Top Four Retail Lessons from NRF 2019
The NRF Big Show sets the tone for retail in the new year, with innovative new solutions being announced and insights from industry leaders being shared. We identified four key lessons from NRF 2019 that you can use to improve customer engagement, offer unique in-store experiences, and unleash the power of your store associates.
1. Customers Are King
One of the top questions asked by retailers at NRF 2019 was, “How does this help my customer?” With more channels and choices for shoppers, retailers across the board want to ensure that shoppers want to choose their stores. As a result, providing engaging customer experiences and outstanding customer service are top priorities in 2019. Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe’s, spoke at the show to the need to focus on retail fundamentals—ensuring that shopping is frictionless and associates are knowledgeable and engaged in every interaction with customers. Retailers are looking for solutions to streamline store operations and drive employee engagement, in order to provide the best possible customer experience in the modern retail environment.
2. Technology Brings Innovation
Retail is anticipated to be one of the fastest industries to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies in the next few years. AI solutions were on display at NRF 2019 to improve forecasting, optimize operations for customer engagement, and more. Additionally, mobile solutions have reached a point of saturation. Retailers are both using mobile devices in customer interactions and transitioning store solutions to mobile platforms, ensuring that solutions are easy to use for managers and associates as they go about their work day.
3. In-Store Experiences Thrive
For all the changes in retail, some things have stayed constant. In the face of ubiquitous e-commerce and the rise of mobile and voice shopping, brick-and-mortar stores are still thriving, offering customers engaging experiences and immediate satisfaction. Even digital native brands and pure play retailers commented on the value of the physical stores at NRF 2019. Alex Gourlay, co-COO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, also spoke to the power of technological and retail partnerships to create new store models and build on shared strengths. The conversation has shifted from which channels will win out, to the store operations strategies that create a seamless omnichannel experience—providing the customer with the engagement of in-store shopping and the convenience of online shopping no matter how they shop.
4. Store Associates Drive Success
One common theme among retailers this year was the power of store associates to drive retail success. Store associates execute in-store work, fulfill omnichannel orders, and act as brand ambassadors. Without their dedication and hard work, the customer experience falls short of expectations. When store associates are empowered to succeed, they drive customer engagement and convert sales. Several industry leaders, including Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, spoke to the importance of investing in your workforce. This means both giving associates the tools and training they need to do their jobs better and also investing in employee engagement and retention. Retailers that invest in their employees are ensuring that associates are more effective, more knowledgeable, and more enthusiastic about their work.
The Reflexis ONE platform helps retailers put these lessons into action. With a single platform of mobile-first solutions for real-time store operations and workforce management, Reflexis empowers you to simplify store execution and optimize labor spend, unleashing the power of store associates.
To learn more about how the Reflexis ONE platform streamlines work in stores, you can contact me—Kevin Saum, Vice President of Sales, Kevin.Saum@reflexisinc.com–or read our latest white paper, “How to Solve Your Retail Work Problem.”