The National Retail Federation (NRF)’s annual convention and expo – known as “Retail’s Big Show” – has wrapped up, leaving us with many thought-provoking ideas and innovations we will see play out in the coming year. Below are three takeaways from the show:
Culture is key to innovation
A company culture where new ideas are cherished can help to keep brands innovating. This approach comes from the top-down, once clear expectations are set within the organization the results can be dramatic. Hiring industry outsiders to mix their ideas with established employees can bring forward ideas that might never have been given space to grow.
Luxury customer experience lessons from Broadway
Luxury retail brands are taking customer experience lessons from Broadway shows. Making their shopping experiences memorable, with hospitality as a ‘production’ where customers will tell their friends about it.
“The ultimate differentiator is experience. Experiences are what forge meaningful connections between shoppers and their brands.”
Brands are branching out across channels
Along with expectations of faster service comes pressure to adopt new and streamlined channels of communication through which consumers can access the information and support they need – no matter when they may need it. This year, the NRF Expo extended its focus on multi-channel service strategies that promote the use of live chat, screen sharing and other advanced techniques alongside proven support methods such as email and contact centers. Retailers aren’t swapping out the old for the new, but rather layering on different tools and technologies to advance the quality of their customer support.