What We Learned in Düsseldorf: Takeaways from EuroShop 2023
EuroShop 2023 is in the books. Although the event won’t be back in action for another three years, our team has plenty to think about in the meantime. These opportunities to discuss retail’s future on the world stage have helped Sensormatic Solutions act as a partner to retailers for decades. Our conversations with retail leaders from around the globe yield insights into what customers want and what retailers need to deliver it.
The conversation around digital transformation isn’t new, but it is reaching new heights. Retailers have been pursuing seamless experiences through digital solutions for some time now, and they show no signs of stopping. Last month, at NRF’s Big Show, American retailers shared their plans to expand budget allocations for in-store technology—and EuroShop’s attendees seemed similarly excited about investments in digitalisation and technology.
So—now that the event is behind us—here's what retail’s best and brightest were talking about and how it might affect the industry over the next few years:
AI will define retail’s next era.
Conversations at EuroShop focused more on how computer vision tools may help retailers optimise their operations. The industry has seen these tools evolve from fantasy to reality since EuroShop’s last event, and retailers from all over the world were eager to share how AI is helping them curate better shopper experiences.
A study released at the show by EHI Retail Institute, showed that use of AI-enabled tools has expanded significantly since 2021. Results from that time showed that 56% of respondents were leveraging AI in their retail enterprises; this year, 69% indicated they use AI tools to support their operations.
Our experience at the show only further cemented our commitment to staying at the forefront of this technology. We demonstrated the latest offerings of our Computer Vision and other AI technology on the show floor, illustrating how intelligent, connected solutions can provide operational insights that help retailers optimise labour allocation, strengthen loss prevention programmes, keep employees and shoppers safe, and provide visibility into shopper experiences.
Sustainability reigns supreme.
Sustainability was front and centre at EuroShop 2023, with the venue, exhibitors, and speakers getting in on the conversation. Messe Dusseldorf produced a dedicated stand, “THINK SUSTAINABLY – ACT RESPONSIBLY,” in conjunction with collaborators like the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services to help retailers learn how to extend their sustainability work outside of stores. The stand was just one aspect of the show’s overall “Hot Topic Sustainability” initiative, which emphasised the ways organisations can mitigate their environmental impact through thoughtful adjustments.
A particularly compelling speaker, Jerrold Fox of Bish Creative, challenged the audience to reconsider their definition of “sustainability” by broadening the scope of their programmes’ successes. This topic was also highlighted at our stand, as we showcased ways retailers can use existing technology to reimagine what it means to operate sustainably.
Our connected systems highlight areas of opportunity that go far beyond recycling or using paper bags. With our integrated insights, retailers can get to the root cause of inefficiencies and drive truly sustainable improvements. Retailers that want to take their sustainable programmes to the next level also had the opportunity to learn about Sensormatic Solutions hard-tag recirculation programme, which can help mitigate plastic waste related to loss prevention and inventory solutions.
Loss prevention is leading innovation.
Interest in strengthening loss prevention programmes was also common among retailers at the show. Over the past three years, technology that mitigates shrink due to fraud and retail crime has advanced significantly, and retailers looking to control losses in the face of a rising number of theft events have made notable investments in these systems.
The event featured a speech by Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Innovation Consultant, James Frank on the evolving role of self-checkout in loss prevention programmes. The talk, which focused on the concept of “value-added friction” in self-service options, explored the complexity of designing satisfying retail experiences without opening retail locations to unnecessary risk.
Our new self-checkout solution—which was developed in collaboration with Zliide—is an attempt to do just that, as it offers an alternative to more traditional, high-risk kiosks. This tool, which is designed to eliminate register queues and streamline shopper experiences while facilitating secure, at-the-rack checkouts via customers’ mobile devices, is just the latest in our portfolio of offerings that help retailers protect people and merchandise.
Additionally, in this era of smarter food safety, it’s important to focus on creating a traceable food chain and providing accurate information in a timely fashion. This means compliance, efficiency and loss prevention through standardisation and digitalisation. Sensormatic Solutions Digital Food Safety helps retailers combat stock loss and food waste as well as assists with compliance by monitoring product storage temperatures, both hot and cold. Sensormatic Solutions digital food safety platform provides remote monitoring, empowering retailers to better serve their shoppers with quality products at the right temperature, eliminating the need for manual temperature checks of refrigeration in stores. The digital solution eliminates the need for paper reports, reducing retailers' carbon footprint.
Time to Work
We’ve come a long way since the last EuroShop. The world has changed, and retail has made an incredible effort to change with it. With the industry’s biggest events in the rearview mirror, it’s back to the grindstone for us. However, we won’t be forgetting the productive conversations we had about retail’s future anytime soon.
It’s through these conversations that we draw inspiration for what’s next, and our colleagues around the world can rest assured the things we’ve learned will be guiding our work.