RETA 2018 recognises the best in retail IT

EHI has named the winners of the Retail Technology Awards Europe (RETA) for the eleventh year

Taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany, as part of EuroCIS 2018, three equal prize winners were named in the categories of Best Customer Experience, Best Enterprise Solution, Best Instore Solution and Best Omnichannel Solution. 
BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CATEGORY 
This award went to retailers who have introduced future-focused methods and technology to raise customer loyalty and satisfaction. The winners were: 
Halfords, for supporting its sales employees with a new POS solution that raises flexibility; it is suitable for stationary or mobile use via a tablet anywhere on the sales floor. By deploying this innovative POS system, the UK car and bike maintenance retailer succeeded in raising turnover in its stores and saving employee time. 
Lebensmittelmarkt Isargärten, which is reducing queuing time at its checkouts with a new, mobile self-scanning system. Customers at its Munich store can now scan articles themselves with the help of an app on their own smartphones. The app generates a QR code that can be read either by the checkout staff or by a hand scanner and transmits the articles to the till. 
MediaMarktSaturn, which is giving its customers a preview of how shopping will look in the future. The virtual avatar Paula takes customers on an augmented reality tour of the store, showing them where products are and explaining how they work, and providing additional information and animations. With a Microsoft HoloLens linked to a micro-computer, this German electronics retailer creates incredibly lifelike virtual content in a real-world store environment. 
BEST ENTERPRISE SOLUTION CATEGORY 
This category rewards retailers who have raised efficiency by developing and implementing innovative systems and technologies, either internally or in collaboration with other companies. The winners were: 
Aydinli Group, which analysed its customers’ buying behaviour and from there developed a customer-based communications and campaign model containing 17 campaign algorithms for the different customer segments. With the help of a tablet app in the stores, the sales teams of this Turkish clothes retailer get a better understanding of the customers and are able to offer bespoke service. 
Billa, which provides corporate information to its sales staff all over the country through a user-friendly app developed in-house. Using this mobile application, staff are able to obtain information e.g. about work schedules, and collect discount points in all branches of this Austrian food retailer using the digital staff card. 
Edeka, which supplies its sales people with information on new products from start-ups via its Foodstarter platform. Via Foodstarter, they can request samples or order goods directly from the suppliers. In addition, the platform sends direct feedback about their products to the start-ups, giving them access to hundreds of independent retailers throughout Germany. 
BEST INSTORE SOLUTION CATEGORY 
This award goes to retailers who through the use of technology at the point of sale have achieved demonstrable operational added value. The winners were: 
DM-Drogerie Markt, which provides all its store employees with their own smartphone. The aim is to help them work more efficiently by making it an integral part of the merchandise management system of each outlet. Using this mobile terminal, employees of the German drugstore chain are able to scan several barcodes on packages simultaneously. Moreover, when customers pick up packages from the store, these are visualised on the device and can be found faster. 
Edeka, for making shopping more transparent. This German food retailer has implemented a digital traceability solution at its fresh food counters. It provides a simple and convenient means for customers to find out about the manufacturing and processing operations from start to finish. The information is shown on a terminal at the counter or provided by a QR code on the scales receipt, which customers can then use to consult the traceability information on their computers at home. 
Marks & Spencer, which supplies its employees with laptops to give them convenient access to information about products, prices, sales promotions and inventory levels. All tasks, such as customer service and sales, run on one single device, raising employee productivity and creating an enhanced shopping experience for customers of this UK retailer. 
BEST OMNICHANNEL SOLUTION CATEGORY 
This award goes to retailers who have modernised their IT infrastructure and linked their online and offline environments. The winners were: 
Boggi Milano, which has put its entire ecommerce business on the cloud and now offers its customers click & collect, in-store reservation and ordering services, including delivery to another store or direct to the customer's home. The new omnichannel solution of this Italian fashion designer has helped improve customer service and raise online sales. Moreover, its employees now handle some 15% of its digital sales using the store app. 
Duo Schreib & Spiel, which has broken down the barriers between brick-and-mortar business, ecommerce and mobile commerce with its new omnichannel concept. The solution comprises a new lighting concept, electronic price labels, self-checkouts and drop shipping. Also supporting sales in some stores of this German retailer group is the robot Pepper. 
KIND Hörgeräte, which has introduced an end-to-end omnichannel solution that covers the entire customer journey. By providing a 360° view of customers, it is able to offer them the best shopping experience possible. This new strategy is about analytics and a personalised approach to customers first and foremost. It has had the further effect of realigning the retailer’s online presence and optimising its merchandise management and call centre processes. Further advantages for the customer include the convenience of being able to make appointments in the specialist store, or asking to be called back via the website.