National Grocer

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CART Lessons from The NGA Show

Mar 28, 2016

CART Lessons from The NGA Show

The following blog originally ran on the CART blog HERE

By: Gary Hawkins, Founder and CEO, CART

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Wow! Another great NGA Show has just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Have to congratulate NGA on another record setting year for attendance and exhibitors. As has become the norm for NGA, the Show was dynamic and high-energy.

So what are the takeaways? I previously called out five things to look for at the Show.

Online Shopping: As we expected, this was the year of Online with a number of solution providers across the exhibit floor, four of them in the CART pavilion alone! Retailers had a great opportunity to meet and talk with the different solution providers, compare capabilities, services, and pricing. I heard a growing emphasis on how solution providers can support operations, with order picking applications, order management, etc. The focus - as it is elsewhere across the store - being on efficient backend operations so that retailers are able to make money as more of their business moves online.

Personalization: As predicted, lots of interest in sophisticated, strategic personalization. I think retailers are beginning to understand that the game has changed and mass promotion is no longer the most effective way to go to market. Retailers are also understanding that customers are expecting personalization in marketing. While many solution providers talk about ‘personalization’ there was significant interest in solution providers that can provide truly relevant targeting to the individual shopper.

In-Store Marketing: Hyper-personalization has met hyper-location in bringing location-based contextually relevant messaging to shoppers in the store in realtime that is relevant to the individual customer. As I’ve called out before, there are a growing number of solution providers using beacons for in-store marketing but very few solution providers that are doing this right and able to provide relevancy to the individual customer.

Shopper-Intelligence: We saw lots of traffic at the booths for loyalty solution providers as retailers have gotten the message that customer-identified transaction data has become necessary for retail. The show floor had a number of loyalty solution providers with solutions appropriate for retailers of all sizes.

POS: POS is evolving rapidly. We saw lots of traffic around both traditional POS solutions but also heavy traffic for new innovative solution providers powering up new smartphone based self-shopping capabilities. This is already happening in Europe and other markets and is making its way into the US market. As indicated by show floor traffic, fast growing interest in this!

Last thoughts: Fascinating workshop I was privileged to moderate on Tuesday morning focused on Personalization and true 1:1 Marketing. Great panelists like Ron Bonacci (United Supermarkets) who is one of the leaders in this space and Dennis Host (Coborn’s) shared where their companies are headed. One of the most interesting things coming out of the session was retailers like these looking ahead at how strategic personalization comes together with online shopping to create a powerful customer experience. Not many retailers are thinking that far ahead but these guys are, and it’s where retail is quickly headed.

Thanks to everyone that came by the CART pavilion - we look forward to seeing you next year!