More than 700 exhibitors and 436 speakers engaged with 34,804 visitors at this year’s Paris Retail Week in September. The show brought together players in physical and online retailing, with a key emphasis on ‘smart phygital’. Through exhibitor stands, conferences, keynotes and the Paris Retail Awards ceremony, retail professionals had the chance to share their experiences and discuss the trends in the constantly evolving retail sector.

‘With the key theme of the 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,’ says Arnaud Gallet, director of Paris Retail Week.

Speaking at the Paris Retail Awards, host Céline Del Genes, football concept to consumer global vice president at Adidas and president of the judging jury, said: ‘The market is experiencing a dynamic period thanks to digital transformation and a wide range of new technological solutions. The jury appreciated the diversity of the competing projects, and the debates were fascinating. This energy is definitely reflected in the prize list at the Paris Retail Awards 2018!’

Gallet added: ‘Retailers are aware of the new issues in their sector and the importance of taking on board solutions that are adapted to the market. This is why they are attentive to the innovations on offer all through the season, especially since they have the backing of the profession. The Paris Retail Awards are a part of this recognition approach, with the aim of providing a real guarantee of credibility.’

Using digital technology, it is now possible to customise any object (3D printing, engraving, etc.) and enjoy more customised purchasing experiences. The purchasing path, from beginning to end, is now an integration of everyday life: consumers are seeking support in daily life for greater ease and comfort for e.g, shopping on-the-go. There has been a breakthrough in personal assistance services, both online, in-store and even at home. Thanks to the roll-out of NLP (Natural Language Processing), intelligent virtual assistants 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 along with another trend ecological retailing, where 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.

The 2019 show takes place on 24-26 September at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. Topics discussed will include the most current digital issues: devising a flexible and agile customer experience, incorporating the new means of payment, adopting durable logistics, optimising the use of marketplaces, redefining the marketing approach, making the best use of data and managing multi-channel sales. To find out more visit www.parisretailweek.com

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