Everything you need to know from NRF 2023: Data, Returns, and Protecting Your Profits
NRF 2023 wrapped this week in New York and the ReturnLogic team had the opportunity to attend. Following several years of covid setbacks, this year’s conference seemed to be buzzing with the excitement of retailers exploring new technology and services available, ecommerce leaders networking and reconnecting with contacts, as well as some exhibitors and attendees experiencing their very first show.
Our team was happy to attend and honored to be selected to exhibit in the Innovation Lab at the biggest retail show of the year.
We enjoyed connecting with so many retailers, technology partners, ecommerce innovators, and special guests. All the attendees we had the chance to speak with provided key insight into the industry and their outlook for the future.
Here are a few key takeaways from NRF 2023 that every ecommerce professional should know:
Data-driven Technology Is Critical
Thousands of eager attendees made a point to stop by the Innovation Lab to check out cutting-edge technology, and up and coming trends set to shape the future of retail. We were thrilled to share our intelligent returns management technology alongside many of the industry leaders innovating different aspects of the retail and ecommerce space. It is exciting to see many of the ways that data is leveraged to advance eCommerce and enhance both customer and merchant experience.
There was a wide range of technology that attendees were able to demo including virtual try-on applications, social selling platforms, metaverse integrations, and autonomous technology for shelving and sorting. Of course, there was also a big focus on artificial intelligence and how retailers can leverage AI technology to create a more personalized shopping experience.
Above all else, it was clear that collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data to grow is more critical than ever.
We had great conversations regarding our unique data-driven approach to processing and optimizing returns highlighting our focus on using data to solve the underlying problems that cause returns to happen in the first place.
Through our integration with other ecommerce tools, ReturnLogic makes implementing data-driven returns management programs easy. Most NRF 2023 attendees validated that data-driven returns management is essential when evaluating the post-purchase user experience.
Returns Are a Problem, Regardless of the Vertical
We had the opportunity to speak with retailers of all sizes from a range of retail segments. Small, medium, large, and retailers worldwide all came to visit our exhibit where we were able to learn more about their individual business models and the inherent challenges they face.
This included a high volume of international visitors and businesses who focus on reselling customer-returned items from retailers who are unable to re-stock them. From apparel and jewelry to electronics and appliances, one thing that they all had in common was the challenge of processing and managing their returns. No ecommerce segment is immune.
Technology is Needed to Protect a Retailer’s Profits
Visitors at the Innovation Lab were clear about their need to use technology to increase customer lifetime value and protect profits. ReturnLogic’s focus on collecting RMA data and helping ecommerce businesses get to the bottom of why returns are happening resonated with attendees. We make it simple for ecommerce companies to use returns technology to optimize the post-purchase supply chain.
Without collecting and processing this important information, businesses may have an unprofitable returns policy and not be aware of how or what to fix. This is true, even in the case of an exchange. When a customer exchanges a poorly manufactured item, they might just receive a poorly manufactured item again.
Without data to find those issues, ecommerce businesses are at risk of lower profits. As an ecommerce returns platform centered on utilizing data to make intelligent business decisions, we were built to integrate with third-party platforms and existing post-purchase management systems.
It is always a great experience to demonstrate to retailers how we incorporate “intelligent” returns management, and support businesses by providing a streamlined way to process returns while learning key insights about their business and operations.
Another key point of interest to visitors was our ability to manage warranties. A sometimes neglected area of retail and ecommerce, ReturnLogic places robust warranty management and analysis tools directly in the hands of business owners. That way they can use their experience and knowledge to leverage warranty data.
Doubling Down on Returns Optimization in a Rough Economy
We’ve all experienced the pains associated with supply chain issues over the past several years, and data shows that shipping and logistical problems are likely to worsen before getting better. While it is impossible to predict exactly what direction our economy will take, it is clear that most retailers believe preparing for rocky times is the smartest way forward.
As our economy continues to navigate rough waters, the need to focus on supply chain optimization and reducing excess costs continued in conversations with many ecommerce businesses. At NRF 2023 we saw a wide range of technology focused on automation and efficiency, both to improve the experience and reduce costs.
Most ecommerce leaders understand that customer experience is key. However, a distinct focus on operations is critical to ensure that a quality customer experience is possible. Streamlined technology is more important now than ever in understanding the root cause of why things happen and how to prevent problems from happening in the future.
The NRF 2023 show was a great success. It is always exciting to meet face-to-face with business owners and industry executives who lead the retail world. Our distinct honor was to feature our intelligent returns management software alongside technology leaders pushing the industry to new heights and shaping the future of retail.
We hope to see all our attendees and exhibitor friends at NRF 2024 for an even bigger and better conference.
Schedule a consultation to learn how you can get started implementing an operations-forward returns management system that leads the industry in data-driven analysis and retail software integrations.