Sunday, January 26, 2014

#NRF14: In-Store Technologies - The Toast at the BIG Show of Retail

At the NRF's BIG Show in 2014, the buzz was palpable. With 30,000+ attendees, 500 exhibtors and almost all the "biggies" that operate in the space, this show was quite grand. And it was in its 103rd annual edition. At Capillary, we had a great outing - with quite a bit of engagement around our booth at the EXPO.

From a broader industry perspective, the message was loud and clear: The retail industry was upbeat, excited and buzzing with activity around disruptive technologies. While there was a lot going on around concepts such as "omni-channel", "analytics", I found that one set of technologies was really the talk of the town at #NRF14 - "In-Store". From virtual fitting/trial rooms, to in-store location-based targeting and analytics to contact-less payments, anything in-store is definitely "in". A host of solutions talked about price and product displays on shelves, as well as the more customer-centric in-store disruptions like location-tracking and even eye tracking technologies.

While the line between each of these can often get blurred with overlapping capabilities, here are the 4 broad categories within which these can be analyzed:
  1. InStore Engagement/Clienteling
  2. Shopper Tracking
  3. Innovations in Payments
  4. Digital Displays & Others
Over the next few days, I will cover each of these 4 areas one-by-one - highlighting at least 3 new companies that have innovated in the space, as seen at #NRF14. The idea is not to re-iterate what has already been mentioned in head-line grabbing press-releases, but rather to highlight how the disruption is different and why I am choosing to speak about them on RetailNeo.

Oh, and for those who missed out Jack Dorsey's keynote on "The Power of Receipt in Retail", check out the video - this was certainly, my most vivid memory of #NRF14, since the rest of the time I was at the Capillary booth at the Expo, or occasioanlly walking the show floor! :)

Stay tuned!