Paris Retail Week is partner of the NRFrench Party which will take place on January 15th at the French Consulate in New York, and as part of this operation, is pleased to participate in the exciting exchanges on retail innovations, at the beginning of 2017.

The floor is given to Guillaume Portier, VP Marketing at SES-imagotag.


In your opinion, what are the reasons why New York City is so attractive to retailers?

First and foremost, New York City is the city that never sleeps. What could be a better symbol for retail, which today through the implementation of all of its sales channels, stores, e-commerce, Click & Collect, operates non-stop to satisfy the shopper who can consume wherever they want, when they want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s energetic and extremely dynamic. It also reflects the world retail market that is worth more than 4,5 trillion dollars, a large part of which is produced by American retailers. Of those retailers, the first three in the top ten are Walmart, Costco, and Kroger. It’s definitely the place to be. Finally, starting every new fiscal year by participating in the New York Retail Big Show is a great opportunity to be in step and involved with the global retail ecosystem (retailers, consultants, manufacturers, suppliers).


On the other side of the Atlantic, for you what are the specific standout qualities of retail in Paris?

Without a doubt, it’s Click & Collect. It’s a game-changing tool for omni-channel businesses, where above all the store must be an ultra-service provider. The brick and mortar store is actually a logistical network of ideal locations without parallel. Click & Collect and home delivery from these local stores are developing quickly and this trend is going to increase. This omnichannel service in all its extent capitalizes on the proximity and advantages of a physical retail outlet as well as the comfort and speed of the internet. It corresponds to new consumer buying behavior and gets the most out of  the store’s wide range, allowing shoppers to divide their orders between everyday household items (bought online) and the products they want to try out or purchase for their own enjoyment in the store itself. It’s a synthesis between the physical and the digital, the best of both worlds brought together in an integrated omnichannel service. But the real challenge is the productivity and profitability of this service. Filling a shopping cart in the store (in-store picking) is still a time-consuming activity whose productivity must be optimized like an industrial production process. It’s the challenge that must be met by digital technology actors (like SES-imagotag) by offering solutions and successfully assisting retailers with this transformation.


What major retail trend(s) do you think will make a mark on 2017?

The achievement of a genuine omnichannel convergence will be the next step in the digital transition of commerce. Consumers do not want to choose: they love shopping in the store because it’s a place they enjoy with their five senses, but they also need the comfort and practicality of the internet. Retailers who succeed in the future will be those who can offer consumers the best of “phygital”, both digital and physical, brought together into one seamless service. Revitalized by digital technology, physical retail outlets will experience a new golden age. On one hand, by becoming ultra-efficient actors through operational data, the automation of processes for weak added value products, focusing personnel on customer service and keeping the shelves fully stocked at all times. On the other hand, they will become interactive, connected environments capable of better identifying, understanding, serving, and communicating with customers.


Finally, what is the start-up in the retail sector that would deserve to be honored in 2017? Why?

I would say Alkemics, a French start-up founded by a team of talented young entrepreneurs who specialize in data-driven collaboration. In a short time this company has built a community of more than 2,700 brands and leading retailers like in the US. Its online platform helps brands and retailers collect, enrich, and share any type of product data, to ensure it’s consistent and actionable across the retail ecosystem. By feeding information systems with high quality data, it opens doors to optimize or even develop new marketing and strategic decision-making mechanisms.


To attend the NRFrench Party, the inspiring evening of Retailers and French e-merchants at NRF, register here!