Cappasity’s time at NRF 2020 has come to a close. As so often before, the event has delivered many industry insights. Now that we have also stepped into a new decade, let us sum up the key takeaways that will serve as guidelines for retail’s foreseeable future.
#1 Brick-and-mortar isn’t going anywhere
“Those that win in retail in 10 years are going to have both brick-and-mortar destinations and digital relationships with their customers that go beyond just convenience. It’s about relationships and human connection,” said Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of Starbucks, during his keynote speech at NRF. With e-commerce influencing up to 56% of in-store purchases, ignoring one for the sake of the other would be very shortsighted. In-store experience doesn’t end with “brick”, as “click” now also extends the shopping experience beyond the realm of physical and digital with the help of immersive technologies. Making a sale is no longer the driving force as experience is what matters the most to consumers. 3D and AR/VR are steadily gaining ground and have an important role to play in the next 10 years. This year is a starting point, seeing that 46% of retailers plan to deploy either augmented or virtual reality.
#2 Fast, easy and affordable
Hundreds of retail solutions were on display at NRF, and many were innovative and exciting. Still, retailers must ask the all-important question: “How do we operationalize it?” It doesn’t matter how brilliant the solution is on paper. If it isn’t scalable, doesn’t focus on the user journey enough, and is too expensive — it’s a miss with the client. “Retailers are looking for solutions that have minimal friction during integration into the business processes,” says Kosta Popov, CEO of Cappasity. “We provide a platform that allows companies to deliver experiences, measure impact, make corrections, and get results. In the end, that’s what is important.”
#3 Intelligent retail is the future
“Intelligent” or “smart” retail was mentioned a lot during NRF. The boom of AI technologies covers the “intelligent” part of the trend — you can read more about this in our previous post. But the term “smart” refers to the smart store concept.
In 2019, McKinsey opened a test store designed to try out and measure the effectiveness of different technologies for elevating the shopping experience.
“We have the perspective that stores are here to stay, and there is a lot of opportunity to improve how they perform,” said Tiffany Burns, a partner at McKinsey. “And we see our clients navigating all the change and trying to understand what they can really do to improve the performance, which technology is valid, what will customers accept and like, and everyone is ‘throwing things at it.’”
With the conclusion of NRF 2020, retailers are processing the takeaways, getting ready to step into the next decade of the industry. What is it going to be like? Stay tuned and find out together with the Cappasity team.
Watch a recap of NRF 2020 in the video below: