The North Convention Centre of IFEMA (Madrid) hosted at the end of March the 11th edition of the Retail Forum 2023, organised by iKN Spain, which was attended by more than 1,500 attendees, more than 120 speakers and more than 80 sponsors. The objective: to learn about the challenges and trends in retail in the physical and digital world.

After the recent celebration of the 21st edition of EuroShop, the leading trade fair for the retail trade, in Düsseldorf, it was the turn of the largest retail event in Spain. 

The event once again served as a meeting point for professionals from different sectors, who analysed topics such as metaverse, sustainability and phigital shops with the aim of building the future of retail.  


This fair presents the latest trends, technologies and developments in the world of retail, allowing attendees to keep abreast of the latest innovations and adapt to market changes.   


It is therefore a unique opportunity for companies in the retail sector to meet suppliers, customers and competitors, to learn from experts in the field of retail and to attend talks and debates on important topics in the industry. 



The protagonists of the 11th edition of the Retail Forum 2023

Digitalisation, data customer, retail media, innovation in means of payment, logistics and sustainability were some of the topics covered in the sessions of the event, held under the slogan “Lead Retail 5.0: 2 connected worlds Physical + Digital”.

From the outset, the need to conduct an in-depth study of the innovation needs of companies in order to choose the partners that will really contribute was highlighted.

Those in charge of conducting these sessions were the spokespersons of the main companies, both technological and retail, present at the event.

They highlighted, for example:

  • The new retail is looking for the capability of unified commerce, where all channels – the physical shop, eCommerce and phygital spaces – feed back into each other, forming a fulcrum for each other. On many occasions, consumers may see something they like online, and go to the physical shop to buy it, or some may shop around and end up making the final purchase in e-commerce. 
  • It is imperative that companies lose their fear of interactions through the metaverse, either internally or with customers. 
  • In retail, AI can accelerate advice, people-to-people contact and even transactions. 
  • Beware: This new paradigm is comparable to the internet bubble in 2000 when big business models such as Amazon or Google were born.


Retail Forum 2023 attendees were able to live a 360º experience in which they enjoyed the entire day in The Store of the Future, a private space within the event itself, managed by Retail Forum, where they tested all the innovations of the point of sale. 


Retail Forum 2023: challenges and trends in retailing
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The new retail: technological innovation with solutions that improve the customer’s phygital experience

The new retail is based on the current retail: the constant search for a unified commerce, where all the channels feed back into each other, forming a point of support for each other. To achieve this, technology is the key, both online and offline. 

At the point of sale, this innovative technology must serve both customers and employees, as they are the main customer identification filter within the shops in any process. 

In this sense, it is taken for granted that most companies are digitised, but their internal processes are not. Therefore, a 360º transformation in retail must be implemented, not only in the customer experience, but also with employees, suppliers or in the store itself.


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Hyper-personalisation in the shop, retail media and live-shopping

Consumers are increasingly demanding and have become accustomed to receiving information about everything they want instantaneously. They are demanding in terms of both product and price, and retailers are forced to adapt to all the needs that arise.

To identify users’ needs, we need to monitor what their buying process is like and what they are looking for from a brand. 

The trend for retailers is to increase their budgets for retail media actions, such as including digital screens at points of sale or outside shops, as they help to sell more through segmentation, and identify the consumer journey. 

Retail media offers data and metrics whose measurements or KPIs are more traceable and touch all parts of the purchase funnel. But the important thing about this data is the conclusions that can be drawn, which will help to modify procedures at the point of sale, or to make any type of decision at a corporate level. 

Another technological trend is live-shopping, or the sale of products through live broadcasts on social networks, which has been boosted during the pandemic due to the large increase in the number of people who started to make and consume this type of content.


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“Resale as a Service” boosting second-hand retailing

The purchase of second-hand products is gaining more and more followers. New phenomena such as the taste for vintage, the concern for sustainability or the popularisation of private sales applications have consolidated a trend that is growing year after year. 

So much so that many brands and shops are developing projects to start selling second-hand products on their own websites and sale points. However, the commercialisation of this type of products is much more complex than selling through apps such as Wallapop. 

It is about creating a shopping experience that is at the same level of excellence as selling new products.


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