The National Retail Federation’s 2017 Big Show produced some genuine head-turning solutions that made it a wonderful event this year.From shopper tracking to intelligent signage and shelf auditing robots, there was something here for everyone to enjoy. The following are some of the top tech solutions that saw the light of day at this show and that may soon be used widely in stores and shopping malls.
Google Tracks Shoppers and Senses Their Mood2017 marked the first year that the search engine giant has had their own branded booth at the NRF Big Show and they certainly made the most of it. The Google booth turned more than a few heads with their technology that can be used for tracking customers in-store.
Google showed off some impressive facial recognition software that can pick out individual shoppers and then go on to tell you what their mood is and what they think of the products they see around them.
Another clever solution from Google can track customers in stores and uses the same sort of sensor and laser technology that is used in self-driving cars. That’s solutions presented as prototypes, but can be extremely useful in the future.
Samsung for a 360-Degree View of the Shopping ExperienceOne of the most prolific brands on display was Samsung, with a wide range of new hardware and software that promises to give a 360-degree overview of the shopping experience and greater control over retail operations. Among the highlights here was the beacon technology that they revealed.
This is a type of intelligent signage that is capable of recognizing each shopper and tailoring the content provided to them based on their own preferences. Also on display from the tech giant was its latest batch of wearable tech, including a glove with a tiny scanner built into it for store staff to be able to scan products quickly and easily wherever they are.
Intel and the Shelf Auditing RobotIntel was another big tech company to produce some fascinating new solutions at this show in New York, and they plan to invest over $100 million in retail technology over the coming 5 years. Among the exciting advances that they showed off was Tally, who was billed the first ever autonomous shelf auditing and analytics robot designed for retail settings.
However, perhaps the key technology that they introduced is in the Intel® Responsive Retail Platform. This is a new horizontal platform that aims to bring together a variety of diverse retail solutions in a standardized way.
Microsoft is Working Hard with PartnersOne of the busiest companies at the show was Microsoft. They unveiled some exciting digital advances that have been achieved by them while working with their retail partners.
Among the solutions to be revealed by Microsoft was the beacon technology used by Nordstrom Rack to learn more about their customers and how Macey’s and Hickory Farms are using Microsoft technology to improve their processes. The main products that they see as being part of the future retail transformation are Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and Power BI.
Oracle Helps Unify the Customer ExperiencePerhaps one of the stars of the NRF show, Oracle brought out an exciting product in the form of Oracle Retail Release 16. This comprehensive retail solution is packed with a range of features designed to help retailers to provide a unified customer experience across different channels.
Among the key features here is the fact that this Oracle technology lets businesses migrate to the cloud at the pace that suits them. It includes over 30 Oracle Retail cloud services and is optimized for mobile use.
Fujitsu Shows Stylish Way to Avoid Fashion FraudThe centerpiece of Fujitsu's show was the fashion tag “mini” that has been designed for use with fashion clothing and accessories. The idea is that this miniature tag is used to confirm the authenticity of a garment and also to cut down on fraud levels.
This tag is a third smaller than the previous model from Fujitsu and also has improved washing durability. It is almost impossible to see in a sheer piece of clothing and can be used to identify the garment even when the sales tags have been taken off it.
SAP Retail Gets Involved in UberRushAmong the interesting news from SAP Retail is that they are getting involved in the UberRush pilot to ensure incredibly fast delivery of products that are ordered online. At the moment, they are working with Maui Jim on this project.
The importance of the technology used in storing and using customer data was also covered in a speech sponsored by SAP and delivered by Kurt Kendall of Under Armour. This fascinating presentation touched on how data from the likes of the Connected Fitness platform can be used to help customers get the perfect fit when shopping for new garments.
NEC Uses Statistics SmartlyThe main thrust of the NEC presentation was around how to use the latest technology to obtain reliable and detailed statistics. The likes of shopper demographics, shopper flow, and in-store analytics are among the main areas that they showed visitors to the Big Show this year.
In addition, NEC also showed how data can be leveraged both for marketing purposes and to improve the overall customer shopping experience. Digital signage, private cloud solutions, and point of sale software were also part of their innovations at this show.
Zebra Provides High-Quality ScannersThe Zebra offering at the NRF show included new 2D hand-held scanners that are designed to provide a better checkout experience regardless of the size of the retailer. They can quickly and easily scan just about any item’s barcode.
The models in question are known as the DS810 and DS2200. They are simple to get started with and can be used on faded, dirty or damaged barcodes without any fuss.
Theatro Rolls Out New WearablesThe most exciting development announced by Theatro was around the release of their latest voice-controlled wearable technology. These are going to be rolled out at the Neiman Marcus Last Call locations.
This technology will let stores give better customer service while also making their staff more efficient and help to streamline their retail operations. This is because these wearables allow fast and efficient communication between staff members no matter where they are on the premises.
With so many exciting pieces of technology and retail solutions on the show, it is no surprise that the NRF Retail’s Big Show 2017 was a huge success. It will now be interesting to see which of these products and ideas progress into mainstream retail technology from now on.