What’s the Future of Retail? Future Stores Seattle 2023 Illuminates the Path
The physical retail store is dead…long live the reimagined phygital retail store!
Branding, technology advancements that deliver efficient operations, delighting the customer, and investing in the employees were the key themes as some of the largest retailers and those up-and-comers met in Seattle for three days to collaborate and learn from each other. There was a great mix of those Direct-To-Consumer brands making their first foray into physical retail to those that have hundreds and thousands of stores, including Starbucks with 35K+ locations.
Everyone was listening intently to hear how to succeed, grow and transform. A clear message was heard throughout the conference that customers simply like to touch and feel what they are buying. And when retail stores can make the connections to their customers and deliver on their expectations, retailers gain unstoppable loyalty to their brand.
Our Blue Yonder theme of “Powering the Connected Store” fit in perfectly with several of our partners, prospects and current customers looking to see what solutions we are delivering today while getting a glimpse of our evolutionary cognitive solutions that will catapult retail for years to come.
- Our Smart Store solutions deliver the technology needed to digitally transform the stores to be more customer-focused, efficient, and autonomous. Efficiencies in the supply chain through the shelf edge that integrate IoT edge technologies to further modernize the in-store experience for customers and employees alike.
- Our Workforce Management solution is designed to help address today’s labor challenges with flexible scheduling, time and attendance, simplified labor compliance, and long-range planning. Employers can reduce turnover and achieve higher levels of productivity for the frontline and managers alike, putting the power of their schedule in the palm of their hands.
- Our Commerce microservices deliver responsive, integrated business planning and operations capabilities, inventory visibility, and orchestration powered by AI/ML insights and forecasting models. With real-time data and intelligent insights, retailers can instantly pivot, adapt, and refocus their inventory, space, pricing, workforce, and store operations to new changes in demand.
What does today’s modern retailer truly need to be successful?
- Happy, engaged and retained employees…after all they are a retailer’s greatest asset.
- Accurate and visible inventories…can’t sell what you don’t have in-store or online.
- An elevated customer experience with less friction…ease of shopping and checkout wherever they choose to shop (online or in-store).
With the costs of inventory being the largest expense (labor the second largest), the surge of inventory levels over the past three years ($758B in 2023, a 21% increase since 2020 per IHL Group) is costing retailers dearly. Not to mention the cost of being out of stock has risen to $2T (a 12% increase since 2020 per IHL Group). So, helping retailers optimize their inventories and providing the visibility through our planning and allocation solutions is critical to delivering the retailers bottom-line.