An overview of key themes, solutions and learnings from NRF 2019
NRF “Retail’s BIG Show” 2019 New York – Event Review
Every year industry experts, innovative trends and insights from leading vendors descend on the Javits Centre in New York City to create the world’s greatest retail trade fair. While innovative concepts were discussed during previous years, 2019 is the time for real solutions to be implemented.
Detego was positioned front and centre as part of the SAP partner village in booth #3426. For Detego, it was all about communicating our expertise and best practice when it comes to the implementation of RFID-based inventory management and consumer engagement solutions. Detego’s software is customer driven and has been developed through collaboration and understanding of how fashion retailers’ operations work. This approach was critical in advising retailers on their inventory management needs.
Tangible customer experience improvements
If the customer is to come back to the store, the store must change fundamentally. A store needs to inspire: in the design and presentation of the product assortment, with digitally supported store personnel empowered to provide knowledgeable sales advice and service, as well as delivering on the brand promise. With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), consumers are able to really experience the entire assortment. Cameras can capture the gender of the customer in order to display specific articles on large screens – digital signage becomes a central element of the staging of a brand. The multi-sensory approach to address consumers using sound elements or visualised fittings on e.g. eyewear or garments, offers a quick product comparison but also supports the purchasing decision. Pictures taken directly in the store can be shared with friends via social media, thereby making it a memorable shopping experience.
Operational Excellence in the store: Single-Stock View
Operational Excellence refers to stores with high levels of article availability – comparable to mini-distribution centres. In the omni-channel business, retailers need a Single view of Stock across all of their stores, franchises as well as concession partners as consumers are not interested in channels, they await a frictionless shopping experience.
It is clear that exact inventories are a necessary basis for efficient omni-channel retailing and therefore, satisfied customers; the same applies to RFID technology for accurate stock takes and article management. Retailers demand solutions that can be implemented quickly for a reasonable budget. Ideally with the option to test it in a pilot store and the possibility to easily roll out over the entire store network and to expand across the entire supply chain.
The Detego booth had retailers getting a hands-on demonstration of the Detego InStore Lean Edition, a mobile app-based solution which provides a quick start into RFID-based inventory management of the store. The mantra of ‘keep it simple’ was often being communicated by vendors and retailers alike.
Artificial Intelligence comes in many forms
“Retail will adopt AI technology the fastest in the next three years,” Deborah Weinswig, CEO and founder of U.S. retail and tech consultancy Coresight Research. With numerous AI solutions on display, retailers will have to think long and hard about how they want to utilise AI for their business.
Some of the use cases we could see was in data-driven AI solutions to make accurate demand prediction, new product development, optimized inventory placement and transportation as well as more advanced technology being used in offline shopping. Detego, a leader in AI for fashion retailers was one of the vendors showcasing the use of AI in our Smart Fitting Room and Chatbot, to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping as well as providing retailers with new data such as ‘fitting room conversion rates’.
Beyond the horizon – New market development for RFID
NRF also previewed a look of what is to come, more specifically in RFID inventory management for retailers. Intelligent label provider, Avery Dennison, provided a first peek into sustainable use of RFID and fresh food management to reduce food wastage across the world’s food retailers. With continued developments in labelling technology and a strong business case, the opportunities within RFID and retail continue to make an impact on the industry.
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Image source: NRF