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EuroCIS 2016: The 5 Future trends that are becoming a reality
Checkpoint Systems GmbH
by Cédric Brossard, European Marketing Director
Faster, simpler and increasingly flexible across all channels. How consumers will buy in the future was the main topic of discussion at this year's EuroCIS – Europe's leading technology trade fair. More than 10,400 visitors travelled to Dusseldorf, searching for the latest innovations and solutions from 411 exhibitors based in 29 countries. There were five key topics this year.
Omni-channel and process automation:
Bricks and mortar vs. online trade? One thing is clear, this is a view of the past! The networking of all channels is in focus and you can see how the boundaries between them are becoming increasingly blurred. The industry is using technology to create conditions that allow consumers to decide where, when and how to find and buy products. At EuroCIS, retailers were keen to discuss how to make omni-channel retailing a reality, and they listened very carefully to those who had implemented their strategies already. In order to successfully ensure an omni-channel presence, it appears that improving task management and process automation in store, with robots or eye-in-the-sky systems, is becoming increasingly important. As are DC-based solutions that ensure stores start with the right inventory in the first place.
Mobile solutions are becoming paramount to support store staff for omni-channel fulfillment, to improve consumer interaction via smartphone applications or implement new mobile payment options. No doubt, these solutions were among the hottest topics at EuroCIS 2016. Many companies are going to build-up the necessary infrastructure to enable contactless payments in the future. Simplicity and data security will be key to determining their success, particularly when it comes to acceptance among customers. However, one point must be kept in mind when you think about mobile payment – Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS). Mobile payment and EAS will only be possible if you use the right technology, and it is called ‘RFID’.
Retailers are already collecting a mass of data – from the point of manufacture, to the POS and beyond. However, there are two key questions. How can you make capital from it; and how can you use it to further enhance consumers’ shopping experience in order to not only provide tailor-made offers, but also improve interaction? Cloud-based IT solutions are just as trendy as the dynamic fusion of data from different channels. These solutions will help retailers better predict the shopping behavior of their customers, enabling to be ready to meet their needs.
Retailers that are already successfully using RFID solutions from source-to-shoppers, are now making the next step: intelligent applications like smart devices (mirrors or doors) and smart fitting rooms. These solution not only improve the shopper experience, they provide an opportunity to significantly boost sales through intelligent customer interactions.
Electronic shelf labelling (ESL):
Having implemented ESL, some leading retailers are already showing how well this works. Thanks to the flexible pricing, they are enabling stores to keep up with the speed of online retailers. At the same time, it allows them to provide customers with additional benefits. For example, product information and promotions can be delivered from the shelf directly to customers’ smartphones. ESL is one trends that has become reality and is making omni-channel retailing achievable for the industry.