EuroCIS 2019 drew to a close in Düsseldorf on Thursday (21 February 2019).Over three days 482 exhibitors from 39 nations presented IT solutions for all areas of retail. More than 13,000 experts travelled to the Rhine to browse the ranges specifically tailored to retailers and their partners. This corresponds to a 10% increase in visitors hailing from some 94 nations.

“Like almost all sectors of industry, retail is also increasingly data driven. EuroCIS 2019 has impressively confirmed that technology has also become the driving factor for retailers as they vie for customers’ favour,” says Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, commenting on the success of EuroCIS 2019 and adds: “EuroCIS has become a spectacular success story over the past few years. In view of the general advances in digitalisation and the high degree of specialisation of EuroCIS we assume that it will be able to also follow on from this success in years to come.”

Particularly positive to note for the Düsseldorf trade fair organisers is the strong increase in international trade visitors. “We registered significant increases from non-European countries, i.e. especially from the Near and Middle East, Asia as well as South and Central America, including many first-time visitors,” remarks Elke Moebius, Global Head of Retail & Retail Technology at Messe Düsseldorf, and goes on to emphasise: “Also striking was the high decision-making capacity of the visitors as well as the increased time they spent at the event. This time many stayed two full days in Düsseldorf rather than just one.”

According to a study published by the EHI Retail Institute for EuroCIS 2019, retailers’ IT budgets continue to rise. They focus on projects that make retailers’ IT infrastructures future-proof; however, the optimisation of merchandise information systems and omnichannel solutions also ranked at the very top of retailers’ to-do lists.

“EuroCIS is the most important hotspot for decision makers in the national and international retail industry. It is enormously important as a networking, innovation and trend platform,” comments Ulrich Spaan, member of the board at the EHI Retail Institute, and explains: “One of the key retail trends that EuroCIS 2019 reflected is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In addition, self checkout, payment methods and the Internet of Things (IoT) played a prominent role at the trade fair. Chatbots, for example, use Artificial Intelligence to communicate with shoppers while the IoT is a valuable tool in data analytics for retailers.”

Supporting the exhibits, both the EuroCIS Forum and the Omnichannel Forum registered high attendance levels and provided plenty of inspirations for IT managers in retail with practical insights as well as lectures on innovations. The Start-up hub, in turn, also scored points with creative ideas at its second edition. “The Stage” – a forum embedded in the Start-up hub for the first time where newcomers introduced themselves to the expert audience and discussed their solutions.

Trending topics around the show included Omnichannel, self-checkout, AI and IoT and the importance of frictionless transactions.  

The next EuroCIS will be held as part of EuroShop 2020, The World’s No 1 Retail Trade Fair, in Düsseldorf from 16 to 20 February 2020.