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5 Talking Points From Shoptalk Europe 2024

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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5 Talking Points From Shoptalk Europe 2024

Shoptalk Europe 2024 took place in Barcelona from 3 to 5 June, providing insights into the transformation of European retail in a rapidly changing world.

A particular highlight, from ESM's perspective at least, was the Groceryshop@Shoptalk series of keynotes and discussion panels, which over the three days of the event, welcomed senior executives from retailers and brands such as Amazon, Tesco, Deliveroo, Diageo, Wolt, Mondelēz International, PepsiCo, Ocado, Nestlé, Waitrose, Sonae MC, Kraft Heinz and more.

While the event covered a wide range of topics, here are some noteworthy takeaways.

The Path To Purchase Is An 'Infinite Loop'

We've seen the rise of multichannel and omnichannel retail, but now we need to consider the consumer path to purchase as an "infinite loop", Ben Miller, VP, Original Content & Strategy, Shoptalk said in an address on the topic of 'Retail Reimagined' on the event's Wonderland stage.

The traditional purchase funnel is "ancient history", Miller noted, with shoppers moving from consideration to consumption faster than ever. Brands that can tap into the cultural zeitgeist, underpinned by consistent, reliable data, are primed to succeed in this new "unified commerce" environment.

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Accuracy, Rather Than Speed, Is More Important

Recent years have seen a huge level of attrition in the quick commerce sector, with many players built on a promise of 10-minute or 15-minute deliveries falling by the wayside. But as speakers at Shoptalk Europe observed, accuracy and reliability is valued more highly by customers than speed.

According to Andrew Kenny, Chief Commercial Officer at Just Eat Takeaway.com, the "delivery experience in totality is more important", with little drop-off in customers whether a delivery takes 20 minutes or 40 minutes. "What's more important is the consistency of that delivery," he added.

Online Grocery Needs To Do More To Inspire Shoppers

Building a state-of-the-art delivery and fulfilment structure is one thing, but if the shopper doesn't know what he or she wants, such endeavours may prove lacking. The in-store environment is a hub of creativity and imagination, which isn't always the case with online.

Dr. Oliver Vogt, Director, Strategy & Transformation at Tesco, addressed this in his presentation, saying that he believed the next big focus for online grocery will be around inspiration. "You can get the 'how' right," he explained, referencing the level to which e-commerce operations continue to be fine tuned, "but I still don't know what I want for dinner."

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Combining Orders Presents A Huge Opportunity

Shoptalk Europe featured a number of e-commerce firms that had their foundations in restaurant and foodservice deliveries – including Wolt, Just Eat Takeaway.com and Deliveroo – before integrating grocery into their operations, and the ability to combine the two presents an unmissable opportunity, as Suzy McClintock, VP, Grocery, Hop, Editions & Retail at Deliveroo explained.

Using Deliveroo, "when people order restaurant delivery, they can order ‘top up’ grocery items at no additional delivery fee," she noted, which can benefit both consumers and brands alike. While this is currently a restaurant/grocery proposition, the "dream" for customers is to be able consolidate grocery orders from various retailers – a concept that isn't that far away.

Amazon Continues To Set The Pace

Dynamism certainly wasn't lacking from the businesses addressing the Shoptalk Europe audience, but in terms of impressive numbers, Amazon continues to set the pace.

The e-commerce giant delivered a record 7 billion items either same day or next day in 2023, Giorgio Busnelli, VP, Consumer Goods Europe told attendees, as it spread its inventory closer to customers, investing in scaling same-day facilities.

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A major tenet of Amazon's current strategy is focusing on 'everyday essentials', i.e. products bought three or four times a week (with low price points), he added, and as a result, Amazon is fine tuning its selection, speed, cost to serve and reordering metrics. Retail industry take note.

Shoptalk Europe 2025 takes place from 2-4 June 2025. For more information, click here.

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