Highlights from NRF 2017

January 23, 2017

It was so great seeing so many lovely people at NRF 2017!

AgilOne booth NRF

Our booth was packed with great conversations as top retailers search for ways to help them grow their business in 2017. Along with expo hall discussions, there were some great sessions we took notes on for all those that might have missed them.


Insights From Our 5 Favorite Sessions

#1. Not to toot our own horn but... our CEO and Founder Omer spoke with Miguel Almeida the EVP of lululemon and it was amazing. The covered lululemon’s 2016 journey to understand their customer’s omni-channel data and how they leverage it to create genuine customer engagements – not just buying experiences.

Their session is highlighted in Retail Customer Experience!


lululemon's 2016 Goal: Digital Acceleration

  1. Design and nurture a digital ecosystem that amplifies HUMAN experiences, relationships, and connections
  2. They wanted their customer data to be intelligent (machine learning, predictive insights) but also configurable so that they can seamlessly connect online and offline data points
  3. They wanted to know, understand, and engage with customers seamlessly across channels (mobile, store, ecomm, community, GEC, Social, and classes)

IMG_0993.jpgWith AgilOne, they were able to achieve their 2016 goals and are set up for success in 2017. This year, they'll focus on leveraging machine learning via AgilOne to ensure that the new technologies they are introducing are creating more delightful customer experiences. For lululemon, they stress the human element of customer data. It is real humans who market and engage with customers. With their new technology, they can empower their employees to personalize customer experiences in a scalable way.



#2. Our friend, James Rhee, the CEO of Ashley Stewart spoke on how retailers can attract and retain top talent.

  • 1 in every 4 jobs in the US comes from the retail industry and retail employment expected to grow by nearly another million jobs by 2022 – the industry needs sophisticated talent to help their brands keep up with the consumer’s pace of life without losing their core values.
  • The key to attracting and retaining top talent is creating a work environment where employees are empowered to be the voice of the brand, manage genuine customer relationships, and to get involved in giving back to the communities of your customer.
  • “Our employees can speak to Ashley Stewart customers about life, not just clothing… Customers want transparency and genuine engagement. You can’t hide or be one dimensional anymore. There is lots of exposure through social media and customers ask, “What are your values?” If you stress the genuine relationship building every day, you’ll see positive results in your employee culture.” - James Rhee


#3. Colin Watts: Insights From the CEO & CHE (Chief Health Enthusiast) of The Vitamin Shoppe

Vitamin Shoppe is celebrating 40th year anniversary! Founded in NYC, they are a health & wellness retailer that is passionate about reinventing retail experience. In the past, they were overly focused on pills and powders. Now it’s not just about the products, but about the lifestyle of their customers and becoming a part of that life.

They redid their website, which launched in November to be comprehensive and easy to navigate. Their focus is on humanizing their customers’ digital experiences with links to healthy awards, online chat, and making their products searchable by their customers’ health lifestyle: paleo, gluten free, etc.

They have also gutted their old stores with the intention of making their brick & mortars a “true healthy lifestyle destination.” These new stores have events like kombucha happy hour, solutions wall, one on one nutrition sessions, aroma therapy bar, protein samplers, and more!

The results are in the revenue. The new stores are seeing:

  • 3x first time customers
  • Customers are spending 2x longer in the store
  • Customers surveyed that 91% would recommend a store visit to their family and friends


#4. How Abercrombie and Helzberg Diamonds engage Generation Z Customers

  • Gen Z are ages 13-21 years old
  • 44% don’t watch tv
  • 67% are still shopping in stores
  • 8 second attention span
  • Cyber savvy

How do you engage them? Create frictionless customer experiences and use data to identify patterns and behaviors.

Abercrombie – “Deliver the full on omni-channel experience”

  • Launched loyalty program which will is experience-oriented
  • Doing location based lenses with Snapchat – get Gen Z to participate and share

Helzberg’s  – “Work today to get ready for these consumers tomorrow”

  • Customization is crucial for this generation so they are investing in supply chain customization to allow this consumer to personalize their jewelry in store and online through their new gem builder and to ensure they get their product the next day.
  • They focus on selling love and romance, not jewelry.
  • They are engaging consumers to post content on social with a tag for Helzberg. They are working with vendors to track engagements.


#5 Deloitte studied over 2,000 of their customers to provide us with deep insights on the impact digital engagements have on store purchases and, in their session, they share how retailers can apply these insights to their growth strategy.

  • Their study uncovered that 90% of in store sales are impacted by digital – that comes to $1.8 trillion globally.
  • With the new norm of USGDP 2% growth, retailers must leverage data to grow their overall market share to grow in 2017.
  • Deloitte also says that the top 200 retailers in the US have “integrated customer experiences.” Consumers are always engaging with brands online. Leveraging customer data in a meaningful way empowers brands to meet customers where they are.


Didn’t catch us at NRF? We will be at ShopTalk in March and you can check out our demo video anytime to learn more!