The participants of NRF 2023 Cayo Camargo and Fred Alikrim highlight rescue solutions aimed at emergencies and operational problems.
This year, NRF held conferences and exhibitions that, from an operational point of view, highlighted the importance of taking a “Step back”. Although it sounds backwards, the term summarizes a series of needs that arose with the pandemic and in the current post-pandemic moment, marked by the instability of the world economy. These characteristics point to the need to resume a more nuanced look at the basic operating processes, as well as the human parts that compose them.
Of course, this step back does not apply to all retailers and should only be taken when there is a need to restore operating practices capable of sustaining the Business Success in this new and challenging reality, which is imposing itself bringing difficulties to the market. With this in mind, one way to assess the state of an organization is to classify trends, open issues, and urgent cases; the last two indicate the need to take the previous step.
Called TPU by its creators, Cayo Camargo, Commercial Director of Linx, and Fred Alicreme, Retail Specialist Consultant, this evaluative vision allows retailers to identify the points of improvement that must be implemented before applying the latest trends, which, by themselves, themselves, they may prove incapable of promoting the desired progress. “In this NRF, we saw many solutions that point to emergencies and pending issues rather than trends,” warn Camargo and Alecrim, in conversation with Clube Mundo do Marketing.
TPU in practice
Implementing the TPU vision requires a thorough examination of past, present, and planned future practices and innovations implemented, or not, in the operation. Typically, at events like NRF, retailers look for future trends and solutions that can transform the point-of-sale environment to reduce friction in the checkout process.
However, the adoption of innovations should not always be a priority, especially in cases of backlogs and urgent cases. “The trends represent the future and the tools to improve the Business Success. This does not mean that someone necessarily has to implement them now or, depending on the trend, the implementation is not necessary,” Alecrim says.
On the one hand, pending issues translate into trends that are already becoming a reality and can and should be implemented immediately to improve the Business Success, while urgency corresponds to old innovations, already circulating in the market and that should have already been implemented by retailers. He warns that “as long as pending cases and emergencies are not addressed, the merchant loses money, customers and reputation.”
And What Are the Problems?
It should be noted that some featured ones are permanent and will follow the routine of the retailers throughout the operational period. One such example is effective employee management. When ignored, this delay can lead to labor shortages, which is a hallmark of the current economic situation facing the US market. “Why don’t people want to go back to work in retail? Because retailers haven’t done their homework, they have companies that pay better wages and offer better working conditions,” Alecrim explains.
Outside the core of operations, another theme that should accompany the coming years is the creation of communities. Being present and interacting with a community that includes consumers helps you understand customer behavior and can increase engagement and retention numbers. “This is a problem we call LOCAL-Community Oriented Stores and Local Affiliations. Coming closer to understanding and developing, in a given living world, business sharing is key,” he says.
Finally, being part of the consumer’s day-to-day life contributes to maintaining operational plans. “When we talk about community outreach or team engagement, we’re not talking about the beauty of being cool and popular, but the beauty of being connected to what’s happening. Increasingly, retailers need to set aside the priority of’ This is my Business Success, I was born doing this and I will die doing it.’” “And at the same time, they not only listen to the customer, but they make the customer the owner of the business,” concludes Cayo Camargo.