The NFR 2019 Retail’s Big Show was recently held in New York , the most important global event dedicated to brands in the retail sector, which gathered over 37,000 participants and 700 exhibitors, with testimonials from many companies in different sectors.
Criteo could not miss and wanted to extend the invitation to some customers, including La Redoute, Fnac, Carrefour, Blokker, Asos and Beymen, sharing the experience and participation in conferences and workshops on the most innovative tools in the retail sector.
In retail, digital transformation is constantly accelerating
The event was an opportunity for many announcements by ICT vendors and also a showcase of successful digital transformation experiences, confirming that digital technologies will be the absolute protagonists in the future of retail. The applications are multiple, online and in-store, in an omnichannel perspective : on the marketing and sales front, to personalize the customer experience and improve customer engagement; on the supply chain and back office processes, with the aim of improving margins and overall efficiency; in stores, to create the shop of the future, which is already a reality.
According to a study conducted in July 2018 by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP, around 81% of the most innovative retailers have started or completed their digital transformation, and are making major investments in marketing, customer engagement, sales and the chain supply and merchandising.
Respondents consider the Internet of Things (88%), real-time analytics (86%) and machine learning / Artificial Intelligence (84%) as technologies of primary importance for retail transformation. The study focuses on the importance of software in the cloud: while on the one hand retailers are at the forefront of adopting as-a-service software, on the other the sector is still at the early stages of end-to-process migration -end in the cloud. 92% say that the digitalization of business processes supported by software in the cloud would improve their ability to digitally transform the entire ecosystem.
The primary objective of the retailers is the knowledge of the customers and this involves collecting data, online and offline, to then analyze them and activate actions related to certain events such as personalized emails, web pages, or promotions. We need to better understand the habits and needs of consumers and offer personalized recommendations throughout the customer journey, both in-store and online, guaranteeing security and privacy.
Innovation at the Dr Martens store
An interesting experience enhanced by the Artificial Intelligence presented at the New York event is that of Dr Martens, the well-known British shoe brand, which together with Microsoft and Hitachi has innovated the customer experience in the store with a solution that helps staff to know who it is inside the store at all times, providing real-time context information (such as the number of people, age, gender, as well as deductions about intentions and opinions, sales dashboards). The goal is to offer a personalized service focused on the priorities of the moment and to understand the flow and movements of people in the store, to improve mobility, optimize the use of space and product placement also in other stores, and accelerate the purchase routes.
Fujitsu’s smart dressing rooms
Fujitsu also presented to the NFR an example of using Artificial Intelligence within the store, which brings benefits both to buyers and retailers.
It is about the experience of the fitting rooms. It is a solution that allows customers to obtain information about the items they are trying on without having to leave the dressing room, thanks to an app that allows them to request different sizes or colors to try. The requests are forwarded directly to the wearable devices of the clerks.
Bata, complete visibility of the Supply Chain
Oracle presented a project created for Bata, the global footwear retailer that serves more than one million customers a day, through a network of over 5,300 points of sale in 70 countries. The goal is to improve the efficiency of its supply chain, while improving the customer experience in the stores thanks to the possibility of more accurately planning the assortments and offering the consumer the right product at the right time at the right point of sale, allowing the sales staff guarantee customers a better experience with a more modern POS system.
Criteo’s commitment in the field of Artificial Intelligence is witnessed by the creation last year of the Criteo AI Lab , a center of excellence dedicated to the creation, testing and large-scale implementation of machine learning technology.