Retail technology innovation and trends at NRF 2018

Honeywell retail tech solutionNRF 2018 — running from January 14-16 in New York City – will showcase the latest innovation from retail technology companies to improve customer experience.

The world’s largest retail technology trade show is happening after the National Retail Federation reporting 5.5 percent increase in holiday sales during November and December 2017. The number, which excludes restaurants, automobile dealers and gasoline stations, includes $138.4 billion (+11.5 percent) in online and other non-store sales.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said: “Whether they shopped in-store, online or on their phones, consumers were in the mood to spend, and retailers were there to offer them good value for their money.”

Technology show at NRF 2018

Technology is driving the sale at retail stores and online channels. Merchants who have embraced mobile devices to perform tasks and help customers from anywhere in the store, are experiencing higher annual sales increases, according to the IHL Group.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in November 2017 said smartphones (41 percent) were the devices most used by consumers for online shopping during the 2017 Black Friday shopping week, surpassing desktop computers (38 percent) and laptops (34 percent).

Several technology companies will be looking for deals from retail and e-commerce companies. is mapping some of the latest innovations and demos from retail technology companies at NRF 2018.

Tinyclues will unveil its AI-first marketing solution to North American retailers and demonstrate how major international retail brands are using Tinyclues to increase revenue from marketing campaigns and improve customer experience.

Brands such as Brandalley, Charles Tyrwhitt, Club Med, FNAC, Holland & Barrett, Lacoste, Thomas Cook or report increase in marketing campaign revenue, with an average increase in revenues of 49 percent.

“Tinyclues’ AI marketing platform predicts future buyers for any campaign with accuracy, allowing retailers to present highly relevant product offers to highly qualified audiences, cut through the noise and win engagement,” said David Bessis, founder and CEO of Tinyclues.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Direct Source will showcase the latest in-store systems and customer-facing technologies at NRF 2018.

Direct Source analyzes each retailer’s goals and objectives, future technology needs and pain points to create the optimal in-store experience.

“This year, retailers are focused on creating stronger connections with customers in the store. Payments are becoming more important as part of this experience, but technologies that enables shopper engagement, mobility and personalization also help retailers build these connective bridges,” said Brad Fick, president of Direct Source.
Retail technology for customer experienceHP said its HP ElitePOS payment system helps retailers build checkout, interactive signage and self-service solutions that meets their unique business demands. ElitePOS components include stands, a magnetic stripe reader, barcode scanners, customer-facing displays and an in-column or standalone printer.

Honeywell retail hardware line equips store associates with tools and data access to engage with customers. Enterprise-ready tablets provide real-time connectivity to store data such as inventory or sales data, delivering a truly mobile office.

Epson H6000 line of multi-function POS printers offers fast receipt printing, high-resolution graphics, drop-in validation for deposit slips, checks, cashier checks and batch tickets, and high reliability in one compact device.

InVue’s freestanding tablet display combines flexibility, convenience and security in one solution, and can be rotated to portrait or landscape mode, or flipped to face the customer. The design allows the integrated tablet to be easily removed for mobile use.

Logility, a provider of retail planning and collaborative supply chain optimization solutions, and NGC Software, a provider of cloud-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications, will show a platform that simplifies the challenges of omni-channel retail environment.

Ashley Furniture, Jockey, Carter’s, Groupe Dynamite, Caribou Coffee and VF Corporation, leverage Logility solutions to help increase visibility, accelerate product development, and position merchandise to drive profitability and consumer satisfaction.

Aerohive Networks will exhibit how retailers can change the way they engage with customers with new apps and insights powered by cloud Wi-Fi.

Aerohive’s Personalized Engagement Platform uses a mobility architecture and cloud-enabled services and applications to deliver an enhanced customer experience for shoppers, and greater insights for retailers.

Verifone will introduce Verifone e280 mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solution.

“The e280 mPOS will be the perfect solution merchants can use to provide great service while securely accepting all payment types wherever customers are in the store,” said Glen Robson, global head of Solutions, Verifone.

Verifone said e280 will meet current PCI 5.X SRED requirements and the needs of tier one retailers and smaller micro merchants. Verifone simplifies payment complexity for small businesses with an iOS/Android POS and gateway solution, which is easy to setup and use.

Toshiba Tec Printing Solutions Business Group will feature its digital signage solutions at the world’s largest retail tradeshow.

Toshiba Tec is the global market share leader in point-of-sale (POS) systems. Toshiba’s digital signage is currently in use within diverse retail environments including apparel, specialty and grocery stores.

Riverbed will showcase its cloud solutions to enable retailers to further optimize their online and in-store channels by deploying digital services, boosting same-store profits, and improving the overall customer shopping experience while cutting back on operational costs.

