Shoptalk Europe brought 3,000 decision makers together across three days in Barcelona.  Our president, Sarah Engel, who also serves as a board member emeritus and strategic advisory for Shoptalk, was in attendance, speaking on stage and meeting with a variety of C-suite executives on their biggest challenges and opportunities. 

A few key themes emerged that will benefit retail, CPG and brand leaders in every market:

Technology
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3 were among the popular topics of conversation at Shoptalk Europe. Conversations were centered around how to use technology to improve supply chain efficiencies and the future of AI.

    • Ben Miller, Shoptalk’s Director of Original Content, shared his key takeaways from his session - Executive Perspectives on the Future of Grocery and FMCG with Giorgio Busnelli, Director, Consumer Goods Europe for Amazon. On trading relationships, he confirmed that Amazon will continue to invest in AI & ML to engage with vendors through a combination of automation and human intervention, calling out product design and innovation where human engagement is key.
    • Emma McFerran, CEO of Lyst, discussed how they are utilizing AI, machine learning, and advanced algorithms in order to grow the online fashion marketplace. McFerran discussed how data is the backbone of Lyst and that the company collects 15 million data points daily in order to create personalized experiences for their shoppers. 
    • CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, Deborah Weinswig, spoke about Web3 and how it can be used to improve supply chain processes. Weinswig presented a framework for adding Web3 to supply chains and how it can improve transparency, trackability, and enhance labor efficiencies across the supply chain.  

 

Call it omnichannel, unified commerce or connected commerce - it is the current and future reality
Following the pandemic, there has become a larger emphasis on in-store shopping experiences, and the importance of integrating online with in-store shopping as seamlessly as possible.

    • Global Retail Lead & UK Head of Retail for KMPG, Paul Martin, brought up that day one of Shoptalk Europe the keyword was “unified commerce.” When you look at these pulled together, retailers and brands need to unify their channels, how they engage, and the experience provided. Consumers expect a seamless experience.
    • Krystina Gustafson, SVP of Content at Shoptalk, spoke about integrating technology into in-store shopping in order to make it more convenient and engaging. She emphasized the importance of creating a frictionless shopping experience that allows customers to combine in-store and online shopping with ease. The example she provided was having a dedicated online pick up section within the store. 

 

Organizational Changes 
The retail environment was drastically changed by the pandemic and continues to evolve in reaction to continued growth in technology. Across Shoptalk Europe we saw many speakers discuss the reaction to these changes and the importance of organizational structures being updated to best function in the current market place.

    • Neil Reynolds, VP Global Digital Commerce at Mars Wrigley touched on the topic on the needs of changes to organizational structure and spoke about how Mars created a new position of chief growth officer to replace the CMO in an attempt to break down segmentation across the company. 
    • Henry Stupp, President EMEA & India for Authentic Brands Group, who spoke on stage with Sarah, gave the advice to hire someone that is one part marketer, one part supply chain expert, one part economist and one part political scientist to navigate the next few years in this diverse EMEA market.

 

Sustainability
Consumers are becoming more and more focused on sustainability and want to see companies integrate it in an authentic and meaningful way. We saw this highlighted at day one of Shoptalk Europe with the below: 

    • In her panel with our president, Ayla Ziz, SVP of Global Sales & Chief Customer Officer, Danone has committed to cutting methane emissions on dairy products by 30% by 2030, and 82% of their children’s products are now considered healthy after reformulation - amongst many other environmental and community initiatives.
    • Interested in doing the same? Here are some tips to succeed: 
      • Must link the goals to company performance 
      • This takes collaboration and creativity (with retailers, manufacturers, local markets) to find “win-win-win” solutions 
      • What gets measured gets done – KPIs must be in place against environmental efforts and commit to them

 

Shoptalk Europe conversations centered around how to pursue growth in a marketplace impacted by the pandemic, current economic conditions, and ever-changing technologies. The importance of utilizing technology in order to provide consumer personalization, enhance in-store shopping, and help develop omnichannel shopping was at the forefront of discussions. 

While better catering to current consumer demands was top of mind over the three days, the conference also focused on internal organizational changes and the new shape of organizations to better suit today’s needs. 

We loved hearing from all the industry leaders, and look forward to participating in Shoptalk Europe again next year! 

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