NRF 2023 retrospective: Big Show takeaways set to define this year

  • Posted on March 1, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Avanade NRF 2023 retrospective

NRF may already be in the rear-view, but its impact lives on – through the reverberation of the compelling insights and trends unearthed across three riveting days of breakthrough retail chat. Now that the dust has settled, our team has reflected on the key themes they heard about at the conference.

Below, we’ve digested the big takeaways from the Big Show, to bring you a concise summary of the headline transformational trends that’ll define the next 12 months.

Cost control with a conscience
Corine Vives, Global Lead for Retail and Consumer Goods

“From my conversations at NRF 2023, the one thing that stood out is balance. Retailers are searching to find the right balance between cost control and sustainability. Clearly, cost matters right now – both to retailers and to their customers. But (despite economic pressures) consumers, employees and other stakeholders are not willing to compromise when it comes to sustainability.

It was fascinating talking to retailers at NRF to understand how they are balancing the obligation of profitability and purpose. And, where they draw the line commercially, as they seek to remain committed to being a responsible retailer.”

The rise of retail media
Marcos Suarez, European Lead for Retail and Consumer Goods

“One of the key takeaways for me from NRF – and my prediction for the key trend in 2023 – is retailers and brands all over the world (especially in Europe) talking about the concept of retail media, as they seek to accelerate their data monetization.

I believe we’ll see leading European retailers following the example of Amazon, Walmart, as well as other US retail giants, and establishing their own retail media networks. With margins on traditional merchandise squeezed, retailers will be more eager than ever to supplement their revenue streams. Retail media hadn’t really taken off in Europe before now, I believe 2023 is the year it will.”

Intelligent, augmented associates
Rasmus Hyltegard, Global Data & AI Lead for Retail and Consumer Goods

“I came away from NRF 2023 enthused about many things – but in particular the opportunity for human store associates to be empowered by intelligent insights. This enables them to both deliver and benefit from innovative new experiences.

The huge leaps forward in AI capabilities was a key trend at NRF. This intelligence is the engine that can help employees to perform at their best and deliver the superior customer service at the store. This is a huge opportunity in the market. As employees are flooded with more and more notifications and information, they need an intelligent platform to help them understand which action to take and what’s the highest priority.”

Autonomous shopping goes mainstream
Debashish Maity, Enterprise Architect for Retail and Consumer Goods

“This year, my prediction is we’ll see the acceleration of autonomous shopping into the mainstream. The definition of what autonomous shopping means to each retailer will vary depending on the nature of their business and how their customers shop. But I believe we’ll see innovations including frictionless check-out, in-store warehouse automation, and AI-driven customer services becoming more readily adopted by retailers.”

The retail transformation triumvirate
Greg Jones, North America Lead for Retail and Consumer Goods

“For me, there were three transformational trends that really stood out at NRF 2023. The first was around the employee – specifically, we heard a lot from retailers about how employees are at the front of their minds when it comes to automation and how that can enable superior service for their customers.

The second trend was data – and how to move from merely collecting and analysing information to really unlocking the opportunities that it can provide: Moving from insight to action. Finally, the third trend was livestreaming – not so much in terms of the opportunities it presents, but more around the different operational approaches and ways to integrate it into existing commerce programs.”

Opportunities amid economic obstacles
Rob Want, Global Business Applications Lead for Retail and Consumer Goods

“Supply chain disruptions will continue to be the norm this year. Retailers are going to need to use technology for real-time inventory visibility across the supply chain, as they seek to adapt to those disruptions.

We’ll also see consumer price sensitivity increasing, and merchandisers are going to respond by seeking to leverage inventory visibility to support their discount strategies.”

Reimagine retail in the responsible era
We recently partnered with IDC to learn more about how retailers can be cost conscious, with a conscience in 2023. In an exclusive IDC research snapshot, you can discover how sustainability can help you unlock efficiency and cost optimization benefits.

Read the study and then register for our responsible retail insights series.

Avanade Insights Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest news.

Share this page
Modal window