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Retail's Big Show 2017

Tech Tools for Retail Stand Out at National Show

From Jan. 15-17, the National Retail Federation (NRF) welcomed thousands of retail industry professionals to its annual convention, Retail’s Big Show 2017.

The event provided attendees with opportunities to network with other retail professionals as well as listen to experts on a variety of retail topics.

Attendees also walked through two showfloors that together were more than 240,000 square feet. They also could visit the NRF Innovation Lab, which highlighted new products and technologies designed for a variety of retail uses. More than 500 exhibitors were on location to provide glimpses at the latest services, products and technologies meant to help propel the retail industry forward.

 Virtual Reality, Robots and RFID Technology

Attendees walking the showfloors or browsing the NRF Innovation Lab had the opportunity to immerse themselves in new technologies. Vendors showcased everything from artificial intelligence and virtual reality simulations to Radio-Frequency Identification.

At the Intel booth, attendees could test out virtual reality technology from InVRsion, which simulates a customizable store layout.

Also on display in the booth was a device from Intel and SAP that features RFID technology. Retailers can attach the devices to product tags and track inventory and movement of the tagged items on the shelves.

Also popular at the show were retail robots, which could answer basic verbal questions or could be programmed to assist with searching a database for recipes. These IBM robots were a hit among show attendees, who were excited to chat with the machines. As the technology continues to improve, later versions of these robots may help improve customer service in stores.

The NRF Innovation Lab also showcased robots that work behind the scenes. Attendees could watch machines from RightHand Robotics fill orders without help from human workers.

Operations and Data Collection

Retail’s Big Show 2017 also highlighted how digital signage can keep a store fresh and exciting for the consumer.

Companies including Lexmark and Convergent were on hand to deliver digital signage resources. The majority of vendors offering signs made it a point to bring crisp, clear images to the forefront. In-store shelving featured digital labels for pricing and additional product information, like the promotional signage featured at the Displaydata booth.

An omnichannel presence and gathering and using relevant data were other technological areas of interest for show attendees. Companies such as RichRelevance and Ads Reality showed off their services, which range from content personalization, personalized browsing and product recommendations to create a rich shopping experience for consumers.

Data was another big point of interest at the show, and executives from The Home Depot and Neiman Marcus offered insights into how data can help retailers leverage their presence and attract customers during a seminar titled “Data: The New Currency for Retail Marketers.” Companies like Tableau, Domo and Oracle all provide services that allow retailers to look at customer data and use it to their advantage.

View a photo gallery from the show:

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon
Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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