NRF 2018: Retail’s Year to Get it Right

BCG’s Beat will cover all things retail, tech and commerce related in and around BCG. This week the topic was unquestionably NRF. 2018 is the year for retailers to really synthesize industry transformation and best-serve consumers as they shop on-line, in-store, direct to consumer, and any way in between.

BCG’s Beat attended NRF’s three-day retail marathon and is now taking a beat [moment] to share our four key takeaways for our debut post.

  1. Affluent Shoppers Seek Bargains. New shopping behaviors were unveiled in a new First Insight study that was published in USA Today on the opening day of NRF. The study showed that affluent shoppers are using disruptive forces such as AI (Alexa, Google Home) and Amazon to price check, and are flocking to off-price retailers to hunt for bargains… retailers must respond to this seismic shift.
  2. The power of authentic storytelling and KOL’s. Retailers are turning to influencers or “key opinion leaders” who provide authentic narratives that align with a brand’s image. This was a featured topic at Financo’s CEO Forum, where more than 300 retail leaders gathered to learn about these tastemakers who are key to creating relatable and genuine narratives for consumers.
  3. Extreme Experience or Extreme Convenience. Retailers need to hone in on a brand’s value proposition with either extreme convenience or extreme experiences and nothing in between! Tiffany’s may be one of the best examples with its new Blue Box Café and unexpected Tiffany Tattoo Shop. Consumers may also see this elevated retail experience at shopping malls, according to Bill Taubman who attended our co-hosted dinner with Deborah Weinswig during NRF.Tiffany Tattoo Shop
  4. Retailers Must Create Community…and come together to share data and insights to create a more complete picture of customers, especially as they leave trails of valuable data in their wake. Don Kingsborough, CEO of OneMarket (formerly known as Westfield Labs), stressed the importance of this at our dinner, where we celebrated Don and some of retail’s most innovative leaders including Kris Miller, head of strategy at eBay, and Souheil Badran, President of Americas at Alipay. One needs to look no further than Alipay for a company that has brilliantly created a community for its traveling Chinese consumer who can use their Alipay app for almost anything including paying for taxis in NYC and Las Vegas.

Keep the Beat on your radar and let’s keep the conversation going…

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