Will the digitalisation of sale lead to gradual disappearance of traditional retail trade?

We all face different aspects of the 4.0 revolution in the industry. One of its facets is new quality in trade called Shopping 4.0. This issue will be discussed during the Industry Forum in Karpacz (8-10 December 2016).

Many expected that digitalization would lead to a slow decay of retail trade. Why people should go to shops with a very limited range of products, if one can order them online, choosing the best price, color or size from a much broader offer? Online-trading is still growing, but the physical shopping-experience has proven to be attractive beyond sober cost-benefit calculations. The “Internet of Things” does also change traditional forms of commerce, though. Technologies like the “Beacon” open up new ways of direct interaction with customers and allow for more personalized product promotion. What are possible applications of these innovations? What are their limits?

Krzysztof Łuczak , who has confirmed participation in the Industry Forum debate underlines that “despite of ubiquitous internet and dynamically developing sector of online shopping, still up to 90% of purchases has been made offline in the stationary shops. This is the reason of the increasing interest of the  internet technology users to influence the purchasing decisions of the clients in the shopping centers and stationary shops. One of the applicable tools are the beacon transmitters – commonly considered as the most important technology in retail sale since the appearance of the credit cards readers.”

Vice President of the Board, Institute of Behavioral Economic Research from Germany Peter Wolfmeyer, who will speak at the Forum has summed up the current trends in transforming economy: “We are living more and more in a knowledge-based society and our economies are increasingly characterized by digitization and mass products which are not cheap but “sexy”. Industry 4.0 means intelligent and flexible manufacturing.  Hence, those companies are most successful which offer smart products and marketing concepts. In this context not only technical innovation is important but also new service concepts and business models. Furthermore, the idea of CSR (corporate social responsibility) gains growing importance worldwide. This will also slow the global process of wage dumping”.

Peter Wolfmeyer, Vice President of the Board, Institute of Behavioral Economic Research. He is economist, management of a public private agency, strategic and financial consulting, in particular federal, national and EU funding; consulting for EU, regional and national governments (SMEs, innovation, technology transfer, renewable energies, sustainability); lecturer at universities.

Krzysztof Łuczak, lecturer at the University of Economics in Poznan. Co-founder and board member of the company Qpony.pl Sp. z o.o., implementing innovative solutions for mobile marketing through the development of the mobile purchasing applications Qpony and Blix. The Group Qpony possesses in Poland more than one million active users of its applications monthly.