Key Takeaways from the 2017 SAP Retail Executive Forum

by | Nov 6, 2017

During Oct. 17-18, attendees of the 2017 SAP Retail Executive Forum gathered in New York City to hear from key retail thought leaders on how they can transform their entire customer experience by leveraging retail trends.

Top executives from companies such as Foot Locker, Costco, Tommy Bahama and others delivered very compelling keynote speeches focused on how their respective companies work to deliver better consumer experiences, both in-store and online.

Two of the most engaging keynotes came from Dick Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of Foot Locker, and Doug Wood, CEO of Tommy Bahama.

During his keynote, Johnson gave an overview of how the entire sneaker culture is evolving and how Foot Locker is making strides to be a more consumer-focused company. Foot Locker is also trying to give the brand an entertainment factor by listening to what footwear consumers are raving about.

A good example of how they are engaging customers and making their stores an experience, Foot Locker just opened a 17,000-square foot store in Times Square that has specialty shop-in-shops including Nike Fly Zone and basketball-themed House of Hoops. These unique shops and assortments create a very interactive experience that energizes footwear fans. There is a supporting digital platform that ties it together into a cohesive omnichannel relationship.

With the steps they are taking, Foot Locker will continue to enhance the culture surrounding footwear and entice fans to camp outside of stores for the next new release.

Similarly, Wood spoke about how retailers need to think differently to reach consumers, all while delivering an omnichannel brand experience. Tommy Bahama is a retail company with more than 160 company-owned stores worldwide, including branded restaurants.

Wood described a fascinating new cross-channel concept of an apparel store with attached bar that features cocktails and small bites. The experience is like happy hour with the ability to stroll the store while enjoying a libation.

These stores offer consumers a new brand experience where they can eat, drink and shop, all at the same time. This is a new facet to customer service that Amazon cannot replicate, and it helps to provide a more consumer-centric experience.

Whether we like it or not, we are all part of the retail revolution taking place. Consumers’ growing expectations need to be met and companies are having a difficult time in meeting those expectations. Companies like Foot Locker and Tommy Bahama are trying bold new strategies to engage customers, delivering a highly differentiated shopping experience.

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Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson

Sr. Strategic Alliances Manager at SPS Commerce
For more than 20 years, Rob has been an agent for change with a proven track record of unearthing and implementing new business solutions. As a trusted advisor to executives, he helps drive joint go-to-market initiatives that lead to tangible results. Rob has built an impressive record of fostering win-win opportunities with customers and partners through his product management, marketing and sales roles.

Rob graduated from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management with a Finance MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma Honors, and an undergraduate BS degree in Marketing, Minor in Economics.
Rob Wilson

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