As part of our Retail Technology Report, ESM We reached out to leading retail executives, including Thomas Schwetsche, Head of Digital and Customer Business Unit at Corpu-Suisse, to get their thoughts on some key topics around digital transformation. This article first appeared in his March/April 2024 edition of the ESM.

Among the recent technology initiatives introduced by Co-op Suisse is Co-op Finance+, a new digital solution for financial and pension products, which is part of the group's 'customer-tailored digital services initiative'. Coop Suisse's representative, Thomas Schwetsche, said the project fits well with the company's “strategy of providing services to customers.” Digital and Customer Business Unit.

Together with a range of apps such as, Supercard and Fooby, this new service strengthens the digital ecosystem available to shoppers. So far it's been “overall positive,” Schwetsche added.

Do you think we have reached a tipping point in terms of technology adoption by retailers? If so, why?

Essentially, the same principles have been applied to the use of technology in retail for years. Technology must either significantly increase customer profits or significantly increase retailer efficiency.

Technologies that guarantee both at the same time will naturally quickly become established in the retail industry. Examples include electronic shelf labels and self-checkout systems, which are very popular with customers.

How do you think data analytics and insights will shape supermarket decision-making processes in the future?

Data analysis becomes faster and more accurate. An example of this is sales forecasting and automatic load-specific orders based on it.

Our current experience is that a combination of analytically derived order quantities and validation by experienced personnel leads to the best results, at least for the time being.

But by considering more parameters and using artificial intelligence and more powerful models, system-based predictions become even more accurate, allowing staff to leverage that knowledge and ability elsewhere in the store. It is quite possible that this will happen. . However, this is still a long way off at this point.

What challenges do you foresee for retailers in terms of integrating new technology into their operations?

Perhaps the biggest challenge is optimally coordinating the interaction of all technologies. Technology doesn't bring success. Different technologies need to interact optimally.

At the same time, care must be taken not to introduce too many new technologies in a short period of time. Otherwise, internal complexity will increase excessively.

Perhaps success lies in choosing some of the right technologies that will make a difference.

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