If you couldn’t make it to New York this year, we’ve got you covered. After three days of intense discussions and discoveries, we’re bringing you the trends that stood out at the National Retail Federation’s trade show. This year, the conference highlighted retail’s importance as a massive data generator and raised the question of what could be done with all of it. The general consensus is that making data work harder is set to be a key theme for 2020, and data providers will play an extremely prominent role.
Our team was on hand at NRF and compiled the following takeaways from the 2020 edition.
It’s high time retailers made the most of their customer data. While a majority is already personalizing their online shopping experience, they should also start looking into offline customer journeys. From differentiated ads to virtual fittings in-store, consider using AI to enhance your marketing strategy and offer your customers more accurate deals.
Accelerating the buying journey
Consumers are over-solicited. If you want to reach them, think about focusing on cutting down wait times, making online and offline purchasing faster and cutting down queues in stores.
Increasing store visits
In-store purchases still make up a significant proportion of total sales, and it’s vital retailers drive enough customers to their stores to have a return on investment on their bricks and mortar. By identifying which people are more likely to visit your store, you can better target your advertising, lower your costs, and increase store visits.
Being customer centric
Understanding each customer on a personal level will make it easier to understand who they are and what resonates with them. By placing data at the heart of your strategy, you’ll be able to understand what makes your customers tick and what they expect from your brand. But don’t forget to respect their privacy. Just because you have access to data doesn’t mean you should use it. Regulations like GDPR and CCPA are here to stay, so make sure you’re respecting both the law and your customers’ personal preferences.
Tracing the life of a product – from creation to sale – is set to become the norm. You’ll just need to insert a chip into the packaging and have access to a traceability platform or app. Once you’ve created your product’s digital profile and it’s available off the shelf, the only thing you’ll have to do is scan its QR code on the platform, which will display its traceability from its creation to that particular moment in time. But beware of privacy issues. If you don’t want to land in hot water, keep in mind that your tracking should probably stop once your product’s been purchased.
Original customer journeys
Customers are increasingly looking for exceptional buying experiences. With Scan & Go technology, you can take your first step towards engaging purchasing journeys. Customers will be able to scan your products’ QR codes with their smartphone and be redirected to your brand’s web app. There, they’ll just have to fill their basket and pay online – without going through in-store checkout. Another idea is to use dynamic digital labels directly linked to your back office to help you manage your products’ prices in real time, switch labels and automatize display changes. Or, you could also consider using QR codes or NFC to facilitate interactions between your brand and customers by giving them more information about the product they’re interested in via their smartphone. They would then be redirected to a web app that explains what’s new in your store or special offers available, enabling sales assistants to dedicate their time to the selling act itself.
Importance of brick-and-mortar stores
We can even go as far as to say stores represent a wealth of information for retailers, who can manage and consolidate client data to improve their shopping experience. There are many sources of information, from connected devices to employees and clients. By using them, you can monitor their in-store behavior and link this data to sales information to cut back on costs and increase productivity. This information is paramount to improve the buying journey and engaging further with your consumers. Some brands go even further and connect physical documents (like catalogs) with digital content in order to capitalize on their investment and push their offer to consumers on different platforms. By scanning a product’s picture in your brand’s app for example, consumers are redirected to the product’s webpage where they can read about it, save it in their wishlist or buy it. An unprecedented way of driving consumers to your store.
We’re looking forward to seeing how the trends from NRF play out and counting down to next year’s show!