After several years of attending NRF, I always know I’ll find the experience energizing and informative. But NRF 2018 was truly one for the record books.
First, as strong 2017 retail holiday results rolled in, the retailers at the event were in upbeat mode and thinking strategically about their investment and growth priorities in 2018. There was a palpable positive energy at this year’s event that was truly inspiring.
That made the focus of the NRF Big Ideas panel discussion that I moderated particularly relevant, as we revealed myth-busters uncovered by recent Revionics-commissioned global surveys conducted by Forrester Consulting. Revionics Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Cheryl Sullivan shared surprising results from the data from respondents in the U.S, U.K., France, Germany and Brazil including findings around promotions. We found that, in a time when retailers are struggling for every single possible margin dollar, they are leaking truly massive margins with misguided promotions that don’t change shopper behavior and leave money on the table. In fact, a whopping 52% of shoppers receive weekly or monthly promotions on items that they happily would have paid full price for!
The standing room-only crowd had lots of great questions for our other guest panelists, Walgreens’ Senior Director of U.S. Insights Luke Rauch and Forrester VP and Principal Analyst George Lawrie. Luke, George and Cheryl also weighed in with actionable suggestions for retailers wanting to take action to operationalize on the research findings. A strong theme was leveraging today’s powerful machine-learning science to really know what items are most relevant to your shoppers so you can sharpen your pricing focus on those while recovering margin elsewhere. We also discussed the critical importance of knowing which of your promotions are achieving your goals and which aren’t, so you can stop the hemorrhaging from those misguided promotions identified in the research.
Back at the Revionics booth, all 5 discussion areas were in high demand with both scheduled retailer meetings and walk-ups during the event. Our experts demonstrated Promotion Performance Analysis, which yields precision insights into the effectiveness of each of your promotions, enabling you to stop the bleeding by eliminating those that are off-target and out of whack with your price image and strategy.
Retailers also welcomed the opportunity to take a two-minute self-assessment to see how well they know THEIR shoppers, based on promo-related stats from the Forrester studies. You can take the assessment yourself here.
Finally, our high-energy networking event at B.B. King’s Blues Club was a perfect complement to the high-energy NRF show. The live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were a hit and gave our retail guests the opportunity to mingle, share insights and best practices, and blow off some steam.
My takeaway: having optimal pricing, promotions, and markdowns is longer optional. The time is NOW to apply cutting-edge machine learning and data science that translates shopper insights and competitive response into high-impact results – today and in the years to come. Contact us to start the conversation on how these proven capabilities can benefit your customers and your bottom line in 2018 and beyond.
i Understanding Retail Customers’ Pricing Expectations and Tolerances, May 2017 and “Demystifying Price and Promotion,” September 2017, commissioned studies conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Revionics.