We just wrapped up an exhilarating NRF 2024, and it’s safe to say it was an event to remember. KWI was in the spotlight, not just as an exhibitor but actively shaping the narrative around the ‘future of the store.’ This year was all about merging the best of technology with that essential human touch, reshaping retail into an experience that’s both intelligent and intimately personal.
‘Retail Re-Stored’: Sparking Meaningful Dialogue
Our booth buzzed with energy, thanks in large part to the ‘Retail Re-Stored’ speaker series, led by retail innovation expert Carol Spieckerman. Carol sat down with a diverse group of industry pros to discuss ‘what’s missing from the retail conversation’ in 2024.
This series turned into a vibrant forum discussing transformations shaping the future of retail and in-store experiences. Here are a few noteworthy trends that rose to the forefront:
1. Empowered Store Associates: Tech advancements are elevating the role of store associates for savvy retailers – transforming them into connoisseurs of customer service by giving them access to real-time data and insights. These insights (along with an empowered team) provides a competitive edge for retailers who are ready to operationalize clienteling strategies at scale.
2. Prioritizing Integration: Conversations also delved into the critical importance of agility in retail and the importance of having “tech that connects”. The consensus? It’s not about chasing every new tech development. It’s about thoughtfully integrating technology that genuinely enhances the customer experience and streamlines operations, providing long-term value, and staying power. Integration is the backbone of omnichannel but successful implementation requires the right team, the right tech, and the right partners.
3. A Changing Workforce: Broader shifts, like the digitization of the retail operations workforce, the rise of the gig economy, and the rise of niche tech-driven skillsets – including AI – are bringing advantages and new challenges. This revolution is more than just a change in processes; it’s reshaping how we engage with customers and how our teams operate. Many retail organizations are starting to look at their workforce differently with a need to strategically support relationships with 3rd party vendors and niche experts to help them solve problems, stay agile, and be prepared for what’s next.
4. Supportive Tech: A recurring theme throughout the conversations was the emphasis on the integration of technology in a manner that augments, rather than disrupts, the human aspect of retail. Rob Le Piane highlighted KWI’s philosophy, underscoring that “true service is about staying intimately connected with customers throughout their journey, with technology as an enabler, not a replacement”.
38 Years of KWI: A Legacy Meets the Omnichannel Era
This year at NRF we were proud to bring to life ‘Retail – The Exhibit’ telling the story of the evolution of our industry and innovations that have shaped it. This experience left us inspired to reflect on just how far retail has come and KWI’s role as the first SaaS retail provider.
We can’t wait to see “what’s next” for retail while crafting the omnichannel experience of tomorrow. Our commitment is to deliver a shopping journey that’s cohesive, integrated, and memorable, regardless of where or how you choose to shop.
Omnichannel Retail in 2024 and Beyond
At NRF 2024, one message was loud and clear: omnichannel isn’t just a strategy; it’s the heart of modern retail. The retailers that are dedicated to ensuring that the shopping experience is increasingly seamless, connected, and personalized are succeeding – while the ones struggling to adapt to new ways of shopping are trying to keep up.
The path ahead is clear: embracing innovation, valuing genuine connection (good people like you!), and maintaining agility are more than strategies; they’re the pillars of success in the dynamic retail landscape we’re shaping together.
Here’s to a future that’s bright and promising. We’re thrilled to be on this journey with you.