Day one: Sunday 27th March 2022
So, we’re finally here. After getting asked for my id in Target to inadvertently witnessing (not in an official capacity you understand) a marriage proposal at the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign, a total stranger buying me a beer in the casino, and Starbucks POS asking me for an 18% tip just for the privilege of buying a coffee (go figure that one) it actually feels good to finally be underway and leave all the Las Vegas craziness behind!
Billed as Retail’s Big Reunion, Shoptalk 2022 is one of the first big retail shows to be back ‘In Real Life’ after a two year hiatus. Shoptalk brings people together (over 10,000 of them) from around the world and is a key fixture in the retail calendar.
Day one on the Sunday began after lunch and was therefore a way of easing us all into over three days of intense retail activity.
It was very much a whistlestop tour around the world of retail with panels focusing on retail innovation and trends from first Europe, then China and finally Latin America. And the overriding impression was that all three markets are at once different, and also the same.
It’s just that the emphasis is different.
From Ikea in Europe focusing on speeding up their pace of digitalisation transformation driven by consumer demand to Liverpool in Mexico pointing out that click and collect is almost ubiquitous for one simple reason: you can’t leave a package outside the door in Mexico.
However, there was one common theme: personalisation and humanising the digital experience.
It was standing room only for the China panel and we heard one thing and practically one thing only: live streaming. By the end of 2022, the live streaming market in China is forecast to hit $4 trillion. But another fascinating trend in China is also all about humanising the digital experience.
We invest for growth….if the project impacts turnover, the bottom line or customer experience, it usually receives the investmentTanja Dysli, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Ikea
With email marketing almost non-existent, retailers and brands have turned to something known as ‘private traffic’. The reason? Virtually everyone communicates via WeChat. And so private traffic became a thing to meet the Chinese expectation of more personalised one on one communication.
But another insight into this phenomenon is that private traffic groups whereby customers share thoughts, ideas, experiences with each other generates customer ecosystems. And in turn, this drives far deeper customer loyalty.
And Latin America? The market shaped by consumer demands and expectations where the subscription model is rejected, and free home delivery is the norm. But as if to crystalise the fact that retail across the globe is the same but different, Mexican consumers frequently visit shopping centres. Why? Because it’s a safe place to be.
However, the final word from the global retail sessions goes to Tanja Dysli, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Ikea: “We invest for growth….if the project impacts turnover, the bottom line or customer experience, it usually receives the investment”.
Andrew Busby is Global Industry Leader Retail at Software AG and Founder, Retail Reflections