5 Trends at NRF
Sasken is enabling its retail customers to engage with their end consumers in the pre- and post-purchase stages by providing personalized customer services and building engaging brand experiences that fuel profitable growth and drive competitive advantage. Here are some industry trends that we witnessed at NRF 2017, some of which we are already enabling for our customers:
1. E-Commerce is small but growing steadily
According to a recent report by Deloitte, brick and mortar stores still reign are still ahead with in-store purchases. The e-com growth continues to be solid due to the presence of data that is nimble enough to be actioned on.
2. Data is money!
E-Commerce players can use a free tool like Google Analytics and generate extraordinary amounts of user behavior data. Using this data they provide a far superior service that reduces customer effort and time. At the same time the investments that are required from brick and mortar stores to generate ‘click-stream’ equivalent data is significant. Though there are tools that figure out every move a consumer makes, every aisle he turns into, or doesn’t – it gets difficult to scale beyond the concept store.
3. Prescriptive Analytics
There are many tools that study consumer behavior at retail stores such as heatmap, dwell-time, consideration set analysis, etc. Who is looking at all of this data and piecing it together? Who takes the decision to act on that data? What is the cost of taking an action or not in real-time? It should be the ‘machine’ say industry experts! Enter Prescriptive Analytics. Data is captured, analyzed, options deliberated, and prescription of what action to take is communicated to the store manager. Our expert data scientists had very recently helped a leading European MVNO save millions of dollars on carrier costs using complex data models. In similar vein, we are helping retailers drive profitable growth and build competitive advantage by building engaging brand experiences that strengthen customer relationships.
4. More power to the Store Associate!
Late last year, Amazon Go created a stir with the “no checkout” model – the convenience of an e-commerce with an experience of brick and mortar store. At NRF, there were many products and solutions in clienteling and mPOS to ease this level block. Though we did not observe any solution that was weaving a story like Amazon Go (#Opportunity?), there was a lot of traction on equipping the store associates to ease the exit queue and aid the customer while they are shopping. It was indeed rewarding to see some of the solutions that we had developed for our partners being displayed at NRF.
5. AR/VR/MR – far from reality?
At NRF 2017, a Google glass lookalike solution was on display that helped warehouse floor managers do their picking in an efficient manner. The glass used a camera mounted on the eye piece that scanned QR codes on the packages as the worker picked up the cases. Now that was a useful tool to put in the eyes of the floor manager!
Author: Madhuvanthi Ananth, Head – Consumer Business Unit