NRF 2018: 3 Takeaways from Retail’s Big Show
The 2018 NRF Retail Big Show was exactly that… Big Innovations and Big Change. In his opening keynote, James Curleigh, CEO of retail giant Levi Strauss and Co., summarized it perfectly quoting Bob Dylan “you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone; for the times, they are a-changin.”
Celerant Technology attended and exhibited at NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show in New York City. “Technology rocked the show,” stated Robert Josefs, Celerant’s Marketing Operations Manager. “The exhibit halls were filled with game-changing technologies from major providers such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Brother and Amazon, and many emerging companies.” While there were plenty of eye-catching “toys”, there were key takeaways that grabbed the attention of retailers.
Three Takeaways from NRF 2018
- Unify Commerce
As the retail industry moves from a single-channel to an omnichannel environment, the need to unify commerce is becoming increasingly critical. To streamline, retailers want the ability to manage as many channels as possible from a single system, including point of sale, warehouses, E-Commerce and marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart. Integrating each channel enables the retailer to access detailed analytics without having to consolidate data from each channel separately, offer cross-channel pricing, gift cards and coupons and maintain consistent product/inventory data. That way, the retailer can spend less time managing each channel, and focus more on growing their business.
- Invest in SaaS
In past years, retailers invested in technology they would own for years. Today, retailers, both large and small, are gravitating towards a SaaS Cloud-based model to reduce IT overhead and downtime. While POS investments increased over the past year, retailers today simply want to spend less upfront, and receive the latest software updates with minimal disruption or without additional fees, which is common for many SaaS Cloud-based POS systems.
- Personalize and Automate Retail
While automation continues to be a major driver for technology, retailers are shifting towards personalized automation to boost sales and improve the experience for staff. Digital displays (Ingenico), vendor communications (SPS Commerce), sales tax (Avalara), receipt printers (STAR Micronics), merchandise planning (ANT USA), drop shipping and email marketing were a few examples of such technologies at NRF.