NRF 2014 was held last week at the Javits Centre in New York City. It’s the biggest retail event of the year where vendors show off the future of the industry to all the delegates both using inspiring key notes and exciting demos on the Expo floors.
2014 and beyond:
It wasn’t too hard to identify that there were some common themes. On Tuesday afternoon I stood on the main Expo floor and just looking around I could quickly see the industry’s top of mind phrases and buzz words popping out:
“Omni channel”,”Onmianalytics”, “Predictive”, “Insights”, “Customer science and Analytics”, “Precise Location Matters”, “Analyze Decide”, “Mobilize”, “Mobility solutions”, “Big data”, “Customer engagement”, “Adaptive offers”, “Personalized customer experience”, “Customer Experience Analytics”
We certainly are entering the era where using data, analytics and personalization is no longer just an interesting notion or “nice to have” for retail -- it is now the KEY thing companies MUST do.
And a big common theme is that mobile is exploding and changing things rapidly, so retailers either need to keep up or inevitably fall behind their competitors. Read More »
Tags: adaptive offer, analytics, Big Data, Cisco, content, context, customer, customer science, data, engage, engagement, experience, Industry, innovation, Insights, location, mobile, mobility, mobilize, NRF, nrf14, omni-channel, omnianalytics, personalize, precise location, predictive, retail, revenue
This is the final installment of a series on how retailers can address the challenges of becoming an omnichannel business. I’d like to wrap up by talking about a deceptively simple stumbling block – accepting that being an omnichannel seller changes how people work. I spend much of my time talking to retailers, and this really is a big issue.
For example, I have seen stores install – and then turn off – Wi-Fi deployments because they worry that associates will waste time surfing the web. And, yes, some might. But consider the cost compared to customers knowing more than your salesforce because they’ve been doing online research. It makes your team look uninformed, lowers the quality of service, and impacts sales. Obviously, you don’t want workers to play games all day. Instead, train them to find and use online product information, social media, and reviews that will help improve response to customers – and deal appropriately with the exceptions.
Related to this are issues around Wi-Fi access for customers. If you provide it for employees, please just go ahead and extend this to shoppers. Universal store access allows you to optimize your brand with both employees and customers (and enables far more effective analytics). I guarantee that you will lose relevance over time as consumers learn your store is one of the few without mobile service.
As well, I’ve met retailers who won’t add Wi-Fi because they are convinced that the only outcome will be showrooming and ultimate desertion. It’s time to shed the fear of this increasingly common customer practice. Instead, leverage it as a new marketing tool. You can drive sales by being part of the customer’s social media experience, delivering your own identity, branding, and incentives. A recent Accenture study shows that younger consumers still want the in-store experience, but they also expect retailers to integrate personalized shopping across all channels.
Let’s talk more about this at the NRF Big Idea Sessions in New York, where I and Jon Stine, Lisa Fretwell, and Kathryn Howe will be speaking on Jan. 13 and 14. Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more about these popular seminars, and stop by Cisco Booth #1954 to say hello.
The idea of omnichannel selling can be daunting, and getting the benefit may entail learning to manage a certain amount of risk. But you know – it’s just retail. The environment is becoming more device-driven and the way stores look is changing. But giving consumers what they want; interacting with, understanding, and nurturing them: It’s still the business of retail. And you know how to do that.
Tags: Cisco, Jon Stine, Kathryn Howe, Lisa Fretwell, mobile, mobility, NRF, omni-channel, omnichannel, retail, retailer, Rose Depoe, showrooming, store, wi-fi, wifi
A long-standing hypothesis around here is that we’ve entered a new age of internet-shaped shopper expectations.
The thinking is that, in this age of Google, Amazon, and ubiquitous connectivity, an increasing number of Western shoppers now expect the entire world to work like an iPad 3 hooked to a steroidal data pipe.
Where, with a flick of the finger, anything and everything can be found. In multiple choice. Where comparative price and product data is there for all to see. Where transparency is equated with authenticity, and authenticity with trust.
And where everything moves ahead at blink-of-an-eye speed.
Evidence of the latter was found this past week on the front page of the New York Times.
Steve Lohr (“For Impatient Web Users, an Eye Blink Is Just Too Long to Wait”) reported that Google researchers found that a delay of four hundred milliseconds or more between key stroke and computer response – that’s four-tenths of a second, literally the blink of an eye – will cause people to search less.
According to a computer scientist at Microsoft, a response time of 250 milliseconds is now the magic number “for a competitive advantage” on the web.
Truth be told, our impatient society will wait more than a few blinks for a big video file to download. But Google research shows that four of five online users will click away if a video stalls while loading.
In this day and age, it’s lack of speed that kills.
Worth remembering as one designs the next web experience.
Worth remembering as one designs the next store experience.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
p.s. I will be speaking at the Catch Em and Keep Em Webcast on Thursday March 8th, 2012 about our research released at NRF 2012 back January. We will talk about what in our research show how retailers can catch and keep the channel hopping consumers. You can register to watch the event here.
Tags: electronic commerce, future of retailing, future store, Jon Stine, multi-channel retailing, omni-channel, shopping experience