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IMG 0626This 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.

What a Visually Amazing Story You are Spinning

 

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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.

"Big Data is Bot Food for AI"

 

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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.

The Smart Shopping Home 

 

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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)

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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?

The McKinsey Formula for Retail Success 

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:

 

Career & Life Advice from Tom Cruise, Don Corleone, & Rocky Balboa 

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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. 

Reticent Preparation

 

RFID - From Espionage to IoT Immersive Customer Experiences

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Couple of weeks ago had the pleasure of co-hosting a Retailer Performance Council for Tyco Retail Solutions in New York. This post was inspired by now customary welcome toast for our distinguished retail guests and a presentation by Dr. Sanjay Sarma from MIT titled 'The Inversion Factor - How to Thrive in the IoT Economy'.

History of RFID

 

Consumer Trends Collide with Increased Theft Opportunities

In December 2016, Amazon Go was introduced to the world. The premise of the new 'Just Walk-Out technology' store was to empower consumers to walk-in, pick up any products, and track it all through a virtual shopping cart. "When you're done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we'll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt."  

Click LINK to see the Amazon Go video

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No Lines, No Checkout. (No, Seriously, Go Steal Stuff)

 

Zones of Influence and Innovation Chains are the Future of Retail

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Have been an advocate for some time of the work being done by Read Hayes and the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) at the University of Florida. The group's primary mission is on scientific approaches to improve LP strategies and interventions in fighting retail crime. 

Forty five major retailers, sixty solutions providers, and five manufacturers are currently LPRC members. All these companies have partnered in conducting over 120 real-world loss prevention research projects. 

LPRC Zones of Influence

 

“It’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you finish that makes all the difference.” – Tony D’Onofrio

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Maybe I have been luckier than most. Every day I am inspired by the potential possibilities to change the world. Every night, reminders swirl through my mind on how much I love my life. 

In a recent internal company video I was asked how I keep my passions alive, what gets me up every day and keeps me going.