Over three days of intense discussions, the third edition of Paris Retail Week (19-21 September) brought together players from physical and online retail.

Focusing on the theme of Live Retail, this year’s event spotlighted how new technologies and data, notably thanks to AI, virtual reality and augmented reality, have become central in the retail sector while continuing to provide the authentic, human and experience-based service that customers want.

At plenary conferences and keynotes, company directors, digital technology managers, brand strategy and supply chain directors explained retail trends and the challenges faced by professionals, along with the innovations which are allowing them to meet the demands of an increasingly informed and connected clientele.

Here is a review of the trends spotted at Paris Retail Week:

The fully connected era and the key place of emotions are real revolutions in the retail world. Consumers want instant access to information, on all devices; access to the items of their choice at any time, in store or for delivery; they expect to be able to pay using the method they want, etc. Retailers rely on data and on artificial intelligence to meet these expectations. Data collection and security are among their main concerns.

In addition, incorporating messaging in customer relations refines knowledge of the consumer, gives retail a human face and is a way of fine-tuning the offer.

Conversational marketing creates involvement and helps retailers offer customers the personalised service they are looking for. As a result of this demand for exchange, advice and circulation of information, the retailer is becoming a brand ambassador as their role is redefined.

Consequently, logistics is also shaken up by this transformation of consumption patterns. It has to be adjusted to deliver to the customer where they want and when they want. The growth in ship from store is the direct consequence because it provides new-found flexibility in stock management and aims to put an end to product unavailability.

To optimise customer satisfaction, it is now coupled with customer relations, which takes into account the availability and preferences of each consumer, at every step of the purchasing act, both in the point of sale and online.

Speakers who shared their strategic vision of retail included: Olivier de Mendez, General Manager of Starbucks France, Nicolas Bertrand, Managing Director of Micromania Group, Thierry Tallet, Managing Director at Ixina France, Soumia Hadjali, VP Digital Operations of Accor, Martin Sauer, Group Digital & Retail Director of Manutan, Mathieu Bellamy, Vice President Brand Strategy Director of Citroën, Mathieu Cervety,Deputy Head of SMB Marketing of Google France and Antoine Jouteau, Managing Director of LeBonCoin.

Retail Trends from near and far

All over the world, retailers are faced with the obligation of proposing several payment methods to satisfy each user. For marketplaces, bringing very diverse products together on the same platform and collecting data on the quality of retailers’ services is a major lever for proposing the right offer to each customer. But that offer has to be identified and targeted. This is why information is central to consumption and the development of e-commerce depends on this data to create customised retail where satisfaction is the key word.

With this in mind, the shop is no longer a shop. It is a living space, which no longer focuses on the product but on the customer’s well-being at the point of sale. Enjoyment and service are the bases of retailtainment, the customer experience proposed in these shops, which have become experience laboratories. By immersing the visitor in its universe or even by offering shops in which you can’t actually buy anything, the brand takes on a human face by focusing on emotion and experience.

Among well-known international personalities, the following shared their experiences: Patrick Labarre, Director of Amazon France and Edouard Chabrol, Head of France, Italy and Spain Amazon Pay, Gary Swindells, Managing Director of Costco France, Juliet Anammah, CEO of Jumia and Charif Debs, co-founder of Gemmyo. The challenges of the supply chain, logistics and transport were analysed by Christophe Poutier, Supply Chain Director of Bazarchic, Mourad Bensadik, Director of Logistics and Transport Operations of FNAC Darty and Jonathan Trépo, Managing Director France of Zalando.

Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th edition, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versaillethe e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

Pour sa quatrième édition le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.