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PXL helps retailers to digitise and innovate

Client: Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen

Expected results: Toolkit

Involved researcher(s): Hermien Raedts, Inge Ectors

Involved Institute(s): Innovative Entrepreneurship

Is your retail business ready for the future? In ten years’ time, the number of shops in Belgium has fallen by 10%, with nearly 2,700 jobs lost in the sector. E-commerce gained momentum last year, ushering in a new phase in the already cut-throat competition. Professionalising, digitising and innovating are more urgent than ever.

Retail research for practice
With retail innovation, the expertise centre Innovative Entrepreneurship of PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts focuses on business-oriented and practice-oriented scientific research within retail in all its facets. Whether it is about more experience in the physical shop, the development of new business models or innovative technologies to better meet the needs of consumers, we guide retailers step by step towards an innovative future, says Evi Knuts, head of research.

Research shows, for example, that only 5 out of 100 webshop visitors actually buy. “The physical shop will therefore continue to be a strong sales medium in the future, but its interpretation is changing: from a classic sales location to a kind of showroom, where experience and service are more important,” says researcher retail innovation Hermien Raedts.

Competition is forcing retailers to be creative and to focus on ‘experiential shopping’. Fortunately, this can be done in an accessible and affordable way, as demonstrated by the two-year TETRA research project by PXL in cooperation with Unizo and RetailDetail. Ilse Vos, researcher: “In the retail labs, we work together with PXL Smart ICT with test set-ups in existing shops. Using an e-toolkit and workshops, we will explain how digitisation and artificial intelligence can help local retailers.”

With the support of:

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