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Shoptalk 2019 continued an upward trend of success for the popular conference – over 8,000 attendees, including top retail brands and leading service vendors, came together in Vegas for 4 days to discuss key trends in the retail industry, make big announcements and gain insights from an impressive list of speakers touching on the hottest topics in the industry.

Developing Personalized Shopping Experiences

One of the prevailing themes among speakers continued to be how retailers and brands can create seamless omni-channel experiences for their customers, with a big push for retailers to leverage new technology to deliver personalization in-store.

One such example is a recent Kroger and Microsoft collaboration – a speaker from Microsoft discussed their new EDGE technology that helps Kroger bring personalization to the shelf. The new technology identifies nearby consumers and delivers relevant content and dynamic pricing, as well as highlighting flash deals, allowing CPGs to be more responsive to consumer demand and affect sales performance in real time.

In line with this trend, IMS is working with clients, both retailers and CPGs, to integrate new technology into their merchandising execution programs to personalize the shopping experience through our data optimized merchandising execution) platform. Improving the relevance of retail displays enhances the consumers’ experience and delivers increased ROI for brands.

Driving Engagement at Brick & Mortar

Another trend that was heavily prevalent at NRF as well as Shoptalk was the need for retailers to create unique brand experiences to entice consumers back into brick and mortar.

ZOLA (a digital native wedding registry website) is dabbling in a pop-up store in New York that creates unique experiences for engaged couples. Experiences include a 3D modeling booth used to generate 3D-printed custom cake toppers, a listening booth to try out songs and build a playlist for the day, and a CBD lounge to test out products that help alleviate the stress of wedding planning.

Erik Nordstrom, Co-President of Nordstrom, spoke during his keynote about Nordstrom’s plans to continue deploying neighborhood stores (dubbed Nordstrom Local) that hold no inventory, but instead offer enhanced convenience for local customers by featuring services they might not be aware of, including online pickups, returns, and alterations. Conveniently, customers can also enjoy a beer and wine bar or indulge at the nail salon while they’re in the store.

Macy’s is rolling out an in-store virtual reality furniture and home shopping experience where customers can design their perfect room with the help of sales associates in the Macy’s VR platform. In addition to a 60% increase in AOV and reduced return rate, converting stores to VR allows the Macy’s furniture and home department to hold a smaller showroom footprint with less inventory as consumers will be able to view their entire catalog in the VR experience.

Executing Branded Experiences

IMS is committed to an approach to merchandising execution that goes beyond the products on the shelves available for purchase. It’s not about transactions. It’s about relationships. We align with our clients goals and create retail environments that deliver experiences intended to forge an emotional relationship with the brand.

We frequently collaborate with our clients to deliver pop-up shops, stores within a store, digital signage and unique in-store interactive experiences. IMS is solution agnostic, we take the creative vision of our clients and execute that vision at retail and along the entire merchandising supply chain.

Let’s discuss how we can bring your vision to life and deliver unique branded experiences in your own retail environments, contact us today.