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How Merchants Plan To Turn Good Ideas Into Best Practices

Starting today, scores of merchants, technologists, financiers, analysts, journalists and all-around retail enthusiasts descend on Manhattan for “Retail’s Big Show” –  NRF’s annual event. By the looks of the agenda, it seems most participants are helping retailers prepare for an increasingly demanding and connected consumer. Now anyone who has ever worked in retail knows the customer is always right, but judging by the tone of the various press releases that the vendors participating in “Retail’s Big Show” were sent preceding the event – the customer is also “king/queen,” “your new boss” and, in one particularly enthusiastic case, “God.”

As 2015 kicks off, it’s certainly true that consumers have an unprecedented number of options when it comes to retail, starting with where they shop, what brands they buy, what channels they use, what they’ll consult before making their purchase and how they’ll pay for it all in the end. All of this also presents the 21st century retailer with an unprecedented opportunity and challenge. But, hey, the good news at least, is that consumers are shopping, so, at least this year it seems retail has that going for it.

So, how to attract those consumers, and keep them coming back is the shape of the conversation to come next week. And, here’s a little sneak peek…

The Role Of The Physical Store

“Retail continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, presenting numerous opportunities for retailers to adapt to the new boss [the consumer] and thrive. The death knell for brick-and-mortar was premature. Physical stores remain at the emotional and financial core of today’s retail model and can be leveraged to engage and delight the new boss and deliver real profit and brand equity.”

  •         Wayne Usie, SVP Retail Industry Strategy At JDA Software.

 

From One to Omnichannel

“Traditional retail is reactive, they wait for the door to open. We want proactive people who can open the doors themselves.”

  •         Michael Barkin, VP Sales, Trunk Club
Follow The Beacons

“Technologies, such as beacons, can be used to proactively deliver marketing messages or coupons to shoppers’ mobile devices and allow retailers to interact with shoppers at the ‘moment of opportunity.’ They encourage new purchases and can be tied to customer loyalty data to deliver a highly personal experience.”

 

Using Mobile Phones To Shop (And Pay)

“A handful of technologies like Apple Pay are going to help mobile’s numbers, but generally we’re seeing the combination of consumer comfort — the apps are better, the websites are better, companies are getting better at doing flash sales, merchandising on phones is getting better and our screens are bigger and better too.”

  •         Julie Ask, VP & Principal Analyst, Forrester

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The Power of Data

“The right tools that include machine learning capabilities can analyze massive amounts of data – and use more interesting sources of data – and that gives a retailer an edge,” he said. “From transaction volumes to number of mentions on Twitter or ‘likes’ on Facebook, these tools help retailers to segment and target customers more specifically and offer guidance on what those customers want.”

  •         Julie Ask, VP & Principal Analyst, Forrester

 

 

 

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