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Shoptalk Europe 2024 Day Three: Highlighting the Importance of Data Sharing, Retail Media and More

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Coresight Research is an official research partner of Shoptalk Europe 2024, which took place June 3–5 in Barcelona, Spain. Shoptalk Europe is an annual conference that unites retail and e-commerce professionals to discuss the latest trends, innovations and challenges in the retail industry.

This year, the conference covered five major themes in retail: employing AI (artificial intelligence) to transform your business, harnessing brand power and building brand trust, creating unified retail experiences, next-generation demand creation, and navigating changing industry relationships. (Not all coverage reports cover all five themes.)

We present key insights from the third and final day of the event, with highlights covering the benefits of data sharing, the future of retail media in Europe and the effect of personalized offerings on consumers, among other topics.

Shoptalk Europe 2024 Day Three: Coresight Research Insights

1. Employing AI To Transform Your Business

AI was touched on again on day three of Shoptalk Europe, as it was extensively on day two. During the “Shoptalk Europe 2024 Key Takeaways” session—which featured members of the Shoptalk team and the creators of the Omni Talk blog covering the most insightful moments from the three-day event—panelists discussed what retail technologies currently excite them most. Zahra Mohamed, Assistant Content Director at Shoptalk, took a moment to discuss Judges’ Choice winner of the Startup Pitch, Raspberry AI, which offers a generative AI (GenAI)-powered design assistant, allowing designers to easily visualize concepts and refresh designs with just a few words. Mohamed noted it is a “practical solution” that reduces sample costs, time and product waste.

  • Find out more about Raspberry AI by downloading our Innovator Profile for the company here.

During the same session, Anne Mezzenga, Co-CEO of Omni Talk, proposed radio-frequency identification (RFID) as the most exciting technology discussed at the event. In her eyes, RFID is the “building block” of good retail, as it enables retailers to know exactly where their inventory is within a store, providing significant availability and product assortment benefits.

Chris Walton, Co-CEO of Omni Talk (left), and Mezzenga (right) during the “Key Takeaways” session
Source: Shoptalk


2. Creating Unified Retail Experiences

In his mainstage panel, Daniel Gebler, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Picnic, pointed to a European grocery market that is fragmented with major retailers that have typically only focused on a single country. As a cross-border online player, Picnic sees very different buying prices for the same products across different European countries; as such, it has started a dialogue with producers and sellers, aiming to buy and sell items at consistent prices across the continent. During these conversations, Picnic positions itself as a customer-first retailer—the company believes that, if the customer benefits, then the ecosystem grows, ultimately benefiting suppliers (who may, at first, be reluctant to offer consistent pricing).

Currently, Picnic is also working to convert more German grocery shoppers to e-commerce options; however, it is facing challenges due to shoppers’ loyalty to existing stores, as well as the high density of stores in the country. Per Gebler, the company currently finds that it typically takes five online orders for a German consumer to stick with an e-commerce option. To win over more German shoppers, Gebler explained that Picnic is offering an attractive price proposition as well as leveraging its strengths in fresh products and private-label offerings.

Gebler (left) discusses Picnic with Ben Miller, Vice President, Original Content and Strategy, at Shoptalk
Source: Shoptalk


The Shoptalk Europe 2024 wrap-up session brought together many of the ideas around unified commerce that were presented throughout the event. Chris Walton, Co-CEO of Omni Talk, stated that he feels that the retail industry needs a term like “unified commerce” to better educate brands and retailers. Mezzenga of Omni Talk agreed with her Co-CEO, stating that she expects that there will be no “end” to unified commerce as consumers’ expectations will continue to evolve over the coming years.

During the same conversation on unified commerce, Ben Miller, Vice President, Original Content and Strategy, at Shoptalk, discussed how, on day two of the event, Jie Cheng, Vice President and Global Head, Digital Commerce, at Mondelēz International, explored the gap between what customers want to buy and what is in-stock; according to Cheng, this gap can reach as high as 20%. Miller explained that this gap is the impact of not unifying sales and that players in the European grocery market should pay particular attention to this data—given that the average grocery retailer’s margin in Europe is 1.6%, grocers cannot afford to lose sales due to in-stock issues.

3. Next-Generation Demand Creation

To foster demand, companies across the retail space are looking for new ways to help customers find new items, including enhancing their search functionality, localizing collections, creating shoppable video offerings and more. Marc Hernandez, Digital Product Director at Mango, discussed how the company is using a localized approach to generate demand and customer loyalty. Hernandez stated that Mango finds it incredibly important to adapt what it offers in each country to the country’s unique market and culture. The company goes even further, using personalization tech to enhance the shopping experience by offering each customer a selection of products that are most relevant to them.

In the same session, Eva Goicochea, Founder and CEO of maude, also discussed the importance of personalizing offerings and messaging to both the destination country and the individual shopper, highlighting the brand’s unique approach to creating engaging experiences via content and partnerships that meet its customers’ demands. For instance, as part of its current marketing strategy, maude creates contextually relevant emails around intimacy topics that its shoppers want to read about, which it distributes weekly—according to Goicochea, 76% of the email’s recipients read the weekly content.

