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The 4th Paris Retail Week came to an end on 12 September, after three days giving centre stage to Smart Phygital. Through encounters on the stands, conferences, keynotes and the Paris Retail Awards ceremony, retail professionals had the chance to share their experiences and discuss the trends in retailing, a sector that is constantly being reinvented.

Paris Retail Week brought together 34,895 players in physical and online retailing from 10 to 12 September.

“With the key motto Smart Phygital, the meetings and debates showed that the boundary between ‘physical’ and the ‘digital’ has disappeared. At the centre of these new trends, hyper-empathy has become a vital issue in business,” points out Arnaud Gallet, Director of Paris Retail Week. The season’s flagship event highlighted this increasingly topical union via the solutions on offer, professional feedback and personal experience.

Smart Phygital, a game-changer in retailing today

Using digital technology, it is now possible to customise any object (3D printing, engraving, etc.) and enjoy more and more customised purchasing experiences. From the purchasing process to lived experience, consumers are seeking support in daily life for greater ease and comfort. There has been a breakthrough in personal-assistance services, whether online, in stores and now at home.  Virtual assistants are now intelligent, thanks to the roll-out of NLP (Natural Language Processing) technologies, and can anticipate our needs and wishes, making our daily lives easier.

Paris Retail Week illustrated the conversational era in retailing, with Tiki robots by Event Boots on hand to welcome visitors. The PICOM also unveiled a number of projects currently being developed, including at Decathlon, where the Cube gives customers a chance to experience their favourite sport.

Data also proved to be an important trend. “Consumers are looking for customised experiences and are ready to share their data if this leads to an innovative and relevant experience,” said the co-founder of Early Birds at the Google Cloud round-table. Another trend, the early signs of more ecological retailing, is now emerging, and visitors were introduced to several paperless projects, such as the new till receipts from the supermarket Auchan. These receipts can now be sent by email accompanied by nutrition-related tips and tricks and recipes.

As a real source of inspiration, the event also welcomed international participants from China, Japan and the US, who set out their vision of online retailing: JD.com presented its “retail as a service” approach, while Alibaba and Hanshow outlined the future of new forms of retailing…Also taking part were Takashi Okutani, the Executive Officer at Oisix, Olivier Saguez, the famous designer who needs no introduction, Brendan Witcher, the widely recognised analyst at Forrester, and Chieh Huang, the co-founder of Boxed.com, to name just a few.

Visitors could also find out about the strategy and creativity used by brands to attract customers and maintain loyalty at sales outlets. These included, among others, Salomon, Aroma Zone, Nocibé, Nature & Découvertes, Leroy Merlin, Biocoop Dada, Drugstore Parisien, and the H&M and Bande à Part flagship stores..
Paris Retail Awards: celebrating innovation

The 10 prizes given at the Paris Retail Awards ceremony once again provided an excellent shop-window for innovative companies, helping them to make high-potential contacts with participating firms.

SMARTLY.IO and its Video Template Editor solution was selected in the Customer Experience category (360) while SELLERMANIA was chosen in the Technology category for its Marketplace management solution. The CRM prize, from the Lead to the client, was awarded to NOTIFY,  with their new real-time and AI solution, helping to boost conversion rates by detecting the best time to contact clients. “The award has brought recognition for our BestTime innovation, which not only gives brands a high transformation rate, but also a respectful and personal customer relationship,” said Franck Lhuerre, CEO at Notify.

The Jury’s Favourites prizes went to MERITO for its recruitment platform and to CAPITALDATA for its Tourist Tracker solution dedicated to overseas visitors, while the French Initiative award was given to ANGUS.AI for its Pogkeeper solution, enabling retailers to keep track of shelves in real time. ANGUS.AI was also presented with an award in the Digitisation of point of sale category.
Lastly, the Rookie Of The Year prize, given to start-ups for innovative and promising innovations, went to MERITO for its recruitment platform, aimed at pooling employees between stores.

REVERS.IO, won the ‘Winner of the Winners’ prize, the Paris Retail Golden Award, as well as the Logistics prize. “These prizes express a real change of mindset regarding the importance of reverse logistics in the online and offline retail sector,” noted Vincent Torres, CEO at Revers.io.

PARIS RETAIL WEEK 2018 KEY FIGURES

  • 34,895 professionals
  • Over 700 exhibitors and 436 speakers
  • the participation of major players: FEVAD, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, AB Tasty, Hanshow, JD.com, Fnac, Adidas, Groupe Etam, Monoprix, Rakuten, Intersport, Wonderbox, CDiscount, La Fourchette, La Redoute, Groupe Eram, Rue du Commerce and Saguez & Partners, among others.
  • 18,340 conference participants
  • 1,184 meetings set up as part of the Business Meetings – 10 prizes awarded
  • 2 Paris Retail Tours in the French capital’s innovative retail outlets
  • #ParisRetailWeek was a trending topic on 11 and 12 September

Retrouvez  le contenu de cet article en français en format pdf en cliquant ici 

The 4th edition of Paris Retail Week ended on September 12th after three days dedicated to Smart Phygital. Punctuated by conferences and the Paris Retail Awards ceremony, the 34,895  attending retail professionals shared their experiences and viewpoints on future retail trends.

Save the date for Paris Retail Week’s next show from 24 to 26  September 2019

La 4ème édition de Paris Retail Week s’est achevée le 12 septembre après trois journées dédiées au thème du Smart Phygital. Au rythme de conférences et de la cérémonie des Paris Retail Awards, les 34,895professionnels du secteur présents à Paris expo Porte de Versailles ont partagé leurs expériences et échangé sur les tendances du retail.

Rendez-vous pour la prochaine édition de Paris Retail Week du 24 au 26 septembre 2019

The post Smart Phygital trends spotted at Paris Retail Week appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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Weather. Calendar shifts. Experiential spending. Retailers have many “dog ate my homework” excuses for when trading is less than stellar, but when a late snowstorm* forces you to temporarily shut over half your stores, it’s bound to impact the top line. While it’s important to acknowledge the impact of the Beast from the East, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Debenhams, like many department stores today, is struggling to stay relevant.

Strategically, Debenhams is doing all the right things, but today’s results highlight the scale of the challenges confronting UK department stores. Not only are they facing a perfect storm of rising costs and subdued demand, but the original concept of a department store – one-stop shopping – has become completely eroded by online retail.

