NRF 2019 Last Day Recap
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Categories: Retail Events

NRF 2019: Last Day Recap

In with a bang, and now it is done. Tired but pleased, we all have to get back to making 2019 a stellar year for retail. But, it is important to remember the highlights, the key trends, and the learnings. More important still, is applying those learnings to strengthening your business. Here are a few things we noticed as themes at, as a reflection on the NRF 2019 last day.

 

Etail Presence Stronger than Ever

Episerver Booth on Day 3 at NRF 2019E-commerce had a stronger presence than ever. You could not miss the Salesforce booth. Then there was Episerver, BigCommerce, and Skava too. This not to mention the smaller players, and many add-on systems to augment the digital customer journey. Even Amazon (AWS) and Alibaba had a presence at the show, with large booths on the first floor.

It is no surprise that e-commerce and digital commerce (voice, text, mobile, app commerce) are growing and definitely are here to stay. But, now the natural conversations in this space are that physical and digital (online) retail go together. Omni-channel isn’t just a buzzword. It is starting to permeate the industry. We are starting to see it becoming a reality, beyond a retail executive’s talk-track.

 

Transformational Case Studies

Delivering a seamless unified shopping experience with DOM Technology by Salesforce, OrderDynamics and OSF Global Services.A great example was that Browns Shoes case study presentation at the Salesforce booth. Alexandre Hubert, Senior Director of IT Strategy & Logistics, Browns Shoes presented some astonishing figures. Alexandre discussed the challenges that Browns Shoes faced. These included the:

  • lack of real-time inventory visibility,
  • non-scalable nature of their previous system,
  • lengthy order fulfillment times, and
  • the need to provide a consistent experience across channels

Bringing in world-class systems like Salesforce E-commerce system, and the OrderDynamics DOM (pardon the blatant promotional plug) – made a world of difference. Equally important was working with a solid systems integrator (OSF Commerce). They provided guidance and technical work that tied the leading systems into a converged solution that Browns Shoes needed.

Alexandre shared the results that in this case, Browns achieved:

  • 8% order fulfillment rates
  • >20% of orders shipped within 2 hours
  • 15-minute order cycle
  • 13% reduction in order lead time, and
  • 5% order accuracy

NRF 2019 last day included an astounding case study of omni-channel technologies in action.

 

Back to Basics

Bell and Howell Booth on Day 3 at NRF 2019Having spoken with various industry analysts, this year did not focus on earth-shattering novelty. In fact, there was a bit more of a back to operational basics, theme. Last year, you could barely turn around without seeing yourself in a virtual mirror, wearing a new shade of lipstick, and a lovely spring dress. Being a married man, this just was not the look I was seeking.

Speaking with several attendees, the core retail operational aspects of running the business took the central stage again. Core systems like the DOM (distributed order management), WMS (warehouse management system), demand planning, POS technologies, and such – have re-emerged in a stronger light. As a note from the NRF 2019 last day, that is an important observation.

 

AI and Robotics Grab the Attention

A robot on Day 3 at NRF 2019Exciting new developments were present, of course. The 4th-floor innovation lab was chock full of interesting, cutting edge ideas. Some good. Some needing a little more thought. We will review these in more detail in the coming week.

As usual, AI and Robotics continue to be an important theme. It started with a practical discussion about the progress that Microsoft has been making. This includes how the Microsoft partnership is taking a renewed focus on AI deployments.

Robotics were abounded, and I am not just talking about the Brother Big Robot walking the tradeshow floor. There weren’t as many robotics demonstrations as I expected. But there were enough, that you really could not miss them. These broke into some front end, customer greeting robotics like Pepper. Most seemed focused on shelf monitoring, and replenishment, and the warehouse and logistics side of the house. Interesting all.

 

NRF 2019 Last Day

Charles Dimov and Bell and Howell Team with the OrderDynamics Socks at NRF 2019.It’s always with a touch of sadness that we pack up the booth, say goodbye to many industry colleagues, pack our bags, and head home. This year’s vibe was as exciting as ever. There was an amazing sense of optimism, despite all the changes and anxiety of the past few years. This is a positive sign for the industry. AI, Robotics, E-commerce, personalization, omni-channel, and other aspects will all make a bigger impact on the industry this year. I leave the NRF 2019 Last Day a little sad that it’s over, yet with a sense of pride, optimism and hope for the future. Looking forward to an outstanding 2019!

 

 

Author: 

Charles Dimov, VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics

Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.