Robotics, Marketplaces, and the Triumph of Amazon – a Quick Recap of NRF 2020 Vision – Retail’s Big Show

Over 40,000 people representing 18 thousand retailers from almost 100 countries gathered to share visionary ideas, build great partnerships and experience innovative technology. This year’s edition of NRF 2020 VISION – Retail’s Big Show will be remembered for years.

During our January trip to the US, we took advantage of the opportunity to visit – one of the largest retail-focused conferences in the world. There were over 800 exhibitors in the expo area spread over three large floors. This was by far the biggest industry-focused event we have ever attended.

There were many stunning speeches and talks during NRF, with a broad range of topics. Below we’ll share a couple of valuable insights that we took away from the conference – enjoy!

What have we learned?

High volume of returns: Most US-based businesses emphasize challenges with handling high returns volume. Retailers are trying to manage this process more efficiently to minimize lost profits. They are also looking for ways to change customer behaviors – how to make customers return less. One way is adapting AR/VR appliances like virtual fitting, etc.

Automation: There was a lot of chatter about robotics/automation (in-store, distribution centres, last-mile drones – it’s basically everywhere now). Multiple robotic appliances were demonstrated on the spot, hovering around the event floor.

Big Data for marketing: AI and advanced analytics in marketing and sales are one of “the next big things”. Most marketing automation solutions now offer some kind of AI-based support for marketers.

Customer in the center: Exceptional Customer Experience is the most important driver for consumers to remain loyal to brands. Building an emotional attachment with buyers is crucial to brands that want to sell independently (not via Amazon).

Marketplaces: Building own marketplaces is one of the ways retailers and distributors can stay in the game – by taking advantage of what Amazon consumers are used to – a vast offering and competitive prices.

And finally – the war is over. Amazon has won. Everyone here knows that already and nobody feels certain about the future. Brands will continue the struggle for survival.

There were over 800 exhibitors in the expo area spread over three large floors. We are definitely going to visit again next year!

PS
Well done, Magento! We liked your booth!

Watch a short recap video made by NRF:

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