Interview with Marilyn Repp

Digitisation in retail – what will be important

1 Aug 2023

Whether it's artificial intelligence in online marketing, customer loyalty in the metaverse or customer-centric product range design – Marilyn Repp gives concrete tips on how retailers can use digitalisation to drive their business forward successfully, future-oriented and competitively.

Her passion is the topics of Metaverse, Blockchain and Web 3.0. Her motto: "Out of the comfort zone, into the future! Because he who dares, wins." Marilyn Repp is an expert in the field of innovations, online trends and digitalisation. The Deputy General Manager of the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Handel of the German Retail Federation (HDE) explains in an interview how these influence retail.

"We live in a digital world with digital end consumers. [...] Customers must be met exactly where they are. The topic of digitalisation is very broad and there are many technologies on the market. It is not easy to stay on the ball here. Retailers need orientation and have to pick out the digital tools that are relevant for them. [...] My message: Be open, be innovative, be fast, try things out. Don't be afraid and be courageous.”

In the interview, the expert explains the terminology around Web 3.0: Artificial intelligence is intelligent software that draws conclusions from data, makes forecasts and learns. It cannot replace employees, but it can support them. The blockchain is a technology that stores data in a decentralised and forgery-proof way on several servers. In the future, there may be digital identities of us that move from room to room. Augmented reality is a tool that connects the real world with the digital one. This could become an important marketing tool for consumer goods, creating new buying experiences and innovative product presentations.

Insights: As a base for Web 3.0 you need ...

  • Step 1: A good merchandise management system with maintained data on the products and assortments.
  • Step 2: A customer relationship management programme to get to know the target group (stationary and online) and their buying behaviour.
  • Step 3: Then targeted online marketing and sales can start.

Expert info

Which technology topics will be relevant to future retail? Where will they be applied and what will they actually bring? Retail expert Marilyn Repp has been dealing with these questions on digital transformation, innovations, trends and technologies in retail for many years. These include the topics of artificial intelligence, metaverse or social commerce. She heads the project Mittelstand Digital 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Handel at the German Retail Federation, which supports companies in their digital transformation. In her podcast "Zukunft des Einkaufens" (Future of Shopping) she discusses with the leaders and future shapers of retail and as a top speaker she is a guest at numerous events.