Reflections from the National Retail Federation Conference
This past January The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, safely hosted its annual conference this January. It’s a tumultuous time for retail across the globe, and this year’s conference focused on how retailers are maintaining sales while exploring new platforms to better reach their customers.
2022 NRF Conference Reflections
The theme of the show this year was appropriately “accelerate” — and this was carried throughout each speaker and panel of the conference. Although “normal” life has been intermittently put on hold throughout the pandemic, retail has not. Retail has continued to evolve and adapt to the needs of consumers throughout the world — with no sign of slowing down.
While our Pockyt team participated in the Innovation Zone section of the conference, we also enjoyed being part of the audience and hearing from some of the biggest players in the industry. Read on for our team’s NRF Conference reflections.
“Listen, Learn, Adapt, and be Flexible”
This year, the Target board Chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell, was the recipient of The Visionary 2022 award because of his “keen ability to…truly understand what American families want and need,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
Cornell kicked off the conference with Shay. During the conversation, Cornell emphasized the importance of staying close to customers. Although Target had previously implemented changes to improve in-store and online orders and contactless fulfillment.
Providing consumers with the ability to consolidate their shopping experience is critical as we continue to see changes in shopping behaviors due to the pandemic. We know how important a frictionless shopping experience is to consumers. Whether they shop online, in-store, curbside, or using numerous other options, consumers want flexibility and consistency across every experience with your brand.
Innovative Concepts, Alternative Commerce and the Metaverse
Kate Anecktill, GDR Creative Intelligence CEO, delivered inspirational insights behind some of the world’s most resilient retailers. A few of the common themes Anecktill explored were the buying power of Gen-Zers and the omnichannel retail experience.
GenZ makes up 36.7% of the world’s population and they have been operating on apps their entire lives. This generation has grown to expect instant gratification through instant deliveries (InstaCart, Door Dash), easy ride-share ordering (Uber, Lyft), and even instant banking and payment capabilities (Venmo, Zelle). For this generation, virtual reality on social media and other digital platforms is on its way to taking the place of — or largely supplementing — real life.
So, what does this mean? Anecktill recommends thinking about retail as one holistic space not in binary terms (online vs. offline) to appease your entire customer base. Think about how you can streamline a customer’s experience with your brand so that no matter where they are shopping with you, the experience is consistent and simple.
Anecktill also emphasizes the importance of the rise of non-traditional digital channels and social commerce — including meta-commerce. By enabling your customers to shop or even familiarize themselves with your brand on these channels you are meeting them where they already are and increasing the likelihood you will have repeat customers who become champions of your brand.
Bloomberg Intelligence reports that the global metaverse revenue could reach $800 billion. Cassandra Napoli, Senior Strategist at consumer trend forecasting company, WGSN Insight, emphasized the potential the metaverse has for retailers. As people become more immersed in the metaverse environment, new economic opportunities will present themselves.
The metaverse opens up new opportunities for brands to experiment with digital fashion. It is predicted that having a digital avatar will become as common as having a social media account. This opens the opportunity for brands to essentially create digital versions of their designs for avatars to don as they navigate the metaverse — and profit immensely in the process.
Although NFTs are typically cited as the easiest form of commerce in the metaverse, imagine unlocking the ability for consumers to use their preferred method of payment instead. Enabling consumers to shop with whatever payment method they want in the metaverse would remove this barrier of entry, further increasing the spend potential in this virtual reality.
Reaching Customers with Pockyt
As the expansive landscape of retail continues to grow, companies are encouraged to meet consumers where they are. Whether that be in-store, online, on social apps, or on the metaverse — consumers’ expectations and buying habits are shifting.
Pockyt connects businesses with consumers across the globe by enabling businesses to integrate a simple but robust payment processing system into existing point of sale and e-commerce systems. So, wherever consumers shop with your brand, they are able to pay with their preferred payment method. This removes friction with your brand and increases sales.
Payment processing in the metaverse is part of our network. Just imagine the possibilities of being able to connect with your customers in every reality.
Learn more about accepting digital wallet payments through Pockyt’s payment platform by chatting with our team today!