Event Recap: Retail News From NRF’s BIG Day 2015

The NRF’s BIG Day is a little like CES for retail: there are big tech announcements, thought-leading keynotes, and large showcases at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. Here’s a recap of a few of the larger news reveals:

  • NCR is releasing a new touchscreen pay kiosk, called SelfServ 90. With a small and nimble form, it’s meant to upgrade the self-service checkout experience. Wincor Nixdorf also premiered its new moPOS system, as did Panasonic.

  • Panasonic also premiered PowerShelf, an electronic shelving unit equipped with beacons that can be enabled for both advertising and inventory management.

  • Lots of partnerships this week: Samsung is integrating with tagging/payment system PowaTag. Gimbal, which is also premiering its new Series 21 Beacon, is partnering with audio recognition giant Shazam and mobile offers solution Koupon Media.

  • Spearheading the intersection between retail and tech, Intel has a big booth this year. It is showcasing beacon solutions, mobile payments, a Beef-o-Brady tabletop tablet payment implementation for Beef-o-Bready, its SteadyServ iKeg system for intelligent bar inventory, and its Memory Mirror apparel virtualization tech (on display at Neiman Marcus).

  • IBM released a suite of sales apps, called MobileFirst. Developed by Cognitive Scale, the apps will be Sales Assist (for customer acquisition + management), and Pick & Pack (smart inventory via beacon integration).

Stay tuned for more product news—this is only the beginning of retail innovation in 2015.

Trends And Themes From NRF’s BIG Show 2015

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show comes fresh on the heels of CES, and we’re keeping tabs on key developments.

Policy Goals: Aside from the perennial calls to lower taxes, improve trade, and streamline the immigration process, the retail trade group is trying to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act. This would allow states to collect sales taxes from online commerce, which Internet lobbyist groups are averse to, for obvious reasons. It didn’t pass last year, but with a new Congress, the NRF is attempting to push it through again.

Largest Retailers: The NRF also published its annual list of the 250 largest global retailers, the five largest being Wal-Mart, Costco, Carrefour, Schwarz Group, and Tesco.

2015 Trends: 

  • Travel retail: Increased travel means airport retail is becoming more than just magazines and overpriced snacks.
  • Mobile retail: With the dual spread of mobile payments and location marketing, mobile retail is nowhere near the ancillary market it used to be.
  • Same-day delivery: More retailers are embracing the theory of “fast and nimble” over big boxes.
  • Retail as experience: The consumer journey needs to be consistent across all channels, and put a focus on personalization and lifestyle branding.
  • Disruption: Retail must embrace technology and innovation.

For a more in-depth look, check the NRF report.