Over a year ago, before the first quarantine in Ukraine has happened, the Ustor team had visited Euroshop 2020, the largest retail event of the last four years. In this article we will share not only our insights about this spectacular retail gig, but also how COVID19 has changed the market and influenced the trends that were presented by the participants during the event.
From February 16 to 20, 2020, a major trade show for the entire retail industry was held in Düsseldorf. It was intended for retail outlets, warehouse equipment, space design, and merchandising. And already on March 17, 2020, Germany announced the strengthening of quarantine measures.
The event takes place every three years [impressions of Euroshop 2017 are here], and this time it attracted 2,300 companies-participants from 60 countries. There were more than 114,000 guests.
Since 1966, the exhibition has been expanding, becoming larger and more influential. It is recognized as a barometer of trends, and a space to observe what is happening to the world market.
In 2020 the organization reported a very high percentage of international guests. More than 70% of the participants [including us] came from abroad. There were visitors from 142 countries!
It once again proves the special value of the event for the world market.
Today the customer becomes more and more experienced: in order to attract his attention (and keep him focused!), you have to work on the equipment and the retail environment in general. The main accent has shifted to entertainment, the interaction between the buyer and the company: it has to be comfortable, interesting, multi-channel.
A huge variety of solutions for optimizing digital processes were presented at the exhibition. The digitalization of retail is booming, while optimizing online and offline interactions is another stark necessity. Therefore, Euroshop 2020 is also about being energy efficient and working holistically.
We paid attention to the fact that the contingent of the exhibition is mostly top management and business owners. This not only once again showed the level of the event, but also worked well as networking, a method of strengthening business relationships.
The lecture part was quite informative, focusing on narrow topics [rather than being something “general” for beginners].
Sadly, the coronavirus had already then affected the number of participants. German media reports that there were 19,000 more visitors in 2017. On the other hand, those who were really looking forward to the event could not be stopped by the quarantine panic.
Four years ago we were looking at the “meet us at Euroshop 2020” banner with the warmest feelings and the time flew by very quickly. We hope that in spite of everything, we'll be talking about the exhibition in 2023 just the same way. The Euroshop will be held from February 26 to March 2.
The zero thesis is the idea that the mission of Euroshop is not to surprise. Most of the displays have hardly changed visually, but have been slightly improved in line with the trend to increase the LTV [Life Time Value] of the product.
In other words, the interaction at the exhibition resembles a dialogue, a discussion, which allows you to find a grain of truth and gain new experience. Both in your own field and in related areas. Sometimes innovations in someone else's niche turn out to be quite applicable to one's own.
Now the world of equipment is transforming, and there are several tendencies in these changes. Which brings us smoothly to the 3 theses.
Almost all major manufacturers are actively producing module systems with parts that can easily be replaced and repositioned. It makes the company more mobile: service becomes faster, repair costs are reduced...And it also gives more space for new solutions.
For example, a cash register can have such modules as: cashier screen, customer screen, computer, receipt printer, etc. Each of these autonomous parts can be quickly replaced or arranged according to the convenience of the staff and the consumer.
Since the primary focus is on customer retention and increasing the life cycle of the consumer, there appears an urgent need for the most detailed analysis of his behavior. To work with massive amounts of data and consider as many factors as possible, artificial intelligence has to be used to some extent.
So, modern technologies make it possible to detect even a customer's mood and build a cause-and-effect relationship between actions and reactions. This is invaluable for building an effective marketing strategy.
For example, user sees this or that commercials, special offers, discounts, based on demands and viewed products and product groups.
The number of self-service checkouts is growing incredibly fast, and it's already the technology of yesterday. Similar devices are appearing more and more often, in various niches. Surprisingly enough, they are especially popular in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Ukraine.
A very important aspect is the reduction of the human factor. If there is no cashier, then no one will cheat you, try the wrong product, or pull some kind of “black” scheme.
The slogan of the exhibition was “emotional shopping”, and all the proposed solutions were focused on comfort and a positive customer experience at all phases of interaction. But besides that, it is important to pay attention to:
But this article would be incomplete without the conclusions we drew from a year of quarantine. The coronavirus has forced us to rethink our ideas about the shopping experience and shift our engagement focus even more from offline to online.
Owners of retail businesses try to achieve as little contact as possible between the seller and the customer. This is possible thanks to terminals, self-service cash registers, pre-orders with contactless delivery, and so on.
The key trends of Euroshop 2020 completely match the new reality, and in some ways they anticipated it. We can assume that the market was inevitably moving in that direction anyway, and COVID19 simply forced the process. Moreover, we started to pay much more attention to safety, sanitary norms and any physical interaction between the buyer, the product and the seller.
Only a few years ago, the main focus was on the arrangement of retail space and how goods were arranged on the shelves. Later, it became important to collect data on consumers and understand how certain factors influence their behavior.
The next step is to influence your audience and motivate them to stay in the retail space [both online and offline] as long as possible with 100% comfort and undying interest. When you design a space that is safe and pleasant for people to be in, you will increase the effectiveness of your business many times over.
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