The RetailDetail congress in eight quotes

Some 350 participants attended the annual RetailDetail congress on April 28. With three parallel sessions and a plenary evening programme, it was a busy and inspiring day. An (incomplete) retrospective in eight remarkable quotes.

“To be human, you need technology”

“You have to learn from each other – not copy, but learn. Don’t invent hot water every time,” says media personality and entrepreneur Eline De Munck of the optical brand Odette Glasses. “Make sure you can use your human capital for exactly what it is: human capital. Just to be human, you need technology.

“Sales people don’t care about customers”

Lies Eeckman of the disruptive electric car brand The North Star took the traditional automotive sector and the entire distribution sector to task: “A salesperson today is not at all interested in the customer in front of him. We must at least reinvent the intermediary so that he is really interested in the service and the customer.

“Barely 1% of all clothes are recycled”

About the most polluting industry in the world? It must be the fashion industry. “The production of clothing has increased by 100% in the last 25 years, less than 1% of all clothing is recycled”, knows Pascale Switten, CEO of the circular private outlet Chameleon“It’s opening the door to overconsumption. It really can’t go on like this. The brand is betting on the occasion and is also considering clothing rental.

“Keep your feet on the ground”

Influencer marketing may already be the new word-of-mouth, but on social media, you don’t just do what you want. “Always be open and honest,” says lawyer Koen Vranckaert, but the influencers present were shocked by the guidelines that the Flemish and federal governments recently issued. “We are not going to organize a witch hunt”, soothes the Vlaamse Media Regulator. If you soon see the hashtag #gift appearing en masse in your Instagram stories: it all started at RetailDetail.

“It’s not about China, it’s about the whole world”

People who think that Ali Baba is a shop to sell its business to Chinese consumers are mistaken: it is the gateway to the whole world, according to Roland Palmer, who sprinkles impressive figures as if nothing had happened. Belgian companies seem to be doing very well on the dietary supplements and superfoods platform, a market with a potential of 40 billion dollars. Fact: 90% of e-commerce in China is mobile commerce. And on the live streaming platform Taobao, 150,000 hours of content are published every day. If you want to watch it, it’s over 17…a day.

“Being boring is good”

You don’t simply become a distributor of Rainpharma products like that: there is a whole admission procedure upstream. All the fault of the founder Dominique Bastin, who wanted a company without investors, without meetings or corporate culture. And without annoying customers. They therefore went from 500 to 150 shops, to multiply the turnover by eight. Strong. He had another strong statement: “Pharmacies are the coal mines of the future”…

“Follow your customer”

American Megan Maley spent her youth near Belgium, in Wisconsin. So for the Zalando top woman, this conference was a bit of a homecoming. The platform aims to be the starting point of fashion, with an unprecedented range and ease of use. 50% of orders contain more than one brand. Tom Baelden from LolaLiza told us why it’s good for brands. Follow your customers, that was his advice. Zalando guarantees volume and you can sell at full price. The fashion brand is expanding the number of countries and will also test Zalando’s Connected Retail service from June, with the processing of online orders from stores.

“Digital or analogue? Dialogue!”

The last word was for RetailDetail founder Jorg Snoeck, who took us to a future full of virtual influencers and cyborgs, where humans transform into Phono Sapiens and the metaverse becomes a reality. “Who do you trust more: your partner or Waze? The audience laughs a little uncomfortably. The icing on the cake was the official presentation of the brand new book The future of shopping – Re-set, Re-made, Retail, with co-writer Pauline Neerman on stage and a stunt promotion that attendees happily accepted. After which the networking cocktail and walking dinner could begin. We will remain discreet on this…

The next RetailDetail event will take place on June 9: The RetailDetail Food Congress hosts an interesting program with speakers from, among others, Deloitte, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, VLAM, Pieter Pot, Kriket, Delhaize, Gorillas and Mosa Meat. More information will follow soon, you can already order dearly bird tickets via this link.

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