Customer Experience is the New Battlefield for Differentiation

  The following blog post was co-authored by Aaron Reich, Innovation Director and David Rosenthal, Solution Architect at Avanade. We were recently at the National Retail Federation show in New York. As we spoke with clients and walked the Expo floor with its hundreds of vendors, two things stood out: a cool company called Thursday […]

NRF 2017: Applying Innovation and Virtual Reality to Retail

With the holiday season over the retail world now enters its prediction season; everywhere you turn you can see lists of the top retail trends of 2017. While some of those predictions are less likely to happen than my resolution to give up wine for the month of January others are already happening. Rather than […]

Global Innovation Contest: Innovate with Passion and Purpose

Innovation is definitely a buzzword, but inherent in its definition is that you take risks.  A few years ago in our annual global employee engagement survey, we saw a disturbing trend. The answers to questions that were designed to measure how our employees viewed innovation and risk within the organization dropped and had been trending […]

Defining the Future of Seamless Shopping at NRF 2016

It’s always nice while shopping to be surprised and delighted.  This happened to me twice during the holidays.  The first was with Nordstrom where I was searching for some gifts on their mobile app, added them to my wish list. As I walked through the flagship store in downtown Seattle at lunch one day, I […]

Innovation on Center Stage at NRF 2015

NRF 2015, the largest gathering of retail professionals from across the globe, had a different feel than years past.  While still present, there was less talk about cost cutting.  The buzz at the show, from keynote speeches to new product releases (like Panasonic’s new rugged mobile point of sale) centered more on investment and how […]

The Growing Importance and Many Challenges of Digital Ethics

As I look back on 2014, some of my strongest memories are related to digital ethics, which are ethical challenges that come from transforming into a Digital Business. As we increasingly interact with more algorithms and smart machines, as well as smart machines interacting with other machines or even representing people, there are some very difficult […]

Accenture and Avanade to Demo Advanced CPG Analytics at NRF 2015

While embracing and implementing analytics has been a key initiative for consumer packaged goods (CPG) for some time, most CPG companies have yet to realize any more than limited returns on their analytics investments. However, by integrating analytics capabilities with core business processes, such as trade promotions management and retail merchandising, companies can deliver greater […]

NRF 2015: Winning the Digital Customer

Accenture’s insightful report “Winning the 24/7 Digital Customer: Three Steps to Success” makes the bold claim that “retailers no longer define the customer experience – digital customers are doing it for themselves.” Digital customers’ increased social activity and mobile usage, coupled with higher expectations that retailers will use contextual information to deliver a personalized service, […]

The Digital Retailer: Redefining Customer Experiences at NRF 2014

As I’m writing this at 30,000 feet in the air on my way to NRF 2014, I cannot help reflect on how much retailing has changed over the last few years. Increasingly, the retailers that Avanade works with are looking to use technology to differentiate themselves by using IT to offer new services and create […]

NRF 2013: The Year of the Retail Employee and Mobile Experience

There certainly was a lot of energy at this year’s National Retail Federation 2013 conference held in New York last week – more energy than the last few years. While the event attracted a record number of attendees (over 27,000), much of the energy was created by world and industry leaders who gave insightful and […]