COPENHAGEN: MediaMarktSaturn, the German consumer electronics retailer, believes that the digitalisation of retail is in its infancy and that it can act as a guide for shoppers wanting to explore the latest digital developments.

Martin Wild, Chief Digital Officer at MediaMarktSaturn, discussed this topic at the recent Shoptalk Europe conference in Copenhagen, where he noted that “the old [retailer] USPs like price leadership and assortment leadership are not valid anymore”.

MediaMarktSaturn has come a long way from six years ago when it didn’t even have an online business to today when it is at the forefront of new digital trends. (For more details, read WARC’s report: The new physical shopping experience: lessons from MediaMarktSaturn and Eight Inc.)

“We really believe the digitalisation of retail is just about to start,” said Wild. “We want to be the companion and navigator for consumers in this increasingly fascinating digital world and we need to show them trends.

“We need to engage them with new technology – the ones we sell and the ones that help us to drive innovation,” he added. “We totally believe this is a transformation that changes everything.”

Accordingly, the retailer has launched a number of pilot projects and trial formats in its stores across Europe to help shoppers find what they want quickly, have an easier or more enjoyable experience, and get better service.

These range from a hybrid digital-physical store in Barcelona to LED-powered navigation via an in-store app in Eindhoven.

The most popular innovation, however, has been Paul, the in-store robot first launched in Ingolstadt in Germany, which welcomes people to a store, talks to them to find out what they want, and then invites shoppers to follow him to where they’ll get what they need.

Wild has big hopes especially for augmented and virtual reality. “Above all for us is personalisation, because I truly believe that digitalisation will allow us hyper-personalisation that we have not been able to manage in retail for the past 100 years.”

Sourced from WARC