The NRF is the annual global retail event, if there is one place to be, it would be this one. The current and future of retail is defined between technological innovators and Retailers. France is the 3rd delegation present at the event, both to expose its innovations and discover trends, and to draw up inventory of the successes achieved since the previous year.
Here are my observations at the end of the 1st day of the NRF NIG Show. One thing is clear: as it does every year, one theme dominates very widely.
From omnicanal to data : digitalisation in th forefront
In 2016, we noticed the predominance of the omnicanal subject, which became a reality for almost all retailers and exhibitors. The NRF 2017 put specific emphasis on the customer experience, with the return of the store at the heart of an advanced digitization strategy for the physical point of sale. For this year 2018, our 3rd participation in the event highlights a clear trend: data is really everywhere, and opens up new perspectives.
Data : innovation became necessity
Data is not a new topic: there was first an awareness of its importance for the retail activity with the advent of e-commerce that led to build datamarts and datalakes, to collect and store data. This subject is now operational, retailers are now in a phase of data valorization, with notably:
- Operational and mature applications based on AI, which are widespread in the field for marketing, supply chain and pricing.
- High-performance technologies used to collect in-store user data, with a wealth of information equal or even superior to that collected on the web: reconstruction of the customer’s journey in the store, analysis of its interaction with products and their physical positioning, purchase without checkout…
A new stage, which I would describe as an “omnidigital stage”, presents itself to us at the NRF. Based on the collection and valorization of new kinds of data, and efficient algorithms on a large scale, these evolutions transform the business continuously.
And these evolutions are no longer just gadgets for retailers, many of whom are still faced with the need to reinvent themselves in order to remain leaders.
The reactivity of distributors to adopt these solutions on a large scale is impressive. They are now in the process of taking action, and come to the NRF to find the technological data driven solutions necessary for their transformation.
President and Founder of Vekia