Magazine Article | November 28, 2016

Customer Engagement | 2017 IRT Retailer Innovation Awards

Our inaugural Retailer Innovation Award recipients aren’t just doing something new, they’re reaping the business reward for the execution of their innovation. Award winners were recognized in six critical areas of business transformation —omni-channel retailing, customer engagement, in-store operations, WFM/HCM, loss prevention, and supply chain/fulfillment.

The winners and finalists we recognized this year are addressing the incredibly complex problems retailers face today, and they represent some of the brightest minds and boldest leaders who are solving those problems through innovation.

On behalf of the team at Innovative Retail Technologies, congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Retailer Innovation Awards.  We’re inspired by your success, and we know our subscribers will be, too.


Winners Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

Project Lead: Scott Emmons, Head of Innovation Lab, Neiman Marcus

As he considers investments in technology and services, it’s clear that Scott Emmons assumes the customer’s vantage point. He’s fast to marshal resources and execute on innovation that promises to drive Neiman Marcus forward. Em- mons demonstrates an understanding of what it means to combine brave decision making with disciplined execution. He invests for the long term, rather than getting bogged down with near term challenges to implement new tech. Emmons is also very start-up friendly, acting as a helpful partner in bridging the gap between fast-moving tech companies and a more traditional company environment at Neiman Marcus.

Here’s just a snapshot of the innovation he’s spearheaded there:

  • Snap, Find, Shop, a Slyce-powered mobile app that enables consumers to take pictures of outfits, then uses visual recognition technology to present similar products available for purchase at Neiman Marcus.
  • A ChargeItSpot secure cell phone charging station rollout to Neiman Stores nationwide. The solution has doubled  customer  dwell time, lifted user spend by 29 percent, and it captures the email addresses of users.
  • Memory Mirror from MemoMi, which enables customers to see a 360-degree, sharable view of how they look as they try on apparel and eyewear.
  • An associate communication system by Theatro Online live chat platform by Powerfront.

Much of this innovation was borne of the creation of the Neiman Marcus iLab, which has been recognized as a leader in experimenting with new technologies and delivering innovative new ways to delight the customer. The iLab has driven the embrace of technology, which is now seen as a core corporate value at Neiman Marcus.

Neiman Marcus iLab projects touch many different parts of the business. Its business wins include improved customer engagement, new insights for customer analytics, longer in-store dwell time leading to larger shopping baskets, new platforms to deliver personalized recommendations, and more.



FinalistsColumbia Sportswear

Project Lead: Lindsay McCann, Marketing Analyst, Columbia Sportswear Loyalty Program

Columbia is using social tools from Chirpify to proactively — and unexpectedly — reward customers for the brand advocacy the brand encourages. The merchant can reward anyone for their social brand advocacy activity with automated, pre-defined rewards.

FinalistsCountry Curtains

Project Lead: Jeremy Warren, IT Director, Country Curtains

Country Curtains is leveraging UTC RETAIL POS-J mPOS, integrated with its custom configurator, to roll out a concept that presents the store as a show room and extend the retail experience to the customer’s home. Store associates and in-home sales staff can present products and process orders via their iPad tablets.


Project Lead: Anthony Hoang, Chief Information Officer, Evereve

Evereve powers stores, e-commerce, and data warehousing with Command Retail from Celerant. The solution captures every sale, return, and wish list to provide insight into individual buying behaviors and style preferences. The merchant’s Trendsend e-mail initiative drives revenue greater than any individual store.

FinalistsRST Brands

Project Lead: Matt Grimm, eCommerce Manager, RST Brands

Leveraging NetSuite and Bronto, RST Brands created a new, digital channel for its customers to fi nd replacement and out-of-season merchandise. E-commerce has thus grown to between 30 percent and 40 percent of overall revenue there, while open and click rates improved 12 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

FinalistsSur La Table

Project Lead: Kevin Ertell, Senior Vice President of Digital, Sur La Table

Using an Adaptive Navigation solution from Edgecase, Sur La Table supports customer engagement by expanding and cleansing product data to present unique and compelling product attributes, and offering category level filters that make it easy for shoppers to find what they want.

FinalistsZachy’s Wine & Liquor

Project Lead: Victor Castro, Digital & E-Commerce Director, Zachy’s

Zachys leverages an email trigger program from Bluecore to communicate more effectively with its customers. The program’s coding allows Zachys’ to aggregate customer data and better understand shopper intent. Since implementation, the merchant’s eCommerce division has experienced 54 percent growth, representing 23 percent of revenue.

Return to Table of Contents