NRF’s Big Picture: Key Payments Takeaways

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

In order to understand the future of payments executives look towards trends in retail. I was reminded of this last week, after visiting New York for the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual ‘Big Picture’ convention. The event attracted the nation’s biggest retailers, and everyone trying to sell to them in order to grab a slice of the multi-trillion dollar retail pie. While I was part of many sessions and conversations of interest, I’ll mention one in particular that I thought captured some great insights about the future of retail. Titled ‘The Next Killer App–Stores: Winning Over the Storeless Generation,’ Lee Peterson of WD Partners gave an excellent talk around an idea I’m very excited by—omnichannel commerce.

Through excellent, data-informed storytelling, Peterson made a compelling case for what the retail experience of the 21st century will, or should, look like. Based on extensive research on consumer preferences and buying trends, he outlined two key principles that will organize the future of brick-and-mortar retail. First, BOPS, which stands for Buy Online Pick-up in-Store. The consumer of 2015 no longer wants to spend valuable time and effort locating the products they need in a large box store with endless, confusing aisles. Similar to the online experience, they expect to see only those options immediately relevant to their needs and have instant fulfillment. The only reason to spend time at a store would be to try out something new, interact with like-minded peers, and pick up what they have earlier placed an order for online. Peterson identified this as the second key principle that will define the future of in-store commerce—the store as a ‘social playground.’ For in-store shopping to remain relevant in the age of e-commerce, it has to provide a rich, personal and interactive experience that goes beyond simply choosing a product and paying for the right to take it home…

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