Sophie Schwartz
Sophie Schwartz
Commerce Strategist

Ready for the January 2016 National Retail Forum (NRF) Annual Big Show?

Attending the event for the 4th time, we are looking forward to feeling the Retail Tech pulse. NRF is a Show, really! We are in NYC, all lights are on and it is massive. Over 33,000 attendees including huge overseas delegations (top 10 countries’ participating are Brazil, Canada, France, UK, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Japan).

All retailers who matter in the Americas, Europe and beyond unite here. But above all, this is the place where Tech for Retail sets the pace, no doubt. All tech players are here, with North America leading the pack because they make it happen. From Google, Microsoft, and any printer provider or emerging startup, they are all here, on the same floor. Innovators join from the worldwide tech community, trend spotters share their views, and everyone is enthused by a solution searching mood.

What will we find out this year?

More to come after the show for sure, however, let’s see a few recent trends and event nuggets.

January 2015 NRF NYC

  • Buzzwords: BOPIS (Buy Online Pick In Store), Mobile App(each retailer starving for its own mobile app)
  • RIP: Omni-channel (consumers and businesses moved a step ahead)
  • Nugget: live music from DJ’s in the main lobby

October 2015 NRF Philadelphia - mid-year updates

  • Buzzwords: Personalization (a requirement popping up everywhere), Mobile (no longer apps only but mobile as a whole)

January 2016 NRF NYC – coming up

  • Comeback: Store! (The Store is coming back to the front lines within Digital Commerce Ecosystems – Shall IoT play a greater role in stores?)
  • Emerging: Your customer is human (emotional personalization and unified content management across Commerce Platforms already being voiced in several conferences – Will an extended use of Machine Learning for retail raise the bar?)
  • Nugget: Yoga courses for free (Lole shall love it)

Vital tech decisions to be made by retailers

  • Ecommerce came out as the big winner this Holiday season. The source of growth: online sales rose 20%, with 70% of consumers doing more research online than last year. 
  • Stores reengineering is crucial (store closings were a recurring theme in 2015 while the overall US economy was recovering). Retailers know that they need to reverse the curve, moving each location from a real estate asset to a business accelerator on its own. 
  • Investment in Commerce needs to deliver immediate value for business, starting now and for the future (no time to reinvest twice, the pressure on CIO’s is high). Unified Commerce solutions are a new answer to the complex business and technology challenges faced by retailers.
  • Global digital players (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - GAFA) invest more than ever in tech. They are all integrated in the shopper’s journey (Search, Mobile, Social Media, Buy button, Online retail) and expand their own or controlled virtual and physical retail networks. 
  • Digital has become a business lever as well as a tech enabler for delivering a relevant commerce experience to customers, because shoppers are savvy, pragmatic and already digital.

Let’s make it happen, Orckestra Booth #344!