Paris Retail Week

27 September 2019 – For its 5th edition, Paris Retail Week, the global European event for retail professionals, is offering a global offer on the theme of the «New business experience». This new positioning makes it possible to provide a concrete response to the business issues faced by retailers and e-merchants. The BayBridgeDigital team did not miss the opportunity to capture retail trends and developments driven by remarkable innovations.

COMMITTED, ECO-RESPONSIBLE, INTELLIGENT AND RADICAL, THE NEW VALUES OF COMMERCE

In 2019, the subject is no longer only about distributing products, but also about engaging consumers and enhancing brand equity. Retail is being rebuilt as close as possible to consumer expectations: the store is no longer just a showcase but an ambassador for brands, an icon. «Retail has reached a critical milestone: the physical and digital worlds are balancing off.

Although digital players have won the distribution battle thanks to their competitiveness and ability to reduce shipping times, physical commerce now embraces a mission of engaging and reenchanting customer relations,» said David Mingeon, Deputy Managing Director of Havas Paris. Today, it is necessary to come into contact with consumers not to sell but to create a lasting relationship with them.

THE FIVE MAJOR TRENDS IN RETAIL IN 2019

1. Trend Eco-responsibility becomes a purchasing criteria in its own right

While 80% of French people feel that trade generates too much pollution, paradoxically 55% believe that it is possible to continue to maintain the same purchasing behaviour without harming the environment. Respect for the environment is now a purchasing criteria and the secondhand market is booming. The North Face and its «Renewed» collection are a good example of this trend. Items are made from clothing recovered after being worn or damaged and then inspected to create a new product.

As David Mingeon mentioned at the opening ceremony, «Nothing is lost, everything is sold». When it comes to ecology, it is the Dutch who have taken a considerable lead. A supermarket chain, Ekoplaza, has opened the first food department in Amsterdam, called «Plastic free», without any non-ecological packaging.

An ever simpler daily life, ever more fluid shopping experiences, the desire for more commitment, renewal and astonishment. Almost 70% of French consumers feel that all stores are similar. A rate that reaches 46% for Americans and 52% for China. Faced with these high demands and consumers who refuse half measures, brands and retail chains must more than ever choose radicality. This is the case, for example, of the Nike by Melrose concept located in Los Angeles, which only offers products dedicated to the residents of the district.

Another even more significant example is the New York store The Phluid Project, the first genderless store in the world where clothes are no longer classified by gender but by style. Companies such as Everlane or Maison Standards have put transparency at the heart of their strategy by opening their factories to show their production process, share the origin of the materials, or reveal the margin generated on each item. Some stores such as Hermès or Dolce & Gabbana are designed as an advertising page on the web to surprise customers, show them the brand’s universe and conduct experiments.

2. Trend : Increasingly radical consumers

An ever simpler daily life, ever more fluid shopping experiences, the desire for more commitment, renewal and astonishment. Almost 70% of French consumers feel that all stores are similar. A rate that reaches 46% for Americans and 52% for China. Faced with these high demands and consumers who refuse half measures, brands and retail chains must more than ever choose radicality. This is the case, for example, of the Nike by Melrose concept located in Los Angeles, which only offers products dedicated to the residents of the district.

Another even more significant example is the New York store The Phluid Project, the first genderless store in the world where clothes are no longer classified by gender but by style. Companies such as Everlane or Maison Standards have put transparency at the heart of their strategy by opening their factories to show their production process, share the origin of the materials, or reveal the margin generated on each item. Some stores such as Hermès or Dolce & Gabbana are designed as an advertising page on the web to surprise customers, show them the brand’s universe and conduct experiments.

3. Trend : The return of the test in store

According to the Havas study released before the show, 82% of French consumers believe that one of their real pleasure in shopping is to be able to touch the products and try them. In addition, we are aware that the test is a response to the frustration of digital technology since «74% of French consumers say they are frustrated, when they make an online purchase, not being able to have contact with the product» comments David Mingeon. As a result, some brands are rethinking the store around this feature. This is the case of Dyson, which, in its London store, offers the opportunity to test all the models presented. In France, Maisons du Monde has opened its own hotel in Nantes where its products can be experienced. Décathlon was the first brand to allow the customer to leave with the items, test them for 7 days and then bring them back in case of dissatisfaction thanks to its device called the «Test & Buy».

4. Trend : Artificial intelligence at the service of the physical

In order to offer an increasingly personalized service adapted to customer needs, the development of artificial intelligence seems inevitable.

While AI can be used to replace humans in functions such as reception, advice, coaching, and even sales, it can also be used in essential business functions such as product creation or design. Amazon, Alibaba and JD.com are the most advanced players in this field in terms of sales forecasting, stock allocation and delivery time. Fabrice Sollami, Customer Engineering Manager at Google, said: «Data is the essential element of digital transformation. Distributors must integrate the Cloud and artificial intelligence into the entire value chain and create a true culture of innovation. Allomedia, one of this year’s exhibitors, has developed the Voice Cookie to analyze telephone conversations between a customer and a brand. The objective is to create a bridge between the user’s online and offline journey. This start-up also won the 2019 Awards in the «Data Use» category.

5. Trend: The physical retail sector is regaining shine

As the fifth and last major trend for commerce, is the emergence of new digital native brands in the heart of large cities of. Nearly 69% of French people want markets that are only present on the Internet to open physical points of sale. Amazon Go, Zalando, AliExpress, Allbirds and Casper are good examples of this trend. At the Google keynote, Elodie Jarry, Product Marketing Manager at Google said: «The consumer is opportunistic. You have to be everywhere at the same time and adapt. While digital dominates in terms of speed of access to a wider offer, discovery of new products and prices, the store retains incomparable advantages when it comes to generating trust and creating a unique relationship with the consumer.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Hease

When we came to the show, the BayBridgeDigital team was immediately intrigued by a robot with a resolutely modern look. We went to meet him. The Hease Robotics robot is a service robot, an interactive mobile information kiosk with a touch screen and two expressive eyes, which informs store customers or guides train passengers to a taxi for example. It is also able to identify where it is needed to optimize its use. We have learned that these mobile robots generate twenty times more interactions than traditional one. Today, the Hease group counts among its customers French large corps such as Keolis, Total, Leclerc or SNCF. What is this start-up planning in the short term? Surf on new trends and integrate payment into this robot.

SES-imagotag

SES-imagotag, the world leader in electronic labels and specialist in digital solutions for retailers, received the 2019 Retail Week Awards in the «Marketing Innovation» category.

The VUSION Retail IoT platform combines the latest technology in gondola electronic labels, high-resolution colour displays, sensors, NFC, high-speed data transfer, LED flashes… Smart electronic labels are becoming dependent on cloud-based applications focused on store automation, customer engagement and data analysis.

VUSION Rail is a video rail, a revolutionary new product, designed to digitize and animate shelves in stores, allowing an enriched in-store experience.

For its fifth edition, the fair has done everything in its power to offer visitors a tailor-made experience to ensure that they leave with THE appropriate solution. What could be more logical at a time when the personalization of the customer journey is at the heart of all concerns? The fair brought together 600 participating companies and no less than 25 000 professionals to offer visitors the chance to discover the latest innovations in the field of customer experience applied to Retail. The attendance has become such that Paris Retail Week is a must-attend event but also and above all, the starting point for the business solution you need. The entire BayBridgeDigital team looks forward to seeing you in 2020!

Written by: Pardot Hamour

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