IFA International – DAY 4 Edition

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Watching New Channels

It is evident that all retailers visiting IFA 2017 already have roadmaps for the season and indeed years to come. Much like with a GPS however, from time to time, one’s route has to be recalculated, based on new ways to the end destination.

IFA is a great platform for exchange between top players in the market on both the supply and distribution sides of the coin, not to mention watching what the neighbours are doing.

Retailers can recalculate their company roadmaps based on new information or innovative ideas, and by the same token, vendors can change their roadmaps based on important feedback from the retailers. It is now evident that consumers are increasingly in need of detailed advice in-store, due to the onset of smart home – and other “connected” technologies, which are still far from being “plug & play”.

The only way to really ensure successful installations on a broader scale is to increasingly employ in-store and roving experts who are able to help buyers understand the whys and wherefores of this new gear. Along with the concept of omni-channel and / or multichannel, it’s a change in paradigm for retailers – who now have to consider staff restructuring, training and – in some cases – the use of external resources in order to meet the real needs of the customer.

In some cases, important restructuring is also taking place, such as the case of Dixons Carphone over the past year or so, or the creation last year of Fnac Darty in France, which has now been made even more interesting with the inclusion of Ceconomy in the game. More of the same is no doubt due to come … so as they say, “watch this channel”!