While NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show was very different this year due to COVID, it was still a show filled with meaningful conversations and strong display of innovation across the exhibit hall.
One thing that always excites me about NRF is that there are Ingenico solutions across the area. Whether in the dining and check-in facilities of the venue, my hotel or even on the train from Boston to NYC, it was great to see our solutions being used across a variety of use cases.
The age-old question in the retail industry has been about who possesses the power of influence. Can the retailer change consumer behavior or do consumers have the power to affect what retailers offer or how they operate? This question is harder to answer than you think, as in most scenarios both retailers and the consumers meet somewhere in the middle. When you think about impulse purchases in a retail setting, you think of candy or gum at the corner store, sunglasses or wallets at an apparel retail chain, even automobile accessories when paying for your car being serviced. While impulse buys are based on consumer behavioral psychology, over the past few decades they have evolved into an effective strategy for retailers to influence shoppers into buying not just these products but anything new that is introduced in the stores.
2020 was a difficult year. Apart from the obvious, we all know how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the SMB community as they are working hard to stay in business. While technological trends and solutions, such as contactless payment acceptance, mobility, etc., are increasingly moving downstream to SMBs and helping them better prepare for the year ahead, they will need additional support to boost their business. For example, compared to most large merchants, many SMBs don’t have strong online eCommerce capabilities. Even though it is imperative for them to get customers back to the store, they don’t have the necessary eCommerce capabilities to fall back on, particularly in the context of the current health crisis.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the U.S., the retail industry has been turned on its head. With stay-at-home orders and lockdowns in place, all nonessential retailers were closed, pushing most of the transactions online. Today, as all U.S. states are reopening in phases, retail looks a lot different with capacity restrictions, social distancing requirements and other safety precautions. These changes not only affect sellers but the payment solution providers that work with them. Payment providers need to innovate quickly to keep up with the changing environment and help customers comply with public health guidelines. They also must do all of this while meeting the expectations of the shoppers for a good, easy and safe experience.
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