If your business has anything to do with retail you know NRF 2019 is upon us. “Retail’s Big Show” pulls in more than 35,000 attendees representing over 3,500 retail companies.
If you regularly attend industry trade shows you’ve noticed that:
- Technology vendors have an increasing, major presence. From hardware and software to IT and cloud services, technology is now a major proportion of these events.
- The value propositions hawked at tech vendor booths are virtually indistinguishable from one another.
All of the tech vendors jump on the buzzword bandwagon to tell you how they address the top thought leadership trends in the industry each year. It should not surprise us that these vendors agree on which challenges they can tackle for us and which business initiatives they can help us drive.
But as time goes on the technologies and approaches we use to adapt to the latest trends become so pervasive that we no longer need the thought leadership sales pitches. They become obvious – a given, if not boring.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll see at NRF this year and why some of the most common sales pitches of late are losing their punch.
Under the category of “Exhibitor Big Ideas” and other presentations in Retail’s Big Show agenda we see the following common themes:
So what’s in and what’s out this year at NRF?
|1. Customer Experience is King. Forget the product; it’s all about the customer experience before, during and after the transaction. This trend is no hula-hoop. It’s here to stay.||1. The Amazon Effect. The retail apocalypse has been played out and data and analytics is the answer. And Amazon is no longer the only retailer doing things right.|
|2. In-store AI, AR, ML, VR. Rising from the ashes of the retail apocalypse, new digital technologies allow retailers to blend physical and digital experiences to create engaging in-store experiences that can’t be replicated by online-only retailers.||2. Advocating Digital Transformation. This trend is now so pervasive that we no longer need to define it or write more white papers about it. Digital Transformation is like the air we breathe. It’s time to get tactical.|
|3. Connecting the Omni-Channel Journey. Yes, Omni-channel is alive and kicking. But don’t call it a comeback. Omni-channel is not a new concept, but now there are vendors that can help connect the omni-channel shopping journey of each customer and provide timely hyper-personalized contextual offers and recommendations whenever and wherever it matters. This is key to improving loyalty, shopping cart size, volume and CSAT, as well as reducing churn. The continued emphasis on omni-channel shows that while retailers are well aware of the challenges and opportunities associated with it they are still struggling to implement technologies that let them manager and deliver truly omni-channel experiences to the consumer.||3. Cloud. Been there done that. Unless you’ve been under a rock for 15 years you know cloud is an integral part of every customer facing, and back-end-IT initiative.|
This new field of customer journey analytics is one of the areas where both niche and large platform players are competing for mindshare. At TCS Digital Software and Solutions Group (DS&S), we developed unique software with retail-specific use cases and a supporting analytics platform to address the connected omni-channel customer journey opportunity. At NRF 2019 we’ll be available for meetings by request to help retailers understand the technology and processes to master the customer journey.
And for more information about our new approach to CX, visit Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail.