Your Guide to NRF’s Top Topics

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Your Guide to NRF’s Top Topics

Experience is everything. Retailers of all stripes are battling for consumers’ attention — and wallet share — by trying to solve the customer experience conundrum through meaningful use of data. As the focus on driving memorable experiences grows, retailers are rethinking the role of their stores as a key differentiator, investing in store associate training and communications platforms as well as mobile POS and clienteling tools to elevate their brands and improve operations. Indeed, many of today’s biggest disruptors and innovators have achieved their success by weaning consumers off the usual retail bait — discounts and rock-bottom prices — and instead emphasizing a compelling, difference-making, customer-centric experience.

What’s more, new generations of young, always-on consumers are posing a challenge for retail, spurring in-depth research into how they behave and buy as merchants struggle to cater to their evolving demands. It’s a time of significant challenges and transformation for the industry that will leave many retailers better equipped to succeed in the future.

From Data to Delight: An Insight-Driven Revolution of the In-Store Experience
Stores aren’t dead — their role in retail is evolving. More than ever physical stores are taking a page from the e-commerce playbook and leaning on data and analytical insights to pave the path forward and create compelling consumer experiences. Rod Sides from Deloitte, Mike Mauler from GameStop and The Vitamin Shoppe’s Colin Watts will share their learnings on the store metrics that matter and methods that create meaningful touch points in the quest to better know the customer.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 9:30am – 10:15am

Passion, Personality and Place: Reviving the In-Store Experience
Consumers have become addicted to sales and discounts but there’s a better way to get shoppers to buy. Discover how to channel the importance of your brand’s personality and passion — combined with your store as an intriguing “place” — to build strong relationships with customers, drive traffic, boost loyalty and grow healthy margins. Hear from DXL’s David Levin on building a successful superstore and Lauren Haydel of Fleurty Girl on curating the best of the South in her boutique, while Matey Erdos will reveal how Sundance embraces actor and director Robert Redford’s enthusiasm for spotlighting artists and artisans.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 10:45am – 11:30am

Redefining “Mobile”
Mobile devices no longer are just the smartphones and tablets we carry around daily. Instead, “mobile” now encompasses a variety of emerging form factors that enable immersive new augmented and virtual reality experiences. In this session hear from top innovators in mobile, including Arcadia Group’s digital and retail IT director Jamie Ovenden, OAK’s Healey Cypher and Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason about their experiences and lessons learned, and how to create a solid technical foundation on which to build meaningful customer experiences.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 10:45am – 11:30pm

Shoppers, Social and the Art of the Influencer
Like it or not, social media is becoming an integral part of brand marketing in retail, as influencers can be far more effective and authentic in reaching valuable consumers, especially Millennials and Centennials, who are increasingly absorbed with Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms. Discover how to find the right partners for your brand and navigate the nuances of influencer relationships while creating initiatives with measurable results. Hear from’s Vicki Cantrell, Melissa Davis of ShopStyle and Google’s Abigail Posner on how to win in social media marketing.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 10:45am – 11:30am

Retail Happens Everywhere: Driving Sales in a Mobile World
Forget the four walls: we’re living in a commerce-everywhere world. Mobile devices are driving fundamental changes in how consumers behave, enabling transactions virtually anywhere while upending how shoppers interact with retail brands. Facebook’s North America director of small business Katherine Shappley will share insights on how the consumer path to purchase is evolving as omnichannel shopping behavior becomes the norm.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 12:45pm – 1:15pm

Smart Is the New Sexy: How Aldo Powers Intelligent Journeys with Salesforce
Predictive analytics is the next frontier in retail intelligence. With accurate, actionable insights, brands and retailers can discover and predict trends, make data-driven recommendations and automate processes. Erwin Hinteregger, CMO of footwear giant Aldo, will share the brand’s experience working with Salesforce to become better understand its customers and get ahead of their needs.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 1:00pm – 1:30pm

Recycling, Rebranded: A Discussion on Shopper Demand for Retail Sustainability
Growing numbers of shoppers passionate about ethics and social responsibility are taking a stance and voting with their wallets, buying into value-driven brand cultures rather than simply purchasing “stuff.” To connect with these conscious consumers, brands and retailers must understand how to operate responsibly and transparently. This panel discussion, moderated by WGSN’s Andrea Bell. features Marci Zaroff, founder of Under the Canopy; fashion designer Daniel Silverstein; and blogger Lauren Singer sharing insights on waste management, how to source and produce ethically, and tips for increasing recycling in retail.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 1:15pm – 1:55pm

How Data Will Replace Discounting: Lessons from Uber, Point 93 and Orchard Mile
Join Uber’s head of marketplace optimization advanced development Garrett Van Ryzin, Point 93 CEO Samantha Zirkin and Orchard Mile CEO Jennie Baik for a panel discussion on the new climate of dynamic markets and communications and how interactions between brands and retailers must be an interactive two-way street. These experts will analyze the role of personalizing shopper experiences, optimizing revenue strategies, improving merchandising decisions and increasing loyalty. Discover how data-driven dialogue can end discounting and drive a more relevant shopping experience.
Sunday, 1/15/2017 • 2:15pm – 2:55pm

