Consumer Electronics – the art of interacting with your customers
CJ Retail Solutions’ global account manager, Tom Griffin, highlights some of the latest trends showcased at this year’s MPV event.
It’s always a pleasure to travel across to our neighbours in France, particularly for such key-calendar dates as the MPV expo in Paris, which is now in its fourth year.
Showcasing the latest trends and innovations from the retail sector, the expo brought together thousands of retail design firms, marketeers and POS manufacturers to share their thoughts on the future of retail.
The retail sector is evolving at a rapid pace and with that, comes fresh challenges for those operating within it. Sustainability has been a key pressure point for many over the years and that’s as true in retail as any other market. Speakers from various companies discussed the news that many manufacturers are now making moves to incorporate sustainability into their strategies – from the complex manufacturing processes and distribution, to product maintenance.
In line with these industry changes, some demonstrated innovative display units that were re-usable and made from recycled products – a refreshing sign of things to come. Interestingly, European POS design firm, STI Group, showcased a corrugated cardboard display unit. Unique to the product was its lightweight, yet stable structure and its space saving properties. Its collapsible design meant that over 40% less material was used – a brave step from the installation firm, which provides solutions for some of Europe’s most established brands.
Though interest was taken towards sustainability within the industry, discussion of course turned to the digital sector, an increasingly important part of physical retail. Delegates from the likes of Clarins, Colgate and Johnson & Johnson, weighed up the future of online channels, notably with the use of interactive shop windows, 3D design and interactive screens. As this growth in the online retail sector remains, brands are searching for new ways to stand out from the pack with fresh innovations in their displays and in-store marketing strategies.
One particular example of increasing customer engagement through digital methods, is a new development from KYLII KIDS, a French in-store solution firm focussed on creating family-friendly retail environments. With more than 20 million families now estimated in France – approximately over 80% of its population – it’s a fundamental part of many brands’ clientele today. KYLII presented a multisensory brand experience for its shoppers by incorporating a totally immersive augmented reality game into its display units; helping to keep the children occupied with interactive, yet educational activities.
KYLII has worked with major brands such as Leclerc, Intermarche and Kiabi, to help meet the expectations of families who regularly visit retail outlets.
Brands such as 62 Ruby Street and HL Display France demonstrated their reliance on online applications, through mobile phones or tablets built into display units, known as ‘digital shelf communication’, a technique proven to increase in-store purchases and built to suit a demanding commercial environment.
As the global retail industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, it will be interesting to see these innovations in practice. Records have indicated that by 2040, 95% of purchases will be facilitated by e-commerce and although the online sector continues to dominate this industry, it is evident that there is great ambition to drive forward sustainable supply chains.
Though there is no certainty about the changing landscape of retail, I believe that products such as these demonstrate active efforts to improve the wellbeing, and future, of the industry.