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Every National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, Deloitte publishes updated research on the top 250 global retailers. This favorite annual retail report summarizes industry / economic global trends and dissects the shifting sands of the world's largest retailers. This post summarizes my favorite insights from the 2018 edition.
The rules of retailing "are being rewritten in this time of transformative change. Innovation, collaboration, consolidation, integration, and automation will be required to reinvigorate commerce, profoundly impacting the way retailers do business now, and in the future."
The 2018 retail industry trends identified by Deloitte include:
This week finds me in Asia with stops in Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. On many levels, Asia is the "below the surface" retail innovation laboratory.
In the "Retailing 2020" post I proposed that you "Look to China where 500 million people are already shopping on mobile phones to understand the future of retail. Digitally driven ultra-convenience, spontaneity, and social shopping trends are transforming all Chinese retail sectors including grocery." During this trip I had the opportunity to visit the Alibaba digital / physical hybrid Hema Supermarket in Shanghai.
Building on the "NRF 2018: The Ten Quick Transformational Retail Trends", as promised here are my three below the surface trends of the New York Big Show that define the future of retail.
More than 37,000 retailers and industry partners from 90+ countries descended on New York for the NRF 2018 trade event the week of January 14, 2018. Because this was one of my favorite NRF's to date, a series of posts will follow.
An annual tradition is to walk the floor observing the technology themes, speaking to lots of retailers and industry friends, and creating my own personal list of the foundational ideas that are evolving the retail industry.
From an initial list of 20+ observations, following are my top 10 quick takeaway trends of NRF 2018.
At its roots, retail has always been a human covenant between a shopkeeper and a consumer. For much of the industry's history, the transactional interactions were highly personal. The shopkeeper welcomed the customer by their name and adapted the goods sold based on their preferences.
Present-day mobile devices connected to the Internet-of-Things (IoT) are appreciably digitally disrupting consumer commerce. By 2020, retail shopping, no longer a chore, will blur into your everyday life.
A key highlight of 2017 was a retail customer panel that I had the pleasure of moderating. Four executives (two recently retired and two still active) representing over $70 billion in revenue shared their insights on industry megatrends, driving disruptive change, choosing a technology partner, and the future of retail.
The Retail Megatrends
"Step with care and great tact, and remember that Shopping's a Great Balancing Act." (1)
As we enter the busiest shopping season of 2017, I started reflecting on the differentiation strategies for a successful transition to the digital future of retail. What are the definitive formulas for retail success in 2018 and beyond?
McKinsey in October 2017, published a great article on shopping and personalized marketing. "Targeted communications that are relevant and useful can create lasting customer loyalty and drive revenue growth of 10 to 30 percent."
As part of their marketing personalization analysis, McKinsey pointed to this simple formula:
Couple of weeks ago had the pleasure of being the Master of Ceremonies (MC) at our multi-day fiscal year kickoff meeting. Over 140 people from around the world joined us in Florida for the "Mission Possible" themed New Year event.
The orchestration of this event was a great reminder of the quintessential leadership success formula. It is never about you. My mission possible life and career has been inspired by these three success elements.