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A Look Back at NRF: Retail's BIG Show

By Mike Grimes, President, Ecrebo Inc. | January 31, 2018

From everyone we’ve spoken with and (nearly) every article we’ve seen, NRF’s BIG Show 2018 was a success. And while this was the first time Ecrebo has been an official exhibitor since announcing our expansion into the U.S. market in 2017, each of our team members on site come from lengthy retail backgrounds and have attended dozens of times combined.

We all noticed it just felt busier and more energetic than we’ve become accustomed to. It seemed to stem from a recognition from retailers and tech vendors alike that the new industry paradigms don’t require radical change, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about retail’s future.

As Andria Cheng pointed out in a recent recap of the event in Forbes - The Retail Industry Has Come To Its Senses On Technology – it’s become clear that it is the most achievable and realistic changes that will drive the improvements the industry needs to make to succeed today. And while we’ll always keep an eye out for flashy new things like the virtual fitting room to enhance the customer experience, there’s a collective consciousness that it’s a new mastery (and proper execution) of retail’s fundamentals which will pave the way for sustained success.

During our busy week of meetings with retailer customers, prospects, partners and industry insiders, one key takeaway was that, as Retail TouchPoints said, “personalization is the new omnichannel.” It’s clear that everyone is realizing that, just as omnichannel is a foundational element of the shopping experience, personalization is an essential loyalty marketing service.

By that, I mean that effective, targeted, mass communication is critical for cultivating lasting relationships with all of a retailer’s customers. Loyalty programs which have long been static components of a marketing program are poised for a rebirth with the deployment of retailer-controlled targeted campaigns.

To address the fact that this can often be easier to conceptualize than make happen, we launched our OnPoint software platform and associated product suite at the event, which generated a good amount of excitement from our booth visitors. The basis for their positive assessment of the technology suite, and OnPoint Coupon in particular, is that they can easily envision the benefit of providing the tools necessary for the retailer to control every aspect of their targeted mass communications such as driving more digital engagement via effective in-store print receipt marketing.  

OnPoint’s suite of products also includes:

  • OnPoint Coupon: Turns existing receipt printers into customer-pleasing marketing machines that deliver high-impact graphics around the retailer’s targeted coupons issued following the receipt.
  • OnPoint Message: Also turns existing receipt printers into customer-pleasing marketing machines that deliver high-impact graphics around the retailer’s targeted messages – but within the body of the receipt.
  • OnPoint E-Receipts: Branded, targeted, interactive digital receipts for in-store or online purchases.
  • OnPoint Feedback: Customer feedback can be collected either through a customer-facing screen, or via e-receipts, and fed back to store managers or head office in real-time
  • OnPoint Display: A simple POS-based pop-up on a customer-facing screen that can run branded marketing content, enable customers to enter their email address for e-receipts, and for customer marketing opt-in

Now with NRF 2018 firmly under our belts, a powerful new solution suite and a host of new ideas, there is a sense of great anticipation for our North American growth in 2018 and beyond. We’re excited to help retailers better leverage their current assets to drive increased loyalty and more effectively manage the customer experience.

Contact me today to find out more.

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