January 25, 2018 | Bart Waldeck
Innovation and the Future of Retail: NRF 2018
The word innovation is used in business so often as to sometimes render it meaningless. But, one recent event reimbued the word with meaning, particularly when it comes to the retail industry.
Change in the retail industry is coming fast and furious. While you may have read that retail is dead, the truth is that retail is innovating. Leading retailers – ones that will thrive – are looking for an edge; something that will help them cast their business model in a more strategic light.
What we saw at the well-attended NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show was all kinds of innovation which will help give retailers that edge. Whether it was payment processing, advances in mobile or changes to the in-store experience, NRF 2018 was all about leadership, innovation and the way forward.
Innovation can also come in the form of a more strategic approach to handling brick and mortar locations. As my colleague Paul Thompson stated in a recent blog post The Omnichannel Cannibalization Myth – Why Physical Stores and E-commerce Sales are Not a Zero Sum Game, “The successful retailer will evolve to best service their customers.” What does this mean? Well, that in the face of increasing ecommerce sales, if you look at those two channels as competing rather than complementary, then you are sunk. But, if you instead see them as interrelated, Paul explains, “…our research shows that when new stores open in markets with significant brand presence, there is a massive increase in ecommerce sales. In some cases, within the trade area of a new store, they saw an increase of over 200% against the control group totals.”
This is one way we are helping retailers innovate in the face of a changing marketplace. We spent a great deal of time talking to retailers at the NRF Retail’s Big Show about how they can address ecommerce challenges through omni-channel optimization – enabling them to maximize sales contribution and potential. You can read about how we helped Lane Bryant here.
Another area of innovation that we focused on at the show was Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Of course, the concept of TCO is not innovative, but our approach relative to managing the entire store lifecycle is. The IT executives we spoke with at NRF were looking for solutions that are not only technically sound, but also easy to implement and support, and balance value with total cost of ownership. The challenge in real estate and store development is that the various areas of the lifecycle are supported by different solutions, which leads to more tools to maintain and manage, resulting in a higher TCO.
Tango brings together customer and location predictive analytics with purpose-built retail GIS and store development execution in one complete solution, which means retailers can avoid the time and expense of licensing, implementing, integrating and supporting multiple solutions.
You can read more about our approach to a single solution in our ebook Why Multiple Solutions Don’t Add Up.
The future belongs to the innovators, and at Tango we’re excited to be on the forefront of innovation in our space.