SalesWarp at NRF 2015

SalesWarp attended the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show last week in New York. There are big trade shows and then there are BIG TRADE SHOWS. NRF was definitely the latter. With thousands of retail professionals flooding the area around the Javits Center and two full floors devoted to the EXPO hall, NRF was the biggest trade show SalesWarp has attended so far, and a major event for the retail industry as a whole. We came prepared to hand out our signature “OmniChannel Pain Relief” bottles of M&M’s and talk to retailers about speeding up order fulfillment. We had the opportunity to show off SalesWarp’s mobile warehouse features with our interactive warehouse shelf, tablet, and barcode scanner demonstration.

Demo of SalesWarp's Mobile Warehouse Features

What we found is that most retailers attending NRF are coming from a traditional brick-and-mortar retail background. While many of them maintain online sales channels as well, a primary focus of retailers at NRF was how to enhance the in-store experience and merge it with the online shopping experience to create a true omnichannel experience for the customer. This includes a consistent product assortment, inventory visibility and the ability to fulfill from any source, be that in-store, warehouse or dropshipper. It makes sense that NRF attendees would be focused on this. With NYC, aka “flagship store central” as a backdrop, in-store experience was a hot topic for the entire show. In the EXPO hall, we found ourselves surrounded by point-of-sale software vendors and booths offering unique in-store experiences with elaborate kiosks, facial recognition technology, beacons and more. One booth I visited displayed technology that utilizes in-store security cameras to identify customers by age, gender and even mood!

As a company that offers management software for primarily online retailers, you would think the SalesWarp booth stuck out like a sore thumb amongst all these in-store solutions. In fact, quite the contrary ended up happening. As we spoke with retailers at our booth, it became clear that many established retailers have developed their online sales channels separately from their brick-and-mortar channels. The stereotype of “siloed” sales channels cropped up everywhere. While marketing teams have done a great job of providing a unified brand experience on the front end, many retailers are still struggling to provide the operations infrastructure to support this seamless experience on the back end. Enter SalesWarp, Booth 717, at your service! Well, at the service of retailers looking to make the leap from siloed sales channels to full omnichannel operations.

The biggest pain point we heard from retailers was syncing in-store inventory with online inventory, and offering real-time updates of available in-store inventory online. In an age of elaborate interactive technology and ambitious data-driven campaigns, this seems like a simple request from the omnichannel shopper: visibility of in-store inventory that is current, accurate and accessible. E-tailers who started out selling online are already well aware of this pain point: accurate inventory is mandatory for the smooth operation of any eCommerce site. But brick-and-mortar retailers who may have developed their eCommerce operations separately from their store operations are starting to feel the pressure of merging the two.

We’re looking forward to what 2015 has in store (pun intended), especially the chance to work with established retailers on bringing their siloed sales channels under one unified omnichannel umbrella. All in all, SalesWarp had a great show at #NRF15. We even found some time to fit in pie and hot chocolate…

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[Infographic] How to meet the omnichannel order fulfillment challenge

When retailers think about omnichannel order fulfillment, the complexities of all the different order, delivery, and return options may come to mind.  With retailers molding their business to better serve customers whenever and wherever,  it has never been more important that retailers have deployed order management software to facilitate turnaround time and better utilize all available resources. Continue reading

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Omnichannel Commerce = A 360 Degree View

360 Degree Omnichannel ViewUnless you’ve been hiding in a cave this past year (or a crevice with James Franco in 127 Hours – a great movie by the way if you haven’t see it), you have definitely seen how retailers are continuously striving to deliver that omnichannel experience customers expect.

With the rapid improvement of eCommerce platforms, channel management software and order management systems to name a few, retailers have been able to accomplish this across their online channels, but in many instances, are still failing to incorporate the POS system, or in-store experience. This means that they have not yet achieved a true 360 degree view of their customers or their overall retail operations. Continue reading

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Competing with Robots at the NRF’s BIG Show

In three weeks I will hop on a train in Baltimore, bound for New York and the National Retail Federation’s annual Expo & Convention. Nicknamed ‘Retail’s BIG Show,’ this is definitely one of the biggest and most influential gatherings in retail, known for hi-tech demonstrations and a bird’s eye view of where the industry is going in the next year and beyond. This will be SalesWarp’s first year on the BIG expo floor and considering how quickly retail technology is advancing, I’m pretty excited to see what’s in store.

The author vs. an Amazon robot invasion

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“How do I even begin to deliver a seamless customer experience?”

Omni Channel Pain Point No. 3

December 2014

Omnichannel retailing…we’ve heard this term over and over this past year and it really comes down to one core deliverable…a seamless customer experience. But how do you begin to deliver this in an industry that has been turned upside down by technology, processes and, above all, by how the customer is shopping…how they want, when they want, and on what channels they prefer? How do retailers, especially those with both physical brick and mortar locations and online channels deliver this seamless “omnichannel” experience across locations, systems, departments and the supply chain? Below are some areas retailers can look to improve on in order to begin to deliver a seamless customer experience. Continue reading

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“How do I keep product data current across many channels?”

Omni Channel Pain Point No. 2

November 2014

Over the past year, product information management has become a common pain of retailers expanding to new sales channels. And not just B2C channels; B2B product management is one of the most complex areas to handle since retailers can be distributing to a wide variety of other retailers, using a number of back-end systems. As merchants rise to the challenge of selling products across more sales channels, they are starting to ask themselves, “how do I keep product data current across many channels?” Continue reading

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Hidden costs of automation in the warehouse

A recent podcast with Retail Solutions Online and Jeff Hedges, President of material handling at OPEX Corporation, provided insight into the hidden costs of automation in the warehouse.
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“Dealing with my outdated system has become a chore.”

Omni Channel Pain Point No. 1

October 2014

Over the past few months the SalesWarp team has been collecting pain points from retailers we speak to on a daily basis. Not just any pain points, but specifically pains they experience managing an online business, more specifically around delivering an omni channel experience. As retailers rise to the challenge of offering a seamless customer experience across sales channels, pain points inevitably arise. So to help you alleviate, and hopefully even avoid some of these altogether, we will be tackling these pain points in this new blog post series. Continue reading

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How in-store associates can drive the omnichannel experience…and increase profits

Recently, I was in Target shopping for a comforter. As I was buying two of them (one for each kid), I found that there was only one on the shelf in the size I needed. Before I could even look for an alternative or search my smartphone, a sales person came around the corner to ask if I needed help. I told him the situation and within seconds he had located 2 of these comforters at one of their other stores on his hand-held scanner. It so happens that that store is just as close to my house as this one is. He even offered to call the store to put one on hold for me. Continue reading

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SalesWarp @ Summit 2014

Last week the SalesWarp team returned from the Summit, held in Seattle, Washington. With sunny, fall weather and multiple delicious meals at downtown restaurants, we all thoroughly enjoyed’s 2014 location. Continue reading

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