NRF 2016 Recap

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I’m fresh back from NRF, and it’s fair to say that there have been some really significant changes. When I reflect back on K3 Retail attending NRF over the past 5 years, there’s been a shift from multichannel to omnichannel and now I’m delighted to see a further shift to customer journeys, it’s about time!

It was clear that a lot of the latest thinking is around the store and how the store is becoming a fundamental part of the customer journey and brand advocacy.

At the end of the day, a customer wants the same experience whether it’s online, in-store, concessions, franchises or call centre. Customers need a consistent experience at every touch point. The experience really does now have to be the same.

We had the exciting opportunity of going on a store tour, kindly provided by Toshiba. Where I got to see the inspirational Ralph Lauren’s flagship store, from the sales associates and also the technology provided everything was fantastic.

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I was so impressed with their fitting room concept, interactive mirrors with full RFID enabled products. A customer can pick up a garment and take it to the fitting room the mirrors automatically brings up product details, price and starts to display complimentary products on the mirror. All of this information is automatically visible to the sales associate, who has a tablet and is able to view live the customer’s interactions. It assists the sales associate in both upselling and cross selling. The bottom line is the concept is now very much in the real world, I saw real customers using it. Even the sales associate think it’s awesome. It was great to witness real customers using it real time.

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It was good to see a number of the K3 Retail customers attending the event, many of which we caught up with during the 5 days in New York. And of course I was extremely impressed with Microsoft’s stand. Focussing around the connected customer and the connected retailer. Microsoft also produced a brilliant post NRF wrap up video.

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So what are the big bets out of NRF. Delivering a seamless customer experience and journey across all channels. Secondly, deploying the latest technology in the cloud. Third for me would be around innovation in store some of the smaller emerging technologies for retailers are making lives easier for retail. Innovation in retail even from the simplest level of having wifi enabled throughout the store, to interactive fitting room screens, go anywhere baskets and consumer apps around loyalty and promotion.

All in all another excellent NRF, I already can’t wait for next years!

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