SSI RUSSIA — AT OPEN INNOVATIONS “THE FUTURE OF RETAIL ”

As a part of Moscow International Forum “Open Innovations” a topical panel “Intelligent Retail. The Future of Trade” was held in Skolkovo.

What may lieahead in the future for the industry, how the consumer culture changes, which technologies alter the market – these and other questions were answered by theexperts in the field.

The experts from Russian and international companies addressed the trends and factors affecting the development of the industry: Francisco Javier Zambrana Farina, ElCorte Inglés, FMCG Supply Chain and Online; Alexey Grigoriev, Head of METRObranch; Maxim Morozov, CEO of Intelligence Retail; Fabricio Granja, IT Directorof X5 Retail Group; Dmitry Shikhov, Managing Director of SSI Russia (OPEN Group) , Pier PaoloCeleste, Director of Italian Embassy’s Trade Agency of Italy in Moscow. ProjectLine company’s innovations expert Boris Agatov was the panel moderator.  

Over the course of the discussion, the experts considered the matter of introduction of cutting-edge technologies to the retail as well as concepts of interaction between major corporations and start-ups.

Alexey Grigoriev, Head of METRO branch, commented: “In METRO, we enlist the servicesof start-ups  more and more actively on abasis of competition that is held in Germany every year. Start-ups from around the world can win a grant to develop solutions for small and medium businesses on either of two ways: horeca and retail. It often proves ineffective to enlistlarge companies that offer expensive standardized solutions for small businesses.On the contrary, small start-ups, which are customizable, better understand theneeds of small business are able to offer a more satisfactory solution.”

MaximMorozov, Intelligence Retail CEO, added: “The world around us is changing andtoday, when we come to a client, they pose very clearly defined questions: What will your solution give? How fast it can be implemented? How does it scale? How would business benefit from it? The corporations understand that start-ups aremore quick to react to market’s demands. And now each corporations has accelerators, they strive to grow in-house start-ups of their own.”   

X5 RetailGroup IT Director Fabricio Granja described the newly-opened laboratory forrapid technical testing and R&D for new technologies. Today over 500 start-ups are at the preplanning and pending assessment stages of the X5innovation funnel. Shop-lab employees test digital price tag technologies,videoanalytics, smart shelves, digital information panels and self-maintained scanning and purchase payment scenarios. After the testing new technologieswill be subjected to field trials in the chain’s shops.”

Industry experts also discussed the problem of rapid client migration to the online. Itis known that over the past two years the retail complexes lost 30% of traffic.Will online trade replace the traditional offline shops?

Dmitry Shikhov, Managing Director of SSI Russia ( OPEN Group): “The future is a hybrid model. This is deep and efficient customization, wheree-commerce will complement rather that substitute offline retail. Today there are around 350,000 retail points in Russia. This is not much compared to Europe. For instance, in Germany there are twice as much sales points per 1000 residents. When it comes to offline, we are still very far from saturating the market.”

The international experience in working with clients was also presented to the participants.

Francisco Javier Zambrana Farina, El Corte Inglés, FMCG Supply Chain and Online: «We position ourselves as a digital company. Through the use of state of arttechnology, we aim at getting as much information of our client as possible to draft an individual offer. Clients, in turn, also want to know as much aspossible about our products.”

Pier Paolo Celeste, Director of Italian Embassy’s Trade Agency of Italy in Moscow:“Today’s customer knows for sure what they need. He is often more informed about the product than the seller. It’s crucial to make contact with the customer and today there is an abundance of ways through which such communication may be effectively established.”

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