As many retail professionals gear up for retail’s BIG show—the 2019 NRF Annual Convention & EXPO—many are still processing the year that was. 2018 was turbulent, by any measure, but that volatility also drove momentum for transformative retail experiences.
In 2018, many brands felt the influence of the digital-native shopper—young, price-conscious, and willing to jump ship to brands that deliver convenient, tailored experiences on their terms, online and in-store.
GDPR landed in May, forcing retailers across the European Union (and beyond) to rethink marketing and personalization strategies. And everyone, from boutiques to big box stores, felt the pressure to invest in seamless shopping experiences from optimized store operations to seamlessly unified physical and online storefronts.
Despite the volatility in 2018, it was also a year that has ushered in innovative ways for retailers to adapt, transform, and grow.
Retail technology has come a long way in the last couple of years, and this is reflected in the extensive updates to Dynamics 365 in 2018. As Shelly Bransten, Microsoft CVP, Retail and Consumer Goods Industries, detailed in an insightful blog post this week, retailers now have access to intelligent tools that unify digital, in-store, and back office operations as well as understand and respond to new consumer behaviors.
And 2019 promises even more innovation, even when faced with more uncertainty.
The year ahead
Throughout January, this blog will explore what’s in store for retail in the year ahead. We just published a new survey that reveals the big trends that will impact retailers in 2019. And over the next few weeks, we’ll look at the technologies driving retail transformation, like artificial intelligence and distributed order management. We’ll also share real-world stories from retailers and best practices to help you transform your business in 2019.
Heading to NRF 2019? Visit Microsoft!
Visit booth #3301 to meet our team of retail technology and intelligence experts and see our solutions in action—including Dynamics 365 for Retail. Also, be sure to attend these workshops and keynotes:
Delivering on the promise of Intelligent Retail
Sunday, January 13, 10:15am – 10: 45am | Stage 5, EXPO Hall, Level 3
Join Microsoft industry leader Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, Retail & Consumer Goods Industries, and executives from leading retailers from across the globe as they share insights and best practices from their own journeys to Intelligent Retail. Learn how to delight today’s digital-savvy consumers through personalized, seamless experiences, empower employees with data-driven insights, and optimize retail operations to build more agile organizations and ultimately deliver on the promise of Intelligent Retail.
Microsoft customer breakfast – Retail Reimagined
Monday, January 14th 8:00-9:45am
The Lambs Club New York, Inside The Chatwal Hotel
132 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036
Attend this Microsoft led breakfast and conversation about the future of retail with special guest Doug Stephens of the Retail Prophet. Doug is an expert on the future of retail. His intellectual work and thinking influence many of the world’s best-known retailers, agencies, and brands, including Walmart, Google, Home Depot, Disney, BMW, Coca Cola, and Intel. Vend.com lists Doug as one of the industry’s top 5 global influencers.
This breakfast will be hosted by Microsoft executives, Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President of Global Industry and Business Applications and Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President Global Retail and Consumer Goods. Together they will lead the conversation around where retail has been, and how trends will influence customers’ expectations and enable retailers’ innovation.
How Microsoft has become a mission-driven brand
Tuesday, January 15, 11:30am–12:30pm | Stage 3, EXPO Hall, Level 1
Microsoft’s mission to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more” coupled with a growth mindset has led to an evolution of the Microsoft brand to reflect the new mission and culture. Chris Capossela, CMO for Microsoft, will share valuable insights to help you differentiate your brand by reflecting your unique mission and culture.