NRF: Retail’s Big Show is massive. Inside the Javits Center in New York, the sheer number of exhibitors and attendees can be overwhelming. It was impossible to see everything, but from what I saw, the one common theme that kept jumping out at me was the human connection that retail fosters.

Products Over Problems: A New Approach to the Customer Journey

Whether I was in a session about supply-chain changes and the impacts to store design, how to build a better brand, or the economic outlook of the retail industry, every session boiled down to how retail can better manifest the human connections that we crave every day.

How we connect with people

An omnichannel approach is right, but executing it in a way that is empathetic to the moment that customers reach out is where the art of our work meets the science that fuels it.

At DEG, Linked by Isobar, we spend a lot of time working with our clients to better understand how the digital strategy and communication touchpoints need to adjust to meet customers where they are at any given moment.

We know an omnichannel approach is the right approach, but executing it in a way that is empathetic to the moment that customers reach out is where the art of our work meets the science that fuels it.

A few of our clients who’ve embraced meeting consumers in the moment are Hallmark Baby, Beauty Brands, and DRI DUCK. Whether it be through a cross-channel strategy to better target the right customers, a fictional super fan to increase the hype around the brand’s biggest annual sale, or an influencer campaign to launch a direct-to-consumer line of business, these three brands understood the need to personalize their messaging and get it on the channels their people were already using.

The future of retail

“In the future, retail space will be less about retail. [Stores will] be a place to eat, to play, to work, to borrow stuff, to build a community,” said Natalie Berg of NBK Retail in a session about retail trends.

In a session about the trends to watch from the global powers of retailing, Natalie Berg of NBK Retail said, “In the future, retail space will be less about retail. Stores won’t be a place to just buy stuff. They’ll be a place to eat, to play, to work, to borrow stuff, to build a community.”

We’re seeing this now with some of the café-style stores geared toward two things: providing a comfortable place with free wi-fi for professional nomads and selling something.

An example of this very thing is the Capital One Café. It’s a coffee shop and a bank—a two-in-one-combo store. And it speaks to the convenience often desired by people who simply want to complete multiple tasks at once.

Even some fitness companies are open to events with local food trucks and clothing makers sharing their spaces on weekends, bringing the convenience of food and clothes shopping to the endorphin-filled consumers after every workout.

How to Capitalize on New Martech and More Data in 2019

Who knows where these new store types could expand to next? I personally can’t wait to work with our clients to build the stores of the future and participate as part of their communities.

Download the DEG Salesforce Theater presentations

DEG Senior Relationship Marketing Strategist Jenn Horner presented twice in the Salesforce Theater at NRF 2019 on Getting Social: Extending Service Cloud for Social Customer Care and Chuck E. Cheese’s Secret to Loyalty: Email Relevance and More Cheese. You can download each presentation from Slideshare.

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