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For the first time, NRF took the Retail’s Big Show online where they provided attendees a virtual platform to explore and learn about the technology that is changing commerce for retailers. COVID-19 disrupted the industry and retailers responded with resilience while re-establishing their essential role in the economy. Here are our key takeaways from the conference.

Technology and retail go hand-in-hand

More than ever, technology and retail go together so leveraging new technology is now a way for you to stay one step ahead of your customers. Technology allows retailers to not only forecast demand but to provide a personalized experience for the customer where it in turn brings an added value and accelerates the purchasing journey.

The use of new technological tools will be positive as long as they are seamlessly integrated. In an interview with Lowe’s CEO, Marvin Ellison, Ellison points out that:

“The most effective technology is technology that no one sees. All the customer knows is that the transaction was easy. All the associates and supply people know is that the system works well.”

The future of the in-store experience

While personalization is key, it should not only be applied to online shopping but also to in-store experiences. Brick-and-mortars are facing a challenge where they are forced to coexist with e-commerce giants like Amazon. The advantage that physical stores have is that shoppers are sentimental and will want an in-store experience post-COVID and it is therefore important for these retailers to explore how they can innovate the in-store experience for the future while keeping the experience personalized.

Shoppers are now interested in the different options they have prior to making a trip to the store. This has resulted in the importance of having updated inventory available for the customer, the available locations that they can go to make the purchase and the time they can go pickup their purchase. Thus an enhanced shopping experience along with a safe experience is the new future that needs to be embraced.

Improving customer experience with omnichannel order management and fulfillment program

Experts are continuing to highlight the added benefits for retailers to focus on their omnichannel order management and fulfillment. The success behind this comes with from an advanced order routing which permits retailers to ship from the best location and in turn reduces the shipping and fulfillment costs. Omnichannel order management allows you to collect inventory from all your different stores and distribution centers so that your customer can make an informed decision on where to shop. This level of convenience is an added benefit to help accelerate the customer’s buying journey.

The retail industry continues to evolve simultaneously with customer expectation. The key learning here is to keep up with these changes and use the technology available to us. Test new experiences and continue to break boundaries in order to stay innovative and build a strong brand.

Visit our webpage on omnichannel order management  for more information on how to unlock your inventory and make it accessible at every customer touchpoint.

To learn more about the omnichannel retailers and how you measure against competitors , download our eBook 2020 Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers Report. If you’re ready to launch your next commerce experience, contact our team of experts to get started!