Unfortunately for Debenhams, many stores are tethered to long-term leases so there is no quick fix for addressing the shift to online shopping.Twenty-five stores will be reviewed as their leases come up for renewal over the next five years. In an ideal world, they’d be more bullish but with an average lease length of 18 years Debenhams doesn’t have the luxury of simply closing stores overnight. Instead, the focus will be on reinvention and rightsizing – they see potential for at least 30 stores to be downsized, in a similar vein to competitors like M&S and House of Fraser.

But make no mistake – the department store model is under threat. In the past, it made sense for retailers to dedicate 100,000-plus square feet to these ‘palaces of consumption’, aggregating lots of brands under one roof. But today, shoppers have access to millions of products at their fingertips, so the idea that a bricks and mortar retailer can still offer ‘everything under one roof’ becomes laughable. Department stores must reposition themselves to be less about product and more about experience. Winning in retail today means excelling where Amazon cannot.

Under Sergio Bucher (ex-Amazon), Debenhams is trying to do exactly that. They’ve embraced store reinvention, recognising that the department store of the future will be a place not only to buy stuff, but also to eat, discover, play and even work. Partnerships with brands like Swoon and Maisons du Monde create a point of differentiation, while the installation of gyms and beauty bars and potential collaboration with WeWork allow Debenhams to make better use of excess space while simultaneously driving footfall. Store reinvention’s not cheap but it’s better than standing still.

But amidst all this talk of transformation, it’s easy to lose focus on the basics of retail – price, product, service. This is where Debenhams shoppers have arguably been left feeling underwhelmed. Pricing must be sharper and more trustworthy, range must be simplified (though more compelling) and the overall proposition must become more experiential and service-led. Otherwise, they risk a lot of empty treadmills and brow bars.

*Reference to the snow storm occurred in January during which the UK was blanketed in snow for 2 weeks.

Article originally published in April on: https://nbkretail.com

The 4th edition of Paris Retail Week ended on September 12th after three days dedicated to Smart Phygital. Punctuated by conferences and the Paris Retail Awards ceremony, attending retail professionals shared their experiences and viewpoints on future retail trends.

Final report soon available on: www.parisretailweek.com

Save the date for Paris Retail Week’s next show from 24 to 26  September 2019

La 4ème édition de Paris Retail Week s’est achevée le 12 septembre après trois journées dédiées au thème du Smart Phygital. Au rythme de conférences et de la cérémonie des Paris Retail Awards, les professionnels du secteur présents à Paris expo Porte de Versailles ont partagé leurs expériences et échangé sur les tendances du retail.

Communiqué bilan bientôt disponible sur : www.parisretailweek.com

Rendez-vous pour la prochaine édition de Paris Retail Week du 24 au 26 septembre 2019

The post Are department stores doomed? A case study of UK store Debenhams appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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A major annual event, Paris Retail Week reveals the latest trends in retailing. From 10 to 12 September, among over 700 exhibitors, some fifty start ups from France and abroad are presenting their innovations: retail tech, payment, data management, supply chain, marketing and customer relations – all the issues in retailing will be featured in the Start-up Area. The innovations reflect the breakthroughs enabling retailers to lay the foundations for the omnichannel and experiential retailing that customers are looking for.

In a subtle interplay between the physical world and digital innovation, retailers are providing phygital customer experiences, with no frontier between on and offline.

The watchword for this ecosystem is customer satisfaction, the centre of retailers’ preoccupations, with the aim of optimising the purchasing process and setting up a seamless customer experience. Things are constantly changing and start-ups have no hesitation in taking on the major players in the sector.

Paris Retail Week 2018 is a fruitful opportunity for these start-ups to get together and introduce new developments to potential customers and partners.

The Start-up Area features some fifty young companies with talents reflecting the diversity of the retail sectors.

Spotlight on the  2018 start-ups

IT For Commerce: BLOG ECOMMERCE, BUYAPOWA, DIGITAL EFFECT, MARCHANDS DU WEB, ORION SEMANTICS, SKELLO

Payment: cashless or dematerialised payment: KIWIZ, MOONSHOT-INTERNET, PINDROP SECURITY

Experiential retailing in the spotlight: AKOUSTIC ARTS, LASER ARMY, RETAIL VR, SNIFFY SOLUTIONS

Retail Tech: 62 RUBY STREET, ARMIS, CAPTURAX, NEOS, OPENBLIZZ, PLACE, UNIVERSAL REWARD PROTOCOL, WASSA, WEBOTIT, WIISSLE

Purchasing: AGORA PLACE, ORTAKALAN, PRICECOMPARATOR, SAY ECO

Marketing/Data/Customer relations: BEYABLE, BOTSPELL, CUSTPLACE, DELAPLACE.PRO, eCENTIME, FLOWBOX, IMIE PARIS, INFLUANS, INSPIRE, LEFTY, MRSURICATE, MULTISITES MANAGER, NETGOBOX, NETLINKING.FR, NUMERIZED, PAARLY, PARTOO, SIGNCOGROUP, SKALUP, SKAPÁNÊ, SNAPCALL, SOYUZ, VERISIUM, VISIPERF

Logistics, E-logistics, Supply chain: ENTRUPY, TILKAL, UCOLIS

Celebrating innovation: the Rookie Of The Year prize!

The Rookie Of The Year prize, awarded during the Paris Retail Awards, was given on 10 September to the innovation made by the best start-up at the trade show.

The 3 start-ups in the running:
  •  Arcane with Smart Feeds: easier product-flow management using Machine Learning algorithms;
  • Merito with Merito: Recruitment platform for stores. Employee secondment or sharing employees with other companies;
  • Alephom with Neos: 3-in-1 multi-brand mobile application. No more waiting at the checkout.

The three finalists, selected  by the jury, had the opportunity to promote on stage their skills and projects to an audience of potential investors and customers, brought together especially for the occasion. This year, MERITO was able to convince and win the award.

As the winners in previous years the award will help this young dynamic company to increase their reputation and initiate new contracts and raise funds.

Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event takes its full scope and gathers in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prend toute son envergure et réunit 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.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

www.parisretailweek.com

The post Start-ups are shaking up tomorrow’s retail market appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) played a major role at this year’s Berlin Fashion Week in July.This technique combines the individual style elements of fashion with the advantages and possibilities of functional clothing. Clothes are enabled to communicate with each other and bring advantages to the user through recommendations on posture and style. Although such garments cannot (yet) develop a fashionable taste, they can support the wearer’s taste with the appropriate data.

Digital trends in the world of fashion

Technical fashion articles and wearables such as smart watches have been on trend for a long time and are popular among many users. This year’s Fashion Week in Berlin showed that AI is now also preparing to conquer the fashion world. For example, dresses have been developed to be fed with data on the fashion tastes and preferences of the wearer. Such clothes are then able to communicate with each other and, for example, draw attention to people who have a similar taste. In this way, AI in fashion changes the way we communicate through our clothing. Because it is already the case today that clothing always goes beyond pure functionality to serve more as a statement. With the way we dress, we express an attitude towards life and convey our personality.

AI in clothing can do a lot more. In this way, certain jackets can detect postural defects in the wearers and draw their attention to them. This promotes a healthier posture and is less likely to cause back pain and problems with posture. In addition, garments equipped with sufficient data can assess which clothing is appropriate for which occasion. This allows the garments themselves to make recommendations as to what can be worn for an interview and a first date. Not only objective standards are applied, but also the individual preferences of the users are considered.

AI faces these challenges in fashion

AI in fashion provides us with many benefits. It provides us with useful information without us having to constantly look at a display or press buttons. However, it is important to design the individual technical elements in such a way that they are flexible and practical. AI must not adversely affect the feel and must adapt to different areas of use, from dancing and sports to working in very different environments. AI must also be washable so that the garments can be machine-washed and tumble-dried without restrictions. Therefore, research is currently focusing on the possibilities of sensor technology, which can recognize the behaviour of users and make this data usable, while at the same time possessing high functionality and practical properties.

AI cannot (yet) develop its own taste

Despite all the technical progress, artificial intelligence is not able to develop its own taste and become creative itself. Its decisions and analyses are based exclusively on the information on taste and user behaviour of the wearer, which it is given or which it collects while being worn. Fashion with AI therefore has more of an advisory function. It supports users with information and suggestions about possible combinations and areas of application. Just as a pedometer does not live healthily itself, but encourages the user to do so, fashion with AI is not fashionable on its own and does not express a certain attitude per se, but always does so only in interaction with the users.

Data protection plays an important role in fashion

Data protection is a major issue with AI in fashion. Users should have the opportunity to make a fashion statement with their clothing, but they should not be obligated to do so. The aim is to be able to switch AI functions on and off. So, if you want to show your own taste through your clothes and have people with similar tastes displayed to you, you can do so. However, if this technology is inappropriate or not desired in some situations, it can be deactivated. In addition, security measures must be taken to protect personal data from misuse. Our taste in fashion says a lot about us and gives others the opportunity to gain an insight into our personality and our preferences

Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event takes its full scope and gathers in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prend toute son envergure et réunit 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.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

www.parisretailweek.com

The post Artificial intelligence in fashion appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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Innovation: every sector is touched by this key challenge.

The difference between invention and innovation lies in its being adopted by the public. With this in mind and to pursue this idea, the new 2018 edition of Paris Retail Week, which will be held from 10 to 12 September, places extraordinary emphasis on pilot projects and novelties which the public will soon find in stores. 

A pleasurable, fun opportunity to discover and test shopping experiences privileging real relationships with customers! Be it digitalization, robotization or AI, retail is undergoing dramatic changes which do not fail to surprise. Spotlight on novelties which may appeal to you for upcoming report topics.

Pilot projects from leading retail names

PICOM (Pôle de Compétitivité des Industries du Commerce – Retail sector competitiveness cluster) will be on-hand at the event and will present 14 pilot projects which consumers will discover in-store tomorrow.

 Under the brand “New Shopping Experience” (NSE), PICOM carries out actions every year which are considered as a real source of inspiration for technology firms.

This year the NSE programme comprises 14 projects which showcase partnerships between innovative businesses and retail names from a variety of sectors which have a real impact on the development of tomorrow’s retail world. It’s all about connections focusing on a specific type of use which address the issue of a brand, and, as such, ensure perfect harmony between the new technology sought and the innovative solutions proposed:

A large-scale retailer will outline their project for digitalizing their sales receipts. These receipts can now be transmitted by email accompanied by nutrition-related tips and tricks and recipes.

Another will talk about their nutritional coach project which even proposes easy-to-make, balanced recipes integrated into shopping lists. Perfect for doing shopping physically, with a scan function for scanning products directly in-store.

Virtual reality plays its full role in DIY stores! Thanks to virtual shopping, customers can visit the store of their choice and do their shopping as if they were really there. The virtual shopping project offers the advantages of the real world with total in-store and digital world immersion.

Voice takes pride of place for clothes and sports equipment brands. The customer can enjoy an original, innovative experience inside a cube whilst discovering their favourite sport. By exchanging with the voice of a small animated character, the customer will answer a series of questions focusing on their sport tastes, habits and wishes. Once the sport’s been chosen, the customer will dive into an immersive experience to discover the world of the sport suggested by the animated character. And, to finish off, the customer will leave with product recommendations and personalized information.

Let’s not forget innovations that focus on kids. “Digital kids” will delight in fun-filled solutions like a RFID treasure hunt. The child has to find RFID units hidden in the store and scan them with their RFID bracelet. Each time they scan a unit, they’ll gain access to a mini touchscreen game and collect clues. They then use these clues to decipher an enigma to open the connected treasure trove.

These projects, along with a host of other equally-innovating ones will be presented during Paris Retail Week. At the end of the event, PICOM will announce the most popular ideas!

Total POS immersion: Viva Le Store

Viva Le Store is the new, original and highly-surprising space specially-designed to reflect new POS dynamics. The most pioneering experiences will be presented focusing on interior layout, design, equipment, digital, technological innovation.

This recreational and experiential space will highlight the latest innovations from the trade fair’s POS Interior design/ Equipment/ Marketing  exhibitors, all staged to create an incredibly surprising and future-oriented experience. Visitors will also discover a special area devoted to the latest commercial trends, as well as a customized space to enjoy the Connected Store experience live & direct.

