Last week over 3,300 retailers’ from across the globe gathered in NYC at the Javits Center for the NRF BIG Show 2017. This year’s NRF Big Show conference focused on the customer experience and the ongoing “Millennial” conundrum. With a great mix of big and small companies, 510+ exhibitors showcased many great technology innovations that presented the future of retail. Many of these great innovations focused on augmented/virtual reality, cognitive computing, and wearables.
Here is our list of top 3 highlights from the show:
Intel Bringing Retail to the Future
Intel has partnered with several companies to produce several different innovative technologies at this year’s conference. They have showcased a 3-D knitting technology where customers were able to pick the color and size they wanted. The idea behind this technology is that it will eliminate wasted inventory, markdowns and discounts by allowing retailers to deliver exactly what the customer demand needs. True Fit & Intel debuted a 3-D foot scanner utilizing Intel’s RealSense to find a customer’s perfect shoe size. Intel has also partnered with SAP to solve inventory management issues using RFID tags. The RFID tags are attached to each item within the store and communicate with SAP Dynamic Edge Processing providing information at the retailer’s finger tips. Retailer’s will get real-time requests to restock shelves, help employees locate items throughout the store, optimize check-out wait times and much much more.
Endless Aisle Concept
Many companies showcased different variations of the “endless aisle” experience. Several different technological options to help retailers improve inventory options to enhance store revenue growth were presented to support this concept.
- Kiosks provide an interactive user interface to provide customers with a deeper in-store product selection to improve sales of out-of-stock inventory and special-order items.
- Tablets in the store associates hands help customers find the product they are looking for.
Infosys showcased the “endless aisle” shopping experience using Microsoft’s HoloLens. This type of shopping experience will allow retailers to optimize inventory levels and allow customers to experience the product without it physically being there.
Brother –Personal Favorite
One of my favorite highlights was Mr. Brother at the Brother booth. We are still trying to figure out if there was a person inside or if Mr. Brother was product of artificial intelligence (AI). I was quite impressed that he was seamlessly able to read my name just by looking at my name badge. Mr. Brother was quite the crowd pleaser , but what put his performance above all the other experiences we have had at this year’s Big Show, was his successfully ability to crack jokes about the very tall (6’10”) member of our retail team, Wes Lowe.
Were you there? Visit the NRF official recap page to find articles and videos from this years event.