Acuative, a provider of wall-to-wall technology solutions for retail chains, is working with Ciena to offer a new retail-focused solution based upon Distributed Network Function Virtualization (D-NFV). The Acuative and Ciena teams will show at NRF how their technologies can enable retailers to better compete by maintaining pace with ever-changing network requirements.

Retailers can reduce onsite network equipment requirements, while maintaining or even surpassing existing performance requirements, for notable improvements in power, space, and security coupled with a quicker and more agile deployment model. Acuative can provide a simple and cost-effective D-NFV solution tailored to the specific needs of retailers embroiled in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

“D-NFV makes use of virtualization at the network edge to provide retailers with a secure and scalable means of rapidly adapting to changing network requirements,” says Joe Cumello, vice president of Global Marketing at Ciena.

Fujitsu Frontech will demo innovations in PalmSecure Biometrics and Washable/Wearable RFID in the Fujitsu Group.

Fujitsu will demonstrate the F-Pro palm vein biometric sensor and Fujitsu STYLISTIC V535 Tabletwith embedded F-Pro sensor for reliable authentication in a fixed or mobile Retail environment. The F-Pro features the smallest palm vein biometric sensor.

Fujitsu will also be demonstrating the washable/wearable WT-A533L UHF RFID fashion tag. With RFID, Fashion rental providers will see significant reductions in workflow as they can now scan fashion items in bulk to prevent shipping errors as well as track received items as soon as they come off the truck, without manual sorting.

Zebra Technologies announced new retail solutions designed to help retailers outperform their competition, elevate the customer experience, and strengthen their operations. Zebra will be showcasing these new solutions at NRF 2018.

National Stores upgraded their existing JDA Store point-of-sale software, first installed in 2009, to the latest version of Veras CheckOut, a POS software solution known for its speed, efficiency and reliability.

National Stores also selected ACCEO for their direct-to-processor solution, ACCEO Tender Retail, as well as its remote terminal management software. ACCEO Tender Retail is a semi-integrated, EMV-certified payment middleware solution that handles all aspects of electronic payment transactions – including the critical communication interface between the POS and transaction processor.

NEC will showcase an immersive retail experience that incorporates NEC’s retail technologies, including point-of-sale (POS) hardware, software, biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and digital signage solutions at NRF 2018.

Brother International will highlight its retail printing solutions at the National Retail Federation (NRF) event.

OIA Global, a logistics, packaging, and materials sourcing provider, announced collaboration with Digimarc, inventor of The Barcode of Everything, and DittoSustainable Brand Solutions to create Ditto Smart Hangers.

LG Innotek aims to attract retail companies by showcasing various products and technologies such as the commercialized ESL and advanced location tracking solution, which can be developed into a “Smart Integrated Retail Management” platform by combining distribution with internet of Things (IoT).

ESL is the latest solution for inventory and price management in the retail sector, based on the use of advanced IT technology. ESL replaces conventional paper price tags attached to the shelves of supermarkets and department stores with, for example, LCDs and electronic paper (E-paper) that show information on product price, sales promotions, etc.

Max2 will unveil an innovative  IoT Edge Server at NRF 2018. It offers a unique software architecture that enables retailers to run their applications dynamically and most efficiently at the edge in retail locations, in the private data center or the Cloud, or both.

Honeywell announced that its Connected Retail Solution is demonstrating 20 percent gains in worker productivity in retail stores.

The solution, which comprises worker-focused software that runs on an Android or iOS mobile computer and can be paired with a headset, allows retailers to improve in-store customer service and better support customers who buy online and pick up purchases in-store.

Honeywell is working with retailers to implement the software for in-store tasks, such as picking items for online orders. Workers at a major grocery chain used the software during their shifts for sorting shipments from a distribution center and replenishing store shelves for the next morning’s shoppers.

“With our software, we can help retailers reduce training times for new workers, improve efficiency and access greater amounts of data about their store operations. Our pilots have demonstrated that retailers can effectively apply the science from distribution centers to their brick-and-mortar stores,” Taylor Smith, president of Honeywell’s Workflow Solutions business.

Digimarc will highlight how its Intuitive Computing Platform featuring Digimarc Barcode benefits grocery retailers in the fresh/perimeter departments, front checkout and center store.

Diebold Nixdorf will introduce software-driven technologies at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show. Diebold Nixdorf will launch two software solutions enhancing the scope of the Vynamic portfolio: Vynamic Engage and Vynamic Mobile Shopper.

Extreme Networks introduced ExtremeLocation solution allowing retailers to identify, engage and provide personalized guest experiences in-store via shoppers’ mobile devices. By collecting contextual analytics from both Wi-Fi and BLE beacon technology, retailers and store associates can understand guest demographics, shopping patterns, personal preferences and their exact location in stores.

