Acuity Went There: The National Retail Federation Convention and Expo
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Posted by Sarah B. on February 16, 2016 in Merchant Focus

The National Retail Federation held its 105th annual Retail’s BIG Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 17 to January 20. There were over a hundred educational sessions and programs available to attendees, along with an enormous expo floor full of vendors demonstrating their newest technology and ideas. Acuity sent Steve M. and Rick H. from the Mercantile team in an effort to gain more retail knowledge and expertise. By understanding current trends in the industry, we can provide even better insurance products and offerings for your retail business.

 

Between the two of them, Steve and Rick attended more than 40 educational sessions and spent a significant amount of time perusing the expo hall and talking to vendors about their products and technology.

 

Steve’s biggest take away from the convention was that even in our increasingly digital world, personalization is paramount. Shoppers still want an actual experience in a physical location, no matter how many apps are available.  It’s also important to note that personalization can be achieved through enhancing the brick and mortar experience with digital media. 

 

A key takeaway for Rick was data and how retailers should be taking advantage of it. He attended an interesting breakout session on the topic that centered on the increasing number of services available to provide and analyze data for your business.  Rick also enjoyed a presentation by Mark Friedman, president of e-commerce at Steven Madden, entitled “Putting the Customer at the Center of Our Data; Our Experience at Betsey Johnson.”  Rick liked that while this presentation focused on technology and data—enhanced POS systems, mobile apps, and customers’ cross-device journeys—the basics were not lost. It reminded us that it is important to not just know who your customer is, but to get a 360-degree perspective. The data you collect, whether digital or concrete, can be helpful in making decisions and in tackling issues.

 

The four-day event offered retailers a chance to collaborate in learning, preparing, and planning for the future, a big part of which is personalizing shoppers’ experiences and using data to make that happen. Steve and Rick were excited to be part of this experience, which they found to be rich with expertise, inspiration, and passion.

 

Links to other presentations that Steve and Rick enjoyed:

http://events.nrf.com//annual2016/CUSTOM/images/12GreatIdeas.pdf

http://events.nrf.com//annual2016/CUSTOM/Speaker/Big_Social_Mobile_Wolfe.pdf

Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.


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