Retail transformation is the topic du jour — and perhaps for the foreseeable future — on many retail executives’ minds. It is fitting that “Retail Transformation: It All Starts Here” is the official theme of the industry’s first and largest event of the new year, the 2018 Big Show of the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Taking place 14-16th January 2018 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, Retail’s Big Show is expected to attract well over 10,000 retailers from around the world, with tens of thousands more industry professionals in attendance to demonstrate new technologies, give presentations on new business models and network.
Cegid will be there, making a major product announcement at the show from booth #3775. In fact, our new solution is designed to transform sales interactions with today’s connected consumers. More details will be forthcoming soon.
An Agenda for an Evolving Retail Era
The NRF Big Show’s educational program reflects the importance of retail store transformation. This issue is clearly a top focus for many retail businesses as they define and refine their unified commerce strategies. One session is aptly titled “The Brick and Mortar Store Strikes Back,” promising to “dive into innovative technology and strategies to drive customers back into the physical store — and keep them there.”
Other informative sessions at NRF 2018 will cover topics such as:
- Bridging the Gap: Retail’s Physical and Digital Worlds
- Entertaining the Customer: In Physical and Digital Space
- The Future of Retail: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
- Delivering the Modern Retail Experience
- How AI’s Building Blocks Are Powering Retail
The diversity of speakers also mirrors the changing face of the retail landscape and its leadership. There will be presentations by fashion stars like designer Tommy Hilfiger, who has repeatedly reinvented his brand, keeping it fresh for new generations. He will address “The Power of Disruption,” including how his firm has adapted to new “see-now-buy-now” shopping behaviors. There also will be no short supply of speakers from big-name retailers such as Macy’s, QVC and Walmart. However, more so than in years past, this Big Show shines a spotlight on retail entrepreneurs and businesses blazing new trails. Among them is Rachel Shechtman, founder and CEO of STORY, the store that completely changes its theme and product assortment about as frequently as a magazine publishes new editions. At the same time, the show will host speakers from e-commerce giants Amazon Web Services and Alibaba as well as newer players like Brandless, Zola.com and b8ta.
A sign of the important relationship between social media and retail, some very notable Silicon Valley executives also are on the agenda. Among them will be COO of Instagram Marne Levine, discussing “The Future of Retailing: How Tech is Changing the Game,” and Facebook’s Head of Global Retailing and e-Commerce Strategy Martin Barthel, who will speak about out-of-the-box thinking and building a retail dream team.
The Changing Store Experience
In many ways, the NRF’s annual event is a bell weather for retail trends. The 2018 Big Show’s theme certainly reflects the currents running throughout the industry. “Physical retailers must begin by embracing their core differentiation: the physical shopping experience,” said Forbes contributing author Trevor Sumner, CEO of Perch Interactive, in his recent article about reinventing retail. “You can’t out-Amazon Amazon,” he said, but brick-and-mortar retailers who “provide amazing in-store experiences are thriving.”
Target Marketing Magazine reported results of research by Synchrony Financial showing that:
- 55 percent of consumers are excited by the prospect of an in-store experience that entertains them
- 70 percent of shoppers would rather spend money on experiences than things
In its article “Store of the Future: What Should Retailers Be Doing Now?” Capgemini pointed to six successful practices. The recommendations focused on the following.
- Inspiration: create something different for loyal and new customers
- Authenticity: offer an experience that supports your brand values
- Effortless: make sure the shopping journey is frictionless for the consumer
- Adaptive: be flexible and ready for fast-paced, consumer-driven changes
- Personalized: engaged shoppers in real-time interactions that are relevant to them as individuals
- Seamless: integrate every facet of the retail experience across all channels
Cegid’s product launch at NRF 2018 will provide retailers with the tools they need to address these priorities and inspire shoppers and associates alike. To learn more and schedule a demo, contact us today. It’s also not too late to register for Retail’s Big Show. We look forward to seeing you there!