Oracle announced that Samsonite Europe is extending their alliance with Oracle Retail to adopt the Order Broker Cloud Service to enable more consumer shopping journeys. Samsonite will also take advantage of the innovation in the latest release by upgrading Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service and Oracle Retail Customer Engagement.

“As our direct-to-consumer channel sales continue to grow, we want to ensure we can meet the rising expectations of our customers across our multi-brand and multi-channel portfolio. These new journeys will allow us to convert sales at the point of intent and deliver the product how the customer chooses,” said Dirk de Smyter, IT director Europe, Samsonite Europe.

Oracle Retail will be showcasing the Oracle Retail solutions and cloud services at the National Retail Federation Big Show Jan. 14-16, 2017, in New York City.

“In early 2017, we moved to Oracle Commerce Cloud,” said Jim Hall, president, The Vermont Country Store. “This holiday season, we celebrated 10 percent growth in online sales and increased customer satisfaction. I am particularly pleased with the improvement in mobile results and our mobile shopping experience.”

Sporting lifestyle retailer Team Sportia achieved growth over its most important shopping season with Oracle Commerce Cloud.

“We saw 100 percent growth in 2017 and have plans to continue to expand our CX solution footprint with Oracle,” said Mikael Ohrn, CXO, Team Sportia.

“It is important for businesses to invest in a modern commerce platform that can seamlessly scale to business conditions and remain flexible with ever-evolving customer expectations,” said Katrina Gosek, senior director, digital customer product strategy, Oracle.

Retail companies want cost effective technology and support to enhance customer experience and sales.

GE said retail giant Walmart installed more than 1.5 million LED fixtures across more than 6,000 stores, parking lots, distribution centers and corporate offices in ten countries.

Maryrose Sylvester, CEO Current by GE, said the energy initiative over the past decade has reduced lighting energy consumption and reduced costs by more than $100 million.

Walmart’s investment in energy efficiency has reduced energy use per square foot by more than 12 percent since 2010.

Pitney Bowes said 250-plus retail brands are selling globally with the help of Pitney Bowes Complete Cross-Border solution. This includes the 100-plus brands Pitney Bowes has added to the platform since acquiring Borderfree Inc. in 2015.

Brayola, Frame, Good American, Guess Connect, Gc Watches, Katy Perry Collections, and Vineyard Vines are among the retail brands working with Pitney Bowes to expand internationally, drive consumer demand, and provide localized online shopping experience in markets.

“We trust Pitney Bowes, not only to help us grow, but to protect the strength and integrity of our brands in a complex global marketplace,” said Alison Marsh, director of E-commerce at Sequel for GUESS Connect & Gc Watches.

JDA Software announced new enhancements to its software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based JDA Store Optimizer solution, which transforms real-time data into actionable insights that help retailers improve inventory and labor management, increase operational efficiency, and enhance customer experiences.

Samsung Electronics introduced Samsung Connected Spaces, a Pop-Up store solution that gives brick-and-mortar retailers a platform to create a Pop-Up store infused with data collection and analysis capabilities.

Pop-Up stores let retailers activate short-term physical retail opportunities, such as seasonal trends or product launches. Samsung Connected Spaces delivers an Internet of Things (IoT)-ready solution that provides retailers with data and insight on key store factors – including customer traffic, dwell time, and demographics (age & gender) – that can be measured for specific times and areas in a store.

“Samsung debuts a Pop-Up experience that helps retailers use data more intelligently, so they can gain real-time insight into shopper needs, and serve customers better,” said Ian Son, senior vice president, Mobile B2B division, Samsung Electronics America.

Visa announced that its sensory branding is now available as a pilot program for merchants, terminal manufacturers and developers.

Manufacturers Equinox Payments, Ingenico Group, Poynt, and Verifone are working with Visa to pilot sensory branding with merchant partners in the coming year.

IoT Is at the Heart of First-Of-Its-Kind Connected Store

PTC and several technology partners, including Deloitte, piloted a connected store with Legend World Wide, located in Belgrade, Serbia. Impinj, Monolith, and NCR each provide a in-store data, which is centralized into PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform and presented in a series of dashboards that provide actionable insights.

“Digital channels are re-defining the purpose of today’s store. We are exploring the promise of IoT with stores like Legend and experimenting with smart technology to capture data and generate insights,” said Victor Hoong, partner, Deloitte Digital.

Retailers, including Legend, can leverage analytics to optimize inventory levels and understand customer traffic to optimize product assortments based on personas. ThingWorx allows retailers to improve the in-store experience by understanding traffic patterns to optimize store layout and better predicting in store staffing needs.

Baburajan K

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