We asked that same question to a number of people at this year’s NRF conference and, as you might imagine, heard a wide variety of answers. If you’ve ever been to NRF, it’s quite an eye-opener to see what’s happening on the cutting edge of retail technology.
Dan Surtees is VP of Strategy and Business Development at XCcommerce and has attended a number of NRF events in the past. We asked him about what is different about this years’ event and what kinds of conversations are happening on the floor.
For context, XCcommerce delivers intelligent omni-channel promotions and offers for some of the largest retailers in the U.S. and Canada. As such, Dan gets to hear a lot of what’s on retailers’ minds first-hand.
We’ve talked to a lot of exhibitors at this years’ NRF event who, despite the reduced attendance, are having more, and better-quality conversations than ever before. There seems to be more time and space to get past the formalities and make genuine connections. That would imply that those conversations were both richer and more insightful. Talk to us about what you’re hearing – what are the bigger themes retailers are talking about?
Perhaps it’s because of our market focus but pretty much every retailer we’re talking with is concerned with making targeted promotions work. Every retailer wants to know how to execute targeted promotions better – to be more effective and more efficient, and to do so on a product-specific basis.
Getting to that level of granularity only recently became possible – now how to make it practical.
That’s one of the things we excel at. One other very pervasive trend we see is the move toward omni-channel or cross-channel promotions that can be delivered – and analyzed – across the entire enterprise. Even though the concept is not new, we find that retailers are still trying to figure out how to tie those promotions together across a diverse set of POS systems and promotional systems that may have been acquired over the course of years of growth.
That has become a huge challenge and, from what we see, a huge impediment to necessary digital transformation cross an organization’s various divisions, departments, silo’s and tech stacks.
Talk to us about how XCcommerce interacts with retailer’s systems (legacy or otherwise) to deliver intelligent promotions at that level?
The retailers’ CRM system gathers the information around the customer. What we do is create promotions, loyalty points – anything you want from a promotion standpoint.
One great example: a large grocer in Canada (Metro) has been using XCommerce for a number of years in combination with their CRM. Each week they come up with a series of offers that are then turned into millions and millions of coupons – digital offers- that are very specific to the wants and needs of each customer. Customers are able to pick the coupons & offers they want and then apply them seamlessly at checkout. The client CRM system makes recommendations on what the customer wants. XCcommerce then turns those insights into digital offers.
Dan, thanks for your time and perspective. Very much looking forward to the next time we can do this.
Dan Surtees is VP of Strategy & Business Development at XCCommerce. Dan is an innovative executive with over 20 years of experience leading teams in the successful delivery and management of complex solutions for major corporations. As Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at XCCommerce, Dan and his team deliver industry leading promotion management solutions, enabling major retailers to deliver an exceptional customer experience while gaining strong customer loyalty. Prior to joining XCCommerce, Dan led several key strategic business initiatives for leading retailers including Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s leading grocery and pharmacy retailer, Hudson’s Bay Company, and Sears.
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