At this year’s NRF, Samsung Electronics America conducted a survey of attendees, the year’s biggest retail event, to discover their opinions on a range of topics — including their top technology priorities for the coming year, the IoT challenges they would like to overcome and if they think online retailers will require a brick-and-mortar presence going forward. The findings reveal an industry that is shifting technology priorities from the back-end to the front-end — with the creation of in-store customer experiences, and the introduction of new digital technologies into physical stores, now top-of-mind.

The survey questioned a mix of industry professionals, ranging from brick-and-mortar and online retailers to supply chain and technology professionals, and came away with some interesting insights. Key findings included:

  • Back to Brick-and-Mortar: Sixty-six percent said “yes” when asked if online-only retailers will require a brick-and-mortar store presence moving forward, echoing the trend of online retailers increasingly adopting a physical store strategy.

  • It’s All About Experience: Survey respondents ranked “deploying new digital experiences for customers” as the top in-store technology priority for 2018, followed by “improving in-store data collection and analysis.” Moreover, when ranking the top reasons for retailers to implement IoT in their store, “enhancing in-store customer experiences” landed at number one.

  • Most Pressing Challenge: “Executing the right omnichannel strategy” was ranked as the most pressing technology challenge for retailers to address in the next three years, followed by “effectively serving the next generation of tech-influenced customers and employees.”

NRF Survey Stats and Results

Pop Up Store Trends
In addition, Samsung surveyed NRF attendees for their thoughts on pop-up stores, which have become useful strategies for retailers to create a temporary physical location to launch brands and sell products.

  • More than half (53 percent) saw the greatest benefit of pop-up stores as “offering a way to experiment with and implement new digital technologies.” The second highest benefit was “enhancing the customer experience,” which totaled at 28 percent.

  • When it came to selecting the top challenges, nearly half cited all of the available options were applicable: “cost of acquisition,” “time to market from ideation to implementation” and “ensuring it has effective data collection capabilities.”

Learn more about how connected pop-ups can drive engagement and improve brand retention.