Perhaps the most striking feature of the inaugural TFWA Digital Village last year was the sheer breadth of solutions on offer. From virtual reality to retail analytics, the range of high-tech products and services was wide. That trend looks set to continue at this year’s edition (2–5 October in Cannes), and while apps feature prominently among the digital tools proposed, plenty of other options will be on show. One exhibitor already confirmed for 2018 is Upsilon Group, which designs audio-visual solutions. Upsilon supplies several customers in duty free and travel retail, and the company’s Bruno Sorrentino says they look forward to showcasing their latest innovations. “This year we’ll be presenting Clear Box, our digital display case, as well as our Magic Mirror and other AV solutions.”
Thinfilm specialises in near-field communication (‘NFC’) and returns to the Digital Village after a successful debut in 2017. A form of wireless data transfer, NFC enables devices in close proximity to communicate without an internet connection. Laura Geary explains: “Our solutions transform physical products or objects into digital marketing channels and turn smartphones into direct brand-to-consumer gateways.”
Whether travelling or simply shopping on the high street, consumers expect a retail experience beyond the purely transactional, shining a spotlight on customer service. Two exhibitors at TFWA Digital Village 2018 operate in this field. Customer Experience Group, a global customer experience agency for luxury and premium brands, uses staff feedback, evaluation, insight and coaching to build relationships with travellers. According to Rosalle Macaspac and Christophe Caïs at Albatross, visitors to their stand will see “the latest development of our CX App and some business cases illustrating how our solutions elevate customer experience and drive profitable growth”. British firm Ethos Farm transforms workforces into brand custodians via enhanced customer service, training and technology. In addition to creating customised workforce apps, “We also design and build e-learning modules, VR immersive training courses and AR applications” comments company co-founder Mat Garner.
Inflight is another area where technology can make a difference. Skydeals has built the first inflight e-commerce website for passengers using onboard wifi. Passengers appreciate the opportunity to shop en route, while airlines and brands can reach a captive premium market of international travellers. Skydeals’ Céline Braems confirms the company will be in the Digital Village to present their unique ‘Shoppertainment’ solution.