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maconda visits EuroCIS 2018, Europe's leading trade fair for technology and innovation for the retail industry

maconda News February 2018

At the end of February, maconda visited the EuroCIS in Düsseldorf, Europe's leading trade fair for technology and innovation for the retail industry. "Technology never sleeps" - under this motto, established topics such as checkout systems or software and hardware at the PoS as well as newer technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), data analytics and robotics dominated the trade fair.

Technology never sleeps: Anyone who wants to operate successfully in the retail sector today and in the future will not be able to avoid innovative technologies relating to digital and traditional sales channels. After all, one of the major themes at EuroCIS was the transformation from multichannel to omnichannel. The customer should have a shopping experience that flows seamlessly across all channels and guarantees a consistent brand experience. This includes smart stores, where processes run smoother thanks to digitization and shoppers can enjoy additional digital services. All of this gives brick-and-mortar retail a clear competitive advantage over online-only stores: the personal customer approach in the store combine the worlds of experience and process optimizations of digital technologies.

The central trade fair topic for implementing an omnichannel strategy are again: the “must haves” ERP, merchandise and checkout systems – including self-checkout and click & collect. The focus of the newer digital marketing trends, on the other hand, is on the (potential) customer and his smartphone. Personalized communication “on the go” and digital extra services with added value will bind customers even more closely to retailers in the future. Special transmitting devices (beacons) and apps can be used to identify the individual customer in the store and accompany him during his shopping experience – for example, with product information via AR on the cell phone – even if the maconda consultants have great doubts about customer acceptance here.

Fully automated smart stores are still a pipe dream – at least in Germany and Europe. But the conception phase is underway: In-store analysis tools such as sensor floors and cameras are to record customer movements and customer actions, and IoT technologies are to evaluate the data. Individual flagship stores already offer a digital shopping “i see” experience in the smart fitting room: interactive mirrors with touchscreens, for example, show the blouse in a different color during the fitting or suggest matching accessories.

A maconda trade fair conclusion: AR/VR solutions in particular have arrived on the market. Customers love their smartphones – and are open to new, useful features. For example, apps that provide additional information about products on the shelf in real time will not be long in coming.
Robotics, on the other hand, is still in its infancy, but is being driven forward by pilot projects. It remains to be seen whether and when service robots will be present across the board in retail.