NRF 2016: The Top 5 Solutions Flying Under the Radar

Finally, a retail tradeshow that focused as much on the nuts and bolts of executing on a clear, customer-centric retailing strategy, as it did on the glitz and glamor of the latest-greatest technologies. Much has already been said about the show – including by the ever reliable Deb Weinswig and the prolific Joe Skorupa. EKN’s own coverage of NRF 2016 includes the top 5 trends in retail enterprise IT and the top 5 retailer announcements and their impact on 2016. To round things off, we’ll be hosting our annual NRF Roundup VideoCast on Thursday, January 28 at 12PM ET. Register here. The BIG Show – as the name suggests – provides a platform for retail technology providers to showcase their vision and capabilities. Given the nature of the beast, the largest vendors with the biggest microphones tend to drown out smaller, niche players in terms of share of voice at the show. Based on our assessment of the solution landscape across various categories and a rigorous schedule that involved covering almost every square inch of the show-floor, here are the top 5 experiences and solution providers it would’ve been easy to miss at the show. Listed in no particular order. Shoptelligence What it is: A personalization engine focused on improving in-store conversion and basket-size by providing ensemble recommendations. What impressed us: Clean, easy to use store associate app UI; simple but effective utilization of product and customer metadata; store-centric recommendations that factor in inventory availability, basket profitability What we’re keeping an eye on: First chain-wide deployment at a struggling footwear retailer; Ability to focus on and scale specific use-cases...

Retail Ladder: The Omnichannel Challenge: Making Online Ordering, Pickup And Delivery Work In Your Supply Chain

The article underscores how important offering online ordering and delivery options has become for all businesses, including grocery-focused retailers, in today’s omnichannel world, quoting EKN’s research on the same topic. From the article: The 2014 RIS/EKN Customer Engagement Tech Trends Study put the importance in terms of dollars and cents: The opportunity cost of not being omnichannel today is 10 percent in lost revenue—which translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars for multimillion dollar retailers, the report says. And in its follow-up 2015 Customer Engagement Tech Trends Study, RIS/EKN says same-day pickup/delivery and Uber-style home delivery are among emerging capabilities that will have the greatest impact on personalizing the customer experience. Download Full Report...

CGS: Customer Experience Guide: What Millennials Expect in 2016

CGS Contributor, Seon Barbera, explores what Millennials expect from businesses in terms of customer experience, quoting EKN’s research on the same topic. From the article: When it comes to customer service, the shift towards a superior customer experience is no longer optional. Consumers expect a seamless, cross-channel, real-time experience and companies and brands, B2B and B2C alike, recognize that they must become customer obsessed if they want to keep and gain market share and grow their businesses. In our digital economy, customers have unprecedented access to the tools and the resources that empower them to make better-informed decisions about where they take their business and research shows that the customer experience plays a key role in those making those decisions. And Millennials are at the forefront of all the action. Download Full...

Cybra.com: 10 Omnichannel Retail Statistics You Can’t Avoid

The article explains why being omnichannel is important for retailers, quoting EKN’s Customer Engagement Tech Trends Study. From the article: Do you know where your customers are coming from? I’m sure you do. But, what might be harder to find out is where you are losing out on sales. In retail, the old saying goes “If it’s not on the floor, they’re not buying it”. That’s still true today. But, let’s add a second sentence to that line. “If the right item isn’t in stock on your website store, they’re going to another website”. It’s maybe not as smooth, but you get the idea. Company’s have always held a strong urgency to ensure their shelves are stocked with the right merchandise at brick and mortar operations. Download Full...

Medallionretail.com: MAKING ENGAGE! 2015 COUNT

EKN Research Director Gaurav Pant participated in a conference- Digital Disruption:  New Rules for Profit and Growth, ENGAGE! 2015. From Medallionretail blog: The team has returned from ENGAGE! 2015 brimming with fresh ideas for connecting with the shopper.  Unlike Vegas, it seems that what happens in Ft. Lauderdale is openly discussed in conference rooms, integrated into best practices, deployed for clients, and of course, slapped up on the interwebs. Download Full...