2017 NRF Retail’s BIG Show Preview: Best of the Breakouts

2017 NRF BIG Show New York Sessions

As part of our preparations for Retail’s BIG Show this year, we’re putting together our pick of conference events of particular interest to all those from the world of fashion and online apparel.

In a previous post, we focused on highlights to expect from the main NRF conference keynotes. This time around, attention switches to sessions scattered across its series of carefully considered content tracks.

If you’re attending the NRF BIG Show this year and want to connect around any of the topics below, or discuss opportunities around solving sizing for your customers, please feel free to get in touch directly to arrange a meeting.

1. Global Retailing

This is a subject we saw regularly emerging among both existing partners and those we were discussing future opportunities with throughout 2016, so it’s great to see it front and centre at BIG Show 2017.

With margins tightening and competition hotting up considerably in more mature markets, it’s only natural that companies are looking to leverage the power of their existing branding and logistics in newer markets. That’s a strategic initiative we’re also going out of our way to support at Fit Analytics with a heavy focus on seamless user experience in our sizing tool – no matter where in the world your online shops and customers are.

While the entire global retailing track looks intriguing, we’re particularly interested in how the following breakout sessions pan out:

  • Going Global – Taking Your Brand to New Markets: Both part one and part two of this session look like being excellent introductions to the challenges and opportunities emerging markets present. Based on her vast experience across all aspects of online and offline apparel, Meg Lustman’s take on the subject promises to be a particularly fascinating one for anyone involved in fashion.

2. Radical Retail

There’s an impressive array of wide-ranging sessions bundled together on the Radical Retail track, with three in particular catching our eye:

  1. How Data Will Replace Discounting – Lessons From Uber, Point 93 and Orchard Mile: The steady encroachment of big data into consumer marketing looks like the money topic on this one. That’s also an area where we’re seeing a lot of savvy partner marketing departments reaching out to us to leverage sizing and spend data across their campaigns.
  2. Who is Gen Z? With $44B in Buying Power, You Should Probably Find Out: Millennials have been on our mind of late, but it could be time to start looking further down the demographic spread for retailers as the next generation comes online.
  3. Fashion Geeks Presents: Soft Circuits and Wearable Tech: With wearable tech already a $50 billion market, this looks like a must-see session for anyone in fashion.

3. The Retail Store

The future of retail is an ongoing theme here on the blog as we seek to help brands and retailers fine-tune their future customer experiences. Though our focus is naturally online, offline retail stores are an area of increasing interest – particularly around possible ways our sizing data can be leveraged in the context of omnichannel and the wider retail stack.

Amazon GO is disrupting the traditional retail store.
With Amazon GO raising the stakes, others are going to have to raise their retail game.

Again, there’s no shortages of candidates to catch your attention on the Retail Store track this year, but two sessions in particular leapt out at us:

  1. Achieving Operational Excellence in the Age of Radical Change: As we deepen our relationships with existing partners, we’re starting to see significant opportunities around reverse-logistics on the basis of insights unlocked by our data. A glimpse into how non-apparel retail giants such as Barnes & Noble and Crate & Barrel are approaching operations could have major takeaways for the fashion industry.
  2. Tech Savvy Store – Tracking, Analyzing and Engaging for Profit: The two panelists on offer here suggest it could be a barnburner – particularly from a fashion industry perspective. Roger Kibbe of Gap Inc. will be serving up insight from inside one of the most high-profile apparel retailers on earth. He’ll be joined by Ronny Max, the woman who quite literally wrote the book on behavioral analytics in retail.

4. Marketing & Advertising

Though our main focus at Fit Analytics is around optimizing the point of sale to boost sales and reduce returns, there’s huge additional value on offer to partners who integrate our sizing sale and return data into their wider marketing efforts. By tying our demographic and sizing data together with their own customer profiles, companies can turbocharge their marketing efforts and put money to work where it really matters.

Jeff Rosenfeld, Nieman MarcusWith all that in mind, one session in particular from the Marketing & Advertising track looks unmissable to us: Data – The New Currency for Retail Marketers. We’ll be particularly interested in what Jeff Rosenfeld of The Neiman Marcus Group brings to the table on this one – the luxury retail take on the subject should be fascinating.

5. Customer Engagement

Closing things out, the Customer Engagement track looks like gold from a general branding perspective, but one session stands out as connecting with one of our core concerns at Fit Analytics – Recycling, Rebranded: A Discussion on Shopper Demand for Retail Sustainability.

This year's NRF show boasts an impressive lineup.
This year’s NRF BIG Show stats are typically impressive.

While driving bottom line results for partners is job number one in terms of day-to-day delivery, having a positive environmental impact is a huge part of our company’s overall mission of solving sizing. This manifests itself particularly in the area of reducing returns and thereby making a significant dent in unnecessary emissions and pollution on a truly global level. Panel speakers Marci Zaroff, Daniel Silverstein, and Lauren Singer are making their own positive contributions in this area from a range of different perspectives and we look forward to learning from their efforts.

Hope to See You at One or More Breakout Sessions This Year!

With the range of great speakers on offer, it’s by no means certain that we’ll get to all of the sessions listed above, but we hope there’s a chance to connect somewhere along the line. If you’d like to schedule a few minutes to chat about any of the topics above, or discuss how solving sizing could help your company knock it out of the park in 2017 and beyond, be sure to get in touch!

Featured image: Unsplash