Later, Dr. Jan Philipp Wintjes, Executive Vice President, Global Omnichannel, at Hugo Boss, emphasized the importance of delivering a premium customer experience across all customer touchpoints, physical or digital. To this end, the company has created two distinct brands—Hugo and Boss—with two distinct audiences. Currently, the company is crafting unique strategies for each to better connect with each audience. “We are further differentiating the approach for the Boss and Hugo brands in terms of target audiences and styles,” explained Dr. Wintjes. All the session speakers agreed that it is essential for brands and retailers in the beauty and fashion markets to know their audience and personalize their marketing strategies and product discovery processes.

A similar discussion occurred later in the day, when Baptiste Marchis, Vice President, Digital International, at Victoria’s Secret, explored how the company seeks to unlock cross-border opportunities, as it now operates over 1,300 stores across 180 countries. According to Marchis, the company adapts its business model to each country, looking at the joint ventures, partnerships and strategies that will bring it the strongest growth in that region. In the same session, Andrea Cappi, Chief eBusiness and Omnichannel Officer at Valentino, likewise stressed the importance of retailers understanding both the cultures and customers of the countries they are working in. “Based on your customer profiles, you must integrate localized marketing and channel mix practices,” Cappi explained.

Cappi discusses personalization
Source: Shoptalk


Creating demand in the current retail environment—as well as the years to come—was also a key point of discussion in the “Harnessing Data and Technology to Create New Revenue Streams” session. There, Torsten Ahlers, Managing Director, MediaMarktSaturn Marketing Services, at MediaMarktSaturn (MMS), revealed that the company’s strategy for growth is built around four key pillars:

  • Services and solutions (such as trade-in and financing offerings)
  • Marketplaces
  • “Lighthouse stores,” which provide “tech villages” in the major cities they are operating in
  • Retail media

As part of the same conversation, Sunil Kumar, Global Vice President and General Manager, Walmart Commerce Technologies, at Walmart, dove into how the company is constantly working to better utilize technology to enhance demand and growth. Specifically, Kumar stated that Walmart Commerce Technologies is currently very focused on the European market as there is an absence of direct competitors in the market—on the other hand, in the US, large retailers are often rivals of Walmart.

4. Navigating Changing Industry Relationships

Worldwide, nonretail opportunities are expanding—retail media networks (RMNs), business-to-business partnerships and retailer technology commercialization are just some of the change agents influencing retail’s key industry relationships and blurring the traditional lines of the European retail market.

In the “Navigating Evolving Relationships Across Retailers, FMCGs and Marketplaces” session, Bruno Mourão, Head of Ecosystem at Sonae MC, discussed how the company is adding new features to its processes, including drop-shipping and retail media. Mourão also discussed how Sonae has launched a self-service portal that allows suppliers to access data and analytics, providing insights beyond their core categories. A “360-degree vision of the customer is critical and tracking behavior across channels and platforms is key for us and our partners,” Mourão explained.

Throughout the session, Mourão and the other panelists—Bertrand Bastien, New Business Ventures Director for Pernod Ricard, and Marta Lopez Saavedra, Head of Grocery and Retail, Spain, at Uber—agreed that the rise of online grocery and unified retail has led to the need for new industry relationships and closer collaboration between retailers and brands, with all three panelists discussing how their companies were forging new data-sharing collaborations. For instance, on Uber Marketplace, shoppers now have the ability to integrate their native loyalty cards with the app. This, in turn, provides retailers with access to valuable shopper data, allowing them to understand what works and what does not. “We are eliminating barriers to create a great ecosystem,” explained Saavedra. Overall, the discussion underscored the importance of data sharing and collaboration between retailers and brands in the evolving online grocery landscape.

In a later session, Yann Fontaine, CEO of Miravia, and Marcin Polchlopek, Group Vice President, Marketplace Consumer Business, at Allegro, also explored the importance of data sharing. Fontaine explained that Miravia is open to sharing its data with sellers and showing them how to take advantage of that data. For instance, Miravia sellers can access data about categories and competitors, with the company aiding them in using these tools to benchmark themselves and become more efficient.

Polchlopek echoed these sentiments, stating that Allegro has a similar philosophy. “Who will better consume this data than the owner of this business?” asked Polchlopek. Allegro provides its sellers with trading, communication, media (advertising) and consumer data to help them understand who is buying their products, what is working and what is not. Polchlopek explained that it is a win-win-win for sellers, the marketplace and consumers, and he noted that brands often take the insights into their businesses outside of the Allegro ecosystem.

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Polchlopek covering the benefits of data sharing
Source: Shoptalk


While Mourão briefly discussed retail media, the topic was covered in considerable detail in the “Brand Perspectives on Retail Media Strategies” session. There, panelists discussed both the benefits and the organizational challenges presented by retail media.

