2017 NRF Show Observations from EnterWorks’ CEO: “Commerce is Not Enough”

The EnterWorks PIM and MDM team recently attended Retail’s BIG Show, NRF 2017. As we experienced the panels, presentations, and latest EXPO technologies, it became clear that omnichannel commerce has hit a content wall.

What does this mean for retail? A world where there are so many consumers, with so many choices, who expect such rich product information when they search online. Let’s face it, brands and retailers grew up on static content pushed to consumers in predictable waves of promotion, product introductions, and seasonal markdowns. But now they face the expectation to produce granular, interactive and dynamic content in a self-serve manner for personalized searches. Continuously. What we saw and heard on the show floor sought to address this challenge in the new retail norm.

 “Competing with Content”

As Mark Evans declared in his presentation at the NRF show, “Without content, the internet is empty.”  He furthered this point in identifying the need for “atomic”-level content that can be filtered or aggregated in precisely the manner a consumer prefers.  In other words, content without facets can’t be found.

 “Out of content, out of stock”

Whether online or offline, there’s a strong technology focus on in-stocks. Retailers have struggled to connect the dots of real-time store inventories to give accurate visibility of products “on hand” to consumers. There’s been progress in digitally identifying stocks available in-store. However, Fiona Swerdlow, VP and Research Director for Forrester eBusiness, points out that 57% of products are researched before consumers arrive at the store. So, in many cases, you are only truly in-stock on a product if the content is found on your site or related search.

 “Role reversals”

In-store technology players, such as point-of-sale (POS) providers, have gone “all in” when it comes to supporting the disruptive force of ecommerce…their former enemy! These providers insist that enabling physical ecommerce depends on in-store technology that is “ruggedized and retail ready.” They argue that POS is the “assisted selling” commerce enabler (since 88% of all retail sales are still consummated in the stores).

 “Just in time workforce”

Stores are taking on more responsibility when it comes to executing sales that originate elsewhere. A hub store may find itself in a major fulfillment role that requires labor out of sync with normal traffic flow. But as CEO of WorkJam Steve Kramer explained in his NRF presentation, cloud workforce offerings designed to manage the total store not only fulfill the commerce side, they also help improve employee engagement. Overall, this drives a greater customer experience.

EnterWorks at NRF 2017

EnterWorks made its presence known as an NRF Show sponsor, presenter and research partner. Our EXPO booth showcased how EnterWorks has pushed to the front of the pack for Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions. We demonstrated how EnterWorks’ PIM and MDM solutions enable companies to acquire, manage and transform product information intp persuasive content. This content then drives higher sales and new competitive strengths through e-commerce Web, mobile, print and in-store digital channels.

EnterWorks also brought its grocery presence to NRF 2017 with Digital Foodie. Together we joined the NRF Grocery Panel Discussion to examine how food retailers and brands can thrive with new converged customer experiences and technologies.

As we say farewell to another great NRF Show, let’s keep the conversation going around how you can transform your business with PIM-empowered product content. Contact us and visit our PIM and MDM solution pages to learn more.



Rick Chavie

Rick Chavie

Rick Chavie was appointed CEO of EnterWorks in May 2015. He came to EnterWorks after serving as SVP, Global Solution Management with hybris and SAP’s Customer Engagement and Commerce group, where he brought together digital and physical commerce and CRM assets for seamless customer experiences. Mr. Chavie brings industry experience from his leadership roles at retailers such as The Home Depot and C&A. He brings technology experience from his role as the global marketing leader for NCR’s retail and hospitality business, and management consulting expertise from his partner roles at Deloitte and Accenture, where he served clients across retail, branded consumer and wholesale verticals. Chavie is a Harvard MBA, a Fulbright Scholar in International Trade, and a summa cum laude graduate from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He is a noted speaker at industry events, an author on the wholesale industry, and frequently comments on commerce, marketing and customer engagement topics.