In this episode we bring a review of the best and brightest from the show floor at NRF 2019 - we talk Innovation Lab, "Ingredient Brands", Shoppable AR, and much more. Listen now!
Phillip and Brian podcast twice live from NRF
Body data is still in vogue in retail-tech company spaces, but has anyone learned to implement it properly?
Want a 3D rendering of Brian's face? Take our survey.
Will Walmart finally impress Gen Xers?
Clothes that fit the customer, not the creator's specifications need to be the future of retail.
Millennials are killing the curse of boring retail.
Everything's About The Innovation Lab: NRF Edition Part 2:
Brian went on a curated tour of the Innovation Lab put together by Tusk Ventures, that highlighted all the latest in retail innovation.
Phillip attempts a French accent.
Allure Systems (who we last saw at Shop.org) was featured in the Innovation Lab, as were a lot of other body-data focused companies, proving that body-data is still all the rage in the retail tech space.
Brian notes that body-data is a consistent trend, but as of yet, retailers have struggled with application, though Amazon purchasing Body Labs for 50MM may make room for better implementation.
Allure is still running their Walmart case study. And it's pretty impressive to see how their body-data technology can help to cut costs and reduce time through the use of virtual models.
2019 is Going to be All About Clienteling: The Year of The Customer:
Phillip points out that long-term customer engagement used to be much simpler because luxury retailing was 30-40 year career, and retailers had actual long term relationships with their clients.
Retail turnover is pretty notorious anyway. And now these roles have been so diminished, that there isn't that same connection between retailer and customer especially in luxury.
One example of modern-day"clienteling" Hero, a software company that connects the sales associate with digital info and then they can feed that back up to the website.
Retailers should already know this: Building relationships with your customers really is the best way to build brand loyalty.
Will Walmart Become a Grown-Up Version of Itself?
Walmart isn't exactly known as a luxury retailer, and it hasn't always had the best reputation.
Walmart has been trying to shed it's notoriety lately though, it opened a Lord and Taylor's flagship store, featuring several more upscale brands like Lucky Jeans and Vince Camuto.
But Phillip says Walmart may have aways to go in convincing Gen Xrs because that generation views Walmart through a specific lens, and that lens is quite dirty.
But still be hopeful because Walmart's future may involve becoming what Starbucks Reserve tried to be: an ultra-niche market experience.
Perhaps Walmart could be Amazon 4-Star but with their own products.
And speaking of house brands: Decision Minds, another Innovation Lab favorite helps retailers to make decisions on creating house brands and white-labeling products.
And Decision Minds is already working with Wayfair, which makes them officially not #vaporware.
Customer Service is Everything: Can Onfleet Deliver For Retailers?
Super cool service alert: "Onfleet is the last mile delivery solution for companies in food and beverage, retail, pharmacy and more".
Phillip and Brian compare OnFleet to other service-based companies like Uber or Lyft because it allows for retailers to know where and when their products are.
And one of the reasons that Onfleet is so unique is that it helps everyone involved in the delivery process: It allows for route optimization, direct contact with drivers, and has it's own auto dispatch engine.
Phillip needs an Onfleet for optimizing grocery aisle routes.
Are Custom-Fit Clothes The Retail of Past and Future?
With body-data tech being all the rage, and with customers starting to expect clothes that are more tailored to their preferences, perfect-fit clothes may become a reality.
But with all the focus on individuality when it comes to clothes, retailers are starting to try to pair customers with clothes that fit better.
Subscription companies like Stich Fix and Trunk Club provide prospective customers with detailed questionnaires so that they can find out not only the customers measurements but also their preferences on fit, color, and personal style.
Manually entering measurements may not be the best way to get an actual perfect-fit, which is why the future of subscription boxes seems to be custom-made clothes.
Which is ironic, because that's how the clothing industry (or poorer people sewed their clothes at home) started anyway. All clothes (and shoes) were custom before the advent of ready-to-wear.
Survival of The Fittest: Only Non-Boring Retailers Will Survive:
With all of the hullabaloo about the end of retail and the retail apocalypse, there's one lesson to be learned, and it's not that retail is dead.
Millennials, spend differently, and expect different things from their shopping experience, and favor the in-store experience despite being part of the digital generation.
Which means that retailers will really have to step it up if they want to stay relevant.
It's companies with that strong emphasis on building customer relationships, bringing a customer experience both in-store and online, and consistent innovation that will survive and thrive.
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