Here are Some of our Favorite Lessons from NRF 2018
So, like many of you, we were at the NRF’s 2018 Retail’s Big Show and found a lot of the insights useful, fascinating, and invigorating. (You can see their recaps here). For our part: we thought we’d share a little bit of a drill down into our favorite topics.
Social Media Commerce: Here to Stay
Salesforce wants shopping from Instagram to be even easier. Clients can use the company’s Commerce Cloud to tag products to make photos on Instagram instantly shoppable. Shopify offers similar functionality (that it rolled out last year).
The industry is responding to two things: one the ubiquity of social media influence and, two, the increasing trend of shopping directly from an iPhone or any mobile device.
Consumer brands need to get smart about your buyer personas on SM. Talk to them directly and capture opportunities to convert them without their having to click away from their feeds.
All Things Voice
What are consumers going to order directly from Alexa or their Google assistant? It’s not entirely clear yet just how much voice shopping is going to trend upwards in 2018, only that it will.
Omnichannel just keeps growing.
Having up-to-date content with as many relevant search terms and properly formatted product names is even more crucial to success as customers search for goods on everything from Siri to an Echo.
Retailers and the Digital Revolution: Not as Far Along as You’d Think
During the Expo, the NRF released the findings of a survey with numbers that are a bit shocking considering that it was conducted in 2018. Only 3% of retailers have digitized their entire supply chain, as in 97% have not. Digital integration of the supply chain and unifying your business operations is tantamount to success in the online world.
Will brands get with the digitization program in 2018?
How your online channel communicates with supply lines for brick and mortar need real-time synchronization if brands and stores wish to remain competitive and stay in business. Period.
Developers are Impacting Grocery Store Chains
The largest retailers in the U.S. are all grocery stores. While grocery is still a loss leader for Amazon (even after its Whole Foods merger): the big chains are taking the online behemoth seriously as a competitor. Proactive investments like scan and go tech at Walmart and Kroger show that even the most stalwart chains are reinventing themselves to remain competitive into the future.
Companies that represent the Internet of Things infrastructure are busily developing and experimenting with functionality that could help reinvent the in-store grocery experience.
Amazon still has some serious competition in the grocery space.
Will VR Duplicate the In-Store Experience?
Maybe? As more and more companies try everything and anything AI to attract and retain loyal customers, one big question has always been how VR can recreate the touch-and-feel nature of shopping at home. The tech is still in the earliest days of deployment, and whether or not consumers want it is a huge question (would you shop for a new couch while wearing a pair of cardboard Google AI goggles?), we know that the companies like Visa were showing off the tech on the showroom floor.
Developers are still figuring out what advancements in VR and AR will improve the online shopping experience and what features brands and stores want to invest in.
Will any of it matter? As the shakedown of store closings continue, it may still be too early to know definitively what products consumers will only want to buy online vs. in person.
Our final thought: we know that content will still be king in 2018. Let us know how we can help you craft, manage, and publish conversion-oriented online content for your brand or store.