NRF asked bookstore owners for their book recommendations for retailers. They came up with a list of 8 Books Retailers Should Read in 2016. Paco Underhill’s book “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping” and “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeow are on the list. Find out the other six recommended titles. (NRF.com)

In 2015, 47 major retailers closed over 6000 stores across the United States. The accelerated growth of e-commerce was a major contributor. Today, many leading retailers are rethinking their strategy for physical retail stores. Simultaneously, many retailers with online-only stores are opening physical stores. With these changes, we are starting to see the “new normal” for retail store experiences that are simpler, digitally-integrated and differentiated. Razorfish explores the “new” physical retail store experience through examples and recommends strategies for retail store differentiation. (Razorfish)

Did Retailers Overcome Their Greatest Challenges In 2015? Debbie Hauss discusses EMV as a secure payment environment, personalized conversions, and omni-channel challenges that retailers faced in 2015. The 2015 Omni-channel Survey Report found that 53% of retailers are enjoying improved customer loyalty from omni-channel initiatives. It’s important for companies to know who their target customers are and what makes them tick before implementing new strategies. (RetailTouchPoints)

The future of technology is moving towards a more streamlined experience in retail. Ben Rossi predicts what will happen with retail technology in 2016. Technology companies will be pushing boundaries, experimenting with data and new payment methods in order to improve customer experience. With customers shopping increasingly more for convenience, rather than experience, 2016 will also show a huge surge in the functionality of POS through payment via smartphone or smartwatch. (Information Age)

Feature Photo Source: Javier Garcia