10 Takeaways from the NRF’s Big Show!

I attend the National Retail Federation Show in New York City for the thirtieth time two weeks ago. The show is a must for anyone like me who is involved in retail technology. This is the “toy store” of retail systems and technology. The main focus of the show is tier one and two retail segments, ranging from Wal-Mart to large regional chains. There are however some vendors that cater to the independent retail segment, but it’s also of value to understand the technologies the big guys are considering since many of these technologies will come down stream in the near future. It’s also a reality that some of the technology being showcased will never be implemented by retailers. This year there were more pragmatic solutions and some that were introduced a few years ago and have been refined.
Here are my key 10 takeaways from the show.
1. The store of the future is now
2. Retailers can no longer function with disconnected systems
3. Omni-channel is now: The reality is consumers want control of their buying experience, “buy it anywhere at any time”.
4. To meet the challenges of omni –channel sales retailers need the tools to intelligently re-allocate merchandise. The right merchandise at the right location and the right time is the challenge to meeting omni-channel expectations.
5. Millennials trust their social network more than traditional advertising
6. If you want to keep customers loyal to your brand you must keep them engaged and motivated
7. Millennials have little tolerance for retailers who lag behind in technology
8. Just because a customer is in your store doesn’t mean he or she isn’t buy the product somewhere else
9. It’s the age of the educated workforce. Store personnel must be armed with the same technology that consumers have at their fingertips.
10. In store marketing driven by Beacon technology is gaining traction as consumers become comfortable with allowing retailers to communicate with their mobile devices when shopping in their store.