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Deborah Hawkins

Consumer Experience Will Lead Retail into the Future

Why should businesses care?

Jan 27, 2023 9:31:26 AM


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Next week, I will be heading to the Ambiente exhibition at the Frankfurt Messe to refresh my network in the supplies business. Ambiente was formerly known as Paperworld and has a new home with Christmasworld and Creativeworld tradeshows with a focus on the world of consumer goods.



I always wondered about the connection between office supplies and these other consumer groups, but the link lies very much in the retail world. The world of business equipment connects to retail through office supplies and (increasingly) in the e-commerce part of retail. We can learn a lot from retail trends and how we should speak to consumers of the future.


The speaker program at Ambiente is extensive: It includes myself at the Remanexpo Academy and many other thought leaders covering topics such as the future of work and retail trends. One of the preprograms I listened into was “Trends in Retail Experience” by Theresa Schleicher from the Zukunftsinstitut in Berlin. Schleicher provided some great insight into retail trends formed by lifestyle that revolve around four major areas. 

  • Firstly, technology and digitization have to be “for the people.” Everyone wants technology and/or processes that give them a feeling of positive experience—many even go as far as a personalized experience.
  • Secondly, sustainability is a hot topic for businesses and consumers alike. In fact, I believe that the consumer world is way ahead of business at this point, but we will see fabulous examples of sharing and reusing, refilling, preloved, as well as more packages as a service wrapped up in as little packaging waste as possible.
  • Thirdly, urbanization will be coupled with nature. Living in harmony with the environment will shape a great deal of our consumer needs in the coming years, and whilst we see more single households, we will also see more local silicon valleys. This will result in a shift in the point of sale as well as the experience.
  • Lastly, she spoke of resilience. New consumer groups are emerging through joint cultures, ethics, and neo-tribes that will demand similar things. It is no longer sufficient to refer merely to generation—we will serve many multifaceted user groups.


Where we overlap with consumers is in hybrid work: bringing our personality to work can also bring your work to your personality. IT is infiltrated with consumerization and trends from retail. If you are visiting Ambiente, I would love to connect and discuss further trends that are shaping our future world.


You can connect with Deborah by emailing her at deborah.hawkins@keypointintelligence.com or through her LinkedIn account. Subscribers can view research on office supplies and the retail vertical market through our Office CompleteView Advisory Service. If you’re not a subscriber, just send us an email at sales@keypointintelligence.com for more info.