What's on the retailer's mind? Some answers from The NRF Big Show.

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    Every year the retail industry is invited by the National Retail Federation to meet in New York and find out about the latest trends in technology.

    Going there, aside from being a fantastic experience in itself, I found out that in retail the key ingredients to make your customers happy are:

    • Customized experience
    • Seamless delivery
    • Great Pricing

    And using the right technology can certainly help with all of the above.

    A great deal of attention goes to finding ways to bridge online behaviors with what happens in the store and vice versa. Knowing everything the customers do online such as items most ordered, sizes and preferences empower the sales associates to personalize their approach and overall experience when the clients visit the store. A dashboard will show on the associate’s iPad providing him or her with all the relevant information previously captured from previous visits online or in other stores. For most stores, this will require asking the customer for his name but in the most advanced ones, beacon technology will enable automatic recognition of the client and push the right offer as soon as he steps into the store.


    Real-time basket analysis is also a big deal, by tracking exactly what a customer is interested in while shopping in the store, for example when watching the preview of a movie in the DVD section, the retailer can push a special promotional coupon for that product right there on the customer’s mobile and thereby “seal the deal”. Not only it speeds up the purchase decision but from the customers’ perspective, it is as a great increase in the quality of the service provided.

    Anything about Big Data? Of course! It can help retailers in 2 main areas, personalize communication towards each customer but most importantly, be faster at making sense of a constantly changing market and thereby adapt ahead of consumer trends.

    What else can pulling the right data together help the retailers be better at?

    Reconciling merchandising and account management and thereby avoid the mistake of just dealing with one or the other. Example: the least sold product might be part of the regular purchases made by some key accounts.
    On a similar front, prices can be negotiated in a better way if the head of purchasing is provided with a single view of the inventory to join the physical and online operations.

    Last but not least, when it comes to moving some of the retailers’ operations online, it is not just about the ability to fill an increasing amount of orders but also to identify the most profitable way to fulfill these orders for easier reach and at a better cost. This all goes back to “customers with seamless deliveries and better prices”.

    More to come next year!

    Happy Dashboarding!