January means one thing for retailers—NRF. Not even the face-numbing Northeast weather can keep people in the industry from showing up excited to hear all the latest buzz around the conference floor. There’s always plenty of new products, partnerships and discussions to keep things interesting, and this year was no different.
Here are some of our highlights from the big show:
Unveiling of new retail tech
This year we saw some dramatic themes along the lines of “innovate or die,” but there was also plenty of positivity—like Amazon’s move to brick-and-mortar perhaps signaling that traditional retail is still king.
There was a big push around improving customers’ experience with tech as well. We saw considerable advancements in VR and AR science with new augmented products for mobile and smart mirrors.
While these tech innovations were flashy and exciting, many retailers focused on how to engage with their customers and go about measuring those experiences. Ellen Latham, co-founder of Orange Theory Fitness, commented best on this issue by saying, “What you don’t measure, you can’t improve.”
While her focus was primarily on the human body, no tech embodies her comments greater than TruRating—one question about the costumer’s experience giving retailers hundreds of data points and allowing improvements faster than ever.
The amount of collaboration at NRF this year was nothing short of inspirational. From Tommy Hilfiger partnering with IBM (resulting in Grace McCarty’s smart jacket) to Cole Haan’s pop-up shop with Aptos. We got a real sense of pride seeing the retail industry pulling together and partnering up following the 2017 retail storm.
On our end, we had eight partners shouting out about their integration with TruRating and the opportunities it provides for retailers. They had some really nice things to say about us too, so we included them in our NRF video, as you can watch right here:
Intimate fireside chats
While the keynote tracks are always impressive and very informative, tucked away in the expo hall, many sponsors held fireside chats with guests ranging from large retailers to up and coming startups.
Verifone, a close partner of ours, had their own brilliant series of fireside chats, one of which was held with our founder and CEO, Georgina Nelson. She spoke with June Felix about everything from innovation to being a woman in the tech industry.
There was so much to take in at NRF and we haven’t even scratched the surface with this post. For more insights, head over to Multichannel Merchant to read what our CEO has highlighted as four of her top takeaways from the show.
We’ll be spending the rest of 2018 working on things that were put in motion at this year’s convention, and we already can’t wait for 2019’s edition to roll around.