Seamless omnichannel, rapid delivery, AI and sustainability:
European retailers invest in 2024

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GfK State of Retail: Europe report reveals the major focus areas of European consumer tech retailers amid tough conditions

As consumer tech retailers in Europe enter 2024, they face strong and fast-changing consumer expectations, amid sluggish economies. But these shifting consumer demands also present powerful opportunities to capture fresh growth. 

GfK’s new State of Retail report for Europe examines four areas in which retailers will invest: formats, technology, operational excellence and purpose.  

For the report, GfK surveyed nearly 800 retail executives in 76 countries globally. The Europe findings demonstrate clear trends among omnichannel, pure play online, and offline retailers. 

  • Format
    Within formats, belief in increasingly seamless omnichannel is strong. Moves to create sophisticated mobile commerce and marketplaces, and engaging shopping experience stores, will be key here. 

  • Technology
    As part of the format evolution, bold and well-planned technology investments will be critical to success. Retailers are increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence, and have expectations for greatly improved consumer personalization and demand forecasting. Robotics, too, are coming to the fore. 

  • Operational Excellence
    The GfK report also looks at major changes retailers are making to their operations. Three quarters are embarking on somewhat of a workforce transformation, with many expected to bring in a multitude of data scientists and software engineers, while bricks and mortar retailers look to tackle shop staff shortages.

  • Purpose
    More broadly, it is clear that European consumers have ever heightened expectations around the purpose of the businesses they buy from. As a result, European retailers are increasingly selling sustainable products, even at a premium, and educating consumers on green topics. At the same time, they are cutting their own waste, improving packaging, and providing services that help lengthen device lifespans. 

Across Europe, retailers are investing in the future. The GfK State of Retail report examines their critical shifts for enduring growth. 

Read the full report now