Embracing the unseen in retail: Fountain sits down with Art Sebastian at NRF

Author Sean Behr Date Feb 21 2024

We’re still riding the high of all the retail tech innovation we were privy to at the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s latest event. One of the many highlights was our conversation with Art Sebastian, one of our strategic advisors and the Founder and CEO of NextChapter, Inc., whose insights into the retail world are as invaluable as they are inspiring.

Sebastian further emphasized the critical role these invisible experiences play in the retail sector, especially regarding hiring,  and we didn’t shy away from the pressing issues facing retail today: from inflation’s impact on sales to the ever-persistent labor shortages. 

A spotlight on ‘invisible experiences’

In a world where user experiences (UX), customer experiences (CX), and employee experiences (EX) are often the focal points of retail, Sebastian introduced us to a groundbreaking concept: invisible experiences (IX). Invisible experiences are the unseen cogs in the machine, like technology, automation, and data. These experiences power the UX, CX, and EX we all strive to enhance every day.

He further shared a compelling narrative from his career, highlighting a shift towards centralized hiring processes and how this centralized approach made a profound impact on the business, despite not having the technology in place, and how HR teams should be taking a similar approach to how they are solving challenges today, especially with the tech solutions they have available to them.

Learn how to solve hiring challenges in the retail industry

Fountain’s role in shaping the future of retail

At Fountain, our commitment to innovation isn’t just about building technology; it’s about listening, understanding, and solving the real-world challenges faced by retail HR teams. 

Sebastian’s commendation of Fountain’s approach to solving the crucial problem of hiring and onboarding frontline workers underscores our mission. With our technology, automation, and data analytics, we’re helping organizations hire frontline workers and enhancing the entire hiring and onboarding ecosystem.

Our conversation with Sebastian at NRF was more than just a discussion; it was a call to the retail industry to recognize and harness the power of invisible experiences. Sebastian rightly pointed out, “You can’t serve a customer without a labor force, and to have a strong and healthy labor force, you need the right technology.”

Dive into forward-thinking recruitment strategies for today’s retail workforce with our Modern Hiring Guide for Retail!


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About the Author

Chief Executive Offier

Sean Behr

Sean Behr is the CEO at Fountain and has served in leadership roles at STRATIM (acquired by KAR), Adap.tv (acquired by AOL), and Shopping.com (acquired by Ebay). Behr also advises, mentors, and invests in entrepreneurs and early-stage companies.