Are high-tech experiences the future of retail?
In the relatively short space of time since the last EuroShop in 2017, a lot has changed in retail. Everywhere you look, technology is transforming the way that consumers interact and transact with brands. At EuroShop 2020, 16 to 20 February in Düsseldorf, the 550 international exhibitors of the experience dimension “Retail Technology” (from the more than 2,300 international EuroShop exhibitors) provide impressive proof of this. In the run-up to EuroShop, we had a look around the international stores to see what is already being offered to customers in terms of high-tech.
Spanish fast-fashion retailer Zara has introduced self-service checkouts in store as well as interactive mirrors equipped with RFID; Nike is using local data at its House of Innovation 000 in New York City to stock shelves and restock them based on what the community wants; and at skincare brand SK-II’s Future X Smart Stores in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore, visitors are able to experience next generation skin counselling through a magic scan (an AI-enabled skin analysis that unlocks skin age and personalises product recommendations by sitting in front of a mirror for three minutes). There are even coffee shops using robot baristas to serve drinks, such as Café X in San Francisco and Ratio in Shanghai. And then, of course, there is Amazon Go, where customers can pick up shopping and walk out, with payment made automatically through the app.