New digital ways of creating value in retail

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Thomas MeirenIlyas Khan

Abstract: The COVID 19 pandemic led to a change in consumer behavior in the retail industry. While retailers were already facing increased competition from large online platforms before the Corona crisis, the pandemic has significantly accelerated this process and also introduced customer groups to online shopping that had not used it in earlier times. However, there is currently only a hesitant return to earlier shopping habits from which entire regional ecosystems - especially in rural areas and smaller towns - are now suffering. Many stores are giving up, and neighboring service providers (e.g., restaurants, culture, leisure industry) are also affected. Nevertheless, the pandemic has also shown that companies, that implemented new - often digitally supported - solutions very quickly, came through the difficult times better. For example, web shops as well as additional online and delivery services were able to mitigate the loss of sales in the stationary business.But it has to be noted, that retail is traditionally a rather less innovative industry. Expenditure on research and development, for example, is among the lowest in the entire service sector. It is not uncommon for small and medium-sized retail companies to lack a fundamental awareness of innovation and to have no corresponding processes and responsibilities defined there. The resulting deficits became obvious in the current pandemic and now leaves many companies with a dilemma: on the one hand, they notice that competitors are successful with new digital solutions, but at the same time they often have neither the competence nor the means to implement their own innovations. The knowledge about digitization as well as about the development of new solutions is simply not available in many small and medium-sized retail companies.The conference paper will present relevant digital innovations for the retail industry of the future - from interactive display boards and shop windows to digital price tags, new smart payment solutions and the use of augmented reality, artificial intelligence and service robots. Moreover, concepts and case studies will be shown how digital innovations can be successfully implemented step by step in small and medium-sized retail companies. The conference presentation will be complemented by the results of an expert survey in the retail sector.

Keywords: ecosystem, retail, innovation, value creation

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003135

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