We’re back in Austin after another exciting trip to New York City for the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, Retail’s BIG Show. Originally launched in 1911 (yes, you read that correctly!), the BIG Show is exactly that – the biggest retail trade show in the world. And, coming off a record-breaking holiday season for ecommerce, the 235,000 square-foot show floor was buzzing with excitement as retailers look for new strategies and innovations to take a bigger piece of the retail pie in 2017.

ngs_bigshow

There was a lot of talk about how retailers need to create customer-focused experiences first – something that’s always been at the core of Newgistics’ business. As Tom DeCoster, VP Services at CDW, said in a video interview at the show, innovative retailers must leverage mobility and networking to design customer-focused experiences that meet customers when and where they want to interact.

“…retailers need to create customer-focused experiences first…”

Retailers also need to think more like digital natives. As Lee Peterson from the global retail design firm WD Partners said during a talk on Monday: “[Retailers] are lacking the ability to think quickly. See how slow retailers are reacting to this digital native need. A lot of companies are being run by digital immigrants.”

Digitally native consumers are typically born in 1995 or later, in the age of Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and Google. And since these people are now into their early 20s and their spending power is growing, retail executives need to mend that age disparity and start thinking more like digital natives.

Finally, it was no surprise to hear that – despite all the buzz – omnichannel is still far from conquered territory. According to Forrester’s Brendan Witcher omnichannel offerings have grown considerably over the last few years, but retailers need to buckle down on “the unsexy stuff — people and process.” The general consensus at the event was that 2017 will be the year that retailers get more serious about measuring the impact of omnichannel – doing more than just checking the boxes to do the bare minimum. There will be a shift in mindset where retailers will come to accept that customer behavior is fundamentally changing and start to figure out how to cater to the new expectations of the customer.

The excitement and energy at this year’s NRF was inspiring and we look forward to keeping the momentum going as we dive into 2017. All of these major factors influencing the future of online retail are – and have been—well entrenched into Newgistics offerings, and we’re excited about the capabilities we’ve built to help e-tailers deliver the best end-to-end customer experience.

To learn more about how Newgistics end-to-end approach to commerce can grow your business, please visit newgistics.com.