Kenneth Nisch

VM&RD - - CONTENTS -

EuroShop 2014, coined “the world’s largest re­tail trade fair,” is a chance to see the in­dus­try’s “What’s Next” and to dis­cover the ar­eas that global re­tail thought lead­ers have placed as pri­or­i­ties in the cre­ation of state-of-the-art ex­pe­ri­ences. Held in Dus­sel­dorf, Ger­many in Fe­bru­ary, more than 109,000 vis­i­tors from 110 na­tions at­tended the event to get an ex­ten­sive over­view of the lat­est in­dus­try de­vel­op­ments. With the con­stant drum of “In­ter­net and Ecom­merce” in to­day’s world, EuroShop re­in­forced how the shift from brick-and-mor­tar to on­line is ac­tu­ally not a threat, but rather a part­ner for be­com­ing con­sumer-cen­tric. These om­nichan­nel so­lu­tions help con­sumers un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween what is ex­pe­ri­en­tial ver­sus ef­fi­cient, or what is worth go­ing to ver­sus merely con­ve­nient? Ul­ti­mately, this part­ner­ship re­in­forces that both modes work, and work best in con­cert to­gether -- depend­ing on where your head is at, re­lated to the so­cial vs. prag­matic as­pects of shop­ping be­hav­ior. We thought the best way to ap­proach “What’s Next” is to share a recap of what the more than 2,000 ex­hibitors re­vealed.

1. Tech­nol­ogy

Not sur­pris­ing, tech­nol­ogy in­flu­ences the aes­thet­ics of EuroShop and its fu­tur­is­tic sen­si­bil­ity. Man­nequins, who through the use of state-of-the-art ro­bot­ics, have the abil­ity to be “refaced.” Their iden­ti­ties can be changed through a se­ries of face­plate op­tions that are re­moved and re­placed through a bal­let of ro­botic arms is but one ex­am­ple that is not only tech­ni­cal in na­ture, but as well, in­dica­tive of the in­flu­ence of tech­nol­ogy in ex­pe­ri­ence. The use of in­ter­ac­tive screens for in-store or­der­ing, cus­tomiza­tion, and to fa­cil­i­tate the brick-and-mor­tar space as a des­ti­na­tion, be­comes an en­vi­ron­ment that is not only about lo­gis­tics sup­ply (what it has to sell to­day), but as well, a por­tal to ex­panded of­fer­ings and per­son­al­ized goods. Clear LCD screens that cre­ate a se­ries of lay­ers sim­i­lar to what one would see within the scenes at the opera cre­ate a 3-D ef­fect. And of course el­e­ments such as 3-D projections, the use of avatars, and var­i­ous pro­jec­tion de­vices are all ex­am­ples of where tech­nol­ogy was at the fore­front.

2. Faux-to-Real

Be­cause of the en­hance­ment of pho­to­graphic tech­nol­ogy, 3-D print­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques, the ev­ery­day prag­matic ma­te­ri­als such as glass, porce­lain, tile, con­crete and acrylics can now take on a life­like sen­si­bil­ity, but with op­er­a­tionally-friendly re­sults. One of the best ex­am­ples is the ex­plo­sion of porce­lain sur­fac­ing ma­te­ri­als that ap­pear to have real­is­tic fea­tures wood, stone, and even pre­cious ma­te­ri­als such as lapis or onyx; do­ing so in a faux-to-real sen­si­bil­ity.

Kenneth Nisch, Chair­man, JGA

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