NRF round-up from BJSS

David Gore, Head of Retail, Media & Technology at BJSS gives A1 Retail a round-up of the top trends seen at NRF 2020. 

Last week thousands of the world’s top retailers and service providers descended on New York to attend the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, arguably the biggest retail event in the world. One theme that stole the show for me was the next level of discussion around in-store experience. As retailers’ strain to keep up with the pace of technology and customers’ ever-changing expectations, the physical store has never been more in-focus for retailers. By reimagining the role of the in-store experience, away from a binary, transactional stage, retailers can create a highly effective consumer channel that meets shoppers’ ever-evolving needs. The key is blending the in-store experience tightly with online to simultaneously drive online sales as well as offering experiential features that delight and surprise customers. For example, Neighborhood Goods is embracing these questions by creating a physical space that fosters a positive experience for customers, allowing people to come together to learn more about the brand. It also hedges risk by sharing its store space amongst other brands, which is an increasingly popular and savvy business model.

Technology was also high up on the agenda. The most successful retailers have used technology as a driver of commercial success. The Innovation Stage demonstrated the immense choice and power of technology in retail. However, for some this becomes choice overload – how can an organisation facilitate and master all aspects of all the options out there?

What retailers need to ask themselves is do I know the implications of these changes and am I ready to tackle them? Do I know what my customers really want? Whether it be through technology or reimagining the physical store, forward thinking is essential.

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