News and Insights


13 Feb

Future Stores Miami Recap


REPL was recently at the Future Stores, Miami conference on February 4th – 6th.

Day 1

The conference provided lots of interesting content and presentations, so if you couldn’t make it here’s a quick recap of what we talked about during our panel discussion, what to target in the future, and how it applies to you.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Retailers still struggle to find the right opportunities for AI in stores
  2. Customers want both personalized and zero-interaction service options
  3. Customers also want to be in your store. You just need to give them a reason to go there
  4. Tech target: translate data into simple and relevant solutions that solve real problems
  5. Customer-facing associates are still your most valuable asset

Also, I’ve been thinking more about the groups struggle with incomplete data sets, and I think we can help solve that by thinking through more practical AI uses in your stores. There are a ton of organizations just like yours using our custom mobile and AI solutions which deliver real results.

Day 2

Key Takeaways:

  1. Innovative brands constantly re-create. Don’t be afraid to put your ideas into play. See how it works. And progress from there.
  2. Customers want friendly human interaction. Managers want less turnover. Yet it seems corporate struggles to keep employees engaged.
  3. Tech-savvy customers require seamless experiences from mobile to store to brand. And you need to give it to them.
  4. AI is sexy, but not focusing on real problems is not. Dodge vanity AI apps. Team up with companies that provide ROI.
  5. Data storage and quality are growing issues. But machine learning can help fill gaps and create effective improvement plans.

Yesterday I heard the quote “Physical retail isn’t dead, boring retail is” — and it made me think.

You can’t have exciting retail with the wrong people, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I think we can help solve this by strengthening forecasts and understanding how your workforce impacts scaling initiatives.

Day 3

Key Takeaways:

  1. Experiential retail goes beyond just an experience. It’s about creating an environment for shareable moments.
  2. 90% of US shoppers have high-res smartphones. And they Instagram what speaks to them, their friends, and their family. Hint: know your customers.
  3. Customer social posts are an invaluable (and free) marketing tactic. People trust referrals more than any ad or branded content.
  4. Your in-store experience should be organic and relevant. Life size M&M’s and kids, win. For moody teens, not so much.
  5. Facial recognition tech is here. Your store can now recognize customers. Reward them upon arrival. Tell employees who they are, and so much more.

How about that last one — facial recognition? If you struggle with making sense of data now, imagine once that becomes the norm. Fortunately, future-proofing retailers is what we do at REPL.

If you would like to know more about how REPL can help you and your organization, you can contact us by clicking here.

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