This year was Quinyx’s first time exhibiting the The National Retail Federation, which proved to be a huge success. The convention focussed on exploring what the future holds for retail and brought retailers and vendors from across countless markets together. Many different angles of the future of retail got discussed throughout the event; retailers returning from a positive holiday selling season brought a sense of optimism to the event, keynote speakers addressed disruption, store experience, employee engagement and how to build a brand that withstands the passage of time.
Quinyx inaugurated its first NRF kick-off party where retailers, partners and retail influencers from all over the world networked, shared ideas and danced to the beat of house music at the world renowned Soho House Private members club.
Quinyx also hosted a dinner with the Consulate of Sweden in New York. The dinner brought together a select group of invitees, leaders in their respective fields to network and discuss the retail landscape and the future of employee engagement.
NRF2020 was to say the least, inspiring with so many insights and unique experiences. Here’s our top 3 key learnings from the event:
1. Use employee engagement to better the customer experience
Many keynote speakers focussed on the importance of investing in employees and employee communications. This, they concluded, would enable better understanding of the challenges employees face and the need to implement ways to drive employee engagement and productivity.
Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, stressed how the digital experience is already engrossed in today's economy. He noted that in order to enable intelligent retail, companies need to embrace four key pillars: customer knowledge, employee empowerment, reimagining retail and streamlined supply chains.
Nadela also highlighted that employee engagement is key for retail success, noting that empowering employees can lead to a 15% increase in conversion rates and a 10% increase in customer satisfaction.
2. Artificial Intelligence is the next opportunity
For retailers who have not yet embraced technology to enhance their customer experience, the NRF 2020 was a wake up call. But what about the retailers who have already implemented technologies and processes for customer experience and omnichannel?
Artificial intelligence continues to grow. While AI doesn't provide all the answers, it allows retailers to take the next step in effectiveness. In customer service for example, chatbots provide more fluid customer interaction. It helps store managers optimize their staff scheduling and gets the right employee at the right place at the right time. It helps retailers with product catalog selections. It powers inventory placement and fulfillment. It enhances personalization and customers web experience.
AI is allowing retailers to keep improving their performance and develop their customer experience journeys and employee satisfaction. As more and more offerings include some element of AI, it’s a safe bet that retailers will keep increasing spent on AI.
3. Looking Beyond the Technology - Brick and Mortar gains
Outside technology, there were two trends that were present in many of the keynotes and presentations.
First, brick and mortar is alive and kicking. Pure legacy eCommerce players such as UNTUCKit spoke about their strategy to move into brick and mortar. For many retailers new statistics have shown an overall average of 37% increase in web traffic, when opening a new physical store. CEO of Best Buy, Hubert Joly, spoke about how BestBuy Stores were once viewed as a liability but have now been transformed into BestBuy’s biggest asset. Joly feels the stores give Best Buy not only an additional distribution center but also a place for customers to experience, touch, and feel.
From the entire Quinyx team, we would like to thank you for a great few days of engaging meetings and amazing interaction.