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This is the second article covering the innovation leadership activities around NRF 2020. My previous post summarized the three most impactful perfect vision takeaways of NRF 2020.

Just prior to the New York NRF Big Show, a favorite activity every year is to attend the information-packed RetailROI SuperSaturday. This industry leading event brings together "retail’s most prominent thinkers for revealing discussions on Digital Transformation, Unified Commerce, Marketplaces and best practices for being a Retail leader in today’s fast-paced world—all for a greater cause".

From this year's 11th SuperSaturday edition, here is a summary of the altruistic work of RetailROI and the latest research on the strategic 2020 retail digital transformation technologies. 

A True RetailROI Human Difference

The purpose of the RetailROI is to raise awareness and provide real solutions for the more than 400 million children vulnerable worldwide. In just ten years, RetailROI has made substantial progress in making an appreciable human difference to the world by helping over 250,000 children in 25 countries. 

At the 2020 SuperSaturday, one of the emotional stories shared was of Nick Fangano - "I don't know why they say Rest in Peace when people die, I think they should say Thrive in Joy." Nick's parents now use the tragic loss of their son Nick to thrive in joy by blessing vulnerable children both here in the USA and in the Dominican Republic.From the spectacular New York SAP Innovation Lab at Hudson Yards, the over 200 retail executives in attendance at this year's RetailROI raised nearly $350,000. It is time for many more of you to join us and make a true human difference for orphans and vulnerable children around the world. 

The Strategic Retail Technology Priorities of 2020

By the end of January each year, in collaboration with IHL, RIS publishes a new study “that examines trends for the coming year in the areas of technological advances and investment timelines that drive the blending of brick-and-mortar and digital transformation. At RetailROI, Joe Skorupa, the Editorial Director of RIS News, unveiled the top three retailer strategic priorities for 2020 which are discussed in the study. Courtesy of RIS news, here is the full list. 

RetailROITopStrategicPriorities

Interesting are the seven findings and recommendations from this year's study:

  1. Retailers should plan to match or surpass the level of growth predicted in 2020 - 5.7% growth in revenue, 4% rise in store openings, and 3.4% increase in store remodels.
  2. Focus on improving and investing in stores, where at least 86% of sales are transacted or are directly influenced. 
  3. Set overall strategic priorities to achieve long-term success. See top 3 above. 
  4. Specific in-store technologies to deploy in 2020 and beyond should focus on mobile capabilities. See next section of this article.
  5. No transformational technology comes close to the adoption rate of proximity or location-based marketing to create compelling, personalized in-store shopping journey - 25% have it today, 18% planning deployment in one year, and 16% within two years. 
  6. Competitive pressures compel investment in last-mile fulfillment - 30% currently support shipping products to a store for pick-up, 30% support buying online and returning to a store, 29% support purchasing products in a store that are shipped from a warehouse, and 28% support shipping store inventory to a customer.  
  7. No area of technology is hotter in retail today than Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), especially when used to sharpen operational areas - 29% have already made the investment, 23% will begin in the next 12 months, and another 10% within 24 months. 

All the new data presented confirms once again that the retail apocalypse is much more hype than reality (see Number 1 above).

Leaders Focus on Stores and Digital Transformation Technologies

At Retail ROI Greg Buzek shared additional digital transformation research details from the more in-depth report available for purchase on the IHL Group website. Two favorite charts stood out from his presentation.

Retail leaders focus on opening and improving their stores.

RetailROILeaders

Stores are not going away and as the RIS News findings confirm they are still an 80%+ critical component of retail revenue. Competitive advantage can be achieved by leveraging many of the latest store transformation technologies. 

RetailROIStoreTransform

The green percentages are the projected two-year growth of these technologies from today. "Speed of adoption of emerging technologies for store transformation is at fastest pace in last 20 years. The store remains the center of retail and key advantage over Amazon, but must transform to efficient fulfillment centers for both walk-ins AND digital orders," stated Greg Buzek of the IHL Group.

Join Us at RetailROI SuperSaturday 2021

RetailROI SuperSaturday should be your favorite motivational continuous learning activities just prior to NRF. Above are just a few examples on the exceptional value of engaging with retailers, analysts, and solutions providers during an emotionally / knowledge filled day. It is the perfect food for the human soul coupled with advanced intelligence for a much more productive new NRF trade event. 

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