We had a fantastic time at NRF’s Big Retail Show in New York this year. It was exciting to see everyone back. We really enjoyed chatting with enterprise retailers and delivering our Retail Choreography presentation.
With so many fascinating panel discussions and exhibitors at NRF, it’s safe to say it hasn’t been easy for us to pick out our top takeaways. However, if we had to sum up the key themes from NRF 2023, here’s our top three:
1. Pop culture sells
Tapping into pop culture has always been a successful way to sell inventory. After all, who doesn’t want Wednesday Addams-themed pajamas or shoes designed by their favorite musical artist?
However, as we saw at NRF New York, the key difference in recent years is that social media enables retailers to invite consumers to become a part of a shared brand narrative.
Brands like shoe retailer Claire’s are harnessing the power of pop culture to cater to Gen Z consumers. For example, they’ve created “Claire’s Town” in the Roblox gaming world to engage with young gamers online.
Similarly, many brands are using social media to connect with their customers. It’s now become a popular social media strategy for businesses to share posts by consumers which shoutout their products.
More than ever, consumers are becoming brand ambassadors and a great source of endorsement online.
2. Consumers want meaningful experiences
It’s no secret that today’s consumer has more power than they ever did. With a single post online, one consumer can tell countless more whether to visit your stores or avoid them.
However, what LVMH Chairman and CEO Anish Melwani highlighted so well at NRF 2023 is that the story behind your products is as much a part of the customer experience as anything else.
To give an example, the story of where the jewels in a bracelet come from and how the bracelets crafted matters to jewelry shoppers. Of course, product quality still plays a huge part in the consumer’s purchasing decisions. Yet now the story behind the product does as well.
Think of it this way: can you really create a personalized customer experience if you’re not sharing what makes each and every one of your products unique?
Put the product’s story front and center. Let customer’s learn about where the goods they’re buying came from and how they were crafted.
3. Improving Demand Planning Through Weather Intelligence
The weather is a swing factor for 3.5% of America’s total GDP. To put that in perspective, that’s several hundred billion dollars.
As Californians well know, current weather forecasting technology isn’t always accurate.The Washington Post recently reported that torrential rain hit California in late December. This wouldn’t have been particularly unusual, if the weather forecast hadn’t predicted blue skies.
With inaccurate forecasts, retailers can’t effectively prepare stock, plan shifts or even their marketing outputs.
In “Nailing Demand Forecasts: From Machine Learning to Replenishment and Everything Inbetwee Produced by Planalytics”, Scott Bernhardt, President of Planalytics reveals the latest developments in Weather Intelligence Technology.
He argued that finding a way to better forecast how the weather will affect footfall is a top priority for retailers. By harnessing Weather Intelligence Software tools, brands can simultaneously improve resource allocation, better predict footfall figures and drive store efficiency.
Qudini by Verint NRF presentation recap
Qudini by Verint spoke on the AWS stand on how retailers can “Use Technology to Design Better Customer Experiences & Optimize Costs”.
Here’s a summary of what we discussed:
The news headlines tend to focus on the doom and gloom on the high street but it’s important to sit back and appreciate what an incredibly exciting time we live in.
At Qudini, we believe the High Street is making a comeback.
The key reason being that the in-store experience is important to many consumers. Whether it’s to test out products, receive personalized service or to experience a brand, consumers will always want to shop in-store. And they’ll spend considerably more money if you have a slick store atmosphere.
The brands that will come out on top of the next digital retail revolution will be the brands that find a way to use technology to bridge the gap between online and offline channels. For example, retailers have the unique opportunity to use online channels to grab consumers’ attention.
One key retail choreography solution that is particularly successful in the current retail landscape is Appointment Scheduling. The consumer benefits of appointment scheduling were evident pre-pandemic, but the last 2 years has seen an explosion in demand. Interestingly, this demand didn’t really subside as the world returned to normal.
Brands need to follow new retail choreography trends closely. By implementing them before they become industry standard, retailers can ensure they’re retaining customers.
Didn’t get the chance to speak to us at NRF 2023?
So much to do, so little time. If you didn’t get the opportunity to speak to our team at NRF’s Big Show 2023, not to worry. We can demo the full Qudini by Verint Retail Choreography platform to you over a video call.
Contact us using the form below if you’d like to catch-up now that Qudini has been acquired by Verint.