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Day 6 Edition - IFA International 2017

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TRADE TALK BROUGHT TO YOU BY Driving Retail Sales Across Europe Exclusive interview: Sergio Klaus Peter Voigt, Chief Procurement Officer at MediaMarktSaturn, Europe’s biggest electronics retailer Sergio Klaus Peter Voigt Chief Procurement Officer, MediaMarktSaturn The group operates more than 1,000 stores and offers online shopping in 15 countries in Europe. In the business year 2015/16, MediaMarktSaturn generated revenues of €22bn. We asked Sergio Klaus Peter Voigt to tell us more about how the business has performed over the last 12 months… We’re getting better and better at integrating our channels. We’ve completed the roll-out of our electronic shelf labels – and that forms the basis for further digitalisation in areas such as product range, pricing and the supply chain. Our customers approve of this integration. About one in two online purchases are collected in-store. Also, customers seek advice at our stores and then order from our online shops or they conduct their own online research and then buy from us in-store. What do you see as being the most interesting product categories at the moment? Networking is making the range as a whole more and more exciting. We’ve always been strong in white goods and televisions. Today, they’re increasingly being connected to other devices – I’m talking about the Internet of Things and smart home. And it goes without saying that we’re also involved in current trends like VR, AR, robotics and drones, to name just a few. How much of VR is hype and how much is real… and how far do you think it will go? Virtual reality has long been reality for us. In many of our stores, customers can already try out VR products and choose from a wide range of products. We believe the VR market will continue to grow and regard augmented reality as the ‘next big thing’ in our industry and not just a flash in the pan. Apple’s announcement of the ARKit for iPhones makes it clear to everyone just how farreaching augmented reality will be. Augmented reality is more than just a product we can sell with high potential growth. AR opens up new opportunities for retailers. Just as we created a seamless transition between the online and offline worlds with our multichannel strategy, we see great potential in AR to combine the best of the real world such as haptics and physical product properties with virtual elements like further product information and application possibilities. This will create an unrivalled shopping experience which superbly enables consumers to grasp the benefits of the products we sell. What about the smart home? Every year we see progress, but there’s still a way to go… Your thoughts? Smart home is one of the most exciting but also one of the most sophisticated trends in the industry. Networking very different household appliances from different manufacturers requires the right infrastructure and technical expertise. As a result, setting up a smart home system can quickly become very complicated for consumers. That’s why we think the best approach is an integrated advisory and service concept. We support consumers with our in-store sales staff as well as assistance at home provided by specialists from Deutsche Technikberatung. How are sales patterns changing. Is omnichannel going to be omnipresent? Sales models are becoming more diverse. For example, we realise that our customers often only need products for a limited period or always want to use the latest model. Therefore, selected products can now be rented from us. By contrast, in our view, omnichannel is more than just a sales model. The aim is to support customers as extensively as possible in their everyday lives in the digital world. Therefore, we try to make looking for products and purchasing them as easy as possible in all situations SMART HOME IS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING BUT ALSO ONE OF THE MOST SOPHISTICATED TRENDS IN THE INDUSTRY 12

BROUGHT TO YOU BY TRADE TALK Etienne Combier Journalist for Les Echos’s online edition THOUGHTS OF AN IFA FIRST-TIMER Les Echos is one of the oldest daily newspaper’s in France, specialised in covering economic news. Les Echos has more than 150 journalists based in Paris with correspondents around the world. Since 1995, a web desk has been covering broader news. Along with Publicis, Les Echos organises Viva Technology, a large tech meet-up in Paris. We asked Etienne Combier what, in his view, are the key technology trends right now. Key trends in technology, for me, are the emergence of Virtual Reality, voice assistants and autonomous vehicles. There are numerous VR players gathered here, and Microsoft and Dell particularly have some interesting new announcements. IFA mixes high-tech (smartphones, computers, TV’s) – which we cover a lot – and the general equipment that we all use, for example hair-dryers and washing machines. This mix offers a broad picture of where technology is right now. This is my first time here in Berlin! It’s great to be attending this massive event, but for now, I’m just beginning to soak in the atmosphere and discover the thousands of products on show. How important is IFA for you in tracking trends? IFA is really important to detect trends as we build up to Christmas, and also as a checkpoint for other big trends – VR, voice recognition, smartphonesas-computers and so on. These are subjects that we write about all through the year IFA Media Centre Gets Major Facelift Offering improved service for media representatives from around the world, IFA has totally redesigned the Media Centre in Hall 6.3 at the main show grounds. Restructured and redesigned, the new IFA Media Centre now offers over 150 workplaces for journalists, free Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi workstations, a relaxed lounge area with adjacent press bar, more seating, which can also be used as workplaces, press boxes for exhibitor information. At IFA’s opening press conference, Senior Vice President Messe Berlin Group, IFA Executive Director, Jens Heithecker said the initiative came just at the right time: “We are very happy to have upgraded the press centre. Some will remember the press centre in the past years was very packed, without enough working space for the journalists. This year we have tripled the number of desks and tripled the number seating opportunities in the media area” IFA International • Wednesday 6 th September 2017 13

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