Inspiring Retail | RetailNext

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Inspiring Retail

Ray Hartjen
Ray Hartjen
Director, Content Marketing & Public Relations

When shoppers no longer have to shop in stores, stores must inspire them to want to shop in stores, and a reinvented, friction-free shopping experience is the first volley in the retail revolution.


It’s why some products fly off shelves, tables, case and racks while others languish, stalled in holding patterns and destined for the (deep) discount bin.

The best products and services are inspired, designed in form and function to be disruptive; to be a game-changer. And as such, consumers are inspired to purchase.

Inspiration. It’s the difference between success and something less than success.

Stores need their own inspiration. Retailing today is completely different than retailing was just a decade ago. Or, rather, retailing should be different, and those retailers dragging their feet in transforming their operations are experiencing … something less than success.

Today’s shoppers are empowered like never before. Before purchasing, they immerse themselves in product data and often go to market with more product knowledge than sales associates. And, when it comes time to purchase, they have abundant choice and alternatives.

Shoppers no longer have to shop at stores. In return, retailers have to make them want to shop at stores. They need to deliver compelling shopping experiences; they need to create inspiration.

At the annual NRF BIG Show in New York, RetailNext is introducing its #inspiringretail campaign, a long-term commitment to reinvent today’s cross-channel shopping experience.

Throughout the year, RetailNext will be updating and repurposing to spark thought and conversation, and we want to engage you, those most passionate about retail, in dialogue around inspirational retail. What are you and your brands doing to inspire retail – world-class, personalized, magical shopping experiences? What’s being done, and needs to be done, and what needs to be undone? What’s proving successful? Who’s doing it best?

I invite you to share your ideas with us, not just in comments on blog posts or with #inspiringretail tags on social posts. Want to write a guest blog post or make a video? Want to do something a bit out of the ordinary? Let me know what you’re thinking – – and let’s make it happen.

Inspiration. It separates the memorable from the mundane.

I look forward to connecting with you on your inspiring retail stories in 2016!

Join the #retail #NRF16 and #inspiringretail conversations on Twitter @RayHartjen & @RetailNext, as well as at and