In Review: The 2015 National Retail Federation Big Show

Jan 21, 2015 in Retail

The 2015 world of retail started out with a big bang at the National Retail Federation’s 104th Annual Convention & EXPO, held in New York City earlier this month. The event unveiled a vast array of new and exciting retail technology. Below are three of our top discoveries and insights gleaned at the 2015 NRF Big Show.

Omnichannel innovation happens when retailers collaborate with non-retailers. A breakout session on omnichannel retailing offered a plethora of new avenues when thinking about the role of mobile in today’s retail shopping experience. One notion highlighted the fact that retailers need to look externally—as opposed to innovating internally—in order to rise above the competition. This was especially evidenced by Cole Haan’s recent creative partnership with Uber Rush to provide $10 same-day delivery in New York City for online purchases, which by all accounts was a tremendous success for the brand.

Beacon powered apps are becoming an increasingly integral component of retail execution strategy. We’ve been tracking the implications of beacon transmitters for retail execution for some time now, and it was abundantly clear at the convention that the momentum on this front continues to increase. During a keynote talk on The New Digital Divide, company leaders discussed harnessing the power of beacons to effectively optimize mobile apps and fully personalize the in-store shopping experience. GameStop president Tony Bartel was one of the presenters at this eye-opening session; the video game retailer’s new partnership with Shelfbucks to power its beacon technology, which in turn sends personalized promotions and product information to customers’ smartphones, was one of many exciting reveals in this category.

Retail data cloud and point of sale technologies are two significant areas for growth and expansion. Two other big takeaways from the convention gave us views into compelling new productivity-boosting technologies for the retail industry. First, retail data cloud technology is growing, with the help of Epicor Software Corporation whose extensive omnichannel cloud platform provides retailers with an unprecedented streamlined view into products, customer behavior and transactions. Fujitsu unveiled its suite of new retail mobile solutions, which include smarter docking capabilities, new payment options and more mobile-relevant applications and services.

The Big Show was a terrific way to kick off 2015. Rising bridges between retailers and data-driven tech innovators indicate that the future of retail execution and data driven solutions is exceptionally bright.