Blog: Looking back at NRF: Personalization is on Every Retailer’s Mind

February 01, 2018  |  JAN BLOTENBURG

For many years, NRF, Retail’s Big Show has been the annual event to visit when you are working in the retail industry. It is where top-level executives from the retail branch go to network with peers, get inspiration, close new business and get a pulse on innovations in the retail industry.

There was one thing that resonated throughout this year’s entire event and was mentioned in most of the talks and presentations given: Personalization. NRF 2018 showed its visitors that retail is no longer about delivering great consumer experiences for the masses; it is about delivering tailor-made, personalized experiences for the individual. Retailers will have to make a shift from simply ‘doing transactions’ to establishing truly ‘personalized connections.’

Enabling ‘High-Touch’ Engagement through ‘High-Tech’ Experiences

Closely related to personalization, at NRF a lot of emphasis was also put on digital store transformation. Both themes address the fundamental shift that is going on to move from a channel-centric to a consumer-centric approach – a shift that eventually will transform the entire retail landscape.

Related to store transformation, I saw many ‘side’ initiatives popping up on the NRF show floor – not only hardware-related, i.e. smart devices that interact with consumers in new ways while collecting their data – but especially in the software business around analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). In order to be able to ‘get personal’ with individual shoppers at every stage of their shopping journey, retailers will have to collect, combine and analyze tons of consumer data.

At NRF, Diebold Nixdorf was one of the leading vendors in this area. Visitors to our booth had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at our Vynamic™ Retail software suite, explore the breadth of our portfolio and demo solutions that showcase our far-ranging abilities to address today’s retail challenges.

We were able to take visitors on an integrated, end-to-end shopping journey this year. Using Vynamic Mobile Retail as a starting point, we showed how retailers can enable facial recognition via smartphone to identify shoppers, then continue the journey in a seamlessly integrated experience that connects mobile POS, a loyalty and engagement solution, mobile self-scanning and ultimately our self-checkout stations and kiosks, with the option for consumers to conduct a cashless, mobile payment using their own smartphone.

Within that end-to-end journey, visitors to our booth seemed particularly excited about the two solutions we debuted this year at NRF: Our new, cloud-based Vynamic Engage, a software-as-a-service solution that revolutionizes how retailers can drive consumer engagement, and Vynamic Mobile Shopper, which provides retailers with mobile self-scanning capabilities for both retail-hardened devices and consumer smartphones.

Future-proofing Each Step of the Journey

We designed Vynamic Engage to power a 360-degree view of consumer behavior. Based on holistic consumer profiles managed in Vynamic Engage, we’ve empowered retailers with the tools and information they need to create a ‘store-for-one’ for each individual consumer, driving loyalty and increasing overall spending. It’s one way we’re making personalized retail experiences a reality today.  Vynamic Mobile Shopper works with Vynamic Engage to take personalization one step further, by giving consumers the ability to shop and checkout in entirely new ways. We really thought about ways to incorporate consumers’ smartphones into every step of the journey, to make the path to purchase faster and more efficient for both retailers and consumers.

Looking back at NRF, it was interesting to see how our Vynamic Retail suite is fully aligned with current and future market demands, matching well with the top-of-mind trends and themes in retail presented at NRF. Our booth was buzzing with activity throughout the show, and we had some excellent conversations with retailers on everything from our Storevolution strategy to open retailing, personalization, self-scanning, mobile retail and cloud. Our theme for the show was “more than omnichannel, this is connected commerce,” and I see 2018 as the year in which we’re making that concept come to life through our innovations. Retail is certainly transforming, and we’re prepared with the solutions retailers will need to be successful in this newly digitalized era.

Interested in talking about how Vynamic could drive new levels of personalization within your retail network? Let’s talk!

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