As I embark upon my flight to New York City – hoping that the weather warms up- I started thinking about how this fifth trip to NRF will be very different for me. This is the first time attending as the Founder of a new consulting firm and yet I will have so many contacts to touch base with after all these years in the industry. As a board member of a retailer I will for the first time be wearing the “Retailer” hat at the conference and looking for what solutions make sense to improve the business.
2018 will be a year of continued change. 2017 was the best holiday season in 6 years with 4.9% growth YOY according to Mastercard SpendingPulse reports. This growth is giving Retailers hope for the future. New innovations are enabling retailers to more seamlessly engage a customer across all channels. Three to five years from now the term will be “omnipresent” retail as you may be able to purchase as a passenger in a self driving car, or while passing the time waiting for a metro -right from the digital signage. The points of purchase will continue to expand as consumers will be always connected. Retailers need to embrace this as a great opportunity and prioritize for themselves where they want to affect the most change in 2018. It is possible to pilot and start rolling out technologies in the same year.
Most retailers have challenges just “getting started”! That is where I want to focus my time – I think there are ways to structure pilots to generate the data on whether the solution is a hit (or not!) and then pivot if needed to a solution that brings value.
So what is on my NRF shopping list this year? I will be looking to interact with many companies and potential partners to see what is new- what solutions are ready NOW to solve today’s retailer challenges. Specifically I’m looking for frictionless checkouts, AR/VR use cases that add value and customer engagement that creates lasting brand experiences. I think that will be most beneficial to my customers. What do you think?
If you would like to hear more I will share my top Insights after the show in my next Blog- and if you want to reach out to me the best way is email@example.com and maybe we will catch up in person at Javitz as our feet ache….