Viva Le Store* will be Smart Phygital’s alter ego to ensure visitors enjoy new experiences that retail is now adopting.

*in partnership with INFLUENCIA and OBJETCONNECTE.NET

Meeting place of start-ups at the cutting-edge of NT

The Start-Up space this year is exclusively reserved for over 60 incredibly-innovating young businesses. These young start-ups, all at the cutting-edge of new technology will have the chance to win support for developing their solutions.

Among the latest to join:

8X8 DIGITAL MARKETING, AKOUSTIC ARTS, ARMIS, BEYABLE, BLOG ECOMMERCE, BUYAPOWA, CAPTURAX, CUSTPLACE, DIGITAL EFFECT, eCENTIME, FINANCE INNOVATION, FLOWBOX, INFLUANS, KIWIZ, LASER ARMY, LEFTY, MEDIALEADS, MOONSHOT-INTERNET, MRSURICATE, MULTISITES MANAGER, NEOS, NETGOBOX, NETLINKING.FR, ORION SEMANTICS, ORTAKALAN, PAARLY, PINDROP SECURITY, PRICECOMPARATOR, RETAIL VR, SKALUP, SKAPÁNÊ, SNAPCALL, UCOLIS, WASSA

Humanoid robots to greet us tomorrow

Event Bots, a French start-up is making waves on the hospitality and retail markets with its humanoid robot reception assistant known as Tiki. Three of its robots will be present at the event.

Tiki robots integrate cutting-edge technology (face detection, emotion reading, speech synthesis, sensitive sensors, facial animation, etc.) which make hospitality management easier and boost it. As such, these three robot assistants will be on-hand to guide visitors via an interactive plan and will present the various areas and stands to them, exactly like in-store assistants. Perfectly complementing their tablets, Tiki robots comment vocally all data displayed on the tablets and animate it through movements to enhance interactivity.

A live & direct 3D emotional experience

The Virtual Reality communication agency VR Academie proposes “Entertainment” activities in the fair’s networking area through 2 original experiences:

Take part in a real emotional experience live & direct and in 3 dimensions on the “VR interactive gaming” stand. Visitors become proactive players in their immersion thanks to an HTC live, connected headset, infrared transmitters and joysticks which are at the heart of the experience.

Tomorrow, in-store, using a headset which reproduces 360° vision, consumers will enjoy ever-so inspiring experiences and imagine themselves in the real world before they actually purchase.

Retrouvez  le contenu de cet article en français en format pdf en cliquant ici 

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

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, 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.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

www.parisretailweek.com

The post Paris Retail Week: #CustomerExperience – dive into Smart Phygital and enjoy new experiences! appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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Shanghai, unlike New York, Paris or London, is one of those holiday destinations people do not always agree upon. However, I was quite excited last May to visit once again this bustling city where seven years prior I had had the opportunity to both live and work. As a passionate retail designer, I have found very few places in the world that integrate changes in consumption trends so quickly. And once again, this visit did not disappoint!

I was blown away with the transformations that have taken place in the mere four years since my last visit. The key one being the proliferation of WeChat Pay, my local friends now all relying almost solely on their phones to do, well… everything: shop, eat, pay, work and socialize. The widespread adoption of this new shopping tool has forever transformed the way locals live, which in turn has led to changes in both the retail and service sectors.

Clearly, China is changing and fast!

This, of course, represents a massive challenge for brands, but also… an opportunity. How international names adapt to local markets has always intrigued me. China is particularly interesting because of the need to identify and make changes so quickly. Whilst living there I had already identified a few retailers that were innovators in the way they addressed this challenge, Starbucks being one of the most memorable ones. Unlike many, I was thus, not surprised to hear of the opening of “the biggest Starbucks in the world” in Shanghai end of last year. Where else, I thought, could they fully “push the envelope” and still be guaranteed success? Still, my interest had been “picked” and a visit of this flagship was thus high on my priority list. Despite the many articles I had read, the store experience not only lived up to, but exceeded expectations. I was blown away with how well the brand has managed to rework its entire positioning through both a stunning store design as well as a unique offer.

Starbucks’ Chinese positioning – what was…

As mentioned above, Starbucks has always been one of those brands I kept an eye on whilst living in Shanghai. When I first moved there in 2009, I was quite surprised to see just how present the coffee company was in this Asian market, one which traditionally has such a strong tea culture. I soon realized the appeal of the brand locally was not so much its star product but rather a combination of its positioning as a “luxury” brand and its ability to address the locals’ tastes.

As we all know by now, the Chinese are quite queen on luxury and “status objects”. Due to its historical background, western brands and imports no matter the product category, tend to be perceived as luxurious in China. Coffee, which is still considered a relatively “new” addition to the local market is no exception to this. And Starbucks has understood this from the get go.  Nothing reflects it better than the price tag: at close to 30 yuan (approx. 4 euros) a 350ml cup of Starbucks Latte coffee in Shanghai will easily cover a restaurant meal for two in a small local restaurant.

This reflects how the brand managed to position itself but was that really the only key to local success? After all, coffee is not every Chinese’s cup of tea.

So, how did Starbucks manage to become this popular and widespread? My personal view is that, they identified the opportunity as far as positioning is concerned to bring people into the store BUT they kept them in by providing much more. It is this “more” which has allowed them to gain and maintain a clientele far beyond the original appeal of the “novelty” product and brand from the West.

  1. So, what exactly was this “more”?They adjusted the offer to the local market’s tastes and culture. Of course, they always kept coffee-based products as the core offer but, often other products seemed more “flexible” (tapioca and bubble teas, seasonal offers reflecting local festivals, etc.) I even noticed variations in the product range based on the store location within the city: some stores obviously had a bigger expat clientele and the offer was adjusted to cater to their specific tastes. By paying close attention to their sales and implementing changes on a store-by-store basis as well as continuously changing the offer to match the seasons, they ensured novelty at every visit, thus keeping customers interested and coming back for more.

  2. Second, they offered an in-store experience which spoke directly to the local crowd, one which seeks “convenience” in everything. The store’s infrastructure and design, including the multiple seating configurations (offering the option to chat or work), the air conditioning and, most importantly, the free wifi access all fit perfectly with Chinese preferences.

  3. Finally, local success was also ensured by Starbucks’ very strong brand image. Indeed, the standing the brand offers could not go unrecognized by the Chinese market. Add to this, the opportunity to share, via social media, pictures of the consumption process in a nice store location and there you have it: a success story!

But, could this one last beyond the novelty stage, I often wondered. Wouldn’t customers eventually get bored of the offer or stores? Granted, the products changed constantly but was that enough? And what about the risk of emerging competitors – both local and “global”? Would customers stay loyal?

…and what is: revamp to create more opportunities

All of these questions were running through my mind as I approached the new Shanghai flagship store during my visit in May. How far would the brand go this time to please their local clientele – one which is so demanding? Although I had read much about the store’s stunning design and knew this was meant to be the biggest shop yet, nothing could quite have prepared me for just how far the brand would take things this time.

So, what exactly has the local market’s specificities allowed the brand to do?

  1. Create a unique immersive branded experience

First, their positioning as a “luxury” brand has allowed them to create a true unique and memorable flagship store at the same level as big names such as Apple or even Prada. Before even entering the store, the tone is set: “get ready, this is not your average Starbucks!” Located at a key crossroads on one of Shanghai’s busiest and most popular shopping streets: Nanjing Road, the brand clearly makes a mark. By claiming the ground and first floor units of one of the street’s “smaller” malls, Starbucks has ensured two things. One, it looks as if it owns the entire building and as a result as if it actually owns the crossroad. Two, as there are no high-rise buildings or other “distractions” directly behind it, your eye is inevitably drawn to the store. The building’s curved shape and lighting scheme finish it all off perfectly by enhancing the magnitude and grandeur of the store.

As you approach the entrance, this feeling of “exclusivity” is further enhanced by a full-on “red carpet treatment” including an usher as well as barriers and railings for potential queues (a common sight at peak hour). To be sure, it feels much more like approaching a five-star hotel or restaurant than a coffee shop.

When entering for the first time, one needs a minute to take it all in. The store has been designed to ensure a full view on the entire sales floor. Here, the customer can fully realize just how unique the store’s look and feel is, but also get a first glimpse at its offer range – one which is miles away from that of a “standard” Starbucks outlet. In front of you, a multitude of options abound. On the left, next to the façade, is a first seating area followed by product display furniture highlighting all sorts of branded goods (including clothing and accessories). Directly in front of the entrance is a massive bakery style counter with staff a-plenty making sure customers feel welcome as they enter. Further beyond this counter, you can already discern more counters and seating giving you a sense of an endless store.

The real eye-catching element though is located on the right as one enters. Here the space is kept open over the two floors and a coffee “roasting” workshop is put on display so customers can fully appreciate the required craftsmanship behind the product. High tables and stools have even been placed along the balustrade separating the prep area from the sales floor for this purpose.

Adding to the differentiation factor of this flagship location, the brand has made use of a completely new palette of finishes. Here, dark wood is combined with brass and leather detailing which do much to elevate the overall look and feel. A toned-down lighting scheme further helps to give the entire space a feeling of coziness and intimacy despite its massive scale. A personal favorite is the ceiling design made from wooden hexagons with cut-outs for the light fixtures finished in copper… detailing at its best!

The product displays also add to the overall feeling of luxury by highlighting each individual product as a piece of art. Throughout the store, the brand has clearly highlighted the product preparation process to further enhance the quality appeal. A good example of this is a separate baked goods area located behind glass where multiple “artisans” are hard at work baking all sorts of wonderful treats in a luxurious kitchen, complete with marble work surfaces and a wall full of beautiful iron cast ovens.

Beyond this one, customers can find yet another massive counter as well as product display area and another more “intimate” seating area which can be turned into a separate event space. And this is only the ground floor!

The second floor continues the full immersive experience and offers even more product differentiation. The first thing to welcome you as you leave the grand staircase is a small reading area – ensuring you feel welcome to stay as long as you want. Upon my visit, this seemed to be “THE” location for those very much sought after “photo-ops” the Chinese are so fond off. And let me assure you, that this store is not lacking in offering opportunity upon opportunity to share the experience with your social media communities.

Beyond this space which clearly serves as an acclimatization area, customers can once again appreciate multiple unique product offerings. First, there is another merchandise area integrating décor and lifestyle products. Then, customers can try new products at the cold brew bar. Finally, to complete the offer, a specific counter serving teas has been created. In front of these different elements, seating groups have strategically been placed so customers continuously face the open mezzanine and the beautiful eye-catching elements of the roasting area. Thus, Starbucks ensures they are continuously immersed in the unique coffee experience this store has to offer.

  1. Push the offer further than ever before:

Clearly the store’s design contributes a lot to make this store memorable… But what also makes it so appealing is the feeling of exclusivity offered by the multiple new products on offer here. The basic core coffee range has obviously been elevated to push its luxury appeal, whilst the tea offer now benefits from its own specialty area, making it feel much more exclusive. The different baked goods are not the standardized pre-wrapped sandwiches and muffins found in other stores but rather fresh “homemade” delicacies which one cannot help but drool over.

Still, for me, what really makes the difference is the non-food offer. Sure, Starbucks has always sold branded mugs and cups, thus selling non-food items is not new in itself, but the range of products sold here is really what elevates it from a “simple” coffee trader to a whole new lifestyle brand. Branded t-shirts, jewelry, bags, purses complement the typical hot drinks accessories ensuring Starbucks becomes a name customers can proudly own as well as showcase. The price tag for these products reflect the brand’s new sought-after positioning, a small purse selling for over two hundred euros.

To further support the quality image of these goods, Starbucks has added merchandise by other famous brands such as MariMekko to its offer. This is true genius! By placing their own products next to such a well-established quality design brand, Starbucks further reinforces its new positioning. One which they have been able to adjust thanks to their careful assessment and understanding of the local market’s specificities. Clearly, the brand has made good use of the years already spent in China, as it seems clear to me that the same could not have been done elsewhere.

