Organised by the NRF, the largest retail trade show in the world was celebrated in New York from the 13-15 January and served as a meeting point for thousands of professionals from the sector. This edition focused on how digital transformation can improve the user experience and so that you don’t miss out on the latest trends affecting the sector, here you’ll find our Top 5.
1. Artificial intelligence and robots in shops
One of the stand out themes of this edition has been in IA. Robots are starting to play an important role not only in logistics but also in customer service. Walmart is the leading the way with their ‘Giant Food Stores’ which feature a robot called ‘Marty’ that has the capacity to detect risks in the shop such as slippy floors as well as when shelves become empty.
As for robots designed to improve the customer experience, we recommend you don’t lose sight of companies such as New Era AI Robotic and its Smart Service Robots.
2.Internet of Things
Without doubt, one of the biggest announcements of the year was the collaboration between the chain of supermarkets Kroger and the technology giant Microsoft, developing two futuristic shops that aim to bring the advantages of shopping online to the physical shop. It includes a range of digital features including a prediction system which personalises prices and icons to the buyer, an app to guide you through your purchases and of course a self-payment system that will have Amazon looking over its shoulder.
It’s not possible to attend a technology event without mentioning Blockchain. There were some really interesting applications, such as the NGAGE Project; a collaboration between BLOCkv, Cataboom and Intel to use Blockchain and gamified digital objects in order to improve retail experiences.
4. Hyper-personalisation and user experience
While it is not a technology in itself, personalisation is clearly a hot topic. Never before have companies had so much information about the behaviour, desires and needs of their customers. But the data only has value if we know how to collect and interpret it correctly, converting it into personalised interactions that increase customer loyalty. Who would not want to be served with the level of customisation The Taylor Made Store can provide?
In-store interactive experiences can both attract consumers and gather valuable data from them. During NRF 2019, Intel and Kendu joined forces to present a unique immersive experience that combined communication, gamification and product.
It’s not so hard to start visualising a world in which screens are obsolete and the voice is the only interaction between brands and consumers. The voice assistants are already on our phones and computers, in our cars and houses. And beyond Alexa and Google Home, a whole new generation of start-ups are positioning themselves in this niche with immense growth potential.
The digital transformation has just begun!