Equipmag’s Paris Retail Week focuses on retail innovation
Cash management and retail innovation were among the hot topics during the Paris Retail Week 2016
Cash management and retail innovation were among the hot topics during the Paris Retail Week 2016 show in mid-September. APG representatives attended the event, which drew more than 48,000 show-goers and about 1,000 companies.
While at the event, we had the opportunity to shake hands with other players in the retail and technology industries, and ask potential customers about their needs and how they plan to leverage technology to enhance the shopping experience.
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Cash management interest
Cash management sparked a lot of interest among show-goers, as evidence of the number of people who stopped by our booth wanting to discuss our solutions. We noticed other cash management players, our partner Glory Global Solutions among them, also drew a lot of attention. Cash management companies in attendance included established brands as well as new entrants in this space.
The interest in the technology confirms what we at APG have known for the last few years – that retailers are looking for solutions to automate cash handling, accelerate transactions, minimize time spent on cash counts, and free up staff to focus on customer-facing activities. Retailers need these solutions because, contrary to the predictions we’ve all been hearing for years of a cashless society, cash isn’t going away any time soon.
While the interest in cash management was clear, we noticed some uncertainty among retailers about what technologies to invest in next. Some seem to be struggling with finding the right balance between in-store and online investments, but others are prioritizing online and mobile projects.
New technologies – particularly in the mobile space – in recent years have modified shopping behaviors. Retail store operators understand this has caused a fundamental change and, therefore, are studying ways to keep their brick-and-mortar stores relevant through mobile connections and a strong internet presence.
They’re also trying to figure out how to leverage mobile POS solutions, NFC (Near Field Communications), Bluetooth and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to make the shopping experience more attractive to consumers who have grown to rely on e-commerce websites and mobile apps to do their shopping.
In-store innovations discussed at the show include an emphasis on WiFi and tablets for POS and inventory functions, smart fitting rooms with touchscreens connected to RFID tags on items in the store and, in some cases, connected to social media.
In addition, retailers are exploring ways to personalize marketing efforts. The idea is to have promotions more relevant to individual users to either attract them to stores or encourage them to click the “buy” button.
Customers are king
If there was a major take away from Retail Week, it’s that efforts to treat the customer like royalty are foremost in retailers’ minds. The question is just how to make that happen. There’s no shortage of options, be it mobile-based, online, in-store or a combination of all of them. Whichever way retailers decide to go, technology will be a big factor, and we will be ready to meet their cash management needs as they execute their strategies.