Christmasworld, from 24 to 28 January 2020, is focusing its product range on the success factor: customer experience at the point of sale. But how can retailers reach out to customers before they make any decision to purchase? How can their interest be awakened? And what different types of buyers are there? Together with the Institute for Retail Research (Institut für Handelsforschung - IFH) in Cologne, the Retail Boulevard (BLVD) 2020 will focus on the 'customer journey', by illustrating in different stores the steps towards the purchasing impulse and good customer relationships.

Customers primarily place importance in stores on comfortable shopping, good service and the shopping experience. The Retail BLVD shows how different customer needs can be addressed, both online and offline. Last year, the team of FloralDaily was present to make a photo report of the Retail BLVD and Floradecora. Click here for the photo report.
Customers expect a broad product range, a digital presence, a feel-good atmosphere and a personal consultancy service from retail stores. This is highlighted by the current study from IFH Cologne, 'Structural Change in the Retail Sector: from the customer’s perspective', which was commissioned by Messe Frankfurt. In addition, the study identifies three different types of shoppers, who need primarily to be convinced they will get more convenience, service and a better experience in the wake of digitalisation. How retail shops can implement these success factors will be shown in the redesigned 'Retail BLVD', in Galleria 0 at Christmasworld. IFH Cologne has brought a large number of experts and service providers on board, who will inform us about how different customer needs can best be served, in three stores set up along a shopping street: the 'Social Media Playground House', the 'Convenience House' and the 'Experience House'.

"Last year we staged an attractive product combination of seasonal and floral decorations at the point of sale for five different kinds of retail stores. We’re now developing the Retail BLVD in terms of the different phases within the 'customer journey'. In 2020, we’re bringing customer interest into focus as a first step and gearing ourselves to the needs of experience-, convenience- and service-oriented types of shoppers. Working with our partners IFH Cologne, we are concerned with solutions for the retail trade which can be simply and quickly implemented", says Eva Olbrich, Director of Christmasworld, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH.

In each store, experts from IFH Cologne with invite you to interact – with short presentations, explanations, and live demonstrations, for example about seasonal window dressings that can be quickly implemented and modified. In addition, there will be guided tours through the Retail BLVD three times daily.

In the central marketplace 'Market square', visitors will be invited to exchange experience and knowledge and there will be opportunities for networking. Comments can be written on a board and will be addressed in the short presentations. Active exchanges, questions and feedback will be expressly encouraged. There will also be short presentations twice a day on the different types of shoppers that IFH has identified.

The IFH study 2019 is based on three types of shoppers
"Shoppers can be categorised into three different types in terms of their basic attitudes and needs. In the Retail BLVD, we’ll be illustrating the classic customer journey from shoppers’ needs to good customer relationships. We’d like this to give trade visitors new impulses for communicating with their customers", as Boris Hedde, Director of IFH Cologne, comments. The experience-oriented shopper enjoys buying in bricks-and-mortar shops and appreciates being able to handle and try out (new) products. The convenience-oriented shopper, on the other hand, finds shopping in bricks-and-mortar shops tiresome and wants to get to the product they want as quickly as possible. The service-oriented shopper expects special customer service and consultancy, which they find predominantly in specialist shops.

"We’ll be bringing partners to the fair who are able to use their expertise to facilitate persuasive product combinations, customer service and consultancy in retail shops, which appeal to every type of shopper. We want to show how shopping can function in the future and how digital solutions can be integrated into the experience”, as Eva Olbrich, Director of Christmasworld, adds.

Customer journey vol. 1: from the product to the customer in three stores
In the 'Social Media Playground House', the digital channels, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube, will be presented in short ten-minute talks. These channels are used more and more frequently by consumers as a source of information and inspiration, which means that a social media presence is becoming ever more important for retailers. Visitors will learn which channels they should use for their target group and what this can look like in practice. In addition, the talks will address questions such as: when is influencer marketing worthwhile and how does a possible cooperation work? Screens will visualise possible stories, posts and influencer activities. An experimental area will invite visitors to try and test things out.

In the 'Experience House' and the 'Convenience House', there will be an equal focus on information, consultancy and service – but from different perspectives: in the 'Experience House', visitors will be made aware that in the future the customer expects a special shopping experience and would like to be inspired and amazed. Multisensory marketing and unusual shop design and decorations, for example, play an important role here. In addition, it will show how digital services can intensify the shopping experience in the store and how important, in this respect, well-trained employees are on the shop floor. Visitors will be given practical tips on this.

In the 'Convenience House', the purchase transaction needs to be quick, simple, and convenient – this is the inspirational factor providing guidance here for this type of consumer. How can I offer more convenience combined with digital services? How do I make purchasing easier for my customers?  How do I enable them to use Click & Collect and mobile payment apps to avoid queuing at the till, or help them to use smartphone scanning for more personalised offers? How can the Alexa digital voice control be used in retail stores? Specialists from the IFH Cologne will present the visitors with digital solutions that they can try out themselves.

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