  • According to Coresight Research projections, by 2028, retail media will be a £7.3 billion ($9.1 billion) opportunity in the UK alone. Coresight Research also estimates that retailers can generate 0.1%–1.0% of total sales in alternative revenue from media and shopper insights.

Throughout the panel, speakers agreed that retail media has the potential to drive better consumer experience and company outcomes. Celso Borges Shimabukuro, Vice President and Head of eCommerce Europe at PepsiCo, discussed how the company is currently pursuing “full-funnel retail media concepts” as the company has significant experience with in-store activations and is now looking to follow those campaigns up with connected digital activations. Meanwhile, Tony Navin, Global eCommerce Director at Kraft Heinz, talked about how the company is seeing increased efficiency and a sales uplift by combining retail media with new technologies that automate processes and campaigns.

However, session panelists also agreed that retail media presents significant organizational challenges. Both Navin and Charlotte Myles, Ecommerce Director, Europe, at BIC, discussed how many internal teams are not currently set up to collaborate efficiently, which is key to a successful retail media strategy. “With more digital retail media coming online, you need commercial, marketing and other teams to work together. Company ownership and clarity across teams are not yet set up yet. That is driven by historic silos, which creates challenges in driving the effectiveness of retail media,” Navin explained.

To evaluate the successes of retail media, both Navin and Shimabukuro suggested setting up a framework and establishing requirements for retail media projects. “We have a methodology we follow based on media capability and measurement capability. Media is the means of how we deliver the media and capability is how we can drive efficiency. Based on this, we can see which media networks are more mature and which partners we should review,” Navin stated.

Retail media was also discussed by Ahlers of MMS and Alexis Marcombe, CEO of Unlimitail. For retailers looking to embark down the road of retail media, Ahlers recommended partnering with firms who are experienced in retail media, know the potential issues and can limit major mistakes. For instance, Ahlers stated that MMS partnered with Criteo as a sales partner and as an operations partner running campaigns. He also advised that firms need alignment from the board through to the rest of the company as retail media touches multiple parts of a business, including its marketing and technology teams.

According to Marcombe, retail media is “all about measurement,” and, for that, retailers need the ability to structure data accurately. Similar to the panelists before him, Marcombe warned that retailers should not underestimate the amount of change needed to tap the retail media opportunity and deliver the right services and propositions; he also stated that it is imperative that management ensures the change takes place.

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Marcombe discussing retail media
Source: Shoptalk


As it did with unified commerce, the “Shoptalk Europe 2024 Key Takeaways” session brought together many of the ideas presented at the event about retail media. Per Miller of Shoptalk, as European retailers are just starting to explore the implications of retail media, they often have many questions about the right size of their retail market budgets, what the role of trade marketing is, and which categories they should focus on. As the European retail media market is only around 10% of the US market size, Miller suggested that European companies look to American companies for answers to their questions and ideas on how to proceed.

Walton of Omni Talk also quickly spoke on the impact of retail media in Europe, stating that one of his key takeaways from the event was the connection between retail media and marketplaces, as a number of retailers are focusing on both. Walton noted that there was scalability in doing both at same time, with additional items on a website creating additional retail media opportunities.

What We Think

Retail media was a major topic on the final day of Shoptalk Europe. At first, retail media can often prove challenging as it requires brands and retailers to break down internal silos and improve internal collaboration between their teams. However, despite these hurdles, Coresight Research believes that the retail media market is poised for substantial growth and transformation as brand advertisers increasingly recognize the benefits of this advertising channel and more retailers enter the market. As we heard at this year’s event, brands and retailers are currently enhancing their retail media efforts by integrating in-store and digital activations, leveraging technology that provides automation benefits and enhancing their data infrastructure to maximize insights and efficiencies.

Many speakers on the final day also discussed how vital it is that companies know their target audience, as this knowledge allows them to personalize marketing messages and product discovery journeys. To do so, companies must first build their internal data capabilities to enable personalization at scale. Data sharing—another key topic of the day—can also provide brands and retailers with the data they need to thrive in the current retail markets.

Implications for Brands/Retailers

  • To build a strong online grocery portfolio and strengthen their individual offerings, retailers and brands in the European grocery space must look to enhance their collaborations and data-sharing processes.
  • Data sharing can enable personalization efforts, allowing companies to localize merchandising, marketing and service strategies based on regional cultures and individual customer data.
  • Retail media is changing the retail market for both brands and retailers and remains highly profitable. The opportunity is certainly strong for those in the grocery space, as it will help these companies subsidize their grocery businesses. As such, it will likely be a catalyst for digital commerce, ultimately creating better experiences for shoppers.
  • Collaboration across teams is key for unlocking efficiencies, especially when it comes to retail media, as rerail media often requires multiple teams working together (such as technology and marketing teams). With this in mind, brands and retailers should carefully consider re-organizing their teams to prepare for this new retail landscape.