NRF 2020 Conference & EXPO: An RPE Perspective
The NRF Conference & EXPO offers retailers a platform to meet new people and form innovative collaborations to create business-changing connections. NRF 2020 was no exception. Last week, RPE had the privilege to meet with retailers to discuss their challenges and needs for the coming year. The show may be over, but the real work is just getting started for both our customers and RPE.
Based on conversations and meetings with retail clients and prospects, business partners and colleagues, here is what is top of mind for retailers today:
Machine Learning and AI Focused on the Customer Experience – Retailers expressed heightened interest in AI-enabled platforms capable of delivering customer-centric insights to help tackle inventory challenges and provide the necessary data to support optimal purchasing and pricing strategies.
Customer Interfacing Solutions – CRM and BI are leading the discussions on ways to enhance the customer experience. By investing in business intelligence, retailers are looking to increase revenue by leveraging data-driven technologies to better understand data and drive more tailored and personalized shopping experiences.
Efficiency in the Supply Chain – From the vendor to the consumer this remains an ongoing priority. Getting the right merchandise to the right location at the right time as efficiently as possible remains top priority.
Renewed Interest in Core Merchandising Systems – Without a solid core merchandise system, it is impossible for a retailer to be successful. We are seeing a renewed focus on making sure the right systems are in place to store and handle foundational data.
Buy Online and Pick Up at Store, etc. – More retailers are seeing the importance of servicing customers in the way they want. The Fashion Index Report notes that 75% of consumers have high expectations for digital shopping experiences. In addition, 73% of consumers expect brands to go above and beyond for delivery and pickup, while only 59% believe brands are performing.
All Channel Pricing Access Across All Operations – As channels continue to become more intertwined and pricing strategies become more complex, there is a need to implement solutions that assist with managing the complexities that retailers face today.
Retail is alive and well despite its challenges. We encountered several emerging retailers attending NRF in need of core solutions as well as established retailers looking to enhance their capabilities. The RPE team returned from NRF energized and excited to engage in more detailed discussions with retailers on their specific challenges and needs for this changing age of retail.