And this is truly what has managed to put an end to all of my doubts about Starbucks’ continued success in China. No, local customers will not get bored. No, the competition will not cause Starbucks to lose its market share. Yes, customers will stay loyal… And surely more will come. Why? Because Starbucks is and hopefully will always be a brand which knows how to listen to its customers and is willing to adapt and adjust itself to deliver to them. They have truly understood the value of going “glocal”: keeping a unified global brand image but delivering to local specificities. Personally, I know I will keep looking out for more examples of the same elsewhere… the future looks exciting!

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

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, 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.

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The post The opportunities of going “local” How the Starbucks Shanghai flagship store got it right appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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The retail ecosystem is in the middle of a huge and unprecedented transformation. Almost every stage of the entire retail process, from the moment a product is created until it is bought, is quickly evolving. Shopping experiences, both online and in-store, are going multi-channel, consumer preferences are relentlessly changing and worldwide retailers are trying to adapt their strategies to the latest demands.

The key factor in this new purchasing dynamic is going to be all about the consumer and their changing expectations: on demand services, seamless shopping experiences, great cost-quality balance, personalised products, quick and hassle-free purchasing processes, to name but a few.

For these reasons, retailers are trying to understand their “new” audience and, at the same time, searching for new tools to engage with them.

Technology

The omnichannel experience in the retail industry might sound like an overrated buzzword, but it perfectly describes the new way customers are now shopping: using every kind of option available, from apps to smart TVs to social media. Millennials, especially, like to take advantage of the variety of online tools and they have started to bringing to the retailers’ attention new shopping channels, such as voice search, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). According to Euclid’s report*, “as the most connected generation ever, Millennials are savvy, skeptical, and filled with information about almost everything. They want authenticity and engaging experiences. So, if you want to catch their attention, immersive experiences that blend technology, personalization, and price is the way to do it”. Whether online or in-store, the Millennial market is set to greatly transform retail dynamics, connecting the physical and digital to create a new, all-in-one immersive experience.

The changing retail landscape does not end with Millennials, the “mobile pioneers”. Gen Z, currently in their early/mid teens, are set to change things further. As “mobile natives”, they are the first generation not to have lived without technology including, smartphones and social media. They are practical and quick shoppers, they trust influencers more than traditional advertising, love to be part of the product development rather than simply getting personalised items and, of course, tend to go digital when it comes to payment. Although they have just started to enter the retail market, this consumer group already have huge purchasing power and they will certainly reshape the future retail experience.

New stores

Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods clearly shows that brick and mortar stores are not dying, but transforming. A PushON study reveals that “over 52% of shoppers in the UK believe that retailers need to offer a more seamless experience between online and offline commerce to retain their custom.” Physical and digital stores can no longer be approached as two separated entities: the convergence between the two is inevitable and will create a positive outcome for both online and physical retailers.  Consumers will continue to shift between online and offline solutions, where the lines are now blurred, whilst retailers can maximise their knowledge of their audience.

Data and personalisation

Consumers are becoming “hyper-informed”, they often know more about a product than the sales assistants do, have clear expectations and demand tailored experiences, based on their needs and preferences. This is why personalisation is becoming crucial for retailers and will become more advanced than ever in the next years. Which begs the question: how will this trend move forward? The answer is simple – personalisation will be bolstered and driven by the development of Big Data, Machine Learning and AI. Data-driven retail solutions are set to be the future: data allows retailers to create customised products and unique shopping experiences to perfectly suit each customer.

Social media

Social media is about to become the shopping mall of the future. In fact, social channels are already generating new audiences for retailers that need to adapt their sales strategies, ways of communicating and tone of voice to meet and engage with consumers. This is a huge challenge, but also a great opportunity for both retailers and consumers. sCommerce can be a powerful tool for retailers that embrace social media as an opportunity to generate a conversation with consumers, in order to know more about each other and inspire a wide range of new potential consumers.

Retailers are aware that the future will depend on whether they can transform themselves, by adapting to changing consumer demands or remaining the same. New companies certainly have more time to tailor and experiment with new concepts, without having to change the core of the brand. In any case, reinvention will be the key.

*Euclid, “Can Retailers Adapt to Modern Consumer Expectations?

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

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, 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.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

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The post The ever-changing face of retail: future challenges and opportunities appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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According to research and reports, men’s fashion is a growing market segment and men are an interesting target group. They increasingly do have a clothing budget, are quite demanding, prove to be somewhat less sensitive to price and promotion, more to brands.

Exactly the kind of customers you would like to welcome in your stores, don’t you think? Then why is it, that the men’s department is still being given a stepmotherly treatment by many well-known fashion retailers?

Okay, in these times you can’t simply get away with gender stereotypes. “The” man does not exist. Yet, a question that fascinates me is, for example, why family fashion stores invariably hide the men’s department somewhere in the back. As an impatient male shopper you have to search (because the signaling is rarely clear) past the women’s department, the children’s department and – really! – the lingerie department to end up somewhere in the basement or on the second floor.

It’s as much as saying: “Hey, why don’t you just go home, get your laptop and shop online?” This seems to be the policy at all the big names in the industry: COS, Zara, H&M, C&A, Primark, New Look, Esprit… exceptions are hard to find. And you know what? Some of these retailers have been publishing weak results lately, because they struggle with e-commerce. Exactly.

If you know that most men are totally uninterested in women’s and children’s clothing, do not intend to spend a lot of time in the store, usually shop on their own, and know very well in advance what they’re looking for, why would a retailer do something like that? The logical decision would be to simply place the men’s department at the entrance. Come in, make your choice efficiently, pay and leave. Ready, steady, go. You don’t need artificial intelligence to see that, just common sense. Wouldn’t you think?

Well, apparently not. Someone smarter than me should explain this someday. I might miss part of the story. But those retailers might miss something too: sales, I’m afraid. What do you think?

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

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, 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.

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The post Do fashion retailers understand how men shop? appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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Online is the next frontier for luxury brands. It’s where luxury brands can find their next path to growth, but for a variety of reasons they have been notoriously slow to follow it. As an industry steeped in heritage and tradition, change doesn’t come naturally to it, but in today’s dynamically changing consumer market, that is exactly what luxury brands must do.

While luxury brands have accepted that they must market online, they have been much slower to accept that they must sell there as well. That remains its stumbling block.

“A big part of luxury brands’ hesitance to embrace sales online has been how to keep that luxury aspect of the brand, if it is so easily available,” says Lori Mitchell-Keller, Global General Manager, Consumer Industries at SAP. “Keeping that perceived cache of luxury in the online world have made them slow to migrate there.”

But migrate sales online is what they have to do for assure a prosperous future. Bain & Company recently reported online luxury sales growth is phenomenal, increasing by 24% in 2017. Yet it still accounts for only 9% of the total personal luxury goods market worldwide.

On the surface online’s less than 10% market share might not seem compelling, but the industry’s perception may not match the consumers’ reality. Compare that meager market share with luxury consumers’ preferences in where they like to shop and a totally different picture emerges.

In a global survey of affluent consumers with annual incomes of $150,000 per year, or equivalent, the Luxury Institute found that 21% of those surveyed prefer to shop luxury online, and another 27% had no preference between online or in-store shopping. Just shy of a majority of luxury consumers don’t shy away from doing so online, rather they actively embrace it.

Luxury brands will lose share if they are not able to interact in the way the world is changing and the way customers want to interact with them,” Mitchell-Keller maintains.

While heritage luxury brands drag their feet, plenty of others are jumping in unburdened by fears of losing their luxe on the internet. “We are seeing a lot of luxury brands being created online, companies like Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, Bonobos, that have much more of an online than physical presence,” Mitchell-Keller says. “And other more traditional brands, like Badgley Mischka and Gucci, have figured out how to create, maintain, even enhance their luxe cache online. There is no secret or easy answer how they’ve been able to do that, but it can and is being done.”

Two of these born on the internet brands, she notes, have recently been acquired by other companies – Yoox Net-a-Porter by Richemont and Bonobos by Walmart – and Farfetch has just signed deals with Fendi, Burberry and Chanel in advance of an expected IPO in NYC this coming November.Such deals are expected to pick up in the future, as Mitchell-Keller explains, “The main reason physical luxury brands are acquiring digital brands is because they haven’t figure out the online equation yet. They are looking for help to reach the digital customer.”Putting our heads together, we think these 5 brands best exemplify the future of luxury online.

Farfetch goes further

Founded in 2008 as a online luxury fashion platform, Farfetch is seamlessly blending in-store access to fashions across the globe with internet convenience. With offices in 11 fashion hubs, from which it offers same-day express delivery, it lists products from over 700 boutiques and fashion brands. It carries a multitude of heritage and emerging designer brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy and Chloé.

Having acquired the London-based Browns boutique in 2015, it used that platform to introduce its technology-enhanced “Store of the Future” concept that marries the digital and personal experience luxury shoppers desire.

Given its chops in digital luxury marketing, Farfetch also initiated a white label digital service called “Farfetch Black and White” for brands that want to use its platform to power their own branded online presence.

Numerous heritage brands are coming on board in one way or another, including Burberry to list all inventory in its marketplace, Fendi for customized handbags, Gucci for 90-minute delivery service, and most recently Chanel.

But tellingly, Chanel was quick to point out that its Farfetch partnership will not include selling fashion online, rather using its proprietary in-store technology for physical retail. “We are not starting to sell Chanel on the Farfetch marketplace – I want to be very clear on that,” said Chanel’s president of fashion Bruno Pavlovky in announcing the deal. To which Mitchell-Keller asks, “How much share will they lose while they are trying to figure online out?”

Such reluctance to embrace full-on digital access for customers is indicative of an industry attitude that has to change to ensure a vibrant future. It is ridiculous for a brand like Chanel to force its 21stcustomers to shop like they did back in the 80s.

Net-a-Porter brings it

Just acquired by Richemont following a merger with YOOX in 2015, Net-a-Porter founded in 2000 takes a more heavily content-driven strategy than its closest competitor, Farfetch. But like Farfetch it offers white label digital support to designer brands through its YNAP platform which Richemont says will continue to operate as a separate entity. Nonetheless, it will make strange bedfellows, since YNAP operates flagship online stores for many competitive Kering brands, including Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, and YSL.

While Mitchell-Keller admires Net-a-Porter, she thinks its Outnet website that offers discounted fashions in flash-sale format is especially in tune with how the next generation wants to shop. “My son, who is totally a millennial, had me logon to order a pair of gold Nike shoes, which I understand are status items for the college crowd. So here we are logged in at midnight for the countdown and find out we are #500 in line to order. It is such a different experience than I am used to where luxury brands pamper you in the store, but millennials don’t necessarily want that. They want this,” she says.

Outnet makes it fun for millennials. It is fast, it’s limited, it’s accessible and it’s cheaper.

Bonobos shows men how to wear it

Bonobos is one of those born on the internet luxury brands, or near-luxury for those who want to quibble, that have captured the loyalty of affluent men shoppers, a hard demographic to attract into the store. It’s achieved that by not just selling clothes, but showing men how to dress fashionably. It is also helped by offering casual-luxe styles that modern men favor.

“I’m intrigued by the way Bonobos shows their clothes,” says Mitchell-Keller. “It’s not just a guy standing there like on most websites. You can see the movement and men interacting with each other. It is a much different experience than just going online and seeing picture after picture of clothes. It’s engaging.”

As a result, Bonobos caught the eye of a big company suitor, Walmart, which acquired the company last year, and with it a thought-leader in the next generation of retail fashion, Andy Dunn who joins another ecommerce powerhouse, Marc Lore, at Walmart to give it a leg up into new internet markets.

While Walmart just announced that its recent quarterly online sales growth slowed, up only 23% compared to a year ago vs. the 50% growth enjoyed throughout the first nine months of the year, it continues to project a 40% uptick through the rest of the year, with Bonobos and a recently announced online partnership with Lord & Taylor showing that this low-end leader aspires to reach higher.

Badgley Mischka dresses its models with tech

While the Badgley Mischka brand has long maintained a vibrant online ecommerce presence, co-owner and co-designer James Mischka is described by Mitchell-Keller as a “technology geek.” Being as attuned to tech as fashion, he partnered with SAP to create a runway app for the recent New York Fashion Week where those in the audience could vote on each look as it walked down the runway. “In 9 minutes they got feedback that usually takes them 6 months to get,” she says.

The results were eye opening for the company which discovered that a dress they hadn’t thought would make much of a splash turned out to be the #2 most popular look, allowing the company to place sufficient orders to get it into the stores in record time.

