Posted on January 31, 2019
NRF 2019 in a few words
January in New York City is an exciting time of the year for retailers from all around the globe. The rush of the holiday season is over and retailers have had a couple of weeks to reflect on their performance. Despite mixed results, it was better than anticipated. Prodco’s 2018 Special Holiday Traffic Review even showed a year-over-year traffic increase of 22.77% for Super Weekend, affected mostly by Super Sunday on the 23rd, just 2 days away from Christmas day.
With the holiday season behind us, retailers will now completely focus on 2019. What better way to gain inspiration and broaden their network than to attend the world’s largest trade show in the retail industry?
Whilst at the NRF Retail’s Big Show this past January 2019, we had the chance to meet with diverse retail organizations. Various businesses and key players were represented, and as a result, we were able to gather valuable feedback and gain great insight into the forthcoming needs of an industry undergoing many changes.
In-store shopper behavior, transparency, and privacy
During those 3 exciting days, the focus on technology was undeniable and the demand from brick-and-mortar stores for advanced traffic analytics has exceeded our expectations.
Straight from the beginning, something appeared to stand out from the crowd. Moving forward, retailers will invest more in technologies that allow them to reduce costs. This article from the NRF goes over this point, amongst other goals and priorities for retailers in 2019.
However, after many discussions, we determined that this investment in technology goes beyond the basic requirement to reduce costs. Somewhere in between cost reduction and sales performance strategies, lies the need to truly understand who our customers really are.
Retailers know that further efforts are needed to compete with the indisputable rise of online transactions. As a result, they will invest more in solutions that offer in-depth analytics and insight into their traffic while respecting the privacy of their customers.
Nowadays, it has become very important for consumers to shop with a brand they trust and believe in on an ethical level. After spending 3 days in the Big Apple, we were convinced that brick-and-mortar stores understand this demand assuredly. While a large part of the industry is on the lookout for cutting-edge shopper analytics and traffic counting solutions, the need to simultaneously offer more transparency and more personalized customer experience seems to have become a prerogative for 2019.
Improving customer experience is also featured in this NRF article as one of the top priorities for retailers in 2019.
We strongly believe that, in order to improve customer experience, it is a prerequisite to have a deep understanding of your customers.
Nikki Baird, contributor at Forbes, says the following in her article regarding the outcomes of NRF 2019:
But the only way employees in stores are going to continue to be successful is if they can play an effective role in initiating, assisting, or completing an omnichannel journey. And that means having enough information about a customer to be useful in that role.
Figuring out the whole picture and knowing all the ins and outs will allow you to see what can be optimized and will make for an overall better experience for your customers.
In a nutshell, it was obvious that all retailers are beginning to have a tremendous interest in in-store shopper behavior and advanced analytics. To be able to compete, retail stores will have to, at the very least, keep up with basic traffic analytics and people counting solutions, especially since advanced Shopper Behavior Analytics is experiencing a strong increase in demand amongst many key influencers of the retail industry. In this edition of NRF Retail’s Big Show, we couldn’t deny the increasing interest that brick-and-mortar stores have to understand the true path-to-purchase and the intricate behavior of their customers.
Want to learn more about traffic analytics for brick-and-mortar? Check out our people counting solutions and advanced in-store shopper analytics for brick-and-mortar.