Retail’s Biggest Show #NRF17- Day 1, In New York City
Opening day on a changing retail landscape- Day 1 featured a wide array of options for major Retailers to address e-disruption in their previously brick and mortar-based shopping experiences. From the moment conference attendees walked through the doors of the Jacob Javits center, huge banners proclaimed the critical importance of data, AI, and analytics for the future of retail.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM #NRF17
Executive Vice President, Market Development, U.S. mastercard @MastercardNews
“Change has been in the air for Retail for quite sometime, and Mastercard’s Linda Kirkpatrick noted that online commerce accounted for 11% more sales this year than last in the US- shifting faster each year, and generating lots of new, valuable customer preference data. Of course, that also reducing the foot traffic in brick and mortar stores that used to host the entire shopping experience.”
“According to Drew Green, CEO of online-based bespoke men’s suit maker INDOCHINO,
today’s shopper has already done lots of planning and selection before walking into the store, where previously, part of the retail environment had shoppers looking, touching, and planning in the early stages of a purchase. That means it is more critical than ever to connect their digital preference behavior into a relevant, on-premise experience.”
EVP and President, GameStop International, GameStop Corporation @gamestopcorp
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health Enthusiast
The Vitamin Shoppe @VitaminShoppe
“Continuing the theme that data-driven, omnichannel analytics is now the priority, each of the afternoon Keynote speakers noted they’re hiring data scientists as fast as they can, and that it’s new for Retail companies to prize these skills in the panel.
Panelists included Mike Mauler of Gamestop and Colin Watts of Vitamin Shoppe in a discussion titled “From Data to Delight: An Insight-Driven Revolution of the In-Store Experience.
Next we turned towards the challenges of Global expansion for retail brands, where a panel of retailers included T2, the speciality tea retailer sharing their experience trying export their pan-European tea-based passion to the New York market, looking for ways to connect with local groups and build a following organically. .”
“Next up we needed some wisdom on how to manage fast change- astronaut Scott Kelly spoke at length about his years on the International Space Station, including internet access, and online shopping, but really his message was how to remain calm. He shared how he maintained focus when the whole world is spinning around, a feeling many conferences attendees seemed to share- change is accelerating, and the digital world is disrupting many aspects of their world.”
“Retail has been forever changed by the shift to mobile and digital, but there’s always tremendous opportunity in change. Today’s panelists stressed the importance of focusing on what you can control- like capturing omnichannel customer data and using it to drive a personalized, relevant experience- instead of the falling foot traffic, increased automation, and robotic assistance that inevitably puts downward pressure on the workforce, cited as 8% of all US-based jobs.
The biggest takeaway from Day 1 was how much the NRF Retail conference looks like a Tech conference- giants like Google, Microsoft, Intel and Saleforce were out in force, along with speciality analytics/AI experts like Manthan Analytic Solutions, debuting a new Alexa-based AI for store management, showing again how the new, data-driven online experience can enhance logistics and customer experience by bringing key store sales indicators to every store personnel’s earpiece, pushing a report into an actionable, real-time scenario.”