What to expect from the upcoming NRF Big Show 2015
The past 12 months saw the rise of unique challenges that many merchants conquered. With a new year in the sights of many retailers, what can they expect from the next 12 months?
That is a difficult question to answer, but it will certainly be a popular topic of conversation at the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show, which is coming up next week. The convention tends to be a meeting of the minds between some of the biggest and brightest individuals in the industry, whether they are analysts, store CEOs, software developers or anything else. Some of the hottest topics retailers will face over the course of the next year will be discussed at the event.
So, what should attendees expect? Here are a few common themes the might come up:
The renaissance of brick-and-mortar stores
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about growing eCommerce and the rise of omnichannel approaches and strategies. But it is critical to remember that brick-and-mortar stores are still the pillar of many retail operations. In 2015, the retail industry may see the renaissance of physical stores, particularly as merchants begin using them as proxy distribution centers to expedite delivery.
However, physical stores are about more than order fulfillment. Many merchants are also looking to enhance customer satisfaction by improving the shopping experience. More sellers may begin to take a more luxurious approach – they are following the bookstore model and adding in-store cafes or daycare services. This helps people relax while the shop, turning a chore into a pleasure.
But cafes and daycare services are only a couple examples of what retailers can do to enhance the in-store experience. In fact, one of the keynote speeches at the NRF Big Show will be about reinventing the brick-and-mortar experience.
Making the global stage much smaller
Traditionally, retailers were limited to the number of customers they served by geographical proximity – they could reach the shoppers who could drive to the store. The Web has eliminated that barrier – people can visit online stores, regardless of where they live. But there are still many logistical factors, ranging from website localization to order fulfillment, that serve as key barriers inhibiting retailers’ ability to engage international audiences.
Global economies continue to grow and more people than ever before across the world are shopping online. In the past, merchants may have been able to ignore the international audience, but it will grow increasingly difficult to do so moving forward, particularly for sellers looking to grow their niche and expand. Fortunately, new order fulfillment solutions and other tools make serving this global audience easier than ever before.
At the NRF Big Show, there will be another keynote talking about some of the challenges and opportunities that retailers will see on the international level.
Making shopping about the customer
Retail has always revolved around the customer, but merchants are looking for new ways to truly bolster customer satisfaction. By doing that, they hope to improve customer loyalty and keep people coming back for future purchases.
The first place to start is with the in-store shopping experience, but it does not end there. Loyalty is another major factor merchants must address, and with the rise of mobile wallets, it has only gotten easier. Retailers can release apps that track reward points and purchases and allow merchants to reward loyal patrons.
Merchants want to produce repeat customers, so a better shopping experience and loyalty initiatives are where many sellers will look.
If you are dropping by the NRF Big Show, you should be sure to join SalesWarp in Booth No. 717 to discuss some of these topics in more detail.