NRF Show attendees are hopeful for 2016
In our own randomly, unscientific fashion, RetailWire hit the floor at the NRF Big Show last week to get answers from retailers and their vendors to two questions:
- Were the retail industry’s final results for 2015 better, worse or in line with your expectations?
- Are you more or less optimistic about the industry’s prospects for 2016?
On the first question, 53 percent said 2015’s performance was in line with their expectations. Twenty-six percent said performance was somewhat below expectations and five percent claimed business was much worse than expected. Sixteen percent, largely because of online sales, said performance was somewhat above expectations.
As to the year ahead, attendees were more hopeful than optimistic about the retail industry’s prospects. Sixty-five percent were somewhat more optimistic about 2016’s prospects and 12 percent were much more optimistic. Nine percent said they were neither more nor less optimistic. Ten percent were somewhat less optimistic and four were much less optimistic.
Here is what some NRF attendees had to say.
“Data and analytics are high on the priority list of virtually all retailers, but it’s not about collecting more data, it’s about leveraging the data they already have. Retailers are looking for measurable results — they want proof of efficacy, and A/B testing will become even more pervasive.” – Mark Ryski, Author, Founder & CEO of HeadCount Corporation
“Sixty percent of all retail sales are now digitally influenced. Retailers need to get rid of channel silos and provide shoppers with consistent, personalized, engaging journeys.” – Rory Dennis, Founder, GM North America, Amplience
“The trend towards buy online and pick up in-store is obvious. How to manage it is not. Retailers will need to break down silos, get top management on board and redesign stores to succeed. A perfect view of inventory is also required.” – Mark Lavelle, CEO, Magento
“2016 will be the year of analytics at retail. Retailers need to align their strategies with execution — flexibility and speed are the keys.” – Kristin Howell, Senior Director Retail Solution Management, SAP
“Retailers who are investing in technology and labor are doing best.” – Charlie DeWitt, SVP Global Sales, Kronos
“Unified commerce is the top retail priority this year, vs. payment security last year,” according to their recent survey. “Retailers need to invest in infrastructure and vastly improve inventory visibility.” – Ken Morris, Principal, Boston Retail Partners
What do you think will be the biggest factors affecting retail industry performance in 2016? Are you more or less optimistic about the industry’s prospects for 2016 compared to 2015?