited to see the company’s new D365 Intelligent Order Management (IOM) feature, allowing retailers to centrally manage and optimize order fulfillment. IOM uses rules-based automation to streamline fulfillment orchestration across multiple customer journeys.
4. The opportunity to know your customer before a purchase is huge
One of the most exciting opportunities is around getting to know your customer in the store before their purchase. Check-in technology showed how customers can check-in via their watch, app, or credit card. It can help the retailer gather valuable information about guests' interests, giving them a chance to up-sell services and experiences. But remember there has to be a clear win for the customer to engage.
5. In-store experience is everything
A store tour around Düsseldorf in partnership with Diebold Nixdorf revealed the importance of a great in-store experience. Stig and Louise’s favorites included the sensory impact of luxury supermarket Edeka, which has turned grocery shopping into more of an experience than a chore.
Then there was consumer electronics specialist Coolblue, which has a mock-up living room for customers to test sound systems in a familiar environment.
Perhaps most exciting was a real-life example of self-checkout in action within fashion, at clothing retailer Uniqlo. Such stores showed the importance of experience and the benefits that technology can help bring to customers in-store.
You can see the overview for yourself in the video.
These were just a few of our highlights from EuroCIS 2022 and we hope you’ve enjoyed us sharing them with you. Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on the retail industry news.