Filippo Battaini
Filippo Battaini (Retail Manager, IDC Retail Insights, Europe)

It was great to host a wonderful line-up of speakers at our IDC European Retail Executive Digital Forum 2020 this October. During the event, we discussed the future of customer experience, fulfilment and inventory management and the new role of the physical store.

Retail’s New Phase

Retail is in a new phase as we are seeing a substantial change in the way consumers shop. This situation offers great opportunities for retailers. Changes in consumer behaviour require a focus on customer experience and the adoption of a commerce everywhere business model.

Long Live the Store

In retail’s next normal, the bricks-and-mortar store will become an integral part of the distribution network. As Ilse Roeffen, senior vice president for commercial management at Swarovski, pointed out: “Inventory management is key to enable seamless customer experience”.

On top of its new key role in distribution, the bricks-and-mortar store will also become an experiential retail destination for shoppers, helped by the adoption of technology-enabled capabilities. For example, Swarovski launched a new store concept that uses wall displays to increase customer engagement, while SPAR adopted self-checkouts to speed up purchases, digital signage that provides product information, and mobile apps that help engage customers through digital leaflets, coupons, and promotions to increase customer engagement.

The physical shopping experience remains important. As Werner Kraus, CTO and technology and architecture lead at SPAR Business Services, put it: “The store is not dead. In fact, the bricks-and-mortar store is a key component of the commerce everywhere business model”.

Embracing the Next Normal

Retailers need to gradually implement technology-enabled capabilities, scale up customer experience, and implement innovation strategies. Inventory management and the evolving role of physical stores in fulfilment and customer engagement becomes key to support seamless customer experience and implement the commerce everywhere business model.


You can read more at How to Win Retail’s Next Normal: Highlights from the IDC European Retail Executive Digital Forum 2020, and, if you missed the event, you can watch the replay.

We are always happy to talk with you about the future of Retail! Please feel free to reach out to me at, or head over to and drop your details in the form on the top right.

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