The rapid rate of change in the retail industry has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, it almost seems to be the opposite: With each new technology brought into the brick-and-mortar store, there are multiple implications and calls-to-action for brands looking to build a store experience for the 21st-century shopper.
The general framework of this innovation is easy to understand. Customers are increasingly experience-driven, and their fluency with technology has taught them to seek out personalization wherever they can find it. Brands are responding by building a more tech-savvy retail space, while using that technology to customize their handling of each consumer.
But within those simple parameters, there are countless ways retailers can wield in-store innovation for better or worse results. Personalization can come in many forms, and the combination of technologies driving enhanced experiences can be constantly changing and evolving.
Even the data used to drive personalized experiences is considered on a case-by-case basis: Retailers often build their own channels for information acquisition, and then use their own internal analysis to drive insights and action. As much as we know about the best practices required for retail selling in the 21st century, applying this knowledge is often a choose-your-own-adventure.
Gathering The Necessary Supplies
At this year’s NRF conference, you can expect to hear plenty about the customer experience. Retailers around the world are fixated on finding new solutions and strategies for success.
A number of keynote sessions take direct aim at this issue. As will be covered in the session, “Tailoring the 21st Century Customer Experience,” innovative and diverse strategies often originate from the same place. INDOCHINO CEO Drew Green will talk about the need for dynamic digital platforms, along with operational upgrades like a vertically integrated supply chain and one-to-one mass scale production.
Meanwhile, Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox will discuss how 3D technologies have helped her company create unique design-your-own experiences, winning over everyday consumers through immersive technologies built to offer the highest degree of personalization.
The customer experience of the future takes place across a number of digital channels, as well as in the store. Success in this age will require consistent experiences where each channel offers its own valued approach to personalization, rewarding consumers for being engaged.
Expect to hear a lot more about these challenges and opportunities as NRF 17 unfolds.