In this article, we’re diving into the exciting world of retail and exploring some of the insights gathered from EuroShop 2023, the World's No. 1 Retail Trade Fair, which took place in Dusseldorf, Germany. Members of our team, including Conor Dunne and our Design Director Paul Lowry were on the ground at the event, soaking up knowledge and immersing themselves in all things retail.
From latest trends and developments in the industry, to sustainability, emerging technologies and more. So, let's get started and discover what EuroShop 2023 had to offer!
As expected, sustainability was a key theme of the fair, with many exhibitors showcasing products and services designed to help retailers reduce their environmental impact. From energy-efficient refrigeration systems to sustainable store designs and materials. Among the sustainable solutions presented at the event are recycled paper and cardboards that can be used to display materials or products, or even to produce fine furniture, stands, and semi-realistic and artistic designs.
With the increasing demand for sustainable solutions in the retail industry, the use of solar panels to generate clean energy is increasing. This was evident at EuroShop where solar panels were showcased as a solution for powering not only e-bikes, but also smart trolleys. By incorporating solar panels into operations, retailers can reduce their carbon footprint and also lower their energy costs. The display of solar panels highlights the versatility of these panels and their potential to provide sustainable energy solutions for various retail applications.
There was a notable trend towards more sustainable solutions across the board, including the use of refill stations, made from recycled materials, or materials from previous projects. While this approach is commendable for its eco-friendliness, there can be some challenges. For instance, sourcing product from specific suppliers can be limiting and it may be difficult to ensure a consistent supply. Nonetheless, the display of refill stations made from recycled or repurposed materials demonstrated a commitment to sustainable practices and highlighted the potential for innovative solutions to reduce waste within retail.
The use of biomaterials in retail is a rapidly growing trend, as sustainable alternatives to traditional materials. One example of this is the use of sunflower leftovers for application in interior spaces. These materials can be used to develop a range of products such as shelves, communications, displays and more. Sunflower leftovers are an excellent choice for biomaterials because they are abundant, and easily sourced. Additionally, they are biodegradable and have a low environmental impact.
Technology and innovation also featured prominently throughout the show, with exhibitors showcasing the latest advancements in digital displays, AI technology, and other cutting-edge solutions. All designed to enhance the customer experience and streamline retail operations, from AR shopping systems to inventory management software. By incorporating these technologies into their operations, retailers can gain valuable insights into their customers behaviours and preferences and optimise their operations for maximum efficiency.
Smart trolley technology is an innovative solution designed to enhance retail shopping experiences. The technology works by integrating smart sensors and cameras into shopping trolleys, which enables real-time tracking of products and customer behaviour. In addition, smart trolley technology personalises the shopping experience by using artificial intelligence to understand customer preferences and suggest relevant products, promotions, and discounts in real-time. This helps customers find items they are interested in quickly and efficiently, while reducing the time spent searching for products.
Another exciting technology showcases customer affinity-based product selection. This innovative approach allows customers to use a smart digital display to select the type of products for example watches that reflects their lifestyle. Ranging from sporty to luxurious, rustic, colour preferences, materials and technology. When a customer selects one or more of these options, the watch that matches their preferences light up on the display counter. This technology enables the retailer to offer a more personalised shopping experience, where a customer can quickly and easily find the product that best suit their needs. This technology demonstrated by Garmin shows how advancements in AI and digital displays can elevate the shopping experience.
Brand activation with AR, software that enables retailers to engage their customers in a new way. One such activation involves encouraging customers to interact with the brand by taking a picture of a dream holiday destination adding an element of fun and personalisation to the shopping experience. Another example of using this technology is that customers for a beverage brand can interact with the AR display to get their favourite cocktail recipe by email. By leveraging AR technology, retailers can create unique and memorable interactions with their customers, enhancing brand recognition and customer loyalty.
Lighting and displays are essential parts of any retail environment and projection mapping utilises both. This innovative approach involves projecting images or video onto an object or surface, creating a more dynamic visual experience for customers. In a retail environment this approach can be used to create more engaging and interactive displays disrupting the shopper on their journey. For example, projection mapping can be used to showcase products in an innovative way but also highlight their key features and benefits. Projection mapping is highly adaptable and can be applied in a range of retail environments.
Retail design was another major focus of the fair, with exhibitors showcasing the latest trends and innovations in store design, visual merchandising, and product display. From interactive displays to immersive food counter displays, the show trade provided a wide range of ideas and solutions for creating a memorable in-store experiences.
Innovative retail concepts for displaying. During the show, IMS We show food presented a "Hot Food Rotation Display". With a rotation system display that makes it easy for the customers to get their products without moving. Another example is Flex serve units which hold hot food for hours, without impacting on the aesthetic of the food. Hot holding with ease.
We were super impressed with the team at Paul & Ernst who deliver boundless possibilities with their street bike solutions; easily adjusted to suit every type of environment. Their bikes are completely bespoke and can be modified to suit a mobile bar with a battery-run refrigerator or dispensing system to easily turn any location into an outdoor coffee shop or beer garden. They also produce cooking bikes, which run on gas. A fully independent mobile kitchen!
We also loved the Heimgart indoor gardening system, which allows customers to collect fresh greens and herbs from the vertical shelves. The system is specially designed for planting microgreens. It works completely without soil, additional watering and green thumb. Watered only once, the first leaves from the seedlings sprout after just a few days.
Also a few more innovative and inspiring retail design ideas that did catch our eyes. These ideas range from nature, art, lighting and technology to create a seamless and cohesive shopping experience for your customers.
In addition to the Expo EuroShop 2023, our team had the chance to attend an extensive program of seminars and lectures. These seminars were incredibly insightful and informative, covering everything from the latest retail trends to consumer behaviour - some for instances.
EuroShop 2023 was a remarkable event that showcased the latest innovations and trends in the retail industry. Along with a focus on sustainability, technology and retail design. As designers, we came away feeling inspired and excited about the potential of these new ideas. We are already incorporating what we learned into our designs and strategies. We can't wait to see how they will impact retail going forward. Interested in learning more about EuroShop 2023? Feel free to get in touch with us.