The Biggest Trends at NRF 2014’s Big Show
The 103rd Annual National Retail Federation Big Show 2014 was bigger and better than ever this year, with 30,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors. The show is a great way to check out retail technology trends, mingle with industry thought leaders, update key media on company updates and hopefully chat up a few potential customers or partners. It’s quite the social event, off and online, with nearly 30,000 total tweets throughout the Big Show’s duration. It’s an event that requires weeks of ramp up, so we would all hope to bring home some useful information from the three-day extravaganza! Here are the biggest trends to come out of NRF’s 2014 Big Show: Omni-Everything The NRF buzzword of the season was absolutely “omnichannel”, as debates on the accuracy and relevance of the concept cropped up in sessions and appointments throughout the show. A clear emphasis lies on bringing together the online and brick-and-mortar worlds for an ideal, seamless service in the retail environment, from inventory management to product search and discovery to checkout and the transaction experience. Customer Experience Trumps All The customer is always right — at least when it comes to knowing what they like and don’t like about a shopping experience and retail interaction. Retailers are constantly competing to offer more personalized promotions for the consumers they so ardently work to keep happy. Many solutions providers at NRF set out to help retailers better connect with consumers, so it will be interesting to see how this aspect of the industry evolves in 2014. The next hot topic supports a more personalized customer experience, and goes hand in hand with an enhanced shopping environment tailored to individuals. Mobility, Loyalty and Location Shopper tracking using mobile apps such as Apple’s iBeacon allows retailers to bring offers to consumers that are based on actual shopping preferences and behavior within a specific retail space. Understanding the in-store path-to-purchase was a major focus at the show, and retailers are looking for strategies that drive sales and optimize the customer experience. Mobility allows for greater attention to the individual shopper’s needs, as well as integrate analytics and digital touch points, resulting in a better overall understanding of the extremely aware and selective customer. What big trends did you see at this year’s NRF? Let us know what you think about these big ideas and how you’re approaching them in 2014!