What will shape and shake Retail business in 2020: unmissable learnings from NRF Retail’s Big Show

NRF Retail Week held last week in New York is the must-attend annual meeting that showcases some of the most relevant and innovative up-and-coming technologies in retail. As the biggest global platform for discussing the future of the business, it brings together experts and strategic leaders, industry professionals and loads of ideas to learn, share and inspire on what is going to shape and shake retail scenario in upcoming months. As the rules of retail are constantly being rewritten, retailers must keep an eye on trends to develop a clear vision and establish a route for innovation in order to improve their competitive advantage. We have recapped for you all trends that matter and you should keep on the top of mind from NRF 2020.

The store is going more tech to transform the customer experience

The store seems to be always back in the conversation and indeed it never went away as the epicenter of retail operations. The idea that consumers are driven by experiences is still pushing the limits of retail, so the store goes more and more customer-centric. To meet this purpose, retailers are betting on next generation IT solutions. Therefore, when taking a ‘zoom in’ on the hottest technologies according to trends seen on NRF, we shall keep on the top of mind AI, AR and VR.

The raising of self-checkout

Tech adoptions and tech capabilities will definitely shape retail scenario this upcoming year and retailers must decide their tech intensity through investment in key technologies to manage their back-end operations and deliver unique customer experiences (both onsite and online). One of the hot-button technologies retailers are embracing as they embrace «store of the future» initiatives is self-checkout. Autonomous payment was revealed as one of the key solutions to boost customer convenience and loyalty. Additional customer experience technologies like voice recognition, facial recognition and artificial intelligence will streamline the customer experience featured by self-checkout

Data is the epicenter of the industry´s future

Retailers have the most valuable asset: commercial scale consumer behavioral data. A proper analytics strategy is becoming a real epicenter of the industry´s future and help retailers to build new customer experiences, stock stores and make good pricing strategies. As seen during the course of NRF, end-to-end customer data collection and management help to drive a shopping journey that can be optimized, tracked, and frictionless. Once the data from across all retail channels (both in-store and online) are aggregated, there is a big opportunity to deliver a true omnichannel experience.

Enhancing customer engagement

Retailers´ biggest milestone is still the question how to get greater customer insights that can be tailored in real-time to drive personalization or on-demand offers and promotions that drive inspiration of customer engagement. Many retailers and experts present at NRF 2020 have talked about the role of integrated mobile apps in the process of enhancing the customer engagement. Combining loyalty points, payment functionality, personalized marketing offers, placing orders in advance or providing customers with a smooth checkout experience are some of the benefits that mobile apps offer to customers.

To sum up, NRF has showed us 2020 is the year of agile retail and all customer-centric development will come to embrace its core values. No doubt, the future will belong to the retailers that prioritize experiences and customer engagement across all the channels and also everywhere in between. Though there is still some buzz about Retail Apocalypse, at NRF we noticed the positive changes happening across the industry, driven by technology and there are many companies with strong sense of optimism for the future. Say hello to the new decade, the decade driven by data and technology were standing still is not an option anymore. Stay tuned for more retail trends insights.