The retail industry has always been a highly competitive and dynamic sector, constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of consumers. At DisplayWise, we work with brands and agencies across key service areas from experiential marketing and brand activations through to pop-ups and kiosks, showrooms and store-in-store fitouts. However, with the rapid emergence of new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), retailers are now presented with even more scope and exciting opportunities to revolutionize the shopping experience
EuroShop is one of the largest trade fairs for the retail sector which showcases the latest retail technologies and trends. To continue to be a market leader in the industry, DisplayWise travelled to Germany with SHOP! ANZ, the only global, not for profit industry association, in February this year. Our purpose was to reconnect with the global retail channel, bring back insights on the latest cutting-edge technologies and determine how to apply the latest trending models that are transforming the customer experience.
Let’s take a look at our 4 key insights direct from Euroshop 2023
1. Virtual stores: Immersive and engaging shopping experiences
Following the pandemic, QR codes have made a huge comeback and make it easy for brands to drive online traffic from a physical setting. Whether you’re looking to increase website traffic, boost online sales, or generate leads, QR codes can effectively engage with your customers and drive conversions. Think about the position and placement of your QR codes from in-store displays and product packaging through to print ads and outdoor advertising to maximise engagement. Consider providing incentives to scan through special promotions or unique experiences to really transform your strategy and extend the physical customer experience.
2. Enhanced Customer Insights: forecast demand and reduce waste
Retailers are using a combination of computer vision, AI, QR codes and smart sensors to not only track the behaviours of customers in retail environments but also to track and better manage their products. In short, AI-powered predictive analytics are a game-changer.
By analysing vast amounts of metrics from sales history and which store you have purchased through to social media trends and even weather patterns, retailers can accurately forecast demand for their products. With the ability to track customer journeys, product placements and interactions with the spaces provided, these technologies will provide valuable data sets. The real-time insights also offer retailers the flexibility and agility to act on demand, ensuring they always have the right products in stock and reduce waste to improve their bottom line whilst contributing to a sustainable future.
We can also expect to see these AI-powered and predictive analytics extend beyond traditional retail environments and into the exhibition and event sectors. By tracking attendees’ movements or holistic show interactions, brands and organisers alike can gain valuable insights. This data can be used to optimize floor plan layouts, better understand attendees’ preferences and interests or even generate opportunities for increased engagement.
Check out our latest blog article on 5 Strategies for Enhancing Your Activations with the Power of Digital for more ways to incorporate these technologies into your activations.
3. Haptic technology for unique sensory experiences
One exhibitor at the trade fair, Echion Corporate Communication AG, demonstrated their latest haptic technology which provides customers with a unique sensory experience. By allowing customers to touch and feel virtual objects, they can interact with products in a way that was previously impossible in traditional retail environments. This technology is particularly well-suited for applications such as trying on clothing, where customers can feel the texture and weight of the fabric, or testing out products, where they can experience the product’s weight and functionality.
Echion’s solutions are fully customizable, allowing retailers to tailor the sensory experience to their brand and products. For example, retailers could use different textures or vibrations to convey different emotions or create a more personalized experience. By providing a more engaging and immersive shopping experience, Echion AG is helping retailers to differentiate themselves from competitors and create lasting impressions with their customers.
4. Increased personalisation: digital signage, chatbots & virtual assistants
Euroshop also showcased interactive digital signage as another example of how AR, VR, and AI are being used to create more personalized and targeted shopping experiences. These technologies use facial recognition and other AI-powered tools to provide targeted advertising and messaging to customers. For example, a retailer might use AI to analyse a customer’s past purchases and browsing history to provide personalized product recommendations or promotions. AI can also be used to analyze real-time data such as foot traffic and inventory levels to optimize store layouts and inventory management.
Chatbots and virtual assistants are also being used to provide customers with real-time support and assistance, answering their questions and guiding them through the shopping process. For example, a chatbot can be integrated into a retailer’s website or social media channels, where it can answer frequently asked questions, provide product recommendations, and even process orders. Similarly, virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Bixby by Samsung and Google Assistant are only a few of the apps being integrated into smart devices, including smart speakers and smartphones, to provide voice-activated shopping experiences. Customers can use voice commands to search for products, add items to their cart, and even place orders.
As whole, Euroshop 2023 provided an inspirational and exciting look at the future of retail technologies. With the application of AR, VR, and AI, retailers can create more engaging and immersive shopping experiences for their customers, whilst also improving their own operations and supply chains. These technologies also extend to the events and exhibitions sector whereby organizers and brands alike can use them to enhance the overall experience for attendees and better understand customer behaviour and preferences.
The possibilities for these technologies are endless, and Euroshop 2023 showcased just a glimpse of what the future of retail and events may look like!
We’ve got more innovations to share so get in touch with DisplayWise to stay ahead of the game and wow your audience with the latest in AR, VR, and AI technology.