NRF 2018 and future retail experience

Household’s key takeaways from NRF 2018.

2018’s Big Show at NRF showcased a united front from brands confident that the retail experience, with the right collection of technology, has the power to transform a brand’s relationship with its guest. Yes, guest.
We heard this customer type casting from Bonobos last year. Now it is commonplace for brands to talk about hosting guests, making their lives easier, giving them more of what’s right for them and creating better quality of time, no matter what sector.
This year, instead of taking the lead, technology was part of the solution. The question revolved around how does tech add value to the customer experience?
Success stories from diverse brands from Levis to Panera Bread, shared the consistent view that learning is everything and human empathy above all is the answer to success. We have entered the world of the self-selecting customer and we have to work harder to reach them. As Shawn Sweeney, Starbucks’ VP of Digital Experience, states, “What we have in common is that we are all human and have a need for connection and to be remembered”.
So the patterns emerge across the NRF show: customer first; only ‘culturally’ connect; collaboration and partnerships are the way forward; tech enabled environments better serve customers and apps will bridge the physical and digital world and truly make it personal.
No silver bullet, but rather, a laser-like focus on the customer with equal measures of heart and mind, and generous helpings of mix and match tech.
Download the PDF here.

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