Paris Retail Week 2018: a celebration of the Smart Phygital

The fourth edition of Paris Retail Week brought together players in physical and online retailing. Europe’s biggest 360° event came to an end on 12th September, after three days of emphasis on the 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 retailing, a sector that is constantly evolving.

Paris Retail Week 2018 figures:

  • 34,804 professional visitors
  • Over 700 exhibitors and 436 speakers
  • The participation of major retail players including; Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Adidas and JD.com.
  • 18,340 conference participants
  • 1184 Business Meetings set up
  • 10 prizes awarded at the Paris Retail Awards
  • 2 Paris Retail Tours in the capital’s most innovative retail outlets
  • #ParisRetailWeek trended on Twitter 10th and 11th September

Smart Phygital: a game-changer in retailing today

Arnaud Gallet, Director of Paris Retail Week, commented: “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”.

The season’s flagship event highlighted this increasingly topical union via the solutions on offer, professional feedback and personal experience.

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) technologies 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.

Looking ahead to 2019…

Paris Retail Week 2019 is set to be the festival of online retailing, providing visitors with a unique and original experience. The event will bring together professionals in digital retailing and marketing in a new, more experiential format from 24th to 26th September 2019, at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. The participants will take a fresh look at 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. We hope to see many of you there!

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