The Retail Tech Takeover of EuroShop2020

Article by Olivia Robinson | 20th February 2020

“It’s 2020…

If ever there was a year that sounded ‘futuristic’, this is it… and this year, ES2020 truly fits the bill with dazzling new vendor capabilities on show.

In 2019, the leading edge of the retail technology that is both causing and responding to shifting consumer habits seems to have experienced a step change—2020 truly feels like the year ‘future of retail’ proper, finally arrives. As one of the calendar staples defining the moment, EuroShop2020 is showcasing the latest vendor offerings set to upgrade the customer experience.”

Aaron Copestake
VoCoVos Business Dev Consultant & retail transformer

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EurShop2020: ‘Retail Tech’ & ‘Store Design’ steal the show

ES2020 Top of the Class | Retail Tech: 641 exhibitors | Store Design: 650 exhibitors

Connor O’shea
VoCoVo’s newcomer & Lead Client Engager

What has struck me, besides the volume of exhibitors in the Retail Tech and Store Design zones, is the incredible variety of offerings—a telling sign of where the lion’s share of investment is right now—and it’s no surprise with ‘customer experience’ touted as ‘the new brand’, and operational excellence thought of as one of the most powerful commercial differentiators in increasingly tighter markets. Both these themes are clearly at the forefront of the collective ‘future of retail’ mindset.

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Olivia Robinson
VoCoVo’s tireless Manager of Business Development

“The variety and sophistication of some of the tech we’ve seen walking the floor has been staggering. The ‘connected store’ is going from theory, to concept to reality and 2020 feels like the watershed year that sees widespread adoption. Already brands in the U.S. like Macy’s are showing real outside- the-box thinking, and we’re starting to see the same from UK giants like Sainsbury’s.

Here are our tip-of-the-iceberg top picks…”

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Retail Robotics

Robotics have been around for a while now. Only in recent years have they become sophisticated and viable enough commercially to gain real traction. We’ve witnessed offerings in this space with impressive functionality.

The role of robotics in ‘future of retail’

Retailers depend on a high turnover of minimum wage workers whose pay is steadily increasing–it’s this increasing cost, plus other business costs, that are accelerating uptake of robotics across warehouse, but also in-store.

Some of the benefits of in-store robotics…

  • Real-time tracking of product movement.
  • Spillage and hazard detection and alerting.
  • Auto store area scanning  + product, shelf and isle imaging.
  • More accurate stocking, product tagging and pricing.
  • Faster error-correction to minimise cost.
  • Predictive planning based on past performance.

Mechanical Merchandise Surveillance

With organised retail crime on the rise, retailers are getting smart about theft and loss prevention.
MMS, also known as electronic article surveillance, is becoming a go-to investment widely adopted by market players serious about keeping clean balance sheets, tackling shrinkage and keeping shareholders and investors smiling.

Tag-based concealed EAS systems
Electronic tagging through acousto-magnetics, electro magnetics, microwaves and radio frequencies have been around forever. Popular for their floor-embedded invisibility in stores—with no visible pedestal or hindrance in the store facade—concealed EAS covers the full range of entry/exit points for reduced loss of detection.

MMS + Smart cameras
With a prevention-focused and detection-focused approach to tackling theft through facial recognition and auto security alerts, smart cameras empower retailers to avoid theft situations progressing toward safety and security issues for staff. Besides dealing with store theft, smart cameras will also empower retailers to better understand store performance and walk-in consumer store habits.

Real-time customer numbers checks to adjust available open checkouts.For a long time now, stores haven’t had many options to leverage for customer behaviour data capture to build a picture of customer journey, customer experience and top-down store performance. Also leveraging smart cameras, customer tracking capability is set to bring to stores the same rich picture of store performance and customer behaviour analysis that e-tailers have enjoyed for a while now, through digital means.

Behaviour analysis to unlock new consumer insight, like store-journey and non-purchase walkouts.
Ad performance & dwell analysis for evaluating customer interaction and performance of ads/promos.
Traffic & interaction heat mapping for better store-wide performance analysis

Where the future is made…

As the curtains draw on this triennial industry pillar, our focus turns to collaboration and integration.

The ongoing relationships we’ve built with tier-1 clients and partners place us into a perspective of true appreciation of the challenges faced by vendors and retailers alike across the spectrum of physical retail.

Operational excellence has become less about simply ‘due diligence’ and more about creating credibility, investor trust and differential advantage in the market. The innovations we’re seeing aimed at achieving that operational excellence are open-ended and we believe the future lays in the collaborations that connect into those open-ended innovations.

By creating compound capabilities greater than the sum of their parts, we can create a greater net impact for retailers ready for incentives that will help them steer steadily through the turbulence.

If this sounds like a ‘future of retail‘ narrative you’d like to be a part of, and want to start a conversation… we’re all ears.

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