The audience in turn loved the ability to get all the fashion details on their phones instantaneously. The models loved it, who were back stage reading the results and competing to see whose look scored highest. And the other designers at show were envious and lined up afterwards to get an app for their next runway show.

Thinking about new ways consumers can interact and engage with a luxury brand is what makes Badgley Mischka an important luxury brand for the future. “Too many luxury brands aren’t thinking about the technology. They are thinking about product, which is important, but they have to understand how their brand is being consumed differently than it used to be consumed,” Mitchell-Keller notes.

Gucci breaks out of the luxury culture

And we can’t finish our look at luxury online without mentioning Gucci. In an interview on CNBC,  Kering’s chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said its Gucci brand is doing about 50% of its sales with millennials. In recognition of its online success, L2 Research, which specializes in data-driven analysis, gave its top spot for best performing digital fashion brand to Gucci in 2016 and 2017.

I’ve written extensively about Gucci, but suffice to say that Gucci’s success online is thanks to Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri giving free reign to its young creative director Alessandro Michele, who understands how to connect with this digitally-native generation. Thus Gucci has broken out of the inbred, digitally-adverse culture that plagues so many other luxury brands.

In conclusion, Mitchell-Keller and I see a whole digital transformation that is going to happen in luxury, just as it has happened in other markets. While we recognize that the experience of in-store shopping, and the pampering luxury consumers can find there, isn’t going to be replaced by digital engagement, customers today value the luxury of convenience that online delivers too.

“The time issue is a huge one,” Mitchell-Keller concludes. “It’s not just that everyone is now on social media. Everybody also has huge demands on their time. It’s a very different world than 20 years ago when these brands started to become popular. Luxury brands have to adapt to the way that consumers want to interact with their product now, and that increasingly is going to be online.”

Originally published on https://unitymarketingonline.com

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

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, 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.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

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The post Luxury’s Online Future Revealed in 5 Brands appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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As with anything digital, e-commerce is constantly changing. While many things can be learnt “on the job”, the opportunity to explore new territories is not always there.

Thankfully, here is how keeping up with e-commerce trends through professional training can boost your career development goals.

1. Staying relevant in an-ever changing field

Because digital professionals cannot (and should not) solely rely on skills they acquired once upon a time, professional training is their best option for staying relevant in their jobs. By taking up courses, e-commerce professionals can gain:

  • In-depth knowledge of the e-commerce market

General knowledge is the best way of understanding the world in which we live in. It helps us see beyond our own selves and adapt. The same applies to business. By keeping up with the market’s latest developments, professionals and business owners can learn about current trends and apply them to their e-commerce strategy.

Market knowledge is also a great way of getting acquainted with and applying best practices, the do’s and don’ts of the job. Because trends, algorithms and overall business models are constantly evolving, best practices from 2014 are different from 2018, and are significantly different from one industry to the other – despite core principals remaining the same. Training programmes and certifications are designed to bring professionals up to speed and, even better, give them insight into trends to come so they can apply forward-thinking strategies.

Insight into the e-commerce market is also the best way of putting a strategy into perspective and fitting it into a wider context. For instance, it can help learn about other businesses’ strategies and take inspiration from their success stories or, on the contrary, learn from their mistakes.

  • Understanding of protocols

Knowledge of the e-commerce market is a great stepping stone. But before embarking on a journey to learn new skills and alter a business’s current strategy, there is a vital step that many are oblivious to: legal contexts and digital protocols. Thankfully, training programmes are there to enlighten us.

Having thorough knowledge of the various rules and regulations of an e-commerce business is crucial. Handling personal data, bank details and transactions is not to be taken lightly. Professional training programmes always dedicate a chapter to data protection, national and international regulations (GDPR being the most recent example), as well as digital protocols on security measures such as Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.

  • Development of valuable skills

Of course, professional training is valuable in gaining new skills or improving on existing ones. Professionals can choose from a variety of courses covering a wide range of skills and methods.

One of the most challenging skills to master is market research and business strategy. No business can do without them and yet most of them lack the necessary expertise. Training in these disciplines is ideal for those who wish to evolve from an instrumental role to a decision-making one.

Businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of customer loyalty, which is why branding skills are essential in retaining customers as well as seeking new ones. This explains why training programmes in brand reputation management are increasingly popular. They include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media marketing and content marketing, among others.

One of the most significant trends at the moment is growth hacking, which is very popular among start-ups. Because many established businesses are unclear on what growth hacking means, many e-commerce professionals are missing out on the opportunity of acquiring new users and boosting sales at an incredible pace.

A final example of valuable e-commerce skills that can be acquired through training is marketing automation. E-commerce professionals have so much on their plates, the pressure to hit sales target as well as qualitative nurturing of the customer base can be overwhelming. Marketing automation is quite simply the ability to use automation software for repetitive tasks. Learning how to do so can make space for other tasks such strategizing and researching how to improve business performance.

2. Improve performance at work

Keeping up to date with the latest developments in e-commerce can help overcome weaknesses and learn new skills. In any case, not only does professional training boost personal performance, it can also improve team performance.

Thanks to the knowledge and skills acquired through professional training, an employee can introduce its team to unexplored concepts or methods, as well as encourage strategic conversations to optimise team work and results. These conversations can become vital turning points for a team that has either been stuck in its processes for some time or has thus far been oblivious to new trends and methods.

Thanks to the awareness of trends brought by training, companies have recognised the value of disciplines such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing.

Of course, when an employee brings new methods and skills to the conversation and helps their team (and company) perform better, management satisfaction is a logical outcome.

3. Move up the corporate ladder

Certifications are an official acknowledgment of skills. Professional training gives e-commerce professionals more leverage for career development because of their superior knowledge of digital trends. Trained professionals can therefore apply to better paying jobs, take on more responsibility within a team or renegotiate a salary.

Certifications are also decisive in taking a higher position within the company or a new one. As a matter of fact, employees who seek to take on a lead or management role most often turn to professional training to enhance their employability.

If you think you and your company could benefit from additional skills, speak to your manager about your company’s training and funding schemes.

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

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the 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.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, 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.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

www.parisretailweek.com

The post E-commerce: why professional training can lead you and your team to the top appeared first on Blog Paris Retail Week.

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