Nowadays, time is no longer a commodity – it is one of most precious assets that we have. Our professional lives become more and more condensed, and the speed of change is stepping up. It is true for a lot of industries, but we can all testify how dramatic this acceleration effect has been for retail. Have you felt overwhelmed at times by the amount of new information, and afraid that you are not able to keep pace? To remedy this feeling, we all need to be very selective about the events and venues we choose to attend professionally.
Why NRF ? It’s no random chance that it is called the BIG SHOW: everything you need to know – and discover – about today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, you can source from attending this industry event, the most prominent global trade show in the retail industry. To cite statistics from the January 2017 event, why did 35 000 people (among them 300 speakers and 500 exhibitors) from 95 different countries decide to attend? Even those conscious of precious time constraints still it deemed worthy of the investment – because there is no rival to this show if you want to stay abreast of the customer, technology, and leadership trends, presented and shared by global leaders in the form of exhibitors, presenters and keynote speakers.
As Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO, aptly says: “With big changes come fresh opportunities to move an agenda — the retail agenda — forward.” It goes hand-in-hand with a more historical one, from Alvin Toffler: “The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.” To arm yourself against future shock, it is imperative that retail leaders educate themselves about all the newest solutions ranging from beacons to Big Data, payments to predictive analytics, robotics to RFID, ESLs and much, much more – to feed their strategic thinking and planning for the years to come.
If I look back at the main themes from NRF 2017, I am struck by how all of them grew in relevance during the year: leveraging data to transform business, dynamic pricing, optimizing the physical store, closing the gap between customer and retailer, balancing technology and the “human touch” in your customer experience. Even more cutting-edge: voice as an interface for shopping, product personalization, robotics, and many forms of AI. There are also important and overarching leadership themes: how to attract retail talent, what retail skill sets we should be building today for the demands of 2020, equality and sustainability.
We at Revionics have been a proud participant of NRF for many years. Every year we push ourselves to raise the bar and come to the trade show with even more inspiring topics to share, more innovative solutions and a more engaging experience for our customers and other retailers. This year we have particularly timely and relevant information to share, as we invested in some very interesting research with Forrester Consulting this year to conduct two extensive and eye-opening consumer global surveys. For us, a clear theme is that what shoppers say and believe, particularly about retail pricing and promotions, often is very counter to the prevailing beliefs. Hence our NRF 2018 theme: “Your Customers Have Spoken.” For the benefit of our customers and retail partners, we are keen to understand first-hand shoppers’ true sentiments and expectations about the way they shop, how price relates to convenience, whether they get relevant promotions, and which channels attract more of their loyalty. We are ready to make these findings and insights available to you to contribute to your strategic thinking and planning for 2018 and beyond.
And we are ready to equip you with much more than the research data. We continue to plan and build our product roadmap to give you an end-to-end solution for your retail pricing lifecycle. As I mentioned, Forrester and we gathered a lot of feedback from shoppers regarding promotions: they are frequently overwhelmed by the avalanche of offers they receive, very often via ineffective channels, and that are irrelevant or even counter-productive. We know that you are concerned with this topic and invest a lot of time and effort to figure out the best “promo relationship” that would create a win-win experience for your company and your customers. At NRF we are featuring a new module in our portfolio, Promotional Performance Analysis, which is proven to help to break the cycle of ineffective promotions, freeing up millions of dollars and Euros that would otherwise be spent on useless promotions, and – what’s even more important – build stronger and more sustainable relationships with your shoppers.
Without further ado, I urge you to book tickets now to New York. We will be happy to see you at our booth where, as always, Revionics’ senior executive team is available to have a stimulating and highly focused discussion about challenges that you see in front of your business going forward, and to share our experiences from closely partnering with retailers globally – through more than 100 implementations –which we can leverage for your benefit.
i NRF (National Retail Federation), Retail’s Big Show and EXPO, January 15-18 2018 in New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.
ii Understanding Retail Customers’ Pricing Expectations and Tolerances, a May 2017 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Revionics, and “Demystifying Price and Promotion,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Revionics, September 2017.