NRF President and CEO Opening Remarks: The State of NRF and the Retail Industry
In his keynote address, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay is sure to deliver top-level insights into where both the foundation and the retail industry are heading.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 8:30am – 9:00am

Driving Retail Transformation: How Data and Smart, Connected Technology Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences
Hear from Levi Strauss’ global retail president Carrie Ask and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on how data is driving a period of unprecedented change in the retail industry and holds the power to elevate the customer experience and increase brand loyalty. These speakers will show retailers how to forge a seamless path to connected, data-driven solutions for a more engaging customer experience, increased sales and lower operating costs.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 10:00am – 10:45am

The DNA of the Digital Native Audience
Meet the Digital Native Audience (DNA) — the first generation of shoppers in history for whom experience, facilitated by technology, has always been a fact of life. Fundamentally different from previous generations, DNAs are constantly experimenting with products as well as their own expressions of self and identity and represent the future of consumer culture, where the act of consumption and identity formation is now one and the same. Learn from WD Partners EVP of brand, strategy and design Lee Peterson how to innovate your brand in order to appeal to the DNA and remain relevant, explore the “adopt-and-abandon” new tech lifecycle of DNA shoppers, and embrace disruption, change and acceleration to engage the DNA’s ever-evolving identity.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 12:15pm – 1:00pm
Repeats Tuesday, 1/17/2017 from 12:15pm-1:00pm

How Bonobos is Driving the Omnichannel Vision with mPOS and Clienteling
Learn from Bonobos chief experience officer Dominique Essig how retailers can enable mobile clienteling for their store associates, with anecdotes about the brand’s experience and results it has seen so far.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 12:45pm – 1:15pm

Deciphering 2017’s Digitally Demanding Consumer
What’s the next wave of consumer trends and how can retailers prepare? Through Kibo’s new consumer research findings and data on YoY changes, learn how retailers such as Stein Mart are building omnichannel strategies for success.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 12:45pm – 1:15pm

Brand Devotion Index - Three Characteristics of the Most Loved Brands
What do we really know about what drives consumers to promote brands they love? Can brands do more to convert their casual appeal into a business-driving bond with loyal, passionate customers? Kurt Salmon’s Bruce Cohen will reveal the new Emotional Connectivity Index and Cabela’s CMO/CSO Ryan Watchorn will offer real-world examples on how to nurture customer relationships and become a part of the customer’s life beyond the shopping basket.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 1:15pm – 2:00pm

The Future of Store Associate Training
When retailers spend billions annually training store associates, why do 71 percent of shoppers feel that retail associates aren’t knowledgeable or helpful? Hear how Bloomingdale’s, Altar’d State, and Mohr Retail are all working to solve this problem through a gamified microlearning approach that cuts expenses while improving the in-store experience.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 1:30pm – 2:30pm

How Target’s Technology Team Is Leading the Way on Transformation
Target’s chief information and digital officer Mike McNamara will share why Target has moved away from a model of IT outsourcing, and is instead growing its own rank of engineers and digital experts. He’ll discuss how re-organizing into product teams — modelling the way tech start-ups work — and focusing on fewer, bigger initiatives is driving results. Learn how this focus coupled with a nimble engineering culture can allow retailers to build technology that better serves existing customers and helps create new ones.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 2:30pm – 3:00pm

Holiday Strategies Unwrapped: A Look Back at Amazon, Walmart and Others
360pi marketing vice president Jenn Markey will discuss favored holiday pricing and product tactics of Amazon, Walmart and others this year and identify shifts over time. Find out what to expect with retailer pricing and product tactics for the remainder of 2017.
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Customer First: Transform the In-store Experience and Drive Performance
How do customer-first brands Kate Spade & Company and Tiffany & Company, exceed client expectations by utilizing a mobile associate communications platform?
Monday, 1/16/2017 • 4:00pm – 4:45pm

Finding the Right Fit: How Express Directed Its Technology Transition
Learn how Express, one of the largest specialty retail brands in the world, effectively transitioned to Kronos by empowering its associates.
Tuesday, 1/17/2017 • 9:15am – 10:00am

Customer Centricity — A New Paradigm for Inventory Optimization
Learn how customer-centric omnichannel retailers such as Marimekko have revolutionized their inventory optimization by leveraging data throughout their supply chains, ultimately improving both sales and profit.
Tuesday, 1/17/2017 • 1:30pm – 2:30pm

RFID as a Key Enabler of Omnichannel Success
As consumer behaviors evolve, brands and retailers are searching for the ultimate omnichannel solution. Learn from lululemon athletica director of IT, store tech ops/RFID program director Jonathan Aitken, adidas senior director of business solutions Tobias Steinhoff, and Auburn University professor Bill C. Hardgrave how RFID can drive a successful omnichannel strategy and create a seamless consumer experience.
Tuesday, 1/17/2017 • 4:00pm – 4:45pm

Take Inventory of Your Tax Obligations — Top Retailers Share Secrets for Staying Ahead
With the advent of new state and federal rules, don’t miss this deep dive into activities that can trigger tax liability and laws affecting online sales. Hear from Chinese Laundry e-commerce vice president Scott Cohn and NetRush CEO Chris Marantette on staying compliant while the brands grow.
Tuesday, 1/17/2017 • 4:00pm – 4:45pm