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Big Ideas from NRF 2023: Choosing the right retail tech

Industry leaders discuss the importance of intuitive, agile tech in retail stores

NRF 2023 kicked off this year with the latest retail trends, topics and innovations with some of the industry’s biggest leaders.

Retail technology was, of course, perhaps the topmost discussion at the event.

Tulip’s Big Idea panel featured Marco Benasedo, CIO of Boggi Milano, Brendon Gerisch, CCO of John Elliott, Rissa Jarratt, VP Retail of Jenni Kayne, and Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip to get their perspectives on the topic.

They shared their insights and industry expertise on what in-store tech brings to the table and how it is the cornerstone for driving a successful business.

In-store technology bridges the gap between digital and physical retail

In 2020 retailers shifted their focus to online selling, marketing, and personalization. So, when the doors to brick-and-mortar opened once again, the new challenge became how to merge the advancements made in the ecommerce space with physical retail.

For many retailers, like Jenni Kayne, this opened their eyes to the realization that they were unintentionally inconveniencing their stores. Ecommerce offers convenience not only to customers but also retailers— changes to pricing or messaging can be made quickly and efficiently with just a few keystrokes. For brick-and-mortar stores, implementing the same updates requires much more legwork— teams need to be notified, new messaging needs to be memorized, signage needs to be changed— all which takes time to accomplish. Time that is better spent connecting with customers and driving sales.

While these tasks are a necessary part of operating a retail store, they don’t need to be so time-consuming. In-store technology can help expedite the process of implementing changes so that business can keep running as usual. Digital tools like digital associate dashboards and product catalogs ensure that information is delivered to every team member simultaneously, while also equipping them with the information they need to convey changes to customers, without the need to memorize it.

In-store technology equips teams for a rapid and adaptive response to cross-channel changes which keeps the business running smoothly.

In-store technology empowers associates to enhance customer experiences

Customers today have high expectations for their in-store experiences. With the rise of ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retailers are under more pressure than ever to provide engaging, personalized experiences that meet their unique needs and preferences. But, many retailers struggle to meet these expectations due to outdated technology and ineffective store enablement. 

As Ali highlights, next-generation technology, like Tulip’s, fills in the missing pieces, allowing retailers to unlock the full potential of their stores and associates. By providing associates with tools that enable them to access real-time inventory data, personalize the customer experience, and manage transactions seamlessly, Tulip’s technology empowers associates to become trusted advisors who can drive sales and build lasting customer relationships. This not only improves the customer experience but also helps retailers streamline their operations and make better-informed decisions based on valuable data insights.

By empowering associates with the right tools and information, retailers can create personalized, engaging experiences that meet and exceed customer expectations. 

In this way, in-store retail technology serves as a catalyst for driving sales, enhancing the customer experience, and fostering loyalty.

In-store technology optimizes continuous, hands-on learning for associates

Today’s retail landscape is evolving faster than ever before, with consumer behaviors and expectations and market trends that are constantly moving between channels. It can be really hard for associates to keep up, especially when they’re confined within the 4 walls of the store.

Providing the highly-tailored, one-on-one experience that customers expect while maintaining the connection across channels requires associates to be constantly shaping their approach in order to best drive their business. In-store technology helps them to stay agile by providing continuous learning on the sales floor.

As Rissa mentions above, clienteling plays a major role in developing a client base. Combining clienteling with in-store technology creates a tool that associates can leverage to better understand, engage, and build relationships with their customers. Digital clienteling provides associates with real-time insights on individual customer’s behaviors, preferences, and trends over time which allow them to optimize their engagements in a highly personal way.

The valuable customer insights associates gain through in-store clienteling technology equip them to be agile and evolve with their customers to ultimately drive their business.

In-store technology needs to be intuitive

Having the latest and greatest in in-store technology will mean absolutely nothing at the end of the day if it isn’t being used. In-store tech is only effective when it’s used properly.

As Marco states, it isn’t enough for retail tech to just be flashy, it needs to be practical for your products and your customers, and intuitive for associates to use. Who wants to go into a store just to struggle while figuring out a virtual fitting room? Or watch the sales associate fumble around on a tablet for 10 minutes while they try to checkout?

When choosing what technology to deploy, a user-friendly UI needs to be at the forefront of the decision. Boggi Milano runs their digital clienteling on iOS devices which made it easy for associates to pick up and enabled them to optimize, enhance, and personalize their customer experience.

Choosing in-store technology with an intuitive UI enables stores to implement it in a more efficient and effective way.

Miss us at NRF and want to learn more?

Watch the full Big Ideas panel featuring Brendon Gerisch, CCO of John Elliott, Marco Benasedo, CIO of Boggi Milano, and Rissa Jarratt, VP Retail of Jenni Kayne now.

Contact us to see how Tulip can revolutionize your business.

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