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  • 15 Jan

NRF 13 Day One

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NRF 2013Yesterday was the first day of the NRF 2013 EXPO in New York – and after starting the day with the New York standard (donuts) we were fully charged and ready to go.

As ever, the EXPO was huge.  For me, there were two main themes to the day:

1. The joining up of channels – the importance of achieving the omnichannel experience, and

2. Personalisation of the shopping experience.

One of the first demonstrations of this was featured on the IBM stand, in which they demonstrated ‘a customer’ visiting a store and looking at a product on a shelf.  Instead of looking at the tag for pricing information the customer proceeded to hover over a pair of headphones, (pictured) using Aurasma type technology to do so. Doing this brought up pricing information on their phone, reviews by other customers who had rated the product online,  and competitor pricing by other retailers.  On the customer relationship management (CRM) front it also tracked the customer in store, allowing communications to that customer to be personalised based on their interests.

Another interesting development was presented by eBay, with a new US service called ‘eBay now,’ launched via eBay local.  This service offers eBay shoppers – who are purchasing via the retailers eBay store – the option to get their product delivered within a one hour window.  This is a similar proposition to Shutl in the UK. However, ‘eBay now’ is only being launched in two states, New York and San Francisco. With a charge to the customer of $5, it will be interesting to observe how this service takes off, especially as we know the proposition of Shutl in the UK has worked extremely well.

The joining up of channels was also demonstrated by another eBay solution, in which the ‘Hudson and Vestry store’ showcased a possible scenario using PayPal. The idea being that – if a customer has accepted certain terms of use – they can ‘check in’ via their mobile device once they have entered a store. Based on the browsing and previous purchase history of that customer this check in will allow the store access to their interests and, if shared, their shopping preferences.  Based on the GSi software this information can be used to create a ‘look book’ for that customer.  This software benefits the retailer as they can take a look at what is going on in every store, which products are ‘hot’ products and other sales information.  Whilst this might be very ‘Big Brother,’ it is also very valuable data for the retailer.

One solution demonstrated at the show was something I personally am keen on… digital coupons.  Removing paper for vouchers and offers is something that can’t come soon enough in my opinion.  ‘Zavers by Google’ offers a solution for retailers to digitise their coupons.  This also goes one step further, as via their mobile the app they can also send relevant offers to customers in store, ready to redeem at the till.  Using the data created through this the retailer is able to develop very targeted campaigns based on the known purchasing habits of their customers.

Insight into day 2 coming soon.

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