Defining the future of seamless shopping at NRF 2016

  • Posted on January 13, 2016

Seamless ShoppingIt’s always nice while shopping to be surprised and delighted.  This happened to me twice during the holidays.  The first was with Nordstrom where I was searching for some gifts on their mobile app, added them to my wish list. As I walked through the flagship store in downtown Seattle at lunch one day, I received a notification that the items on my wish list were in the store.  The second was with Operator, a new shopping concierge service that connects you to experts to help find you what you want.  Both of these were seamless shopping experiences.

We are challenging Avanade clients this year to define the future of seamless shopping for their customers and workers, the play between digital and physical.  Today, we know that each channel is a critical element that must work together in harmony.  And as consumer expectations are now changing faster than ever, retailers need to make it even easier for them.  According to retail data from McKinsey & Company, today’s world is still mostly online and offline and not yet truly omnichannel.  There is still plenty of room for retailers to experiment and create meaningful experiences for their customers.  McKinsey found 28% of 18-24 year olds shop online only, whereas only 10% of those the 46-65 age group do the same. Retailers must focus on getting each channel right.

NRF - Avanade Retail

At the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show conference from January 17 to 19, Avanade, along with Accenture and Microsoft, is opening our second annual Digital Retail Innovation Lab to our clients. These one-hour sessions explore the latest trends and enable our clients to explore what their peers are doing in digital within and outside of their industry.  Over the course of the year, our innovation team looks at key industry trends (both in and outside of retail), all of the projects that Avanade, Accenture and Microsoft work on with our clients and harvest back those ideas that result in our digital point of view for what our clients need to be thinking about.

In the lab this year, we have over 35 retailers visiting the lab in three days.  We will explore the changing digital consumer and what needs to be done for the retail digital worker.  Our three themes are:

  • Online to Offline: Create consistent, connected online and in store experiences
  • Connected Spaces: Shop from home, pick up in store, at your convenience, with intelligent and personalized advice
  • Digitize the Store: Engage employees using intelligent, cost effective tools

The pace of change will never again be as slow as it is now,” said Matthew Bishop, an editor for The Economist.  Consumers want change, fast change, that will deliver a more informative and convenient shopping experience.  This experience can only be achieved by ensuring all shopping channels work in harmony for both the consumer and the retail employee.  To truly digitalize your business, you need to start thinking about making equal investments in your customer and worker experiences. ​ We look forward to sharing our Avanade vision of digital change within retail in our Lab,  Unified Commerce exhibition in the Microsoft Pavilion (booth 2803) and the Supermarket of the Future exhibition in the Intel Pavilion (booth 2543).  Come on by and say hello.

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February 5, 2016

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