Euroshop 2023 Put Retail Tech on Display

From February 26 to March 2, more than 100,000 people from around the globe gathered in Dusseldorf, Germany for the largest retail event of its kind, Euroshop 2023. With over 2,300 exhibitors and a substantial number of attendees representing all facets of the retail industry, such as shop fitting, lighting, marketing, technology, and more, Euroshop 2023 offered the opportunity to learn and have conversations about trends, innovations, and solution across all aspects of retail.

Euroshop is hosted every three years with the last event happening just weeks before the COVID-19 lockdowns. There is a lot of effort required to host a show of this magnitude, especially when the strike starts during the event. Public transportation, airports, and other services in several of the surrounding cities around Dusseldorf were affected. Despite the logistical challenges, the show went on and was still attended by over a hundred thousand people.

From walking the floor, I saw that retailers are investing in technology now more than ever. It’s clear that there is a strong future for them if they are able to properly take advantage of technology and use it to improve customer service and experience. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and omnichannel enablement were at the forefront of the technology showcased and it was interesting to see how retailers are planning to take advantage of the new trends in technology in all the different facets of retail.

Digital Partners

A tremendous amount of artificial intelligence solutions were on display. With the ongoing mainstream adoption of AI, it was the perfect opportunity for AI and machine learning providers to showcase their latest products and services. Self-checkout systems powered by AI and ML were one of the most popular attractions at Euroshop. These systems help retailers speed up the checkout process, reduce loss, and reduce labor costs by making the familiar self-checkout machines smarter and more intuitive. Computer vision technology was also on display. Powered by AI, these computer vision systems can use video feeds to improve product shelf stocking and inventory management. We also saw a resurgence of the chatbot. The cookie cutter response chatbots that we have grown accustomed to are going to be replaced with smarter chatbots more akin to ChatGPT.

Sustainability was another hot topic at Euroshop 2023, with many providers showcasing sustainable solutions and retailers expressing their desire to make their operations more sustainable and to reduce their environmental impact.

Omnichannel and the quest for seamless execution of an omnichannel customer experience continues to be the future of retail. It was also a big theme at Euroshop 2020, so it was interesting to see how solution providers and retailers progressed. There is still work to be done on how to integrate digital and physical channels successfully, but we have come a long way from when brick and motor and digital were separate. Several speakers stressed the importance for retailers to be prepared to meet customers’ expectation of being able to shop wherever and whenever they want.

Along with the theme of omnichannel was also the importance of providing excellent customer service and experience. By creating a pleasant and welcoming environment and offering a good selection of products, retailers can make shopping experiences that fit their brand and meet the needs of their customers.

Digital display and in-store kiosks continue to get more amazing and beautiful. With state of the art displays and user experiences, these in-store displays can provide information on product and services like never before. At the same time, retailers are being smart with the instore kiosks interactions and leveraging that data to make better business decisions.

Surprisingly, I did not see much about blockchain and cryptocurrency. It was such a major theme in the past couple of shows, but also completely absent this year. It seems retailers are tired of spinning their wheels trying to find ways to implement the technology and are just going back to the basics: providing a good experience for their customers.

Attending this show was a great opportunity to see the current state of retail and also see what the future holds.

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