CART Reflections from The NGA Show

February 23, 2017

CART Reflections from The NGA Show

The following blog originally ran on the CART blog HERE

By: Gary Hawkins, Founder and CEO, CART

Congratulations to NGA for another great show in Las Vegas this past week featuring record attendance, meaningful workshops, and a busy exhibit floor! The success of The NGA Show shows the resilience of independent retailers as they continue to push ahead. After having a few days to digest all the conversations held over the few days of the show, I have a couple thoughts to share.

The first is that it is encouraging to see that retailers, especially independent retailers, understand the importance of technology to their future. Retailers were doing their homework at the show, combing the exhibit floor aisles checking in with solution providers with whom they presently work and checking out new services and solutions coming into the market.

eCommerce remained an area of high interest as retailers of all sizes met and talked with the numerous eCommerce solution providers exhibiting at the show. From our perspective it appeared that all the different online shopping solutions were busy as retailers did their due diligence. We are also beginning to see the many eCommerce solutions begin to target their solutions to different types of retailers; some solutions best for the largest retailers, other solutions best for traditional retailers, and a few others focusing on serving niche and/or upscale retailers.

One thing came through loud and clear is that retailers, while understanding the importance of technology to their future, are overwhelmed by the myriad solutions available to them. I had many discussions with retailers of all sizes who were at the show focused on their need to develop a roadmap for new tech and innovation; helping them understand where to deploy their limited resources.

These are challenges that not just independent retailers deal with, even the largest retailers are challenged to keep pace with new innovation. Making the landscape even more challenging is solution providers jockeying for position, creating additional complexity and confusion for retailers as they try to chart their course forward. We are seeing too many retailers not fully understanding different technologies, for example thinking an app is just an app or marketing personalization is the same regardless of the solution provider.

The last thought I’ll share is that we on the CART team are pleased to see not only the growing interest in technology but the growing use of the CART platform as a resource for the industry. The CART team is here to help retailers understand the myriad solutions available today and develop their roadmap looking out to the future.